Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Portrait

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb

Green Party - Life peer

Became Member: 20th September 2013



Scheduled Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
The work of the Environment Agency
View calendar
Division Votes
Monday 29th January 2024
Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 2 Green Party Aye votes vs 0 Green Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 84 Noes - 206
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Peatlands
Is the Minister aware that it takes millennia for peat bogs to form? Do the Government have any idea of …
Written Answers
Thursday 15th February 2024
Radicalism
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 23 January (HL1524), under …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Thursday 16th June 2022
Marine Protected Areas (Bottom Trawling) Bill [HL] 2022-23
A Bill to regulate and limit the practice of bottom trawling in marine protected areas, and for connected purposes
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb has voted in 478 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(87 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(65 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(59 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(236 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(95 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Environment Act 2021
(17,194 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(8,935 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


6 Bills introduced by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb


A Bill to establish the right to breathe clean air; to require the Secretary of State to achieve and maintain clean air in England and Wales; to involve the UK Health Security Agency in setting and reviewing pollutants and their limits; to enhance the powers, duties and functions of various agencies and authorities in relation to air pollution; to establish the Citizens’ Commission for Clean Air with powers to institute or intervene in legal proceedings; to require the Secretary of State and the relevant national authorities to apply environmental principles in carrying out their duties under this Act and the clean air enactments; and for connected purposes

Lords Completed
Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 5th December 2022

A Bill to make provision about elections to and membership of the House of Lords; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 3rd February 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to regulate and limit the practice of bottom trawling in marine protected areas, and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 16th June 2022

A bill to establish the right to breathe clean air; to require the Secretary of State to achieve and maintain clean air in England and Wales; to involve Public Health England in setting and reviewing pollutants and their limits; to enhance the powers, duties and functions of the Environment Agency, the Committee on Climate Change, local authorities (including port authorities), the Civil Aviation Authority, Highways England, Historic England and Natural England in relation to air pollution; to establish the Citizens’ Commission for Clean Air with powers to institute or intervene in legal proceedings; to require the Secretary of State and the relevant national authorities to apply environmental principles in carrying out their duties under this Act and the clean air enactments; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 13th January 2020
(Read Debate)

First reading took place on 9 September. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled.The 2015/16 session of parliament has ended and this Bill will make no further progress. A bill to make provision for the setting of biodiversity and other targets; to establish aNatural Capital Committee; to require local authorities to maintain local ecologicalnetwork strategies; to identify species threatened with extinction; for access to qualitynatural green space; and to include education about the natural environment in thecurriculum for maintained schools.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Wednesday 9th September 2015

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to commission a programme of research into the merits of replacing the council tax and non-domestic rates in England with an annual levy on the unimproved value of all land, including transitional arrangements; to report to Parliament within 12 months of completion of the research; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Wednesday 11th June 2014

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


232 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
18th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of international efforts so far to deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Delivery of the Glasgow Climate Pact is the top priority for the UK Presidency. Six months on from COP26, the UK and Egypt recently convened Ministers in Copenhagen to discuss progress and heard strong commitment to deliver. We reiterated the need for all countries to revisit and strengthen their NDCs as necessary, for donors to deliver on the $100bn goal and the commitment to double adaptation finance by 2025, and for increased support for Loss and Damage.

Since COP26, and following the call in the Glasgow Climate Pact, 5 Parties have submitted Long-Term Strategies and 11 have submitted updates to NDC. A further eight National Adaptation Plans have been published, meaning 2 billion people are now covered by adaptation plans globally. We recently held the 5th Energy Transition Council Meeting where countries reinforced their commitment to implement tailored solutions to decarbonise the power sector more rapidly. Since COP26, 20 new signatories including Greece have joined the Zero Emission Vehicles Declaration, and four new countries have declared their support for the Agriculture Breakthrough.

We will continue to provide strong UK leadership and engagement over our Presidency year to make sure promises are kept and delivered to the highest standards, working with all parties and civil society partners to keep momentum high.

18th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that negotiations under the Glasgow Dialogues result in a financial facility for (1) loss, and (2) damage, relating to climate change.

The Glasgow Climate Pact succeeded in putting in place the Glasgow Dialogue to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage, although it did not agree to the creation of a financial facility. The first dialogue will take place in June 2022, with further dialogues taking place every year to 2024, though these are not formal negotiations. The Glasgow Climate Pact also noted existing funding for climate, disaster reduction and response is relevant to loss and damage.

23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the total monetary value of the benefits delivered by urban wetlands.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Rt Hon. the Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

26 May 2023

Dear Lady Jones,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what assessment has been made, if any, of the total monetary value of the benefits delivered by urban wetlands (HL8042).

The UK Natural Capital Accounts produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provide monetary estimates for the goods and services provided by a range of eight broadly defined habitats.

“Wetlands” is not among these, but can be found in several other habitats such as “Freshwater” and “Mountains Moorlands and Heath”.

“Urban” is one of these eight habitats, and captures a range of other ecosystems in and around dense population areas. We will be updating our approach in our upcoming Urban habitat account release this summer. In this, we plan to include data on the total area of sub-habitats that can be found within “urban” areas, including estimates of the total area of “urban-wetlands”. We would be very happy to discuss these results with you once they are available.

While the natural capital accounts are primarily national, in our 2022 Natural Capital Accounts Roadmap [1] we committed to increasing their spatial granularity. This will help us to more readily address questions requiring lower geographical levels.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/naturalcapitalaccountsroadmap/2022

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of a drinking culture in No 10 Downing Street; and what records they have, if any, of ministers or staff being intoxicated on the premises since March 2020.

I would refer the noble Lady to PQ114640, answered by the Prime Minister on 31 January:

The Civil Service Code governs the overarching conduct of civil servants. This includes the requirement to “always act in a way that is professional”.

The Government has accepted the Second Permanent Secretary’s general findings in full. As the published update states, steps must be taken “to ensure that every Government Department has a clear and robust policy in place covering the consumption of alcohol in the workplace.”

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Number 10 Downing Street is a Crown property; and, if so, whether regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 apply there.

No 10 Downing Street is a Crown property. Regulations under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 which relate to the activities of people, apply regardless of whether those activities took place on Crown property or not.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 13 July (HL1535), whether, as part of the National Audit Office (NAO) investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic, any private emails were (1) provided directly, or (2) forwarded as part of official correspondence, to the NAO on the grounds that they contained (a) substantive discussions, or (b) decisions.

The Government fully cooperated with the National Audit Office’s investigation into Government procurement during the pandemic and provided all information requested.

The NAO report sets out the NAO's investigative approach and the evidence drawn on as part of the investigation.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the National Audit Office were given access to the private email accounts of either (1) civil servants, (2) special advisers, or (3) ministers, when carrying out their investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government fully cooperated with the National Audit Office’s investigation into Government procurement during the pandemic and provided all information requested.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 22 February (HL13270), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what steps they have taken to ensure that (1) independent, and (2) smaller political party, candidates are not disproportionately affected by the restrictions on (a) doorstep campaigning, and (b) the delivery of leaflets by individual political party activists.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since then published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions effective from 8 March. In developing this guidance, the Government consulted a number of groups, including the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 22 February (HL13269), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what evidence they have to suggest that the delivery of leaflets by individual political party activists carries a greater risk than paid deliveries by (1) the Royal Mail, or (2) other delivery services.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since then published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions effective from 8 March. In developing this guidance, the Government consulted a number of groups, including the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 22 February (HL13268), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what evidence they have which supports the cessation of (1) doorstep campaigning, and (2) the delivery of leaflets, by individual political party activists.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since then published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions effective from 8 March. In developing this guidance, the Government consulted a number of groups, including the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation, if any, they undertook with (1) independent candidates, (2) smaller political parties, and (3) the Independent Group of the Local Government Association, in the development of the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel.

In relation to the current national lockdown restrictions and the delivery of leaflets by volunteers, I refer the Noble Lord to the Dear Colleague letter from the Minister for Constitution and Devolution, which I have placed in the Library. The letter reflects the broader guidance and law on the national lockdown, based on advice from the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what steps they have taken to ensure that (1) independent, and (2) smaller political party, candidates are not disproportionately affected by the restrictions on (a) doorstep campaigning, and (b) the delivery of leaflets by individual political party activists.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel.

In relation to the current national lockdown restrictions and the delivery of leaflets by volunteers, I refer the Noble Lord to the Dear Colleague letter from the Minister for Constitution and Devolution, which I have placed in the Library. The letter reflects the broader guidance and law on the national lockdown, based on advice from the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what evidence they have to suggest that the delivery of leaflets by individual political party activists carries a greater risk than paid deliveries by (1) the Royal Mail, or (2) other delivery services.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel.

In relation to the current national lockdown restrictions and the delivery of leaflets by volunteers, I refer the Noble Lord to the Dear Colleague letter from the Minister for Constitution and Devolution, which I have placed in the Library. The letter reflects the broader guidance and law on the national lockdown, based on advice from the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what evidence they have which supports the cessation of (1) doorstep campaigning, and (2) the delivery of leaflets, by individual political party activists.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel.

In relation to the current national lockdown restrictions and the delivery of leaflets by volunteers, I refer the Noble Lord to the Dear Colleague letter from the Minister for Constitution and Devolution, which I have placed in the Library. The letter reflects the broader guidance and law on the national lockdown, based on advice from the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total number of deaths, from any cause, in the UK in 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Dear Baroness Jones,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the total number of deaths, from any cause, in the UK in 2020 (HL4131).

The table below contains the registered deaths of UK residents in the first 20 weeks of the year. Data has been sourced from the Office for National Statistics, National Records Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency weekly death publications.

Table 1: Provisional number of deaths registered in the first 20 weeks of 2020, broken down by country[1][2][3][4][5]

UKEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
Total deaths registered: week 1-20952,133901,06615,99027,8507,227

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]Figures are based on deaths registered up to 1 May 2020

[2]Weekly deaths for Scotland are produced by NRS: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

[3]Weekly deaths for Northern Ireland are produced by NISRA: https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/weekly-deaths

[4]England, Wales and Northern Ireland weekly deaths run from Saturday to Friday, Scotland deaths run from Monday to Sunday

[5]Northern Ireland week allocation differs from other countries. For example, week 1 is week ending 10-Jan. This has been adjusted for the purpose of aggregating the data

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compatibility of the licensing of new offshore oil and gas with their commitments under (1) the Paris Climate Agreement, and (2) the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework.

The Government is reducing demand for oil and gas but will still need it for years to come. The independent Climate Change Committee has recognised this transition cannot happen overnight. The Government implemented the Climate Compatibility Checkpoint to assess whether new domestic hydrocarbon licensing is compatible with the UK’s climate targets. New licenses do not involve any slowing of the UK’s transition to net zero.

The environmental impact of offshore developments is subject to rigorous regulatory assessment by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning, including a full environmental impact assessment and consultation with statutory nature protection bodies and the public.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government further to the publication of Zero Hour’s Nature and Climate Declaration on 1 November, what steps are they taking (1) to reduce the full scope of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius, (2) to halt and reverse biodiversity decline by 2030, and (3) to deliver a more ambitious and integrated environmental protection and decarbonisation plan.

The Government is committed to delivering net zero emissions by 2050. This is consistent with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts towards 1.5°C.

The Environment Act 2021 commits the Government to halting the decline in species in England by 2030, in addition to setting at least one long term target for biodiversity. The Environment Act’s package of new policies, alongside other measures including the Nature for Climate Fund and new Environmental Land Management schemes, will help the Government to reach its targets and tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how much consumers were paid back from renewable energy schemes signed up to the Contracts for Difference schemes in the two quarters since April this year.

Renewable generators signed up to the Contracts for Difference scheme make payments to energy suppliers, rather than directly to consumers.

The total CfD payments made to suppliers relating to the last two quarters was:

£258,813,576.63.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what knowledge they had, if any, of renewable energy company Drax purchasing licences to cut down trees from primary forests in Canada to make wood pellets for its power station in Yorkshire, as alleged in the BBC's Panorama investigation, which aired on 3 October.

The regulator Ofgem is responsible for auditing the sustainability of biomass used by biomass electricity generators which receive support under the Renewables Obligation and has a process in place for this. As is routine, Ofgem is establishing whether the biomass sustainability criteria have been met by the generator. These criteria ensure that only sustainable biomass is used to produce renewable electricity. Sustainability information is publicly available on Ofgem’s website.

To receive support generators must follow sustainable management practices that require the maintenance and replanting of the forest, demonstration that deforestation is not occurring where they source material from, and that biodiversity, soil and water are protected, among other requirements.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Contracts for Difference Scheme will contribute to the Energy Bill Support Scheme in its first year of operation.

Funding for the Energy Bills Support Scheme is provided by HM Treasury. It is not provided by the Contracts for Difference scheme, which is the Government’s primary method for supporting new low-carbon electricity generation projects in Great Britain.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure energy consumers benefit from low carbon energy generators paying back the difference between market price and strike price under Contracts for Difference; and how much money has been paid back to date.

The Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC), which administers Contracts for Difference (CfD), carries out a financial reconciliation of the scheme’s accounts at the end of each fiscal quarter. In April of this year, the LCCC returned £108.3m to British suppliers in respect of repayments made by generators since last autumn. Repayments to suppliers should ultimately be reflected in the tariffs they offer their customers. This is a commercial decision for each supplier.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 8 April (HL7358), whether hydro power companies are eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee; and if so, what the mechanism is for them to approach electricity suppliers.

The Smart Export Guarantee came into force on 1 January 2020 and requires most electricity suppliers to offer a tariff to buy electricity exported by small low-carbon generators, including small hydro. Licensed suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are required to offer at least one SEG tariff to small-scale, low-carbon generators.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 8 April (HL7358), what the process is for renewable energy generators and storage providers to apply for the exemption from business rates.

As set out in the Spring Statement 2022, the green plant and machinery exemption applies from April 2022. The Valuation Office Agency will implement this exemption. There will be no need for renewable energy generators or storage providers to apply.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they hold on the proportion of wood pellets used in the Drax Power Station that are sourced from British boreal and temperate forests; and what assessment they have made of the impact of this on keeping those forests intact.

Data on biomass sourcing is publicly available on Ofgem’s website and information for the latest available year can be accessed there.

The UK only supports sustainable biomass and generators only receive subsidies for biomass that complies with strict sustainability criteria.

UK forests are protected by forestry and Environmental Impact legislation in the four administrations of the UK together with the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard, while we have committed to increase annual UK planting rates to 30,000 hectares by the end of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have updated their assessment of the potential for hydroelectric power, further to the rise in electricity prices; and what assessment they have made of the benefits of introducing a scheme like the Contracts for Difference scheme to encourage the deployment of small-scale hydropower systems.

The Government acknowledges the valuable contribution of hydropower to the UK energy mix over many decades. However, economic and environmental constraints mean that in practice the viable remaining resource is less than 1% of total generation capacity, hence it will likely not be a significant contributor to our future generation plans.

The Smart Export Guarantee puts a requirement on most electricity suppliers to offer to buy electricity that is exported to the grid by small-scale generators, and as announced by my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Autumn 2021 Budget and recent Spring Statement, business rates will include an exemption for eligible plant and machinery used in the generation and storage of renewable energy from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2035.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to allow contracts with Russian entities to be broken without becoming liable for damages.

Contracts remain a commercial matter for businesses. Where businesses seek to sever contracts with Russian entities, we recommend seeking independent legal advice. The Department for International Trade have expanded its Export Support Service (ESS) to act as a single point of enquiry for businesses and traders with questions relating to the situation in Ukraine and Russia. Any business that has question about trading with Ukraine or Russia can ask the export support team by visiting the GOV.UK website, or call our helpline using the number 0300 303 8955.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to apply a separate climate compatibility checkpoint for future (1) oil, and (2) gas, licensing on the UK mainland; and what role English local authorities will have in making the assessment of compatibility.

The Government has invited contributions on the design of the climate compatibility checkpoint through the launch of a public consultation on 20 December 2021, closing on 28 February 2022. The consultation seeks views on the application of this checkpoint to potential future onshore licensing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their projections for additional greenhouse gas emissions arising from the thawing of the Arctic permafrost between now and 2100; and whether these projections have been taken into account in the COP26 negotiations on reducing national carbon budgets.

The projections used by Her Majesty’s Government for additional greenhouse gas emissions arising from permafrost thaw between now and 2100 are those provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and amount to 76 [range of 14-177] gigatonne carbon dioxide equivalent per degree of warming globally, by 2100. These estimates were included in the Panel’s Sixth Assessment Report, which was officially welcomed by the UNFCCC at COP26, and taken into account in the negotiations.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their assessment of rising sea levels is based on a rise in average global temperatures, or includes modelling of Arctic and Antarctic ice melt taking into account the accelerated rise in regional temperatures at the poles.

Our assessment of rising sea levels, derived from the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, includes modelling of the Arctic and Antarctic ice melt and takes accelerated rise in regional temperatures at the poles into account.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their projections for additional greenhouse gas emissions from the thawing of the Arctic permafrost are based on a global rise in temperatures or a projected rise in the temperature of the Arctic region.

The projections of additional greenhouse gas emissions from the thawing of the Arctic permafrost that are used to inform government policy are taken from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report and take Arctic regional warming rates, including effects such as polar amplification, into account.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the additional powers local authorities may require to meet (1) the net zero target by 2050, and (2) World Health Organisation guidelines on safe levels of air pollution.

Local authorities have a combination of powers in housing, planning, transport, and environmental permitting which allow them to take action to achieve net zero and to improve air quality.

Through the Net Zero Strategy, published on 19 October, the Government set out its commitments to enable local areas to make progress towards net zero. The strategy includes the creation of a new Local Net Zero Forum to improve collaboration net zero policies by convening national and local government senior officials.

The Government is committed to improving air quality, including through reducing a diversity of pollutants that harm both human health and the environment. The Environment Act made improvements on the Local Air Quality Management framework to enable local authorities to take more effective, co-ordinated actions to improve air quality. It will also deliver improvements to public health by ensuring local authorities have more effective powers to tackle emissions from domestic burning.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their baseline assumption of 160 years for the lifetime of a new nuclear power station, as set out in the Environment Agency guidance on sea level rise, is measured from the expected date of completion of the power station.

The effects of climate change, including sea level rise, are considered and adapted to throughout the lifetime of nuclear power stations from design and construction, through operation and on to decommissioning.

The UK’s robust regulatory framework is designed to accommodate changes in science and expert guidance, whilst ensuring appropriate assessment of the specific operating lifetime of individual stations.

Whilst the National Policy Statement sets out the siting framework and criteria (including flood and coastal erosion risks), all stations will require planning permission and environmental permits from the Environment Agency and safety licensing from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (the ONR) throughout their lifetime. This will require strong evidence from licence holders to demonstrate that the effects of climate change have been thoroughly evaluated and can be managed over the lifetime of stations.

The Environment Agency and the ONR would not allow a site to be built or to operate if they judged that it was not safe to do so.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with the EU about leaving the Energy Charter Treaty.

The Government has had no discussions with the EU on leaving the Energy Charter Treaty.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of attempts to reform the Energy Charter Treaty to remove any barriers to phasing out carbon fuels.

The UK supports the process to modernise the Energy Charter Treaty in a way that helps the global clean energy transition, such as the right for States to regulate to reach emissions reduction targets and a stronger focus on climate security issues. We are currently in discussions with Treaty partners over proposals to phase out investment protection for fossil fuels.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that waste incineration contracts do not hinder the delivery of the target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

We have already made significant progress towards meeting our net zero target. Between 1990 and 2018, our economy has grown by 75% while emissions have decreased by 43% - faster than any other G7 nation. Since 2000, we have decarbonised our economy faster than any other G20 country. We met our first and second carbon budgets that were established under the Climate Change Act 2008, and we are on track to overachieve on the third. Our forthcoming sector strategies, and wider plans to deliver a green economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, will contain further proposals to put us on track to meeting carbon budgets 4 and 5.

In 2018, waste management accounted for 4.6 per cent (20.7 MtCO2e) of total UK GHG emissions, showing significant achievement of a 69% decrease in emissions between 1990 and 2018. The government is seeking to make the UK a world leader in using resources efficiently and reducing the amount of waste we create as a society. Our Resources and Waste Strategy (2018) sets a clear longer-term policy direction in line with our 25 Year Environment Plan.

The detailed terms of waste incineration contracts are a matter for the contracting parties.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they include carbon emissions from incineration, including energy from waste, as a separate category in their (1) calculations, and (2) international reporting, of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

There are three categories in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory that include greenhouse gas emissions from incineration, all of which are calculated and reported as separate categories:

  • The incineration of municipal solid waste (MSW) in “Power Stations”;
  • The incineration of MSW in “Miscellaneous industrial/commercial combustion”
  • Other “Waste Incineration” that is not used for energy.

In line with international guidance, carbon dioxide emissions from the incineration of the biogenic fraction of waste material are estimated, but do not contribute to total emissions reported.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to hold a roundtable meeting with "Party and non-Party stakeholders on pre-2020 implementation and ambition" ahead of COP26, as agreed at COP25.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed at COP25 to hold a roundtable among Parties and non-Party stakeholders on pre-2020 implementation and ambition at COP26, which will take place in Glasgow.


The UK government will be involved in preparations as part of its role as incoming President for COP26.

The UK Government is also regularly engaging with Party and non-Party stakeholders, led by the COP26 President, the High Level Champion and the COP26 Envoy.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Office for Nuclear Regulation has a threshold beyond which the construction of new nuclear power stations would be disallowed on a specific section of coastline as a result of Met Office projections for (1) sea levels, or (2) the frequency of storm surges.

The independent Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) considers nuclear site licence applications and related regulatory matters on a case-by-case basis. In order to ensure the impact of climate change and the adequacy of project specific mitigations are fully and properly considered, the ONR does not prescribe thresholds in advance. The regulator requires appropriate safety margins and considers the latest official climate change predictions, prepared with the Meteorological Office and the Environment Agency.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 5 November 2019 (HL460), how they calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from a tonne of domestic waste being processed in an energy from waste incinerator.

Domestic, or household, waste is currently included within the fuel category “MSW” (Municipal Solid Waste) in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. MSW refers to waste collected by municipalities or other local authorities and includes sources other than domestic waste.

The emissions per tonne of MSW processed in an energy from waste incinerator is calculated using the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines. Figures are provided for methane and nitrous oxide along with separate figures for carbon (fossil) emissions from biodegradable MSW and non-biodegradable MSW. The proportions of total MSW that is biodegradable and non-biodegradable is calculated using data from DUKES (the Digest of UK Energy Statistics). These four figures are combined to give total greenhouse gas emissions emitted per tonne of MSW processed in an energy from waste incinerator.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 5 November 2019 (HL460), what were the equivalent green house gas emissions from incineration in the waste and energy supply sectors in (1) 2017, (2) 2018, and (3) 2019.

In 2017, an estimated 5.2 Mt (million tonnes) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) were emitted from incineration in the energy supply sector and 0.3 Mt of CO2e were emitted from incineration in the waste sector.

In 2018, an estimated 6.0 Mt of CO2e were emitted from incineration in the energy supply sector and 0.3 of CO2e were emitted from incineration in the waste sector.

Emissions from biogenic waste material are not included in these figures, consistent with domestic and international reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.

We are not currently able to provide equivalent statistics for 2019 as these are not yet available. The Final Statistics for UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2019 will be published in February 2021.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 5 November 2019 (HL460), what were the greenhouse gas emissions produced per tonne of waste processed in an energy from waste incinerator in (1) 2012, and (2) 2018.

There are two categories in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory that include waste being processed in an energy from waste incinerator:

  • The incineration of municipal solid waste (MSW) in “Power Stations”;
  • The incineration of MSW in “Miscellaneous industrial/commercial combustion”.

In 2012, an estimated 0.4 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) were emitted per tonne of waste processed in UK “Power Stations” and 0.8 tonnes of CO2e were emitted per tonne of waste processed in an energy from waste incinerator in UK “Miscellaneous industrial/commercial combustion”.

In 2018, an estimated 0.4 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) were emitted per tonne of waste processed in UK “Power Stations” and 0.6 tonnes of CO2e were emitted per tonne of waste processed in an energy from waste incinerator in UK “Miscellaneous industrial/commercial combustion”.

Emissions from biogenic waste material are not included in these figures, consistent with domestic and international reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 20 December (HL4099 and HL4100), what assessment they have made of the proposed A303 road widening scheme on the archaeological sites in the area, particularly the remains of an early Neolithic settlement within the land known as Bow Tie Field; and whether the proposed road tunnels as part of that scheme would have an adverse impact on the integrity of The Avenue.

National Highways conducted a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment in line with relevant guidance at the time that the Development Consent Order application was made, and this was considered to represent a thorough process by the delegates of the most recent UNESCO Advisory Mission. The Heritage Impact Assessment made an assessment of the proposed A303 scheme on all the known archaeological sites in Bow Tie field, whether they were designated (i.e. scheduled monuments including Stonehenge, the Avenue, and three barrows adjacent to the Avenue forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Countess Farm: NHLE 1010140) or non-designated, and assessed the effect of the proposals on the Outstanding Universal Value of the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site. The answer to the parliamentary question submitted on 20 December 2022 contains further information, including about archaeological evaluation carried out to date.

The Avenue is protected as part of a Scheduled Monument. The A303 scheme has been designed not to have a direct impact on any Scheduled Monuments and to minimise adverse impacts on their setting. National Highways will work with the National Trust to minimise the impact to heritage (such as the archaeology and grassland) at Bow Tie Field which may be affected by future compulsory acquisition as part of implementation of the proposed A303 scheme. The scheme is currently with the Secretary of State for Transport for re-determination. Since this is a live planning application, the Department cannot comment further.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 20 December (HL4099 and HL4100), whether the grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund was for both (1) the buy out of the leasehold interest of the 151 acres of land already owned by the Trust in area, and (2) the purchase of the 21.6 acres of land known as Bow Tie Field; and if so, why the grant for purchase of Bow Tie Field was considered necessary to deliver the positive impact of the grant.

The National Trust negotiated to acquire the leasehold interest of an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy of 151 hectares over land that the National Trust already owned, and a further 21 hectares of outright acquisition of freehold land known as Bow Tie Field. The National Heritage Memorial Fund grant was awarded to the National Trust to secure both areas of land.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund recognised the positive impact of supporting the acquisition of this significant area of land containing internationally and nationally important ancient monuments which were at risk. The benefits of the National Trust taking ownership and management of this land, safeguarding nationally important monuments, was considered to justify the grant award.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 2 November 2022 (HL2728), what was the basis of the advice to the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) that “61 archaeological sites, including a substantial part of the Stonehenge Avenue, [were] all under extreme risk of loss due to ploughing”, and that "if the purchase did not go ahead Scheduled Monuments on the site would be lost completely within 10 years”.

As part of the application process for grant funding to the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Trust provided a condition survey which highlighted, among the 61 at-risk archaeological sites, that 15 scheduled monuments and 34 unscheduled monuments across both parcels of land were at imminent risk of loss. These included the Stonehenge Avenue, Conebury Henge, the Conebury Anomaly, Neolithic burials and occupation sites, and numerous Bronze Age round barrows. The report concluded that, unless arable cultivation ceased, it was likely that much, if not all, of what remained of these monuments could have been lost to the plough within a decade.

In assessing the application, the National Heritage Memorial Fund sought expert advice, which concluded that, if these important sites remained under arable cultivation, they would continue to be at risk and subject to denudation and ultimately loss, as there was no alternative strategy that could be readily agreed to secure the survival of these sites and features.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compatibility of using a substantial part of Bow Tie field for road and tunnelling purposes with the (1) protection of archaeology, and (2) grassland restoration, as specified in the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) grant to the National Trust for that purpose.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund’s grant to the National Trust was awarded to safeguard and protect a significant number of archaeological sites and monuments, and to enable extensive grassland restoration of approximately 168 hectares of land. It was clear at the time of the award that, if the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme were to be consented to by the Secretary of State, approximately 4.54 hectares of land within Bow Tie Field would be subject to compulsory acquisition by National Highways. However, the positive impact of the grant benefits a much larger area of land containing internationally important monuments which were at risk. As a result of the National Trust taking ownership and management of this land all of these monuments have been safeguarded from destruction and, should the A303 scheme proceed, would remain unaffected.

National Highways will work with the National Trust to minimise impact to heritage (the archaeology and grassland) at Bow Tie Field which may be affected by future compulsory acquisition as part of implementation of the scheme. The scheme is currently with the Secretary of State for Transport for re-determination.

A comprehensive archaeological assessment has been undertaken on all areas affected by the scheme, including part of Bow Tie Field. An overview of the fieldwork can be found in Section 3 (from page 13) of the Detailed Archaeological Mitigation Strategy and further details of Eastern portal from 3.3.80 (page 28), which can be viewed here.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 2 November (HL2760 and HL2728), whether the trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund considered the possibility of the land being compulsorily acquired by National Highways as part of the A303 scheme, prior to the award of the grant.

It was clear at the time of the grant award that, should the Development Consent Order be approved by the Secretary of State for Transport, approximately 4.54 hectares of the total 168 hectare area to be acquired would be the subject of permanent compulsory acquisition by National Highways. The National Heritage Memorial Fund’s grant was in response to a time-limited opportunity to secure multiple archaeological sites across this much larger area of land in the World Heritage Site. This included a substantial portion of Stonehenge Avenue. Without the National Heritage Memorial Fund’s grant the opportunity to safeguard and conserve a significant area of internationally important archaeology would have been lost.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund Board was aware of the potential for compulsory purchase and took the decision that, since the area to be affected by potential compulsory purchase was a very small proportion of the overall site, this did not outweigh the benefits of safeguarding a much larger area through the time-limited opportunity presented.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what were the terms of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) grant of £800,000 to the National Trust for the acquisition of over 170 hectares of land at Stonehenge, including the land known as Bow Tie Field.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has been awarding grants to safeguard the UK’s most important heritage since 1980. As a fund of last resort, NHMF has helped save thousands of the country’s most-loved treasures from being lost forever.

The grant of £800,000 to the National Trust for the acquisition of land at Stonehenge, including the land known as Bow Tie Field, was a time-limited opportunity to secure 168 hectares of land containing 61 archaeological sites, including a substantial part of the Stonehenge Avenue, all under extreme risk of loss due to ploughing. Expert advice to NHMF reflected that if the purchase did not go ahead Scheduled Monuments on the site would be lost completely within 10 years.

The acquisition by the National Trust will enable the restoration of chalk grassland, a priority lowland habitat, achieving significant biodiversity and nature conservation benefits. It will also enable permissive open access for the first time to this part of the Stonehenge landscape.

The £800,000 grant was awarded to the National Trust using the National Heritage Memorial Fund's standard terms of grant as set out on the NHMF's website.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote volunteering opportunities in the UK after 31 December for young people from EU countries.

The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) offers volunteering opportunities to young people aged 18-30 from both the UK and the European Union. The UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2018-2020) ESC programme. This means that projects that successfully bid for funding during the current programme will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 31 December 2020 and the end of the transition period. Young people from the UK and EU countries will continue to be able to participate in these projects.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is considering options for alternatives to EU programmes offering international opportunities to young people. Funding for these opportunities will be subject to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children they estimate will be included in the registers proposed under clause 48 of the Schools Bill [HL].

The proposed Children Not In School registers are intended to help with the identification of children being educated otherwise than at school and, in particular, those who are currently children missing education.

At present, there is no accurate picture of how many of these children there are at a local or national level. The introduction of the registers should, however, help to address this.

In the latest Association of Directors of Children's Services annual survey (in 2021), they estimated that approximately 81,000 children across all 152 local authorities in England were electively home-educated on school census day, 7 October 2021. The department would therefore anticipate, at least, similar numbers of children coming within scope of the registers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government on what basis the Environmental Improvement Plan targets to reduce leakage by 20 per cent by 2027, 30 per cent by 2032, and by 50 per cent 2050, were made.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government on what basis the Environmental Improvement Plan targets for non-household water use to reduce by nine per cent by 2038 and 15 per cent by 2050 were made.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government on what basis the Environmental Improvement Plan targets for water companies to reduce per capita consumption by nine per cent by 2027, 14 per cent by 2032, and 20 per cent by 2038, until average use is 110 litres per day by 2050, were determined.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they decided on 2050 as the final deadline for the Environmental Improvement Plan.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the selection of the Teddington direct river abstraction proposal, what investigations they expect Thames Water to undertake regarding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the water courses in England and Wales, with particular reference to treated effluent at Mogden Sewage Treatment Works, further to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA concerning connections between women diagnosed with some hormonally driven cancers and exposure to certain PFASs in household and industrial products.

For Teddington direct river abstraction proposal to be taken forward Thames Water will be required to obtain an abstraction licence and permit to discharge from the Environment Agency. These set out the conditions under which abstraction is authorised to take place and the standards to which the discharged effluent must be treated, ensuring it is treated to a high standard to meet environmental and human health quality standards. The Environment Agency regulates discharge permits by assessing the quality of the effluent discharged against set compliance limits. Thames Water will need to undertake any investigations necessary to meet those regulatory requirements.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what range of impact assessments they expect Thames Water to provide regarding the consequences for local wildlife habitats arising from construction of their proposed Teddington direct river abstraction on green spaces categorised as Metropolitan Open Land, such as Ham Lands and Moormead Park in St Margaret’s.

Thames Water is required to provide further assessments through the RAPID (Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development) gated planning process to ensure that all potential impacts of the Teddington direct river abstraction (DRA) scheme are assessed and investigated, including any impacts on green spaces. The design and location of elements of the scheme are still at the conceptual design stage of development. Any scheme developed will have to meet environmental and planning requirements. The suite of assessments required will depend on the final design of the scheme and nature/location of impacts which are expected to be identified through the Gate 3 planning process.

The proposed Teddington DRA is expected to take the Development Consent Order planning route, which will require an Environmental Impact Assessment of the scheme’s impacts as part of the planning process. Where possible we expect environmental enhancements to be included in the scheme design.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Environment Agency report that said Thames Water had so far failed to show that the proposed Teddington direct river abstraction was "feasible or environmentally acceptable", what further assessments of impacts on habitats, biodiversity net gain and health, as well as social impacts on local communities, Thames Water will be expected to produce.

The feasibility of Teddington is considered as part of Thames Water’s statutory Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP) development with specific guidelines for environmental assessment. WRMPs are also subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment. The feasibility and the environmental acceptability of Teddington is being investigated as part of the RAPID (Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development) gated process and with more detailed project level environmental and social impact assessment undertaken to support planning or Development Consent Order applications, notably Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations requirements. EIA is also needed to support any applications for other regulatory consents. In all cases impacts on habitats, biodiversity net gain and health, as well as social impacts on local communities need to be considered and public consultation is required.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps the Environment Agency and Ofwat will take following the Teddington direct river abstraction proposal to ensure that Thames Water meets its obligations, given its Strategic Environmental Assessment directive and failure to present an environmental report or to allow the public an opportunity effectively to express their opinion about it.

Proposals for Teddington direct river abstraction need to follow the statutory Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP) process, which includes the requirement for a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Thames Water published its draft WRMP in December 2022 with a 12-week public consultation period. Thames Water received 80 representations specific to Teddington from stakeholders and the public. The company has recently published a statement of response outlining how it plans to address the points raised.

The feasibility of Teddington is also being investigated in more detail as part of a London Reuse strategic resource option (SRO). The investigation into the feasibility of this SRO along with another 17 across the country is managed by RAPID (Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development) which is a partnership that is made up of the three water regulators Ofwat, Environment Agency and Drinking Water Inspectorate. The investigation process is split into ‘gates’ and at each gate the SRO is required to publish evidence based Environmental Assessment Reports. London Reuse published its Gate 2 reports in winter 22/23 allowing a 6-week window for public consultation.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how responsibility for research into the benefits of green and blue infrastructure is shared between (1) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (2) the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and (3) Natural England.

Natural England launched the Green Infrastructure Framework: Principles and Standards for England in January 2023. During the course of developing the Framework they produced and commissioned research, working with government Departments for: Environment Food and Rural Affairs; Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; Transport and Health and Social Care. They also sought wider from input from experts in public bodies and private organisations to steer and advise.

Natural England and Public Health England (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities) published a Rapid Scoping Review of Health and Wellbeing Evidence as part of the project. In addition, Defra has also funded research into the economic modelling of accessible green space across England and Wales, known as the Outdoor Recreation Valuation tool.

As set out in the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023, we will use the Green Infrastructure Framework to track progress in our commitment for everyone to have access to green or blue space within 15 minutes from their front door.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to provide financial support for the (1) research, and (2) delivery, of saltmarsh restoration projects, to contribute to the national evidence base on carbon sequestration.

Through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, Defra is working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero alongside the other UK Administrations to address key research questions relating to blue carbon habitats, such as saltmarsh. In 2022, the UK Government launched its £140 million Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment programme, a flagship three-year R&D programme, spanning England’s land, coast and sea. The programme includes mapping of blue carbon stock and sequestration rates in important coastal environments such as saltmarsh habitats, alongside wider ecosystem services which provide societal, ecological and economic benefit.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) Restoring Meadow, Marsh and Reef (ReMeMaRe) initiative is working to restore our estuarine and coastal habitats to benefit people and nature. The EA’s restoration handbooks are a key tool to support restoration of coastal blue carbon habitats in the UK and beyond.

The Government is also supporting eight blue nature finance projects, including blue carbon, with around £750,000 of grants through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund. This funding is being used to develop a pipeline of projects that can demonstrate viable private-sector investment models, ultimately working to restore important blue habitats such as saltmarsh. In addition, our £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund has supported a range of nature recovery projects across England, five of which have included saltmarsh restoration.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the continued operation of extractive industries within Marine Protected Areas; and what assessment they have made of the case for banning (1) bottom trawling, and (2) dredging, within those areas.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a devolved competency and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Marine Management Organisation, the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and other regulators assess on a site-by-site basis which activities could prevent MPAs from achieving their conservation objectives. Byelaws and other measures are developed using an evidence-led process to determine what management is required to protect sites and to not unduly restrict legitimate activity.

Nearly 60% of our 178 English MPAs are already protected from damaging fishing activity, including byelaws introduced in 2022 in the first four offshore sites, which ban bottom towed gear over sensitive habitats. A consultation covering a further 13 sites closed on 28 March 2023 and the responses received are being considered. We are aiming to have all MPAs in English waters protected from damaging fishing activity by 2024.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, what consideration they have given to the possibility of that legislation causing further welfare problems through the abandonment of cats caused by people being either (1) unwilling, or (2) unable, (a) to microchip, or (b) to pay fines.

The introduction of compulsory cat microchipping in England is intended to increase the likelihood that lost or stolen pet cats can be reunited with their keeper, benefitting cat welfare.

The cost of microchipping is around £25. Cat keepers will have until 10 June 2024 to comply with the requirements before they come into force.

If a keeper is served with a notice, they will have 21 days to microchip their cat and register their details with a compliant database to avoid any fines.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, what assessment they have made of the necessity of considering cats and dogs together for the purposes of that legislation given the lack of danger to the public caused by cats.

The introduction of compulsory cat microchipping in England is intended to increase the likelihood that lost or stolen pet cats can be reunited with their keeper, benefitting cat welfare.

The extension of compulsory microchipping to pet cats was supported by 99% of respondents to the public consultation exercise.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, what consideration they have given to the possibility of that legislation causing further welfare problems through the stress to cats caused by (1) trapping, (2) confinement, and (3) euthanasia.

Under the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, only owned cats are required to be microchipped. The Regulations will not apply to free living cats that live with little or no human interaction or dependency, such as farm, feral or community cats.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, what consideration they have given to providing exemptions for (1) older cats, (2) cats with long-term health issues, and (3) cats fitted with collar trackers.

The draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023 permit an exemption from the requirement to be microchipped where a veterinary surgeon certifies that the procedure should not be carried out for animal health reasons.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, what consideration they have given to the issues surrounding the data privacy of cat owners in relation to that legislation.

The draft Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023 will require cat keepers to register their details with a database operator which holds itself out as compliant with these Regulations. These operators are all commercial enterprises independent of Government and they have a duty to comply with data protection requirements.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the report by the Animal and Plant Health Agency Year End Descriptive Epidemiology Report: Bovine TV in the Edge Area of England 2021, County: Hampshire, published on 7 October 2022 and updated on 28 November 2022, and (2) the implications for their policy on the timing of the badger cull in Hampshire; and what steps they will take to end the badger cull in that county as a result of the findings in that report that "badgers only accounted for 11 per cent of weighted risk pathways".

We are committed to achieving official freedom from Bovine TB for England by 2038 and intensive badger culling in areas where badgers are an important factor in spreading disease to cattle has been an important part of this. The badger cull has led to a significant reduction of bTB in cattle herds, with research showing a 66% and 37% reduction of new herd breakdowns in the first two cull areas.

Defra has published analysis by APHA on where in Edge Area counties, such as Hampshire, there is considered to be a local reservoir of infection. This analysis includes data from previous badger found dead surveys alongside information on cattle breakdowns and other sources: Bovine TB: local reservoirs of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the Edge Area of England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Badger culls are licensed by the licensing authority Natural England (NE) who take local reservoirs into account. NE licensed the final intensive cull areas last year, and Government is gradually building government-supported badger vaccination and surveillance. Badger culling would remain an option where epidemiological assessment indicates that it is needed.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 10 November (HL2965), which stated that "this discharge is made to surface waters rather than groundwater, greatly reducing the potential risk to the drinking water aquifer", whether this means that there is still some risk from the water being (1) reused in HS2 operations, including reinsertion to the aquifer at the tunnel boring operation, and (2) discharged to the water environment in a roadside ditch which is a winter born chalk stream directly above the principal aquifer.

Water is not discharged into the aquifer during tunnel boring operations. The roadside ditch is an artificial (i.e. man-made) drainage channel, not a winterbourne chalk stream. A quantitative risk assessment has been caried out for both surface water and groundwater impacts for discharge to the roadside ditch and the risk assessment showed the discharge was, given the controls on the permit, acceptable and not liable to cause pollution to either water receptor.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 10 November (HL2965), which stated that the polymere based product "is used in treatment of the solid wastes, which have a waste water component that receives further treatment prior to discharge", how the further treatment removes the acrylamide which is water soluble; and whether they can confirm that polymeres are not tested to check if this has been successful.

In the solid slurry stabilisation process, only the minimum amount of polymer product is used to achieve the required result. The polymer will be preferentially bound within the solid waste with negligible, if any, carry over into the waste water from the slurry treatment process. This water then undergoes further treatment in the water treatment plant, including settlement of fine solids, reverse osmosis, and activated carbon filtration, which further reduce the risk of any polymer or constituents reaching the discharge point and therefore the environment. Due to the low potential for the polymer to be present in the slurry treatment process, waste water, and the further treatment provided by the water treatment plant, no testing was required as part of the permit for the presence of polymer or constituents.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the findings of the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership.

Nature-based solutions, including blue carbon habitats such as saltmarshes, have an important role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and supporting adaptation and resilience to climate change, alongside their carbon sequestration benefits. HM Government cannot currently commit to inclusion of coastal wetlands in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory as there are significant evidence gaps that prevent the accurate reporting of anthropogenic activities and therefore emissions from coastal wetland habitats, including saltmarshes.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, but through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, Defra is working with BEIS and the other UK Administrations to address key research questions relating to blue carbon, including to support the potential future inclusion of saltmarshes within the inventory. The first aim of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon in an Evidence Needs Statement that will act as a signal to the research community.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to include the restoration of saltmarshes for blue carbon in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Nature-based solutions, including blue carbon habitats such as saltmarshes, have an important role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and supporting adaptation and resilience to climate change, alongside their carbon sequestration benefits. HM Government cannot currently commit to inclusion of coastal wetlands in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory as there are significant evidence gaps that prevent the accurate reporting of anthropogenic activities and therefore emissions from coastal wetland habitats, including saltmarshes.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, but through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, Defra is working with BEIS and the other UK Administrations to address key research questions relating to blue carbon, including to support the potential future inclusion of saltmarshes within the inventory. The first aim of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon in an Evidence Needs Statement that will act as a signal to the research community.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to monitor, understand and analyse saltmarsh habitats, including the risks to present emissions and wider ecosystem value.

Nature-based solutions, including blue carbon habitats such as saltmarshes, have an important role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and supporting adaptation and resilience to climate change, alongside their carbon sequestration benefits. Through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, Defra is working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the other UK Administrations to address key research questions relating to blue carbon.

In April 2022, HM Government launched its £140 million Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment programme, a flagship three-year R&D programme, spanning England’s land, coast and sea. The programme includes mapping of blue carbon stock and sequestration rates in important coastal environments such as saltmarsh habitats, alongside wider ecosystem services which provide societal, ecological and economic benefit. This work will be used to inform marine planning and development decisions.

In the programme’s proof-of-concept year, the Environment Agency (alongside its ongoing role monitoring saltmarsh extent and change), mapped areas within saltmarshes with different capacities to capture and store carbon, bringing the national saltmarsh zonation map up to 96.5% coverage of England’s total saltmarsh habitat.

In addition, Natural England monitors, and assesses the condition of, saltmarsh within sites of special scientific interest.

We are also improving understanding of the impact of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems. The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) synthesises the latest research and evidence on climate change impacts and predicted trends affecting those ecosystems. Established in 2005, MCCIP engages with a wide range of scientific authors and reviewers to produce updates on the evidence base.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to strengthen the protection and restoration of saltmarsh habitats.

HM Government has a clear, long-standing ambition to implement measures that protect the marine environment, both internationally and domestically. England already has 40% of its waters in Marine Protected Areas, covering the majority of saltmarsh habitats. Our focus is now on ensuring these are effectively protected.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) Restoring Meadow, Marsh and Reef (ReMeMaRe) initiative is working to restore our estuarine and coastal habitats to benefit people and nature. The EA’s restoration handbooks are a key tool to support restoration of coastal blue carbon habitats in the UK and beyond. They offer clear practical guidance on restoration best practice, including for saltmarshes, and were produced through collaboration between Government bodies, NGOs and academics. They provide a tool to support local authorities, community partnerships and environmental organisations to restore blue carbon habitats.

Natural England and the EA are also producing a national database/inventory of opportunities for restoration of coastal habitats including saltmarsh. This will signpost developers seeking to fulfil obligations under the planning system.

We are supporting direct investment into saltmarsh restoration through our £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which is supporting nature recovery projects across England. Through our Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, we are supporting three projects with almost £300k of grants to measure and verify the carbon storage potential in saltmarsh habitats, which will help leverage private investment into these important habitats.

The public consultation on the next round of Flood Risk Management Plans (2021-2027) closed earlier this year. The proposed plans include provision for natural flood management approaches which will protect saltmarsh and also protect communities.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in protecting environmental and human health from the effects of chemical pollution.

HM Government's 25 Year Environment Plan set out actions to significantly reduce the levels of harmful chemicals entering the environment. Progress made against these actions have been published through our 25 Year Environment Plan Progress Reports and Indicator Framework. We are currently reviewing the 25 Year Environment Plan as required by the Environment Act 2021. The revised Environmental Improvement Plan will be subject to the relevant parliamentary laying procedures as set out in the Act.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ban all non-essential use of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

We are committed to leading efforts to protect the marine environment and counter marine pollution. The UK Marine Strategy Programme of Measures sets out a comprehensive list of actions that HM Government is taking to reduce pollution in the marine environment. We are currently updating this aspect of the strategy, to outline the latest measures we are taking to continue to move us towards Good Environmental Status in our seas.

Action has already been taken to ban or highly restrict specific Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) both domestically and internationally, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Data collected for Defra shows that levels of PFOS are declining in harbour porpoise. However, PFAS represent a very diverse group of chemicals with a wide range of uses for which safer and more sustainable alternatives are not yet available - making this a very challenging issue to tackle.

Work is underway across government to help us assess levels of PFAS occurring in the environment, their sources, and potential risks to inform future policy and regulatory approaches. In the UK REACH Work Programme for 2021-22, Defra asked the EA and HSE to examine the risks posed by PFAS and develop a 'Regulatory Management Options Analysis' (RMOA). The RMOA will be published in early 2023 and will make recommendations for risk management measures, building on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to tackle chemicals of concern. Defra and the Devolved Administrations will carefully consider the RMOA recommendations to inform future PFAS policy.

We have also recently launched a working group on PFAS under the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum (CSF). This is aimed at fostering constructive dialogue on policy options, including on how HM Government can accelerate leadership by industry in moving away from PFAS.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they have taken to encourage industry to end the non-essential use of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

We are committed to leading efforts to protect the marine environment and counter marine pollution. The UK Marine Strategy Programme of Measures sets out a comprehensive list of actions that HM Government is taking to reduce pollution in the marine environment. We are currently updating this aspect of the strategy, to outline the latest measures we are taking to continue to move us towards Good Environmental Status in our seas.

Action has already been taken to ban or highly restrict specific Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) both domestically and internationally, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Data collected for Defra shows that levels of PFOS are declining in harbour porpoise. However, PFAS represent a very diverse group of chemicals with a wide range of uses for which safer and more sustainable alternatives are not yet available - making this a very challenging issue to tackle.

Work is underway across government to help us assess levels of PFAS occurring in the environment, their sources, and potential risks to inform future policy and regulatory approaches. In the UK REACH Work Programme for 2021-22, Defra asked the EA and HSE to examine the risks posed by PFAS and develop a 'Regulatory Management Options Analysis' (RMOA). The RMOA will be published in early 2023 and will make recommendations for risk management measures, building on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to tackle chemicals of concern. Defra and the Devolved Administrations will carefully consider the RMOA recommendations to inform future PFAS policy.

We have also recently launched a working group on PFAS under the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum (CSF). This is aimed at fostering constructive dialogue on policy options, including on how HM Government can accelerate leadership by industry in moving away from PFAS.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) on the marine environment.

We are committed to leading efforts to protect the marine environment and counter marine pollution. The UK Marine Strategy Programme of Measures sets out a comprehensive list of actions that HM Government is taking to reduce pollution in the marine environment. We are currently updating this aspect of the strategy, to outline the latest measures we are taking to continue to move us towards Good Environmental Status in our seas.

Action has already been taken to ban or highly restrict specific Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) both domestically and internationally, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Data collected for Defra shows that levels of PFOS are declining in harbour porpoise. However, PFAS represent a very diverse group of chemicals with a wide range of uses for which safer and more sustainable alternatives are not yet available - making this a very challenging issue to tackle.

Work is underway across government to help us assess levels of PFAS occurring in the environment, their sources, and potential risks to inform future policy and regulatory approaches. In the UK REACH Work Programme for 2021-22, Defra asked the EA and HSE to examine the risks posed by PFAS and develop a 'Regulatory Management Options Analysis' (RMOA). The RMOA will be published in early 2023 and will make recommendations for risk management measures, building on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to tackle chemicals of concern. Defra and the Devolved Administrations will carefully consider the RMOA recommendations to inform future PFAS policy.

We have also recently launched a working group on PFAS under the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum (CSF). This is aimed at fostering constructive dialogue on policy options, including on how HM Government can accelerate leadership by industry in moving away from PFAS.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to publish the UK Chemicals Strategy.

We have been engaging closely with external partners over the past few months to inform policy development across a range of chemicals issues. This builds on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to set out our strategy to tackling chemicals of concern. No publication date for a Chemicals Strategy has yet been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Environment Agency’s decision to allow HS2 workers to use polymers for their work in the Colne Valley and the impact that this decision may have on the drinking water in Hillingdon and Hertfordshire, given the concern that monomer acrylamide can be residually present in the polymers.

The Environment Agency (EA) has not approved the use of polyacrylamide as a piling support fluid additive or as a flocculant for waste water treatment activities. Therefore, there is no polyacrylamide source from these activities.

The EA has approved the use of polymers in waste treatment activities, in the treatment of slurry spoil from tunnelling. Given that this product is used in treatment of the solid wastes, which have a waste water component that receives further treatment prior to discharge, there is a very low likelihood of carry over into the environment. Furthermore, this discharge is made to surface waters rather than groundwater, greatly reducing the potential risk to the drinking water aquifer. As a result of these assessments, the EA has concluded there is a minimal risk to the water environment from the acrylamide monomer.

Where risks are identified that would constitute a potential danger to human health, the EA would inform the relevant water company. Water companies in England have a duty to carry out assessments to identify any risks to the water supply from source to tap and in doing so they are required to consider the relevant activities that occur within the source catchment that may impact water quality. They will assess the quality of raw water sources for any element, organism or substance that they believe may adversely affect the supply and, where necessary, put mitigations in place to protect it.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the water sources within the Colne Valley are now designated as having a poor chemical status because of the deterioration of the Blackford source; and on what date this designation changed.

The Colne (confluence with the Chess to Thames) water body's chemical status deteriorated from Good in 2016, to Fail in 2019. This was due to the incorporation in the testing regime of two priority hazardous substances which were not previously classified. These are Perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) which were classified as 'Fail' in 2019, resulting in the water body chemical status change. The chemical status change is not linked to the status of the Blackford Pumping Station.

The 2019 river classification for chemicals reflected a change in the methods used to classify English water bodies to more accurately report the presence of certain chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment. The Environment Agency is working with a range of partners in England to reduce inputs at source and to better understand the impact on the environment from highly persistent chemicals.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish regular water quality data from the public water abstraction points being affected by HS2.

In England, water companies have a duty to carry out assessments to identify any risks to the water supply from source to tap, which includes any large-scale construction work in the area. They will monitor the quality of water at abstraction points and, where necessary, put mitigations in place to ensure that drinking water supplies are protected and comply with drinking water standards at all times. The raw water quality results are reported to the Drinking Water Inspectorate, the independent regulator of drinking water in England and Wales, and shared with the Environment Agency.

The Chief Inspector of Drinking Water publishes quarterly and annual reports covering drinking water quality testing and results, public confidence in drinking water and technical audit activity.

https://www.dwi.gov.uk/en/what-we-do/annual-report/

The Environment Agency publishes raw water quality results. Due to National Security considerations, not all data on specific abstraction points is published.

https://environment.data.gov.uk/water-quality/view/landing

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Environment Agency has not suspended the permit for Walleys Quarry landfill in Staffordshire, despite reports of over 60 permit breaches since the beginning of 2019

The Environment Agency (EA) continues to require Walleys Quarry Ltd. to take all the necessary steps to achieve a reduction in hydrogen sulphide (H 2S) levels, based on the recommendations of the UKHSA. These actions are set out in the EA's plan to reduce H 2S emissions at the landfill site, which is published on its citizen space web page: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/west-midlands/walleys-quarry-landfill-sliverdale/#section2 and attached to this answer. There are four air quality monitoring units around Walleys Quarry Landfill, monitoring air quality 24 hours a day - the highest number ever deployed by the EA. Ministers are updated weekly on the situation at the site.

The EA has required remedial actions to be taken using Compliance Assessment Reports. In March 2021, the EA served an Enforcement Notice which required Walleys Quarry Ltd. to complete capping works on the site. In May 2022, the EA served an Enforcement Notice requiring Walleys Quarry Ltd. to submit new waste acceptance procedures, part of its environment management system, by 10 June 2022.

Service of a Suspension Notice represents an escalation of enforcement response. Any Suspension Notice would need to specify the risk of pollution, and the steps required to be taken to remove that risk and comply with the permit condition. If an operator is completing actions to remedy permit breaches set by the EA, a Suspension Notice is less likely to be considered a proportionate response.

The EA has not ruled out serving a Suspension Notice. The EA would consider suspending permitted activities where it has compelling evidence to support the conclusion that a specific permit breach involves a risk of pollution.

Work to install permanent and temporary capping on Phases 1 and 2 of the landfill is ongoing and expected to be completed by later this month (June 2022). Walleys Quarry Ltd is obliged to install the required landfill gas management infrastructure for the next phases for waste tipping in line with a Landfill Gas Management Plan, which the EA agrees is appropriate to manage the risks of pollution.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to examine the deaths of predatory birds from the ingestion of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides, and (2) to review whether use of such rodenticides should be banned in the UK.

Improper use of Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) can pose threats to birds of prey. This can either be through deliberate illegal poisoning or through failure to comply with legal conditions of use. Such conditions include the requirement to remove dead rats and to take steps to prevent poisoning of non-target species, either of which could be ingested by birds of prey.

Where a predatory bird may have been unlawfully killed, this is for the police to investigate, and a forensic study of the bird can be carried out. To address concerns about the illegal killing of birds of prey, senior Government and enforcement officers have identified raptor persecution as a national wildlife crime priority. Defra sits on the police-led Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group, which takes forward activities to raise awareness and facilitate intelligence and incident reporting, leading to increased prevention and enforcement activity.

Defra has this year more than doubled its funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) from £165,000 per year to over £1.2 million over the next three years to target wildlife crime priorities including raptor persecution. The NWCU helps prevent and detect wildlife crime by obtaining and disseminating intelligence, undertaking analysis which highlights local or national threats and directly assisting law enforcers in their investigations.

SGARs were developed to address public health and other concerns arising from increasing resistance among rats and mice to the longstanding use of existing rodenticides. During the authorisation process, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducts rigorous evaluation for safety and efficacy using scientific data, with restrictions placed on authorisations as appropriate. In order to avoid secondary poisoning risks to non-target species, current product authorisations restrict the use of SGARs in open areas to farmers, gamekeepers and other trained professionals where other integrated pest management approaches fail to control rodent populations. Some SGARs can only be used in sewers and in and around buildings.

A stewardship regime is in place in the UK for professional use of SGARs. A cornerstone of the stewardship scheme is the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) Code of Best Practice , which sets out guidance on the safe use of rodenticides. It is a legal requirement to comply with this code. The scheme also supports the monitoring of exposure of barn owls and red kites to SGARs (as a sentinel species) led by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

The stewardship scheme is overseen by a Government Oversight Group (GOG) led by HSE with representatives of other Government stakeholders, who meet annually to assess its impact. This year the GOG is conducting a review of the stewardship scheme after five years of operation and will publish its findings in due course. The GOG will consider whether the controls currently provided by the stewardship scheme are sufficiently robust. Based on the outcome of the review, if necessary, HSE will take steps to amend existing product authorisations accordingly.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 7 March (HL6269), what steps they will take to ensure that a larger amount of peatlands is restored before 2040 in order (1) to avoid incurring significant opportunity costs, and (2) to prevent the further degradation of unrestored peatlands.

England's peatlands are our largest terrestrial carbon store. They provide a home for rare wildlife, regulate our water supply and provide a record of the past. However, we know we need to do more to restore our peatlands to their natural state so that they can provide these vital ecosystem services.

In the Net Zero Strategy, we committed to aim to restore approximately 280,000 hectares of peatland in England by 2050. The Nature for Climate Fund aims to provide funding for the restoration of at least 35,000 hectares of peatland by 2025, representing a tripling of historic average annual restoration levels. To ensure that a larger amount of peatlands is restored, the scheme is offering two types of grants: Discovery grants focused on building a restoration pipeline by enabling projects to unlock barriers to peat restoration; and Restoration grants, focused on capital works on the ground, for projects for which the preparatory work has mostly been completed. A second round of both the Discovery and Restoration grants are to be launched in spring 2022.

We have set out further plans for enabling and facilitating peatland restoration in the England Peat Action Plan, published in May 2021. We are investing in research on lowland peat to ensure we have the evidence needed to help inform necessary land use management. An Implementation Plan, being developed by Natural England, will set out how the England Peat Action Plan will be delivered, including a trajectory of restoration over the next 20 years.

We are also exploring future funding options, including mobilising private investment, and through the development of our new environmental land management schemes. We will continue to keep our policies under review to ensure that we restore and prevent further degradation of peatlands as much as possible.

21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) increase, and (2) bring forward, their targets for peatland restoration.

England's peatlands are our largest terrestrial carbon store. They provide a home for rare wildlife, regulate our water supply and provide a record of the past. However, only 13% of our peatlands are in a near-natural state.

In the Net Zero Strategy, we committed to aim to restore approximately 280,000 ha of peatland in England by 2050. At least 35,000 ha of peatlands in England will be restored by 2025 via the Nature for Climate Fund, and we are exploring future funding options through the development of our environmental land management schemes, including learning from the recommendations of the Lowland Peat Agricultural Taskforce.

Our current commitments represent a tripling of historic average annual restoration levels. Natural England is currently developing an Implementation Plan which will set out how the England Peat Action Plan will be delivered, including a trajectory of restoration over the next 20 years. We will continue to keep our policies under review, to ensure that we meet Defra’s share of upcoming carbon budgets.

10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 9 November (HL3061), whether the number of spillages from United Utilities treatment plans into (1) Lake Windermere, and (2) Lake Grasmere, are expected to reduce further in (a) 2021, and (b) in subsequent years.

In the last Asset Management Plan (AMP) cycle (2015-2020), United Utilities (UU) delivered a number of schemes in the Lake District to reduce spills into Windermere and other lakes. UU also made improvements to reduce the frequency of storm spills into Lake Windermere from Glebe Road pumping station and into Lake Grasmere from Grasmere Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). As a result, the number of storm spills from Glebe Road and Grasmere WWTW was reduced significantly in 2020, and these improvements should be maintained in future years.

The Environment Agency is currently looking at the most recent data to determine if further interventions are required.

10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to improve the (1) reliability, and (2) coverage, of air quality monitoring in the UK.

Defra’s national air quality monitoring networks are made up of 300 sites across the UK and are managed by the Environment Agency. The reliability of the networks is ensured through a process of quality assurance and quality control prescribed in agreements with the monitoring network contractors to continuously improve air quality monitoring reliability and performance. The national air quality monitoring network is subject to continuous review to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and delivers on public expenditure at good value.

The geographical coverage of air quality monitoring is determined by the Air Quality Standards Regulations (2010) that require a set number of monitoring locations within administrative areas dependent on whether the environment is urban, rural or by a roadside and dependent also on population size.

Several adjustments were made in a recent review including increases in monitoring for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Also, as part of the development of new targets for PM2.5 in the Environmental Act, Government is expanding the number of PM2.5 monitoring sites to ensure that compliance with the new targets can be appropriately monitored. A consultation on the new targets and the proposed monitoring arrangements will be issued early in the New Year.

13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions the Environment Agency has had with water companies regarding the ending of sewage dumping in the Lake District; and when they expect to meet the target of high quality water in that area, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive.

The Environment Agency (EA) has regular discussions with United Utilities (UU), the water company which covers the North West of England, including the Lake District. The EA is working actively with UU to ensure overflows are properly controlled and to stop environment harm by overflows.

In the last Asset Management Plan (AMP) cycle (2015-2020) UU delivered a number of schemes in the Lake District to reduce nutrient inputs into Windermere and other lakes. UU also made improvements to reduce the frequency of storm spills into Lake Windermere from Glebe Road pumping station and into Lake Grasmere from Grasmere Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). As a result, the number of storm spills from Glebe Road reduced from 157 in 2018, to 28 in 2020; and at Grasmere WWTW, from 260 in 2018 to 7 in 2020.

The EA required UU to install Event Duration Monitors (EDM) on storm overflows across Cumbria. In the current AMP period (2020-2025) UU must investigate the impact of over 50 storm overflows in Cumbria, which data has shown are spilling frequently, using the Storm Overflow Assessment Framework.

The objective for all waters in the Lake District is to achieve good ecological status. These objectives are set out in the North West river basin management plan. While some waters in the Lake District have improved, some are still below good status. All waters face increasing pressures on the wider water environment including climate change and population growth. To address these challenges, UU and EA are developing the next AMP cycle of improvements (2025 – 2030) to identify investment to improve water quality; as well as developing UU’s drainage and wastewater management plans and delivering the UU’s green recovery programme.

The Environment Bill, which will place future drainage and sewerage management plans on a statutory footing, also legislates for a package of measures to tackle storm overflows, which will help to reduce harm from sewage across all parts of the country, including in the Lake District.

21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 16 July (HL1706), whether the Environment Agency takes any legal account of CO2 emissions when issuing permits; and whether any local authority has "supported the transition to a low carbon future" by requiring carbon capture technology as part of planning permission.

On the UK's exit from the European Union all relevant EU environmental legislation became part of UK law. This includes the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) which prescribes much of the permitting requirements the Environment Agency delivers through permits issued to installations in England, under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (EPR).

The UK no longer participates in the EU Greenhouse Gas Trading System (EU ETS) Directive and has established its own emissions trading scheme. The same framework applies, and the ETS explicitly and directly seeks to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Environment Agency is the regulator in England for the ETS and for other climate change regulatory frameworks which may also apply to certain activities, whether they require permits or not. These include Climate Change Agreements and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

Where an installation's emissions of greenhouse gases are subject to the ETS (which, given the larger scale of IED activities, is likely), the IED prohibits the Environment Agency from setting emission limit values in the environmental permit under EPR. Instead, emissions of greenhouse gases are regulated via the ETS which requires operators to obtain separate ETS permits, to monitor and report all their greenhouse gas emissions and to surrender allowances for every tonne of carbon dioxide, or equivalent, emitted (one allowance is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide).

The Environment Agency seeks to limit direct and indirect emissions of carbon dioxide and many other greenhouse gases via its EPR permitting approaches for all relevant activities, whether subject to IED or not. Examples include requirements on energy efficiency and resource efficiency (including water, energy and waste) by requiring applicants of such activities to scale and assess the impact of their emissions on global warming (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assess-the-impact-of-air-emissions-on-global-warming and attached to this answer), with the intent of reducing their emissions by selecting the best available techniques and processes to control their emissions.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future, including by supporting renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. Local Planning Authorities should consider this when considering whether to grant planning permission. Where relevant, this can include considering the appropriateness of carbon capture technologies.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 6 October 2020 (HL 8373), (1) whether the "further monitoring" provided an accurate picture of incinerator capacity planned between now and 2025, (2) how that compares with levels of residual waste, and (3)  what impact it will have on national recycling rates.

We are currently assessing planned incinerator capacity against expected future residual waste arisings so we can understand what future incineration capacity may be required following implementation of key commitments in the Resources and Waste Strategy. A further assessment of residual waste treatment capacity needs, updating the details included in the Resources and Waste Strategy, will be published in coming months.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they regard the UK Climate Projections 18 (UKCP18) as an (1) up-to-date, and (2) reliable, tool for the future planning of sea defences; and what assessment they have made of the International Panel on Climate Change's revisions to its high emissions scenario which underpin UKCP18.

Sea level rise projections for the UK were updated in 2018 with the release of latest UK climate projections (UKCP18, Met Office, 2018). The UKCP18 projections for time mean sea level rise around the UK improve on the previous generation of climate projections (UKCP09) through improved understanding of the components of sea level rise (as demonstrated by a better agreement between models and observations) and the inclusion of ice sheet dynamics (Palmer et al., 2018).

The Environment Agency has used the UKCP18 marine projections to derive allowances for sea level rise out to 2125 for each of the six river basin districts in England, based on the 70th and 95th percentiles from Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5. These allowances can be found in ' Flood risk assessments: climate change allowances' and are intended to help ensure that new development adequately addresses the future risk of sea level rise. The marine projections are also used to inform sea level rise allowances in Flood and coastal risk projects, schemes and strategies: climate change allowances.

There is a lot of uncertainty around the absolute upper limit of sea level rise this century but the science can provide low likelihood high end scenarios, called H++ scenarios, which can be used in planning. Such a scenario was produced as part of UKCP09. No probability is assigned to these but a range from 0.93 to 1.9 m was considered to be physically plausible and cannot be ruled out (Met Office, 2009). This scenario was designed to encourage people to think about the limits to adaptation from sea level rise. While the marine projections from UKCP18 include ice sheet dynamics, there is still uncertainty around the full range of contributions from ice-sheet melt (in particular from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet), and the assessment of literature available at the time of writing UKCP18 indicated that the H++ scenarios from UKCP09 can still be used alongside the UKCP18 marine projections when considering plausible extreme scenarios.

The Environment Agency currently allows for a full range of future climate (up to and including the 95th percentile of the high emission RCP 8.5 case) in its sea level rise allowances, extended beyond the end of the century, as well as considering the H++ scenarios where appropriate. While these are conservative estimates, using all of the best-available data allows for the uncertainty inherent in climate modelling, the rapid rate of sea level rise we have seen in recent years and the plausible extreme scenarios currently outside of the probabilistic models. The Environment Agency regularly assesses the suitability of climate allowances as and when further information becomes available.

The Environment Agency considers the UKCP18 climate projections to be a reliable and up-to-date dataset to inform future planning for climate impacts, while recognising that uncertainties remain, particularly in future emissions and ice sheet dynamics. The Environment Agency accounts for climate change through the application of allowances when designing and constructing sea defences, using a range of climate change scenarios, including a 4°C rise in global temperatures by 2100. The Environment Agency provides guidance to flood risk management authorities, developers and local planning authorities on how to account for climate change in new flood and coastal risk management schemes and development. In July 2020, the Environment Agency updated this guidance to account for future sea level rise and on 20 July 2021 updated the guidance to account of future increases in peak river flows.

The Met Office will continue to assess the science of sea-level rise as part of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme, including examining the implications of the next IPCC assessment. It is not possible to comment on the content of the next IPCC assessment ahead of its publication. However, we do note that the model assessment exercise on which the IPCC assessment is based, called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), used a range of emission scenarios including one with a similar level of radiative forcing to RCP8.5.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce new standards for home compostable plastics before their 2030 deadline of the roll-out of separate household food waste collection.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. The Resource and Waste Strategy published in December 2018 focuses on increasing the reuse and recycling of plastics, in line with our ambition to transition to a circular economy in order to tackle plastic pollution.

The Government recognises that innovation into compostable plastics could help reduce the environmental impacts of plastic pollution. However, concerns persist that plastics which are claimed to be biobased, biodegradable, or compostable, if littered or otherwise released into the environment in an uncontrolled way, may not degrade quickly or even at all, and they can only be composted if they meet relevant standards.

The Government published a call for evidence in 2019 to help consider the development of product standards or certification criteria for bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics as well as to better understand their effects on the environment and our current waste system. Strong concerns were raised through the responses regarding the extent to which plastics marketed as biodegradable and compostable actually biodegrade in the open environment, and whether the use of such plastics could even encourage littering if citizens consider them to be in some way environmentally-friendly. Responses also highlighted the need to better understand the environmental impacts and any health implications from using compost containing partially-composted plastics, and we welcome further research on this.

The Government’s response to the call for evidence was published on 8 April 2021 which is in the enclosed document.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) are appointed by Government as the national standards body (NSB) in the UK. As such they are responsible for the development of standards in the UK and the subsequent certification and verification of products.

The European Union's EN 13432 standard has been adopted in the UK by the BSI as BS EN 13432. We have not made an assessment of this standard against the Australian and French standards. BS EN 13432 applies to industrial composting and there is not currently a standard for home composting. However, the BSI are running a project, BS EN 17427 Packaging: Requirements and test scheme for carrier bags suitable for treatment in well-managed home composting installations. Technical specifications and standards are an important step in ensuring that the materials we use behave as we expect and require them to. We will continue to monitor the extent to which these standards do, or do not, address the issues identified through our call for evidence, and will follow with interest any developments.

We recently consulted on measures to increase the consistency in recycling for a core set of materials to be collected from households for recycling and as compostable packaging is not generally collected for recycling, we have not included it as one of the recyclable waste streams named in the legislation. To be added as a waste stream, compostable packing would need to be proven suitable for recycling, including ensuring that end markets exist for the material. Additional investment in the waste industry would be required to support the widespread introduction of biodegradable and compostable plastics and avoid issues of cross-contamination and machine damage.

The evidence base is clearly still developing in relation to these new types of plastic, particularly in terms of their environmental impacts in comparison to alternatives. In accordance with the waste hierarchy, our current preference remains that most plastics are reusable or recyclable. We recognise though that in some applications and specific circumstances biodegradable/compostable plastics may be more suitable.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for a UK (1) certification process, (2) verification process, and (3) labelling standards, for plastics labelled as home compostable, now that the UK has left the EU.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. The Resource and Waste Strategy published in December 2018 focuses on increasing the reuse and recycling of plastics, in line with our ambition to transition to a circular economy in order to tackle plastic pollution.

The Government recognises that innovation into compostable plastics could help reduce the environmental impacts of plastic pollution. However, concerns persist that plastics which are claimed to be biobased, biodegradable, or compostable, if littered or otherwise released into the environment in an uncontrolled way, may not degrade quickly or even at all, and they can only be composted if they meet relevant standards.

The Government published a call for evidence in 2019 to help consider the development of product standards or certification criteria for bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics as well as to better understand their effects on the environment and our current waste system. Strong concerns were raised through the responses regarding the extent to which plastics marketed as biodegradable and compostable actually biodegrade in the open environment, and whether the use of such plastics could even encourage littering if citizens consider them to be in some way environmentally-friendly. Responses also highlighted the need to better understand the environmental impacts and any health implications from using compost containing partially-composted plastics, and we welcome further research on this.

The Government’s response to the call for evidence was published on 8 April 2021 which is in the enclosed document.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) are appointed by Government as the national standards body (NSB) in the UK. As such they are responsible for the development of standards in the UK and the subsequent certification and verification of products.

The European Union's EN 13432 standard has been adopted in the UK by the BSI as BS EN 13432. We have not made an assessment of this standard against the Australian and French standards. BS EN 13432 applies to industrial composting and there is not currently a standard for home composting. However, the BSI are running a project, BS EN 17427 Packaging: Requirements and test scheme for carrier bags suitable for treatment in well-managed home composting installations. Technical specifications and standards are an important step in ensuring that the materials we use behave as we expect and require them to. We will continue to monitor the extent to which these standards do, or do not, address the issues identified through our call for evidence, and will follow with interest any developments.

We recently consulted on measures to increase the consistency in recycling for a core set of materials to be collected from households for recycling and as compostable packaging is not generally collected for recycling, we have not included it as one of the recyclable waste streams named in the legislation. To be added as a waste stream, compostable packing would need to be proven suitable for recycling, including ensuring that end markets exist for the material. Additional investment in the waste industry would be required to support the widespread introduction of biodegradable and compostable plastics and avoid issues of cross-contamination and machine damage.

The evidence base is clearly still developing in relation to these new types of plastic, particularly in terms of their environmental impacts in comparison to alternatives. In accordance with the waste hierarchy, our current preference remains that most plastics are reusable or recyclable. We recognise though that in some applications and specific circumstances biodegradable/compostable plastics may be more suitable.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ensure items labelled as home compostable do not contain microplastics.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. The Resource and Waste Strategy published in December 2018 focuses on increasing the reuse and recycling of plastics, in line with our ambition to transition to a circular economy in order to tackle plastic pollution.

The Government recognises that innovation into compostable plastics could help reduce the environmental impacts of plastic pollution. However, concerns persist that plastics which are claimed to be biobased, biodegradable, or compostable, if littered or otherwise released into the environment in an uncontrolled way, may not degrade quickly or even at all, and they can only be composted if they meet relevant standards.

The Government published a call for evidence in 2019 to help consider the development of product standards or certification criteria for bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics as well as to better understand their effects on the environment and our current waste system. Strong concerns were raised through the responses regarding the extent to which plastics marketed as biodegradable and compostable actually biodegrade in the open environment, and whether the use of such plastics could even encourage littering if citizens consider them to be in some way environmentally-friendly. Responses also highlighted the need to better understand the environmental impacts and any health implications from using compost containing partially-composted plastics, and we welcome further research on this.

The Government’s response to the call for evidence was published on 8 April 2021 which is in the enclosed document.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) are appointed by Government as the national standards body (NSB) in the UK. As such they are responsible for the development of standards in the UK and the subsequent certification and verification of products.

The European Union's EN 13432 standard has been adopted in the UK by the BSI as BS EN 13432. We have not made an assessment of this standard against the Australian and French standards. BS EN 13432 applies to industrial composting and there is not currently a standard for home composting. However, the BSI are running a project, BS EN 17427 Packaging: Requirements and test scheme for carrier bags suitable for treatment in well-managed home composting installations. Technical specifications and standards are an important step in ensuring that the materials we use behave as we expect and require them to. We will continue to monitor the extent to which these standards do, or do not, address the issues identified through our call for evidence, and will follow with interest any developments.

We recently consulted on measures to increase the consistency in recycling for a core set of materials to be collected from households for recycling and as compostable packaging is not generally collected for recycling, we have not included it as one of the recyclable waste streams named in the legislation. To be added as a waste stream, compostable packing would need to be proven suitable for recycling, including ensuring that end markets exist for the material. Additional investment in the waste industry would be required to support the widespread introduction of biodegradable and compostable plastics and avoid issues of cross-contamination and machine damage.

The evidence base is clearly still developing in relation to these new types of plastic, particularly in terms of their environmental impacts in comparison to alternatives. In accordance with the waste hierarchy, our current preference remains that most plastics are reusable or recyclable. We recognise though that in some applications and specific circumstances biodegradable/compostable plastics may be more suitable.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how their plans for post-Brexit standards for compostability and microplastics compare to (1) European Union (EN 13432), (2) Australian (AS 5810), and (3) French (NFT 51-800), standards.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. The Resource and Waste Strategy published in December 2018 focuses on increasing the reuse and recycling of plastics, in line with our ambition to transition to a circular economy in order to tackle plastic pollution.

The Government recognises that innovation into compostable plastics could help reduce the environmental impacts of plastic pollution. However, concerns persist that plastics which are claimed to be biobased, biodegradable, or compostable, if littered or otherwise released into the environment in an uncontrolled way, may not degrade quickly or even at all, and they can only be composted if they meet relevant standards.

The Government published a call for evidence in 2019 to help consider the development of product standards or certification criteria for bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics as well as to better understand their effects on the environment and our current waste system. Strong concerns were raised through the responses regarding the extent to which plastics marketed as biodegradable and compostable actually biodegrade in the open environment, and whether the use of such plastics could even encourage littering if citizens consider them to be in some way environmentally-friendly. Responses also highlighted the need to better understand the environmental impacts and any health implications from using compost containing partially-composted plastics, and we welcome further research on this.

The Government’s response to the call for evidence was published on 8 April 2021 which is in the enclosed document.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) are appointed by Government as the national standards body (NSB) in the UK. As such they are responsible for the development of standards in the UK and the subsequent certification and verification of products.

The European Union's EN 13432 standard has been adopted in the UK by the BSI as BS EN 13432. We have not made an assessment of this standard against the Australian and French standards. BS EN 13432 applies to industrial composting and there is not currently a standard for home composting. However, the BSI are running a project, BS EN 17427 Packaging: Requirements and test scheme for carrier bags suitable for treatment in well-managed home composting installations. Technical specifications and standards are an important step in ensuring that the materials we use behave as we expect and require them to. We will continue to monitor the extent to which these standards do, or do not, address the issues identified through our call for evidence, and will follow with interest any developments.

We recently consulted on measures to increase the consistency in recycling for a core set of materials to be collected from households for recycling and as compostable packaging is not generally collected for recycling, we have not included it as one of the recyclable waste streams named in the legislation. To be added as a waste stream, compostable packing would need to be proven suitable for recycling, including ensuring that end markets exist for the material. Additional investment in the waste industry would be required to support the widespread introduction of biodegradable and compostable plastics and avoid issues of cross-contamination and machine damage.

The evidence base is clearly still developing in relation to these new types of plastic, particularly in terms of their environmental impacts in comparison to alternatives. In accordance with the waste hierarchy, our current preference remains that most plastics are reusable or recyclable. We recognise though that in some applications and specific circumstances biodegradable/compostable plastics may be more suitable.

25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a revised impact assessment on the Environment Bill which takes into account any further powers proposed for (1) the Office for Environmental Protection, and (2) forest risk commodities.

An impact assessment was published when the Environment Bill was introduced. The Government has introduced no further proposed powers for the Office for Environmental Protection in the Bill’s progress. We will publish a full impact assessment specific to the amendments that were tabled to the Bill in November 2020 to introduce due diligence requirements for larger businesses using forest risk commodities in the UK. This impact assessment will outline the expected cost to business of complying with the due diligence requirements, taking into account evidence received through public consultation.

25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration has been given to provisionally establishing the Office for Environmental Protection ahead of the passage of the Environment Bill.

On 1 March we announced that from July, the Office for Environmental Protection, which is to be headquartered in Worcester, will be set up in an interim, non-statutory form, providing independent oversight of the Government's environmental progress and accelerating the foundation of the full body.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to incorporate predictions by the International Panel on Climate Change of rapid sea level rises into their assessments of (1) coastal erosion, and (2) flooding, to enable planning authorities to request up to date Flood Risk Assessments for new nuclear power stations.

Nuclear new-build facilities are subject to a number of consenting regimes. Firstly, the nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) regime under the 2008 Planning Act which considers the initial grant of consent; and secondly the nuclear safety regime under the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) which controls nuclear safety aspects on an ongoing basis throughout the facility’s lifetime.

Proposals for nuclear new-build are NSIPs and are decided by the relevant Secretary of State. Proposals are judged against the relevant national policy statement(s) (NPS). The relevant NPSs make reference to the importance of facilities being resilient and adaptable to climate change. They aim to ensure new facilities are located, constructed, operated and decommissioned with the long-term impacts of climate change in mind.

The Environment Agency provides advice and guidance on this process including on how climate change should be accounted for in relevant flood risk assessments. This was last updated in July 2020 to reflect the latest sea level rise projects (UKCP18). Our advice recommends that flood risk is considered across a range of different climate scenarios, including credible but extreme scenarios (i.e. High++ emissions scenario).

The Environment Agency works closely with the ONR to manage the interaction between the NSIP regime and the nuclear safety regulatory regime. The Environment Agency has produced a number of joint guidance notes with the ONR, to outline their collective approach to flood risk and climate change. These are attached to this answer and can also be found here:

The National Coastal Erosion Map (NCERM) shows erosion projections to 2110 and informs coastal management through Shoreline Management Plans (SMP). This helps manage direct erosion and to manage sediment supplies down the coast which can be relevant for flood risk areas.

All English nuclear power stations have SMP policies of Hold the Line (maintain or upgrade the level of protection provided by defences) for the whole timescale of the hundred year plans. Recent reviews of SMP policies for these stretches of the coast have shown the strategic direction of Hold the Line is deemed fit for the future.

7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the CO2 emissions limits for energy from waste incinerators; whether they monitor local authorities to ensure that less CO2 from waste is produced each year; and if so, how.

Municipal waste incinerators are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) in England under environmental permits. Under the permitting process, the EA ensures that the global warming potential of the proposed incinerator will be minimised by the use of Best Available Techniques (BAT - including those set out in the European BAT reference notes) in order to maximise the energy efficiency of the plant and minimise nitrous oxide emissions from its exhaust gas cleaning system. This ensures that the amount of greenhouse gas emitted from the plant per unit of energy generated is minimised.

The EA does not assess (nor place any limits on) the actual amount of CO2 emitted by the plant and municipal waste incinerators are not covered by the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. The amount of CO2 that an incinerator releases is directly proportional to the amount and composition of waste it burns and cannot subsequently be controlled without being captured and stored (carbon capture and storage).

The Government does not monitor CO2 produced from waste at local authority level.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increasing waste incineration capacity on rates of recycling.

In developing our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) the Government considered the amount of residual waste treatment capacity that will be required for England to avoid any negative impact on future recycling ambitions and the major waste reforms we are implementing. The assessment concluded that significant additional residual waste energy recovery capacity such as incineration or advanced conversion technologies – above that already operating or planned to 2020 – would not necessarily be needed to meet an ambition of no more than 10% municipal waste to landfill by 2035, if a 65% recycling rate is achieved by that same year. This assumed that refuse-derived fuel exports remain at 2018 levels. However, if energy recovery continues to provide a better environmental alternative to landfill, more investment to reduce tonnages of municipal waste to landfill further would deliver environmental benefits.

In accordance with the commitment given in the RWS we will continue to monitor residual waste infrastructure capacity.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Align, Hydrogeological and Surface Water Risk Assessment for Load Test Piling Location 2, approved in January 2019, and, in particular, its conclusion that there are no historic sources of contamination present at the London Power Tunnels phase 2 construction site, despite it being 500 metres away from a Contaminated Land Special Site.

The Environment Agency (EA) has reviewed the Align Report on Hydrogeological and Surface Water Risk Assessment for Load Test Piling Location 2. This report examines activities associated with HS2 and does not reference the ‘London Power Tunnels phase 2 construction site’, which is a different project south of the river Thames unrelated to HS2.

With respect to the report, the EA is in agreement that there are no historical sources of contamination present at the Load Test Piling Location 2 site. The report does highlight that there are historical sources of contamination present in the wider area of this site, and low-level hydrocarbon contamination was present in groundwater within both the chalk and overlying superficial deposits across the Colne Valley.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure good-quality drinking water sources in the Colne Valley by 2027.

The Government have put in place the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 which provide the framework for safe drinking water. Within these Regulations is the requirement for water companies to risk assess their supply systems and to keep those risk assessments under review. Risks identified in the risk assessment require mitigation. Any major constructions work within a water company’s area would result in a review of the risk assessment to identify any potential for impact and mitigation put in place to ensure drinking water meets the required standards and is safe for consumers.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reasons the Environment Agency gave for allowing HS2 Ltd to drill at the Harvil Road site in the Colne Valley.

The Environment Agency (EA) has given permission to High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd to carry out drilling activities at the Harvil Road site under Schedule 33 of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017.

The EA reviewed the risks to groundwater quality and quantity by the HS2 Ltd construction activities at the Harvil Road site in the Colne Valley and did not identify any reasons to prohibit drilling activities at the site.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) protect, and (2) enhance, the tranquility of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan has set out our comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing the environment in England. The importance of designated landscapes, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is made clear in the plan.

Tranquillity is a key component of AONB purpose. To reflect this it is included in the special qualities of why many of these sites have been designated to be protected as AONBs.

AONBs are some of our most treasured landscapes. Funding for these landscapes has been protected in real terms since 2015. We recognise their value and are committed to help them thrive. The AONBs received over £6.5 million during 19/20 of core grant funding from Defra to deliver their statutory purpose.

The Government is committed to ensuring that noise is managed effectively in order to promote good health and quality of life. We have protections in place to avoid significant adverse noise impacts for example through our planning system, our environmental permitting systems, in vehicle and product standards, and noise abatement legislation.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total value of fees paid to certifiers to grant wood burning stove manufacturers exemptions from the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993.

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, the Government publishes a list of solid fuel combustion appliances exempted from the prohibition of smoke emissions in smoke control areas.

To add a new appliance to the list, the manufacturer of the appliance must apply to HETAS, the appointed contractor, for approval. They must submit technical and testing documentation evidencing that emissions limits have been met.

The total amount of fees invoiced for by HETAS to manufacturers for this purpose, during the period of April 2019 to 29 of January 2020, was £97,421.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what controls a local authority can impose on a wood burning stove that has been granted an exemption from the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993

Under Part III of the Clean Air Act 1993 (CAA), it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building in a Smoke Control Area (SCA) unless burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance. Local authorities are responsible for designation and enforcement of SCAs.

To obtain exemption, appliances such as wood-burning stoves must pass smoke emissions tests. Exemptions are granted on conditions such as requiring users to operate the appliance in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and only burn specified fuels. Local authorities can take action in SCAs where they have identified that a user is not complying with these conditions and an offence has occurred.

We recognise that enforcement of SCAs can be challenging. For this reason, we are proposing to amend Part III of the CAA through the Environment Bill to enable quicker, simpler and more proportionate enforcement of SCAs. This includes enabling local authorities in England to issue civil financial penalties for chimney smoke emissions. This will be possible as the regime will shift from being a criminal to a civil regime. This regime change will also remove the statutory defences, including the use of an exempt appliance or an authorised fuel, that currently hinder enforcement. Authorities have no means by which to determine whether the statutory defences apply as they are unable to enter private premises. These changes should make it easier for local authorities to tackle misuse of exempt wood-burning stoves.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many installed wood burning stoves have been granted exemptions from the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993.

The information requested is not held by Defra. Such information may however be held by local authorities for their individual areas.

The list of exempt appliances under the Clean Air Act 1993 is published on the Defra website at the address below:

https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/appliances.php

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pollution and smoke complaints it has not been possible to enforce due to the polluter having purchased an exception from the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993.

The information requested is not held by Defra. Such information may however be held by local authorities for their individual areas.

9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what projections they have made of future waste arisings broken down by (1) region, and (2) waste authority, in England and Wales.

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

The Government has produced projections on total waste arisings in England only. These consist of both household municipal and commercial and industrial waste arisings. They are not broken down by region and local authority.

Some analysis has been published in our Resource and Waste Strategy Evidence annex: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/765915/rws-evidence-annex.pdf

1st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will provide the full funds to upgrade the rail junctions at Haughley and Ely; and on what timetable they expect the works to be completed.

The recently announced Network North programme of investment included confirmation of government’s support for the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement (EACE) programme and upgrading Haughley Junction, and the substantial benefits this will bring, including a doubling of passenger services on the Ely to Kings Lynn and Ipswich to Peterborough routes together with additional freight paths into the Port of Felixstowe.

Network Rail have developed the scheme to Outline Business Case stage; next steps will involve further investment case development and delivery planning.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have for land purchased for HS2 that is no longer necessary.

Any land and property that is no longer required will be sold, and a programme is being developed to do this.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of using surplus HS2 land for establishing wildlife corridors and enhancing biodiversity.

Any property acquired for HS2 that is no longer required will be sold, and a programme is being developed to do this. No assessment has yet been made of whether surplus HS2 land can or should be used for establishing wildlife corridors and enhancing biodiversity.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much has been spent on the purchase of land for HS2 that is no longer necessary.

As of September 2023, £208m has been spent on land and property on Phase 2a and £356m on Phase 2b. Any property that is no longer required will be sold and a programme is being developed to do this.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the announced cancellation of phase 2 of HS2, how much has been spent on the purchase of land for phase 2 of HS2 that is no longer necessary.

As of September 2023, £208m has been spent on land and property on Phase 2a and £356m on Phase 2b. Any property that is no longer required will be sold and a programme is being developed to do this.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the changes made to their second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy on 10 March, whether it is still their aim that half of all journeys in towns and cities will be cycled or walked by 2030.

Yes. The changes simply corrected a data error in a funding table and in no way affect the Government’s aim.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when the National Trust applied for, and when National Highways agreed to provide, £3 million from the environment and wellbeing designated funds to support a grassland reversion project in the Stonehenge landscape; what the terms of the grant are; and whether the grant has already been distributed in its entirety.

The application to National Highways Designated Funds Investment Decision Committee regarding a grassland reversion project in the Stonehenge landscape was submitted and approved by the Committee on 6 June 2020. The grant agreement was signed by both parties on the 3 February 2021.

National Trust will effect change in the management of the relevant project land and will carry out the grassland reversion works to deliver at least:

  1. 88 biodiversity units calculated in accordance with the relevant methodology in the Natural England Biodiversity Metric 2.0
  2. 270 heritage improvement points
  3. 159ha of moderate condition lowland calcareous grassland
  4. 11ha of good condition lowland calcareous grassland

The grant has not been fully paid. The payment schedule of the grant extends from March 2021 to March 2025.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a (1) Highways England, or (2) National Highways, Environment Designated Funds grant was made to the National Trust as partnership funding towards the acquisition of 168 hectares of land at Stonehenge; and if so, what was the amount of that grant.

National Highways Environmental Designated Funds have not been used towards the acquisition of the land at Stonehenge. National Highways is, however, providing a contribution of £3m from its Environmental Designated Funds to the National Trust to support a grassland reversion project in the Stonehenge landscape.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how untreated HS2 waste water entered a winterbourne stream in the Colne Valley; and what the chromium levels are in this run-off.

HS2 Ltd is not aware of any untreated HS2 waste water entering a winterbourne stream in the Colne Valley. HS2 Ltd closely monitors the River Colne catchment area.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the levels of chromium-6 found at HS2 sites across the Colne Valley; and whether these are related to cement used in construction works.

HS2 Ltd’s contractor Align JV collects water samples from groundwater, surface water and water associated with construction activities along the route of the Colne Valley Viaduct. The water samples are analysed for a number of substances, including chromium VI, and the data is assessed against environmental quality standards and drinking water standards. The data is then provided to the Environment Agency and Affinity Water on a monthly basis.

All the cement used in the construction of the Colne Valley Viaduct meets EU limits for chromium VI content. Chromium VI has been identified in some waters from the cement used in construction. Such water is collected and either treated at the Align water treatment plant at their South Portal site or at off-site commercial facilities.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 21 October (HL2420), what is the source of contaminated water that has been identified in the cofferdams and necessitated an application to vary the Water Treatment Plant Permit.

The water within the cofferdams comes from lake water ingress through the sides and base of the cofferdams. The quality of this water is affected by interaction with lakebed sediments and the concrete plug in the base of the cofferdam while it cures. It is this water that is tested, pumped out, and may require treatment before it is of a quality to be returned to the Colne catchment. This water treatment, via the Water Treatment Plant, required a variation to the permit. The piling for the Colne Valley Viaduct is largely complete and the extensive monitoring of groundwater around all piling works and cofferdams has detected no contamination issues in the water environment related to construction works within the Colne Valley.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what area of the 21.16 hectare Bow Tie Field at Stonehenge would have to be compulsorily acquired for construction of a new dual carriageway, eastern tunnel portals and tunnels as a part of National Highways’ proposed A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme.

The area within Bow Tie Field identified as being required for compulsory acquisition for construction of a new dual carriageway, eastern tunnel portals and tunnels are as follows:

Approximately 4.54 hectares of permanent acquisition,

Approximately 6.65 hectares of permanent subsoil (subterranean) rights for the tunnel.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, if the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme does go ahead, to whom would any compensatory payment be made for compulsory acquisition of land in Bow Tie Field at Stonehenge.

Compensation may only be paid to those with a qualifying interest in the land subject to the compulsory purchase order (CPO). A qualifying person is an owner, lessee, occupier or tenant of land within the CPO.

In the case of the Bow Tie Field at Stonehenge, The National Trust, as owners, would receive compensation for the compulsory acquisition of the land.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the discovery of water pollution in the HS2 cofferdams sunk into the aquifer for the Colne Valley Viaduct construction haul road, what plans they have to call for a moratorium on the sinking of deeper piles of up to 80 metres for the Viaduct piers until the source of the pollution at the haul road pile sites has been identified.

The piling for the Colne Valley Viaduct is largely complete. The extensive monitoring of groundwater around all piling works and cofferdams has detected no contamination issues in the water environment related to HS2 construction works within the Colne Valley. Monitoring data is shared on a frequent basis with both Affinity Water and the Environment Agency. Affinity Water has its own monitoring regime to verify these results.

HS2 Ltd has consents in place with the Environment Agency, in consultation with Affinity Water, for these works, which are supported by an extensive groundwater risk assessment and monitoring regime to avoid pollution or long-term impact to the underlying aquifer. There are no plans to cease the construction of the piles which will support the Colne Valley Viaduct.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the Mitigation Strategy for the impact of HS2 on the natural water resources.

HS2 Ltd’s approach to managing the impact of HS2 on the water environment is set out in a number of published documents, including Information Paper E4: Water Resources and Flood risk.

The mitigation approach is driven by existing environmental law, Protective Provisions in the Acts which authorise the railway and additional commitments made to Parliament, including the project’s “Environmental Minimum Requirements”. As a result, HS2 Ltd’s contractors are required to fully assess risks to the water environment from all their activities and to mitigate risks through design or other interventions.

As the regulator for the water environment in England, the Environment Agency reviews those risk assessments and mitigation strategies, and grants approvals to proceed when it is satisfied the risks are suitably managed and adverse impacts are unlikely to occur.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when HS2 Ltd will cease to be financially liable for public water sources in the Colne Valley and for the replacement of public water supplies.

As it builds the new railway in the Colne Valley, HS2 Ltd has been working closely with Affinity Water to ensure that there continues to be no interruption to the provision of high-quality drinking water. Working alongside Affinity Water and the Environment Agency (EA), HS2 Ltd has funded a range of protective measures to ensure resilience of public water supply.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by National Highways that the Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme would "protect and enhance" the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, in light of the findings by the Examining Authority and the Secretary of State for Transport that the scheme would cause "significant harm" to the World Heritage Site.

Following an Order of the High Court made on 30 July 2021, the decision, dated 12 November 2020, to grant development consent for the application by National Highways (formerly Highways England) for the proposed A303 Stonehenge scheme was quashed. The Secretary of State is currently re-determining the application.

All further details on the re-determination process are published on the schemes project page on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

As this is now a live planning application, I am unable to comment further.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the findings by the Examining Authority and the Secretary of State for Transport that the Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme would cause "significant harm" to the World Heritage Site, and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's opinion that the scheme would adversely impact on the outstanding value of the World Heritage Site, whether the contingent heritage valuation survey which makes up 73 per cent of the Amesbury to Berwick Down improvement scheme's expected benefits has been re-run.

Following an Order of the High Court made on 30 July 2021, the decision, dated 12 November 2020, to grant development consent for the application by National Highways (formerly Highways England) for the proposed A303 Stonehenge scheme was quashed. The Secretary of State is currently re-determining the application.

All further details on the re-determination process are published on the schemes project page on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

As this is now a live planning application, I am unable to comment further.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme’s value for money assessment has been revisited by the Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee (IPDC) since the road scheme’s value for money was originally assessed as ‘low’, with a cost benefit ratio of 1.15.

An updated Value for Money (VfM) assessment for the scheme was included in the initial Full Business Case presented to the Department for Transport Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee on 7 February 2022.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the updated business case for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme has been presented to the Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee (IPDC); and if so, (1) when, (2) what is the date of the report containing the updated business case, and (3) what conclusions the IPDC has made on the report.

National Highways presented the initial Full Business Case (dated January 2022) for the scheme to the DfT Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee (IPDC) on 7 February 2022. The Committee was content to approve the initial Full Business Case in support of National Highways proceeding with Main Works and Delivery Assurance Partner contract awards subject to HM Treasury and Ministerial approval. Subsequent HMT approval was conditional upon National Highways and DfT returning to HMT to seek final investment and FBC approval before commencing main works mobilisation and following the conclusion of the planning process.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 20 June (HL636), whether the data referred to are published; and if so, where they can be found.

This statistic was based on internal analysis of National Travel Survey data. The data is released annually by the Department for Transport in many forms and formats, with the data required for this particular analysis made available to researchers under special licence via the UK Data Service. A table containing the full breakdown of journeys of less than 5 miles in towns and cities by transport mode is due to be published alongside the next annual statistical release for the survey, in August 2022, on GOV.UK.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a local authority that funds Active Travel investment from sources other than central government funding must carry out the work to the standards laid out in Local Transport Note 1/20 Cycling Infrastructure Design as if the funding had been provided by central government.

The Government is committed to increasing cycling and walking and making our roads safer for all vulnerable road users. This is vital if we are to realise the considerable health and environmental benefits of active travel. In April the Government updated its additional Network Management Duty guidance to local authorities setting out what it expects them to do in making changes to their road layouts to encourage walking and cycling.

However, the detailed design of cycle lanes is a matter for individual local traffic authorities. Design advice for cycling infrastructure, can be found in the non-statutory guidance document Local Transport Note 1/20 ‘Cycle Infrastructure Design’. Local authorities are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. They are responsible for ensuring that their actions are within the law and are accountable to local people for their decisions and their performance. Local councillors are responsible for ensuring that local decisions about street infrastructure take account of the needs and opinions of local people. If Her Majesty's Government are not involved with the funding, then the Department would continue to advise that LTN 1/20 guidance be consulted to ensure designs are of the utmost quality.

A key part of the Government’s strategy to increase levels of walking and cycling is setting up a new Executive Agency, Active Travel England (ATE). ATE will ensure the Government’s unprecedented £2 billion investment in active travel makes the biggest difference possible to the increasing number of people walking and cycling. ATE is currently working in shadow form and is developing toolkits for scheme designs.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they used to support the claim made in their Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener, published on 19 October 2021, that 42 per cent of journeys in towns and cities were made by cycling and walking in 2019.

The data comes from the National Travel Survey: an annual, nationally representative survey which measures how people travel across England. The figure was based on analysis of the proportion of short trips (that is, those under 5 miles) that were taken across town and city settlements, as classified by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 12 October (HL2847), what area of inalienable land vested in the National Trust following a national appeal for public subscriptions in 1927 would need to be acquired for constructing and operating the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down dual carriageway and tunnel across the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage Site; and what would be (1) the terms, and (2) the costs of such acquisition.

Within the World Heritage Site, there is 41.62 hectares of inalienable land owned by the National Trust that is being acquired; 1.75 hectares subject to outright acquisition and 39.87 hectares subject to subsoil rights acquisition for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme. The terms of the acquisition of inalienable National Trust land are the same as for all land interests and rights that are subject to Compulsory Acquisition.

If granted, the Development Consent Order (DCO) gives National Highways Compulsory Acquisition powers to purchase land that is required to build and maintain the scheme, which includes National Trust land declared as inalienable. The National Trust land will be acquired through the General Vesting Declaration (GVD) process, which would vest the required land or rights to National Highways, including subsoil rights to construct and maintain the Tunnel. Where National Highways are taking subsoil rights only, the amenity of the surface land above will remain, including the surface lands inalienability. This applies to 39.87 hectares.

Those rights and interests in land that are extinguished or changed through the above process, such as those belonging to The National Trust, would enable a right to compensation. This compensation would be negotiated and paid following the making of the GVD. A key principle of compensation is that of “equivalence”, meaning that a claimant should be placed in no better or worse position, financially, after the acquisition than they were before the acquisition. Therefore, until a time in which the land has vested through the GVD process and a claim received, it would be inappropriate to prejudice a live negotiation through speculating on potential costs.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hectares of National Trust land within the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage site would need to be (1) acquired, and (2) compulsorily purchased, to enable the construction and operation of the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down dual carriageway and tunnel, should planning consent be granted by the Secretary of State; what proportion of the land to be acquired has been declared inalienable; and what would be the terms of any (a) acquisition, or (b) compulsory purchase.

The total area of ground that would need to be excavated for the construction of the A303 dual carriageway and Tunnel within the World Heritage site is approximately 8.8 hectares.

The area of Crown land identified within the World Heritage Site to be permanently acquired to enable the construction and operation of the A303 dual carriageway and tunnel is approximately 4,220 square metres. This is the land beneath the existing A303, which is unregistered and (in accordance with the ad medium filum rule) ownership has been attributed to the adjacent parties to the halfway point of the road. The adjacent landowner on the north side of the road is the land parcel that was gifted to the nation by Sir Cecil Chubb.

During inquiries to identify the legal entities with an interest in this land, it was identified that the land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is held in the name of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As such the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is assumed to hold an interest in the subsoil beneath the A303 up to its half width by virtue of the ad medium filum rule. This is considered to be Crown land. No land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is included within the land to be acquired for the Development Consent Order.

Within the World Heritage Site, there is approximately 52.83 hectares of land owned by The National Trust that would need to be acquired or compulsory purchased. Of this 6.3 hectares are subject to outright acquisition, and 46.53 hectares are subject to acquisition at subsoil level for the construction of the bored tunnel with rights above. Of this land, 41.62 hectares has been declared as inalienable, 1.75 hectares subject to outright acquisition, and 39.87 hectares subject to subsoil acquisition.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what area of Crown land would need to be (1) acquired, and (2) compulsorily purchased, within the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage site to enable the construction and operation of the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down dual carriageway and tunnel, should planning consent be granted by the Secretary of State; what proportion of the land to be acquired was gifted to the nation by Sir Cecil Chubb; and what would be the terms of any (a) acquisition, or (b) compulsory purchase.

The total area of ground that would need to be excavated for the construction of the A303 dual carriageway and Tunnel within the World Heritage site is approximately 8.8 hectares.

The area of Crown land identified within the World Heritage Site to be permanently acquired to enable the construction and operation of the A303 dual carriageway and tunnel is approximately 4,220 square metres. This is the land beneath the existing A303, which is unregistered and (in accordance with the ad medium filum rule) ownership has been attributed to the adjacent parties to the halfway point of the road. The adjacent landowner on the north side of the road is the land parcel that was gifted to the nation by Sir Cecil Chubb.

During inquiries to identify the legal entities with an interest in this land, it was identified that the land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is held in the name of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As such the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is assumed to hold an interest in the subsoil beneath the A303 up to its half width by virtue of the ad medium filum rule. This is considered to be Crown land. No land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is included within the land to be acquired for the Development Consent Order.

Within the World Heritage Site, there is approximately 52.83 hectares of land owned by The National Trust that would need to be acquired or compulsory purchased. Of this 6.3 hectares are subject to outright acquisition, and 46.53 hectares are subject to acquisition at subsoil level for the construction of the bored tunnel with rights above. Of this land, 41.62 hectares has been declared as inalienable, 1.75 hectares subject to outright acquisition, and 39.87 hectares subject to subsoil acquisition.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what area of ground would need be excavated within the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage site for the construction of the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down dual carriageway and tunnel, should planning consent be granted by the Secretary of State.

The total area of ground that would need to be excavated for the construction of the A303 dual carriageway and Tunnel within the World Heritage site is approximately 8.8 hectares.

The area of Crown land identified within the World Heritage Site to be permanently acquired to enable the construction and operation of the A303 dual carriageway and tunnel is approximately 4,220 square metres. This is the land beneath the existing A303, which is unregistered and (in accordance with the ad medium filum rule) ownership has been attributed to the adjacent parties to the halfway point of the road. The adjacent landowner on the north side of the road is the land parcel that was gifted to the nation by Sir Cecil Chubb.

During inquiries to identify the legal entities with an interest in this land, it was identified that the land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is held in the name of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As such the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is assumed to hold an interest in the subsoil beneath the A303 up to its half width by virtue of the ad medium filum rule. This is considered to be Crown land. No land gifted by Sir Cecil Chubb is included within the land to be acquired for the Development Consent Order.

Within the World Heritage Site, there is approximately 52.83 hectares of land owned by The National Trust that would need to be acquired or compulsory purchased. Of this 6.3 hectares are subject to outright acquisition, and 46.53 hectares are subject to acquisition at subsoil level for the construction of the bored tunnel with rights above. Of this land, 41.62 hectares has been declared as inalienable, 1.75 hectares subject to outright acquisition, and 39.87 hectares subject to subsoil acquisition.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to phase out the sale of motorbikes with internal combustion engines.

The Government has no current plans to phase out the sale of internal combustion motorcycles. We are supporting those riders wanting to switch to the growing numbers of zero emission two wheelers and benefit from the lower running costs with a grant of 20% off the up-front purchase price of eligible models, up to a maximum of £1,500.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place for Highways England to share real time data from its National Air Quality Monitoring Network; and when they estimate those data will be publicly available.

Highways England has no plans in place to make real-time air quality monitoring data from its network publicly available. When Highways England developed its network, it worked with both Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency to explore opportunities to integrate its air quality monitoring network with DEFRA’s online real-time monitoring. Health and safety issues associated with the placing of air quality monitoring stations next to strategic roads meant they were not consistent with the requirements of DEFRA’s system and consequently it was not possible to integrate the Highways England monitoring in to their online reporting.

Highways England produces annual reports of all data collected by its monitoring stations, which are available on request.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether local authorities are permitted to use their allocations from the emergency active travel fund to pay for (1) adult cycle training, and (2) Bikeability Level 3 training for secondary school children.

Local Authority allocations from the emergency active travel fund are intended to be spent principally on infrastructure measures, not on cycle training. Funding for cycle training has been made available through the Bikeability programme. We are currently considering expanding the range of training options that can be funded through Bikeability, including adult and family training.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish further information about the creation of a national cycling and walking commissioner and inspectorate, first announced on 9 May.

On 9 May the Government announced a £2 billion package of funding for active travel over the next 5 years. In the summer, the Government will say more about its plans to transform walking and cycling, including plans for a cycling and walking commissioner for England and inspectorate.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review staff resources dedicated to active travel within the Department for Transport to manage the additional funding for active travel announced in May.

The Government is committed to delivering the aims and ambitions set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which was published in April 2017. The Department for Transport has increased the number of staff working to deliver recent commitments on cycling and walking and will keep this under review.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the progress of HS2 is regularly reported to Parliament in particular with regard to (1) the expenditure, and (2) the estimated total cost, of that project.

A full-time dedicated HS2 minister has now been appointed, who will provide twice-yearly updates to Parliament on progress, including data on expenditure and estimated costs, allowing proper scrutiny of the project to take place.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 2 March (HL Deb, col 436), whether any future airport expansion will be conditional on all new flight capacity being filled by zero-carbon aeroplanes.

Airport expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity and levelling up the UK. It is crucial that vital infrastructure projects, including airport expansion, drive the whole UK economy. This Government supports airport expansion, but we will permit it only within our environmental obligations.

This Government is committed to working with the aviation sector to make sure we deliver on the opportunities available to us, while meeting our environmental commitments, whether that is through modernisation of our airspace, innovation in sustainable fuels or research and technology.

On 27 February the Court of Appeal declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the Government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course.

The Government is supportive of airports making best use of their existing runways, subject to the assessment and consideration of their impacts, including consideration of their environmental impacts.

The Government recognises that the fight against climate change is one of the greatest and most pressing challenges facing the modern world. The Government’s net zero target shows the UK’s steadfast commitment to tackling climate change, and we recognise that aviation has a crucial role to play.

The Government is committed to setting a clear ambition for the aviation sector and is carefully considering the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

We are planning to consult shortly to update the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how aviation can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the principles set out in the Stockholm Declaration, adopted by the Third Ministerial Global Conference on Road Safety in February; and in particular, changes to speed limits.

The UK supports the aims of the Stockholm Declaration on road safety. The UK is already committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and already adopts a safe system approach to road safety.

We recognise that speed limits play an important part in road safety, and we already encourage local authorities to consider 20 mph where it is appropriate

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of airspace reforms on the tranquillity of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The airspace issues surrounding National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) were considered in the Department’s airspace and noise project. The outcome of this work was reflected in the Air Navigation Guidance 2017, which the department issued to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in October 2017.

The guidance requires the CAA to have regard to the statutory purposes of National Parks and AONB when considering proposals for airspace changes. When airspace changes are being considered, it is important that local circumstances, including community views on specific areas that should be avoided, are taken into account where possible. However, given the finite amount of airspace available, it will not always be possible to avoid overflying National Parks or AONB.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they collect about air pollution at, and near to, airports.

The Government has a national air quality monitoring network. In addition to this, local authorities undertake their own monitoring and have an obligation to review and assess local air quality and to take action where they have identified an air quality problem.

Different airports have different obligations for monitoring and reporting air quality, with some reporting requirements necessary by law through planning obligations. Results of this monitoring are shared with stakeholders and are available online.

In the Aviation Strategy, the Government is considering a broad range of national aviation-related air quality initiatives including proposals to improve the monitoring of air pollution around airports.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce air pollution at, and near to, airports.

The management of air pollution at, and near to, airports and any restrictions to ensure compliance with limits are the responsibility of airports and the relevant local authorities.

In the Aviation Strategy, the Government is considering a broad range of national aviation-related air quality initiatives including potential requirements and guidance for airports to produce air quality plans.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the source of their most recent data regarding the flow of groundwater near the HS2 Harvil Road site; and whether this data has been made public.

The source of the most recent groundwater flow data relating to the HS2 Harvil Road site is the ongoing measurement and monitoring of groundwater levels currently being undertaken by HS2 Ltd’s contractors. Measurement and monitoring at this site has been ongoing for 3 years. This data is not yet in the public domain.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy on airport expansion.

The Airports National Policy Statement was designated as government policy in June 2018 following a vote in the House of Commons. It sets out that there is a need to increase airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030 by constructing one new runway and that this need is best met by the Northwest runway scheme at Heathrow Airport.

The Northwest runway scheme is to be fully funded and delivered by the private sector. It is for Heathrow to demonstrate that it can meet its environmental obligations, that the project can be financed and built and that the business case is realistic.

Beyond Heathrow, the Government is supportive of airports across the UK making best use of their existing runways as long as they address the economic and environmental impacts and proposed mitigations. As part of the planning process for airport applications it is expected that the relevant planning body will scrutinise whether a scheme is in-line with government policy.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the incidence of road deaths and injuries.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of all road users. The Road Safety Statement – ‘A Lifetime of Road Safety’, published in July last year, describes in some detail the Department’s intention to undertake a set of actions in the coming years aimed at improving road safety. For example, one of those actions is for the Department to establish a rural roads working group to share experience on improving rural road safety and to work together to tackle the key issues.

The effectiveness of these measures will be kept under review.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what rates of (1) deaths, and (2) injuries, are recorded on roads, per capita, broken down by (a) region, (b) speed limit, and (c) mode of transport.

The number and rate per million population of people killed and injured in reported road accidents, by region, road user type, and speed limit in Great Britain in 2018 are shown in the tables attached.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will report on the outcome of the Government Oversight Group review of the stewardship regime for professional use of Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides in the UK after five years of operation; and what steps they are taking to end the use of previously banned substances still being deployed in the countryside to poison wildlife.

The detailed work of the review of the stewardship scheme for anticoagulant rodenticides is ongoing.

The Government Oversight Group for Rodenticides, chaired by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the industry’s representative body, the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use met in December 2022 to discuss the existing stewardship regime and agree areas of focus for its review. Discussions also included establishing a timetable for the work required to take the review forward during 2023.

With respect to the issue of wildlife poisoning, there are robust, multi-agency arrangements in place for enforcing the illegal supply and use of chemicals; with the illegal poisoning of protected species investigated by a dedicated Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the health outcomes of people who were advised to shield from COVID-19 in 2020; and what steps they are taking to protect their ongoing health.

In October 2020, NHS Digital published an analysis of the main health outcomes for shielded patients to August and September 2021. This analysis found that individuals on the shielded patient list had higher rates of emergency admissions than those in the age-matched general population sample before the pandemic. This rate reduced sharply for both of these groups in April 2020. The all-cause mortality rate for individuals on the shielded patient list peaked and reduced at an earlier stage than for the age-matched general population sample. Amongst those who were tested under pillar 1 - swab testing in Public Health England’s laboratories and National Health Service hospitals for those with a clinical need and health and care workers - and were in the shielded patient list or the age-matched general population sample, positive tests recorded peaked in early April 2020 in both groups. A copy of NHS Digital’s analysis is attached, due to the size of the data.

The shielding programme in England ended on 15 September 2021. Most formerly clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer considered at substantially greater risk than the general population. These individuals are advised to follow general guidance, in addition to any advice from their general practitioner or consultant to reduce their risk of infection.

However, those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 despite vaccination should consider their individual risk, supported by their NHS clinician where necessary. Enhanced protections such as those offered by treatments, additional vaccinations and potentially other non-clinical interventions may benefit this patient group.

10th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the number of people receiving social care who follow a non-meat diet; and what steps they are taking to ensure that such people are given meat-free meals.

No estimate has been made of the number of people receiving social care who follow a non-meat diet. Local authorities should facilitate the personalisation of care and support services in line with their duties under the Care Act 2014. This includes encouraging services to enable people to make meaningful choices and to take control over the way their care is planned and delivered, based on their individual needs and what matters most to them. This may include dietary requirements and preferences where appropriate.

10th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they recognise the need for a (1) nationally recognised, and (2) mandatory, care qualification; and what steps they have taken, if any, towards establishing this.

There are a number of nationally recognised qualifications available for those working in the adult social care sector. We are also investing in the social care workforce to support those working in care to access training and qualifications and increase their skills.

In addition, the Care Certificate provides nationally recognised training standards for non-registered roles. The standards equip workers with the fundamental skills they need to provide quality care and care workers complete the Care Certificate as part of their induction training. We have also committed to the creation of a delivery standard recognised across the sector. This will improve the portability of the Care Certificate, to avoid care workers repeating training when moving roles. We are exploring options to establish a requirement for all care workers to have reached this baseline standard.

10th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what training is available to care inspectors in relation to diet and its impact on overall wellbeing.

As the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors, inspects and regulates services to ensure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. The CQC’s inspectors consider Regulation 14 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, to assess whether people who use services have adequate nutrition and hydration to sustain life and good health.

The CQC can prosecute for a breach of this regulation or a breach of part of the regulation if a failure to meet the regulation results in avoidable harm to a person using the service or a person using the service is exposed to significant risk of harm.

While the CQC’s inspectors are not required to undertake specific mandatory training in relation to diet and Regulation 14, the CQC refers its inspectors to both learning resources produced by Skills for Care and internal resources on nutrition and hydration.

10th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the standard training given to chefs in care settings.

No specific assessment has been made.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of transmission of COVID-19 between minks and humans in Denmark, what steps they are taking to reduce the human and animal health risks posed by mink and other fur farming.

Fur farming including mink and other animal fur has been banned in the United Kingdom since 2000.

There are an estimated 120,000 wild mink in Great Britain, that established in the wild following escapes/releases from fur farms in the early twentieth century. As wild mink generally avoids human contact, there is very limited risk of direct contact with mink for the public. Individuals responsible for care of wild or rescued mink are being provided advice by Natural England on practices to reduce infection.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Immigration Health Surcharge exemption will extend to international volunteers from other countries working, or currently applying to work, in (1) Camphill communities, and (2) other health and social care settings, under Tier 5 visa arrangements.

The Department is working to identify those working in the health and care sector, who will be eligible for the reimbursement from 1 October. We will publish further details about how to apply and demonstrate eligibility in the coming months.

20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to measure the success of the NHSX contact tracing application being trialled on the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight phase was intended to improve our understanding of how the different components of our COVID-19 response fit together and how parts of the healthcare system interact with each other. It was also an opportunity to test that the underlying technologies and systems work. Our evaluation of the Isle of Wight phase was designed to provide us with answers on the health behaviours of people who use the app and those who do not, the attitude of individuals to the contact tracing app and their experience of using it, how successfully the app fits in to the wider health service processes, and the app’s influence on wider health-seeking behaviours. The Government Digital Service and Natcen have been procured to survey opinions and attitudes across the Isle of Wight to the app whilst Zuhlke Engineering has been overseeing the technical activities and deliveries.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the scientific advice relating to the decision to allow mass gatherings such as the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies provides scientific and technical advice to inform Government decision-makers during emergencies. The scientific advice on public gatherings was published on the UK Parliament website on 30 March 2020. The Government makes decisions based on the best scientific evidence, along with consideration of the economic, operational, social and policy implications of any interventions that might be introduced.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the scientific information provided by their scientific advisors relating to COVID-19.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) provides scientific and technical advice to inform Government decision-makers during emergencies. The evidence that informs the SAGE discussions is published on the GOV.UK website. The website is updated on a regular basis with the latest available evidence provided to SAGE.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of personal protective equipment guidance on the spread of COVID-19 in care homes, and in particular guidance for looking after residents who are not in the very vulnerable category and who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. [T]

During the current period of sustained transmission of COVID-19, we recommend the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) regardless of whether residents in care homes have symptoms or not.

Working with care sector representative bodies, Public Health England (PHE) published tailored guidance COVID-19 How to work safely in care homes on 17 April, as well as a specialised training video demonstrating the donning and doffing of PPE in care home settings. The PHE guidance also provides tables on when and which PPE to use. A copy of the guidance is attached.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific advice and other factors they are using to determine whether to recommend the use of face coverings in public.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies considered the very limited evidence available on the use of face coverings and advised that there was some positive benefit for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. However, the main ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are social distancing and washing hands regularly.

The Government is now advising wearing a face covering in situations where it is difficult to manage social distancing and there may be close contact with people the wearer would not usually meet. Further guidance on the use of facemasks is available in the Staying safe outside your home guidance published on 11 May in an online only format on GOV.UK.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people in the UK they estimate will contract COVID-19 in 2020.

The number of people who contract COVID-19 in 2020 will depend on behavioural factors and future policy. The Government’s five tests will seek to ensure that COVID-19 cases are kept low, whilst enabling the economy to re-open. It is important that people keep alert to control the virus, and in doing so, we will save lives.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes following the release of hospital patients to those care homes.

The safety of residents and staff is a priority. We announced in our Adult Social Care Action Plan, on 15 April 2020, that testing will be provided to all care home residents before they are discharged from hospital into a care home. A copy of the Plan is attached. On 28 April, the Government announced that testing would be expanded in the care sector to include both symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents. Testing asymptomatic workers and residents will help prevent and control outbreaks.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care home residents were transferred to hospital with symptoms related to COVID-19 between 3 and 24 April.

The Government does not hold data on the number of residents transferred from care homes to hospitals with symptoms related to COVID-19. We are working closely with local authorities, the care sector and NHS England to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care homes and ensure everyone has access to the right care in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to work closely with the sector to keep our policies and data under review as the pandemic goes on.

25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the article in the Nature Scientific Reports journal Radiological hazard assessments of radionuclides in building materials, soils and sands from the Gaza Strip and the north of Sinai Peninsula, published on 1 December 2021, what assessment they have made of the likely cause of the 24 samples from Gaza containing enriched uranium.

The Nature Scientific Reports article does not provide sufficient information to make a qualified determination as to the potential source of the enriched uranium traces it reports were found. The dose rates and level of radiological hazard of the samples referred to in the article are stated as being within recommended global limits. The UK has not tested the samples referenced in the article.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the article in the Nature Scientific Reports journal Radiological hazard assessments of radionuclides in building materials, soils and sands from the Gaza Strip and the north of Sinai Peninsula, published on 1 December 2021, what assessment they have made of the discovery of enriched uranium in Gaza.

The Nature Scientific Reports article does not provide sufficient information to make a qualified determination as to the potential source of the enriched uranium traces it reports were found. The dose rates and level of radiological hazard of the samples referred to in the article are stated as being within recommended global limits. The UK has not tested the samples referenced in the article.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to work with international partners to establish a UN investigation into the mass poisoning of school children in Iran.

We continue to monitor closely reports of mass poisonings of school girls across Iran. On 3 March 2023 I, as Minister for the Middle East, called on the Iranian authorities to investigate these incidents urgently. I underlined it is essential that all girls can exercise their human right to education without fear. The authorities have announced a number of arrests in connection the incidents; we expect Iran to now be transparent about what has happened and show it is holding those genuinely responsible to account. The UK will continue working alongside our international partners to ensure the facts are established.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to address famine and food insecurity in Afghanistan; and what plans they have to provide resources to help mitigate the electricity shortage in that country.

The UK is taking a leading role in the humanitarian response to support the people of Afghanistan. Over 28 million people are estimated to be in humanitarian need in 2023, including an estimated 19.9 million people who are acutely food insecure. Since April 2022, we have disbursed £228 million in aid for Afghanistan. This includes £95 million to the World Food Programme (WFP). Through WFP, the UK aims to support over 4 million people with food assistance this financial year. UK aid is prioritised in line with the UN's Humanitarian Response Plan.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the attack by Eritrean troops in Adwa in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 12 July (HL1536), what if any access the National Audit Office has to private emails which they regard as amounting to “substantive discussions or decision generated in the course of conducting government business” but which have not been copied to a government email address.

As set out in the answer to HL1536, material amounting to “substantive discussions or decision generated in the course of conducting government business“ should be transferred to the official record and, as such, will be accessible by the NAO in the usual way. In addition, and as set out in Managing Public Money, when the NAO investigates any public sector organisation, it should get full cooperation in provision of papers.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the National Audit Office have the power to access the private emails of either (1) civil servants, (2) special advisers, or (3) ministers, if these have been used for government business relating directly to their investigations.

Under the National Audit Act 1983, the Comptroller and Auditor General has a right of access to all documents in the custody or under the control of a department that he reasonably requires for carrying out National Audit Office value for money examinations. There is a similar provision in the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 in relation to examinations by the Comptroller and Auditor General of a documents relating to a department’s accounts.

The 2013 Cabinet Office Guidance to departments on the use private email is clear that the originator or recipient of a communication should consider whether the information contained in private emails amounts to substantive discussions or decisions generated in the course of conducting government business, and take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible (e.g. by copying it to a government email address).

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to prioritise companies which support UK environmental and climate targets for financial support administered as part of COVID-19 support programmes.

The Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. Alongside the focus on supporting the economy, the Government continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously.

The Government’s support for business includes paying workers’ wages through the furlough scheme, deferring tax payments, over [£27] billion of government-backed loans and [£18.9] billion of corporate financing through the Bank of England. We will assess the impacts of potential interventions against their contribution to our environmental goals, including our climate change and air quality targets.

31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 23 January (HL1524), under what circumstances (1) a human rights, social justice, or environmental activist, and (2) an individual expressing socialist views, crosses the threshold for Prevent referrals as ‘left wing extremist’; and whether such an individual needs to be planning, involved in or threatening acts of violence in order to be so considered.

Frontline professionals, when deciding whether to make a referral, should consider whether they believe the person they are concerned about may be on a pathway that could lead to terrorism. In determining whether a concern meets the threshold for referral to Prevent, it is important to consider the harm posed to the person, as well as whether accessing support through Prevent might stop potential wider societal harm committed by the person. A risk-based approach should always be followed, using professional judgement and curiosity. There is no single model of a person’s radicalisation journey or single profile of a radicalised person. There may be times when the precise ideological driver is not clear. Yet, like any safeguarding mechanism, it is far better to receive referrals which turn out not to be of concern than for someone who genuinely needs support to be missed.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 20 December 2023 (HL1279), whether they will now answer the question put; namely, what steps they are taking to inform parliamentarians about the two reports cited in the original question.

As set out by the response to Written Answer HL767 and HL1279, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) marked the document titled “Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016” “in confidence”. The Government has no plans to publish the document. The current Working Protocol between the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, referred to in the response to question HL1279 is available on gov.uk at the following link: Working Protocol between the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 20 December 2023 (HL1278), on what basis the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) marked its report Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 "in confidence" and did not publish it, given that the working protocol between the Home Secretary and the ACMD states that "The ACMD will publish its advice concurrent with its presentation to Ministers, unless there are pressing public or health protection reasons, or other reasons, for not doing so."

As the ACMD is an independent Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), sponsored by the Home Office, the basis for publication of its reports is a matter for the ACMD.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they are providing for Prevent practitioners on the circumstances under which they are required to refer an individual involved in human rights, social justice or environmental activism who is not expressing support for violence.

Prevent practitioners should follow the Prevent duty guidance. Free training is available on gov.uk which includes the notice, check, share procedure. Practitioners should consider whether they believe the person may be on a pathway that could lead to terrorism. Those with specific Prevent responsibilities are expected to have a good understanding of extremist ideologies as a key driver of radicalisation and should complete any required ideology training.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 14 December (HL767), what is the status of the review of the Working Protocol between the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs and the Home Office; when the review will be completed; and whether it will be published.

As set out by the response to Written Answer HL767, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) marked the document titled “Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016” “in confidence”. The document was not intended for publication and there are no plans to publish it. The portion that has been made public was made public under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA 2000”) and following the decision of the relevant tribunal (case reference EA/2021/0301).

The portion released under the FOIA 2000 recommended a review of the Working Protocol between the ACMD and the Home Office to take into account the functions of the ACMD under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”). The Working Protocol has not been revised since 2011 and is available at the following link: Working Protocol between the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Government intends to undertake a review in due course and if this results in a revised Working Protocol, the revised version will be published on gov.uk.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 14 December (HL767), on what basis the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs report Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, sent to the Home Secretary in December 2016, was shared "in confidence"; and who took the decision to waive any such confidentiality in relation to the part of the report that has been made public.

As set out by the response to Written Answer HL767, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) marked the document titled “Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016” “in confidence”. The document was not intended for publication and there are no plans to publish it. The portion that has been made public was made public under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA 2000”) and following the decision of the relevant tribunal (case reference EA/2021/0301).

The portion released under the FOIA 2000 recommended a review of the Working Protocol between the ACMD and the Home Office to take into account the functions of the ACMD under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”). The Working Protocol has not been revised since 2011 and is available at the following link: Working Protocol between the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Government intends to undertake a review in due course and if this results in a revised Working Protocol, the revised version will be published on gov.uk.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the effectiveness of overdose prevention centres in reducing death and other harms caused by drug use to individuals and society; and why they do not support pilot overdose prevention centres.

The Government does not support drug consumption rooms. We have been clear that we have concerns about the potential for these facilities to appear to condone drug use and to encourage the continued illicit supply of drugs. They will not be introduced in England and Wales.

We are aware of previous international studies of DCRs, sometimes referred to as overdose prevention centres, although there is usually little or no focus on how far DCRs reduce illicit drug use by those using DCRs, or whether they result in reductions in overall drug use. Methodological and geographical differences as well as the small number of cities where DCRs operate makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions at this stage. In addition, the impact of DCRs in isolation is hard to measure as a range of other support and interventions such as needle and syringe exchange programmes are often provided within a DCR.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase access to (1) drug testing, and (2) overdose prevention centres, to reduce drug related deaths.

Those wishing to offer drug testing or checking services can do so provided that any possession and supply of controlled drugs is licensed by the Home Office or, exceptionally, relevant exemptions under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 apply.

Ministers are clear that any type of drug checking service must not condone drug use and should only be delivered where licensed and operated responsibly in line with Government policy to ensure that they discourage drug use and signpost potential users to treatment and support. We welcome potential applicants who wish to apply for a licence and who share these principles.

The UK Government does not support drug consumption rooms, sometimes referred to as overdose prevention centres. We have been clear that we have concerns about the potential for these facilities to appear to condone drug use and to encourage the continued illicit supply of drugs and they will not be introduced in England and Wales.

I am aware of the Lord Advocate’s statement that in her view it would not be in the public interest to prosecute users for simple drug possession offences in relation to a pilot drug consumption room in Glasgow. While our concerns remain, the UK Government will not interfere with, or seek to impede, the lawfully exercised prosecutorial independence of the Lord Advocate.

Increased drug testing in custody is a further way in which testing is being supported. The Drug Testing on Arrest (DToA) expansion project is a key deliverable in the 10-year Drug Strategy to help tackle drug-related offending. The primary aim of this project is expansion, both in the number of police forces delivering DToA and the overall increase in volume of tests carried out.

Year 1 of the DToA project (FY22-23) saw an increase in the number of police forces accepting Home Office funding to set-up or expand DToA operations, and an increase in the number of forces reporting data to the Home Office, with recent programme data published on GOV.UK. Year 2 of the programme is underway, and the Home Office has appointed an external evaluator to consider the impacts of the project.

The legislative expansion of DToA is also progressing well, following the publication of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan in March 2023. In August, police were given the power to test for all Class A drugs. Further legislation will enable specified Class B and C drugs to be tested for and will extend the list of ‘trigger’ offences that make drug testing more accessible to officers to deploy. These changes will also enable the police to refer more individuals to treatment and support services.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, and what plans they have to harmonise those two regimes.

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (PSA) was designed to complement the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), by introducing civil sanctions and offences for those who produce, possess with intent to supply, supply, offer to supply and import or export new psychoactive substances which are not controlled under the MDA or which are not otherwise exempt. One of the important safeguards which the PSA provides is ensuring there are no gaps in law enforcement powers to tackle newly emerging harmful drugs. This is in the context that prior to 2016 criminal gangs were designing new psychoactive drugs with different chemical structures in order to evade MDA controls. Substances can be moved into the MDA following advice on their harms from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and subject to the decisions of Ministers.

A review of the PSA published in 2018 found that there is no evidence that the PSA has adversely affected the process or timeliness with which substances can be controlled under the MDA, with substances continuing to be controlled after the Act was introduced. Review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (publishing.service.gov.uk). The government keeps all legislation under review, but has no plans to change either legislative regime substantially.

The report referred to as ‘Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016’ was shared with the Home Office in confidence by the ACMD and is not a public document. One recommendation has been made public, concerning a review of the Working Protocol between the ACMD and the Home Office, which the government has agreed to undertake.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what policy changes they are actively considering, formulating and developing in relation to the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs report sent to the Home Secretary in December 2016, titled Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016; and when they expect this policy process to conclude.

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (PSA) was designed to complement the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), by introducing civil sanctions and offences for those who produce, possess with intent to supply, supply, offer to supply and import or export new psychoactive substances which are not controlled under the MDA or which are not otherwise exempt. One of the important safeguards which the PSA provides is ensuring there are no gaps in law enforcement powers to tackle newly emerging harmful drugs. This is in the context that prior to 2016 criminal gangs were designing new psychoactive drugs with different chemical structures in order to evade MDA controls. Substances can be moved into the MDA following advice on their harms from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and subject to the decisions of Ministers.

A review of the PSA published in 2018 found that there is no evidence that the PSA has adversely affected the process or timeliness with which substances can be controlled under the MDA, with substances continuing to be controlled after the Act was introduced. Review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (publishing.service.gov.uk). The government keeps all legislation under review, but has no plans to change either legislative regime substantially.

The report referred to as ‘Interaction and relationship between the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016’ was shared with the Home Office in confidence by the ACMD and is not a public document. One recommendation has been made public, concerning a review of the Working Protocol between the ACMD and the Home Office, which the government has agreed to undertake.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what harm reduction policies they are implementing in relation to illicit drug use.

The Drug Strategy sets out our commitment that the government and our public services will continue to work together and share responsibility for creating a safer, healthier and more productive society. It is backed by increased funding across the system, including nearly £900 million of additional investment over 2022-2025, of which the largest amount, £780 million, is dedicated additional funding for the treatment and recovery system.

Delivering a world-class treatment and recovery system is one of the three key strategic priorities in the Drug Strategy.

As part of this priority, the Government continues to support a range of evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse, such as maintaining the availability of needle and syringe programmes to prevent blood borne infections, widening the availability of naloxone to prevent overdose deaths and the rollout of the opioid treatment, depot buprenorphine.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Metropolitan Police Service adopted the Selection Entrance Assessment for Recruiting Candidates Holistically (SEARCH) vetting process; if not, why not; and if so, (1) when the application started, and (2) whether it is still in use; and if it is not still in use, when its use ceased.

Decisions about police recruitment, including how recruitment and selection processes are run, are a matter for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, in the case of the Metropolitan Police the Mayor of London, and are therefore managed locally by forces. This is done within a national application, assessment and selection framework, in line with national guidance maintained by the College of Policing.

The SEARCH assessment centre was introduced as the national assessment centre for police officer candidates in 2002. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) used SEARCH as its assessment until April 2018 when a new assessment centre pilot was introduced in the MPS called Day One.

In May 2020 the College of Policing introduced the Online Assessment Process (OAP) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was adopted by all forces who now use the OAP for assessing candidates.

Vetting of police officer candidates is a separate post assessment stage carried out by forces as part of mandatory pre-employment checks.

Police forces carry out their vetting in line with the College of Policing’s statutory code of practice on vetting and vetting authorised professional practice (APP) guidance which were introduced in 2017. The Home Secretary has recently asked the College of Policing to strengthen the statutory code of practice on vetting to make the obligations all forces must legally follow stricter and clearer.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the list of 1,192 affiliated and organisational groups mentioned in Special Demonstration Squad documentation, which was collated by the Metropolitan Police Service Inquiry and Review Support Command and sent to the Undercover Policing Inquiry on 10 August 2017, is released by November 2023.

The Inquiry is independent of the Home Office, and its independence is crucial to its effectiveness. It would not, therefore, be appropriate for the Government to comment on or intervene in the Inquiry’s decision-making.

The Inquiry is responsible for deciding how best to structure its investigations to deliver its terms of reference and disclosure is a matter for the Inquiry. It is also a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service to make decisions independently of the Home Office on the management and disclosure of its records.

More information on the Inquiry’s evidence and disclosure process can be found on the Inquiry’s website.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the report of the Independent Review of Prevent will provide a breakdown of the number and religious affiliation of individuals and organisations that gave evidence to the Review, including how many were funded by, or affiliated with, the Prevent Strategy.

The Independent Review of Prevent is currently ongoing. The Reviewer, William Shawcross, is independent, so we cannot provide any specific details of his engagement activities to date, nor can we predetermine the findings of the Review. However, he published details of his methodology for the Review on 23 March 2021. His Ways of Working can be found here: Independent Review of Prevent: ways of working -

The Independent Review of Prevent, led by William Shawcross, will gather and analyse a range of information to underpin robust, evidence-based findings and recommendations on the government’s strategy for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

William Shawcross will submit his report to the Home Secretary on 30 September 2021. His report, with the Government’s response to his recommendations, will be laid in the Houses of Parliament by 31 December 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) individuals identifying as Muslim, and (2) organisations representing Muslims, have engaged in consultations or submitted evidence for the Independent Review of Prevent.

The Independent Review of Prevent is currently ongoing. The Reviewer, William Shawcross, is independent, so we cannot provide any specific details of his engagement activities to date, nor can we predetermine the findings of the Review. However, he published details of his methodology for the Review on 23 March 2021. His Ways of Working can be found here: Independent Review of Prevent: ways of working -

The Independent Review of Prevent, led by William Shawcross, will gather and analyse a range of information to underpin robust, evidence-based findings and recommendations on the government’s strategy for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

William Shawcross will submit his report to the Home Secretary on 30 September 2021. His report, with the Government’s response to his recommendations, will be laid in the Houses of Parliament by 31 December 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to update the College of Policing’s body worn camera guidance (1) to reduce officers’ discretion about its use, and (2) to discourage the practice of turning away from an incident to avoid recording wrongdoing by a fellow officer.

The vast majority of police officers act with integrity at all times and Body Worn Video is a vital tool which helps protect them and the public. The College of Policing has improved its guidance on BWV use with Authorised Professional Practice (APP) guidance published in July 2020. These standards will continue to be periodically updated by the College to keep pace with any issues that arise.

In addition, the Government will consider how to increase the value of BWV in protecting officers and the public.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many organisations and individuals have been identified as engaging in Left, Anarchist, and Single-Issue Terrorism.

The Government does not comment on the specifics of intelligence matters.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the responsibilities are of (1) MI5, and (2) Counter Terrorism Policing, in relation to the surveillance and monitoring of political campaigns and campaigners.

All MI5 activity is conducted in relation to its statutory functions as set out in Section 1 of the Security Service Act 1989.

The Director General MI5 has a statutory responsibility to ensure that MI5 remains apolitical, the government of the day cannot instruct MI5 to perform any task for party political reasons. MI5 only investigates those individuals it considers may be a threat.

Similarly, CT policing’s remit is to protect the UK from terrorism and associated threats such as espionage. Responsibility for public-order policing – including in relation to protest groups and the facilitation of lawful protest – sits with individual forces, supported by the National Police Coordination Centre.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the definition of Left, Anarchist and Single-Issue Terrorism, as referred to on the MI5 website.

Our definition of terrorism is set out in section one of the Terrorism Act 2000. It defines terrorism as: the use or threat of action; which is designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation, or to intimidate the public or a section of the public; and which is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

The action used or threatened must involve serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangering a person’s life, creating a serious risk to public health or safety, or the intention to interfere with or seriously disrupt an electronic system. This definition is threat agnostic and kept under regular review to ensure it remains fit for purpose, including by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

It is a matter for the intelligence agencies and police to determine how the definition is applied in counter-terrorism investigations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Extinction Rebellion is categorised as a Left, Anarchist and Single-Issue Terrorism organisation.

HMG do not currently categorise Extinction Rebellion as a terrorist organisation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) political, and (2) campaigning, organisations have been (a) monitored, and (b) infiltrated, by police, or at the direction of police, since 1991.

Part 2 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act provides the police with the power to authorise surveillance and covert human intelligence sources where it is necessary for one of the statutory purposes (i.e. the prevention and detection of crime) and proportionate to what is sought to be achieved. The police are operationally independent of government and the exercise of those powers is therefore a matter for the individual forces concerned.

In 2015 the Home Office established the Undercover Policing Inquiry, to inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968. The Inquiry’s investigations remain ongoing and it will publish a report of its conclusions in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) political, and (2) campaigning, organisations have been (a) monitored, and (b) infiltrated, by police, or at the direction of police, since 1991.

Part 2 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act provides the police with the power to authorise surveillance and covert human intelligence sources where it is necessary for one of the statutory purposes (i.e. the prevention and detection of crime) and proportionate to what is sought to be achieved. The police are operationally independent of government and the exercise of those powers is therefore a matter for the individual forces concerned.

In 2015 the Home Office established the Undercover Policing Inquiry, to inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968. The Inquiry’s investigations remain ongoing and it will publish a report of its conclusions in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what risk assessment has been conducted on the requirement of the Home Office for asylum seekers to report in person.

Immigration Enforcement recommenced face to face reporting in July and August for limited priority cohorts. We have implemented Safe Systems of Working (SSOW) and Risk Assessments in all our Reporting Centres. We have put in place robust social distancing measures, health screening questions as you enter, face masks offered to those without, one-way systems and sanitiser stations throughout our public areas.

We continue to review our current reporting arrangements in line with any new local and national COVID restrictions that are put in place. Before inviting individuals into reporting, case owners will assess cases based on the persons harm they pose to the public, their vulnerability and personal circumstances. We continue to keep in contact with the overall reporting population by telephone to update individuals on the current reporting position.

An SMS text or email/letter is sent to those required to recommence reporting detailing the date and time they should report along with relevant advice on COVID. We have also updated the reporting pages of GOV.UK for those who report and their representatives. This information includes travelling safely on public transport avoiding busy transport hubs, revised opening times to avoid travel at peak times, advice on reporting alone where possible and what to do if those reporting have symptoms or are shielding.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the current Tier 5 Visa arrangements for non-EU citizens to be engaged as volunteers by registered sponsoring organisations for periods of up to a year will be extended to include EU citizens; and if not, what plans they have to put in place alternative arrangements to enable non-EU and EU citizens to volunteer in social care settings in the UK after 31 December.

The current Tier 5 charity visa enables people from outside the EU to come to the UK to undertake unpaid charity work. Migrants on this route are also permitted to undertake a second job in the same sector at the same level as their main job for up to 20 hours per week. These arrangements will be extended to EEA citizens as part of the future points-based migration system.

We very much value the role many who have come to this country play in our healthcare sector, but we will not be introducing a general route for employers to seek cheaper labour from abroad, be those employees or volunteers.

The Migration Advisory Committee is clear that a solution to recruitment issues in social care cannot just be solved via the UK’s immigration system. Employers need to invest in technology, innovation and their existing workforce, focusing on making jobs more attractive for UK workers, not just looking to the migration system.

The Government is supporting the care sector in different ways, including through additional funding and launching a national recruitment campaign.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they use the term "aggravated activism" in government documents relating to policing and public order; and if so, what is their definition of that term.

The Government does not use the terminology of "aggravated activism" in relation to public order.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what communications have had with (1) the police, and (2) third-sector organisations, about preventative, non-criminal justice approaches to reducing knife crime.

The Government is determined to tackle the scourge of knife crime and other serious violence, which is having a devastating effect on too many victims, families and communities. We are providing the police with the resources and powers they need, including recruiting an extra 20,000 officers over the next three years. Through regular dialogue with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and direct with forces themselves, we will continue to support the police and a wide range of other partners about the challenges they face in tackling serious violence.

The Serious Violence Strategy, published in April 2018, put a new emphasis on prevention and early intervention alongside continuing, robust enforcement. We have also worked with voluntary sector organisations via continuous discussions and visits to support delivery under a number of funding streams. These include the Government’s anti-knife crime Community Fund, where we have supported 175 projects in local communities delivered by voluntary sector agencies to tackle knife crime in the three years since 2017/18. They also include the 40 projects under the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund, working with children and young people across England and Wales, which have been delivered by the third sector in some areas and local authorities in others and are supported by Police and Crime Commissioners. In addition, we are providing £200m over the next 10 years through a Youth Endowment Fund to focus on those most at risk of youth violence including those displaying signs such as truancy, aggression and involvement in anti-social behaviour in order to steer them away from becoming serious offenders.

We have also invested £35 million from the £100 million Serious Violence Fund in Violence Reduction Units as a key component of our action to tackle the root causes of serious violence. Violence Reduction Units are non-statutory partnerships which offer leadership and strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence by bringing together police, local government, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners to identify the drivers of serious violence and agree a multi-agency response.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of tests conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in April 2022 on the drying rate and compression properties of faux bear fur for the ceremonial caps worn by the Queen’s Guard; whether those results meet Ministry of Defence requirements; and if so, whether they will now consider introducing faux fur for ceremonial caps.

We are aware that there may have been further testing conducted on this artificial fur in April 2022, however the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and its business partner Leidos are not parties to this research and cannot therefore comment on these test results.

Previous analysis of testing conducted on the faux fur fabric showed it met only one of the five requirements necessary to be considered as a viable alternative for ceremonial caps. Whilst it met the basic standard for water absorption, it showed unacceptable rates of water shedding and performed poorly on the visual assessment. As the artificial fur didn't meet the standards required for a ceremonial cap which is worn throughout the year and in all weathers, the MOD has no plans to take this fake fur fabric forward.

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, given that a suitable replacement for bearskin has been developed that meets all of their "five requirements", what steps they are taking to introduce a faux fur for the ceremonial caps worn by the Queen’s Guard.

I refer the noble Lady to the answer my Hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) gave to Question 121824 on 21 February 2022 in the House of Commons

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to fulfil their commitment to switch to faux fur for the ceremonial caps worn by the Queen’s Guard now that a suitable faux fur is available.

I refer the noble Lady to the answer my Hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) gave to Question 121824 on 21 February 2022 in the House of Commons.

12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which, if any, of their advisory groups, or relevant public bodies, supported the changes to Nutrient Neutrality Rules that would require local authorities to disregard scientific evidence of the pollution impacts from new housing.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

Lord Evans of Rainow
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require local authorities in England to take into account (1) the use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies, or (2) the potential for future installation of such technology, when considering whether to grant permission for new energy from waste plants.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future, including by supporting renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. Local Planning Authorities should consider this when considering whether to grant permission for new energy for waste plants.

In addition to requiring planning permission to build a new energy from waste plant, an environmental permit may be required to operate it. The Environment Agency are the permitting authority in England. Environmental permits contain conditions to protect the environment and human health. Energy from waste permits can set controls a range of factors, for example, by including emissions limits. Carbon capture and utilisation and storage technologies could play a role in this.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to put a target on their aim to diversify the housebuilding industry, and (2) to collect statistics to monitor delivery against that target.

The Government is committed to diversifying the housebuilding industry. This means enabling a greater variety of firms to contribute to housing supply, providing for a wider range of housing needs and improving productivity, quality and choice. We are providing financial support to help drive greater diversification. The £3 billion Short Term Home Building Fund is available to SME housebuilders, MMC manufacturers and other innovative forms of housing delivery. We have also announced a National Home Building Fund (NHBF), investing £7.1 billion over 4 years, including £2.2 billion of investment to SME firms and innovative housebuilders.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the Planning Bill directs Local Plans towards promoting sustainable transport to end developers being required to overprovide car parking in areas with good public transport and active travel options.

As set out in the Planning for the Future white paper, our reforms will leave an inheritance of environmental improvement, including that new homes will be built closer to where people want to live and work, to reduce our reliance on carbon-intensive modes of transport.

The White Paper consultation closed in October 2020, and received around 44,000 responses – demonstrating just how important this is to people. We will publish the Government’s response to the consultation, setting out the way forward, ahead of introducing the Planning Bill to Parliament.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to put self and custom-build and community-led housing at the heart of the Planning Bill so that the public can bring forward their own development.

The Government is committed to increasing the number of self and custom build homes and community-led housing in this country, and to establish it as a mainstream option for people to choose to get on the housing ladder or when moving home. The Planning Bill will simplify and modernise the planning system. It will establish a clear set of rules, on questions ranging from where communities want homes to be built to the high design and environmental standards that must be met. Both those looking to self and custom build their own home and SME housebuilders will find this system much easier, less costly and quicker to navigate, with more land available for development and clearer expectations on the types of development permitted.

6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for the future of the Community Housing Fund.

The Community Housing Fund closed at the end of March 2020. Departmental budgets for 2021/22 have been confirmed at the recent Spending Review and my department is now undertaking a process of allocation of budgets to individual programmes. The needs of the community-led housing sector will be taken into consideration alongside the full range of the Department’s priorities. In the meantime, organisations that are registered as providers of social housing may seek capital funding from the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme operated outside London by Homes England.

8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to devolve powers to (1) the Mayor of London, and (2) elected mayors in England and Wales.

The Government has committed to publishing an English Devolution White Paper as a strategy to unleash the potential of all our regions – covering plans for full devolution across England and levelling up powers of existing mayors.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what communications they have had with local authorities in England and Wales about (1) the availability, and (2) the funding, of (a) temporary, and (b) emergency, accommodation.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide accommodation for households that are homeless and defined as being in priority need, unintentionally homeless and eligible for assistance. They are obliged to secure temporary accommodation for the household in the first instance until suitable long-term accommodation can be secured.

Local authorities provide updates on how many households are living in temporary accommodation to Government via H-CLIC, the new quarterly data return on local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation. According to that data, in England, the current total number of households in temporary accommodation is 86,130. Of these households, 7,110 were in bed and breakfast accommodation and 22,360 were in nightly paid, privately managed accommodation.

In December 2019 we announced the allocation of £263 million in funding for 2020/21 to local authorities designed to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness. This is an uplift of £23 million on the previous year. The purpose of this funding is to give local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who at risk of homelessness, including providing them with temporary accommodation.

As housing is a devolved issue, we would advise you to contact the Welsh Government for information about temporary accommodation in Wales.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of (1) temporary, and (2) emergency, accommodation in England and Wales.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide accommodation for households that are homeless and defined as being in priority need, unintentionally homeless and eligible for assistance. They are obliged to secure temporary accommodation for the household in the first instance until suitable long-term accommodation can be secured.

Local authorities provide updates on how many households are living in temporary accommodation to Government via H-CLIC, the new quarterly data return on local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation. According to that data, in England, the current total number of households in temporary accommodation is 86,130. Of these households, 7,110 were in bed and breakfast accommodation and 22,360 were in nightly paid, privately managed accommodation.

In December 2019 we announced the allocation of £263 million in funding for 2020/21 to local authorities designed to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness. This is an uplift of £23 million on the previous year. The purpose of this funding is to give local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who at risk of homelessness, including providing them with temporary accommodation.

As housing is a devolved issue, we would advise you to contact the Welsh Government for information about temporary accommodation in Wales.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what conditions are placed on the disbursement of funds through affordable housing grants from Homes England.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes in a wide range of tenures, including Social Rent.

Funding is allocated by Homes England (and the GLA in London). Registered providers (such as housing associations and local authorities) are able to bid into the Programme for funding to build Rent to Buy and affordable rented homes; funding for Shared Ownership is also open to private providers. Registered providers can also bid for funding to deliver social rent homes in areas of high affordability pressure.

The conditions guidance for the Affordable Homes Programme is published by the Department as part of its Capital Funding Guide.

The funding guide can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/capital-funding-guide.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to update permitted development rights to facilitate deployment of ground mounted solar arrays which rotate to track the movement of the sun.

To facilitate the take up of renewable energy there is a range of permitted development rights for micro-generation from renewable energy sources. These include stand-alone solar equipment up to 4 metres in height. The rights apply both within the curtilage of residential and non-residential premises and are set out in Part 14 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. There are no current plans to alter the permitted development rights for microgeneration renewable energy.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of permitted development rights for the deployment of ground mounted solar arrays which rotate to track the movement of the sun.

To facilitate the take up of renewable energy there is a range of permitted development rights for micro-generation from renewable energy sources. These include stand-alone solar equipment up to 4 metres in height. The rights apply both within the curtilage of residential and non-residential premises and are set out in Part 14 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. There are no current plans to alter the permitted development rights for microgeneration renewable energy.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of grade 3 prison officers being put in charge of pregnant women's healthcare.

Pregnant women in prison are entitled to the same quality and range of healthcare services as they have access to in the community. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) 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 on 20 September. This delivers a range of improvements to the care of pregnant women in prison. Prisons are in the process of implementing new requirements and are expected to have this in place by 20 March 2022.

Healthcare in women’s prisons, including perinatal services, are commissioned by NHS England & Improvement. The role of HMPPS is to work in partnership with local healthcare providers to secure access to these services. The new policy introduces enhanced Band 3 Pregnancy and Mother and Baby Liaison Officers across the women’s estate. This is an operational prison role designed to enable early identification, contact and signposting to support services, including perinatal healthcare services. It is not a clinical role – provision of clinical services is the responsibility of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement a national policy and pathway for pregnant women in prison.

Pregnant women in prison are entitled to the same quality and range of healthcare services as they have access to in the community. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) 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 on 20 September. This delivers a range of improvements to the care of pregnant women in prison. Prisons are in the process of implementing new requirements and are expected to have this in place by 20 March 2022.

Healthcare in women’s prisons, including perinatal services, are commissioned by NHS England & Improvement. The role of HMPPS is to work in partnership with local healthcare providers to secure access to these services. The new policy introduces enhanced Band 3 Pregnancy and Mother and Baby Liaison Officers across the women’s estate. This is an operational prison role designed to enable early identification, contact and signposting to support services, including perinatal healthcare services. It is not a clinical role – provision of clinical services is the responsibility of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Independent investigation into the death of Baby A at HMP Bronzefield on 27 September 2019, published on 22 September, what discussions they have had with the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

The events that took place at HMP/YOI Bronzefield were unquestionably tragic, and significant improvements have since been put in place both at the prison and across the entire female estate.

The Ministry of Justice, Sodexo (the private providers who are contracted to run HMP Bronzefield) and health providers have accepted the recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman in their thorough report and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will continue to work closely with providers to ensure pregnant women in Bronzefield receive the best possible care. The on-site HMPPS Controller will oversee implementation of the recommendations in line with the agreed Action Plan and timelines, working collaboratively with NHSE and service providers.

A project team is coordinating the implementation of the recommendations and to take forward wider learning across all women’s prisons.

In July 2019 a fundamental review of policy relating to pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to the age of two in women’s prisons commenced, which concluded in July 2020, and HMIP were part of the consultation group. As a result of the review, a new policy has been published and learning from these tragic events has been incorporated into the new policy where appropriate.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to update Parliament on the progress of implementing the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman recommendations for change at HMP Bronzefield, published on 22 September.

The events that took place at HMP/YOI Bronzefield were unquestionably tragic, and significant improvements have since been put in place both at the prison and across the entire female estate.

The Ministry of Justice, Sodexo (the private providers who are contracted to run HMP Bronzefield) and health providers have accepted the recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman in their thorough report and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will continue to work closely with providers to ensure pregnant women in Bronzefield receive the best possible care. The on-site HMPPS Controller will oversee implementation of the recommendations in line with the agreed Action Plan and timelines, working collaboratively with NHSE and service providers.

A project team is coordinating the implementation of the recommendations and to take forward wider learning across all women’s prisons.

In July 2019 a fundamental review of policy relating to pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to the age of two in women’s prisons commenced, which concluded in July 2020, and HMIP were part of the consultation group. As a result of the review, a new policy has been published and learning from these tragic events has been incorporated into the new policy where appropriate.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman recommendations for change at HMP Bronzefield, published on 22 September, will be implemented in a timely fashion.

The events that took place at HMP/YOI Bronzefield were unquestionably tragic, and significant improvements have since been put in place both at the prison and across the entire female estate.

The Ministry of Justice, Sodexo (the private providers who are contracted to run HMP Bronzefield) and health providers have accepted the recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman in their thorough report and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will continue to work closely with providers to ensure pregnant women in Bronzefield receive the best possible care. The on-site HMPPS Controller will oversee implementation of the recommendations in line with the agreed Action Plan and timelines, working collaboratively with NHSE and service providers.

A project team is coordinating the implementation of the recommendations and to take forward wider learning across all women’s prisons.

In July 2019 a fundamental review of policy relating to pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to the age of two in women’s prisons commenced, which concluded in July 2020, and HMIP were part of the consultation group. As a result of the review, a new policy has been published and learning from these tragic events has been incorporated into the new policy where appropriate.

6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) women, and (2) trans men, were known to be pregnant in Drake Hall Prison for the first two quarters of 2020.

We do not hold this pregnancy data for the requested time period or format. This data would need to be collected by individual prisons at a disproportionate cost.

As part of our fundamental review of policy relating to pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to two in prison, we committed to providing national pregnancy data in the future. The ‘HMPPS Annual Digest, April 2020 to March 2021’ was published on 29 July 2021 and this contains the latest published figures relating to pregnant prisoners. This data is, however, provided as a national snapshot. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmpps-annual-digest-april-2020-to-march-2021

Further information on the review, including our findings and resulting reforms regarding data collection, can be found in our summary report published in July 2020:

Review of operational policy on pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation (publishing.service.gov.uk)

6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) women, and (2) trans men, were known to be pregnant in New Hall Prison for the first two quarters of 2020.

We do not hold this pregnancy data for the requested time period or format. This data would need to be collected by individual prisons at a disproportionate cost.

As part of our fundamental review of policy relating to pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to two in prison, we committed to providing national pregnancy data in the future. The ‘HMPPS Annual Digest, April 2020 to March 2021’ was published on 29 July 2021 and this contains the latest published figures relating to pregnant prisoners. This data is, however, provided as a national snapshot. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmpps-annual-digest-april-2020-to-march-2021

Further information on the review, including our findings and resulting reforms regarding data collection, can be found in our summary report published in July 2020:

Review of operational policy on pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation (publishing.service.gov.uk)

6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of how many additional spaces will need to be provided in Mother and Baby Units as part of the work to build 500 new places for (1) women, and (2) trans men, in prison.

The programme to deliver up to 500 additional prison places in the women’s estate does not include delivering additional places in Mother and Baby Units. The current provision provided for Mother and Baby Units is forecast to continue to be sufficient with the increase in prison places.

Our new accommodation design supports transgender needs as required by legislation and prison policy. This includes ensuring that there are adequate areas that support the disclosing of information and private conversations. Single-cell occupancy will also support privacy and dignity, with in-cell sanitation facilities included in designs.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)