Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

Conservative - Life peer

6 APPG memberships (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Child Contact Centres and Services, Denmark, Food and Drink, Motor, Night Time Economy, Water
1 Former APPG membership
Dance
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Licensing Act 2003 Committee
25th May 2016 - 4th Apr 2017
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
18th Dec 2007 - 30th Mar 2015
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
10th Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Panel of Chairs
21st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Liaison Committee (Commons)
19th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Minister (Children, Young People and Families)
8th Nov 2006 - 3rd Jul 2007
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
8th Dec 2005 - 8th Nov 2006
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
10th May 2005 - 8th Dec 2005
Transport Committee
15th Dec 2003 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2003 - 1st Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Transport)
1st Jul 2002 - 1st Jul 2005
European Scrutiny Committee
20th Nov 2000 - 15th Sep 2003
Transport, Local Government & The Regions
16th Jul 2001 - 22nd Jul 2002
Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2001 - 1st Jul 2002
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
5th Jul 1999 - 1st Jun 2001


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Sitting Times
voted No - against a party majority
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 99 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
Speeches
Wednesday 6th July 2022
Procurement Bill [HL]
I would like my noble friend to respond to a point that was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Purvis, …
Written Answers
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Agricultural Products: UK Trade with EU
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the EU's request in September 2021 for consolidated versions of Sanitary and Phytosanitary …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Road Traffic Offences (Cycling) Bill [HL] 2021-22
A Bill Amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences relating …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has voted in 187 divisions, and 29 times against the majority of their Party.

10 Mar 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 213 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 310 Noes - 237
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 215 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 304 Noes - 260
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 221 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 257
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 215 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 240
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 208 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
14 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 201 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 229
9 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 196 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 215
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 221
25 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 204 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 323 Noes - 241
18 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 190 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 209
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 44 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 433
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 134 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 407
21 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 197 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 166 Noes - 237
20 Oct 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 39 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 395 Noes - 169
20 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 183 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 200
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 198 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 122 Noes - 234
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 145 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 266 Noes - 159
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 125 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
21 Apr 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 240
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative Aye votes vs 144 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 161 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 207 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 59 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 60
22 Feb 2022 - Procedure and Privileges Committee - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 94 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 144 Noes - 133
3 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 116 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 171 Noes - 119
8 Mar 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 67 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 25 Noes - 69
22 Mar 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 146 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 157
5 Jul 2022 - Sitting Times - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 99 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
View All Baroness McIntosh of Pickering 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
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
(61 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(57 debate interactions)
Lord Benyon (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(44 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Baroness McIntosh of Pickering's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering


A bill to make provision for the accreditation of child contact centres; and for connected purposes.


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

A Bill Amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences relating to dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling, in particular applying to a pedal cycle, an electrically assisted pedal cycle, and an electric scooter


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Wednesday 1st December 2021
(Read Debate)

A bill to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences relating to dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling, in particular applying to a pedal cycle, an electrically assisted pedal cycle, and an electric scooter


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Tuesday 14th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


159 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
13th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their Levelling Up white paper.

Levelling up is a transformative agenda and the Department’s priority is to produce a White Paper which matches our ambition, building on existing action we are already taking across Government and setting out a new policy regime that will drive change for years to come.

Work is progressing well and we plan to publish the White Paper in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision is currently in place for local councils to meet virtually.

The Department has been considering the responses to the call for evidence on local authority remote meetings and the Government will respond shortly.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last undertook a review of critical infrastructure, including electricity substations and their resilience to the threat of flooding; and how frequently such reviews are undertaken.

Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) in the UK, including the energy sector, is subject to thorough scrutiny and sectors need to satisfy stringent sectoral regulatory and national security requirements. Sector Security and Resilience Plans (SSRPs) are produced annually by the 13 CNI sectors, this assurance process asks Lead Government Departments to detail the activity ongoing in their sectors to improve security and resilience to a host of risks, including those from the National Security Risk Assessment such as flooding. For the energy sector specifically, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) independently oversees and enforces the UK’s energy regulatory regime.

A large portion of the UK’s CNI is in private sector hands, and the Government works continuously with CNI owners and operators to support and ensure the security and resilience of their sites and systems. This approach ensures sectors prepare for a range of both malicious risks (threats) and non-malicious risks (hazards), including that of flooding.

The Environment Agency is working with national infrastructure providers and government departments to improve planning for current and future flood risks. This work forms one of the main themes within the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of cyber attacks there have been in each of the last three years on UK companies by a hostile state; and what is their policy to prevent such attacks.

Our new National Cyber Strategy, launched in December 2021, sets out how we will ensure that the UK continues to be a leading, responsible and democratic cyber power, able to protect and promote our interests in the rapidly evolving online world. This includes our approach to making the UK more resilient to cyber attacks and countering cyber threats. It is supported by £2.6 billion of investment over three years.

Over the past three years, the National Cyber Security Centre has dealt with a total of 2158 significant cyber incidents affecting people and organisations across the UK: 658 in 2019, 723 in 2020 and 777 in 2021. The 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey shows that 39% of businesses identified a cyber attack in the last 12 months, 46% in 2020 and 32% in 2019. We are not in a position to be able to identify all cyber attacks against UK companies or attribute responsibility for every attack.

The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves through our world leading capability in this area. We are vigilant to cyber threats, wherever they come from, and ready to defend against them. We are continuing to work to make the UK more resilient to cyber threats and raise the cost for those who would do us harm.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to apply the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland; and what assessment they have made of the implications of this application for the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The Government has invested substantial funding to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol in line with our current obligations and to support businesses adjusting to this change, including through the Trader Support Service and the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS). We have already spent over £150m on these services. The forecast spend for the Trader Support Service is for £360m over the full two years to the end of 2022 and the forecast for MAS is that total spend could run to up to £150m.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is not part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). Nevertheless, there have been suggestions that the EU would take retaliatory actions under the TCA should the UK invoke the Article 16 safeguards. This would aggravate the problems in Northern Ireland rather than reduce them. Article 16 is a legitimate safeguard within the Protocol and we would urge the European Commission to consider the impact of such disproportionate actions.

27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the commitments it contains.

The Government’s policy has been for the Protocol to be operated in a pragmatic and proportionate way, protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimension and minimising its impact on everyday lives in Northern Ireland.

In doing so, the Government has developed significant measures to support businesses, such as the Trader Support Service, Movement Assistance Scheme and UK Trader Scheme.

Nevertheless, there have been significant difficulties in the Protocol’s operation, and solutions must be found rapidly. We are working through the structures of the Withdrawal Agreement to find pragmatic ways forward in a range of problem areas. We look to the EU to show a common sense, risk-based, approach.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) technology failures, (2) issues with the infrastructure at ports of exit from Great Britain, and (3) the number of veterinarians available, on the timeliness of goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

As outlined in my answer on 14 January, the UK will continue to work with supermarkets and retailers. We have a dedicated group of officials working on this. We are seeking new end-to-end digital systems that will enable goods to be moved in accordance with the protocol in the most streamlined way, and this will be backed by a major injection of UK government funding as part of a broader support package.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility of retrofitting homes to enable them to use energy created from waste.

Biomethane is produced from organic waste such as food waste, manures and slurries, and sewage. The Government supports biomethane production and injection from anaerobic digestors into the gas grid through the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which closed to new applicants in March 2021; and through the Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) which launched on 30 November 2021. No specific retrofitting of homes is required.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they expect to reconcile food security and self-sufficiency with plans to install solar panels on agricultural land.

Solar is a cheap, versatile, and effective technology that will help limit household electricity bills and ensure Britain is less affected by fluctuations in volatile global gas prices.

The Government recognises the need to preserve productive arable farmland. Planning guidance prioritises the effective use of land and encourages the deployment of large- scale solar farms on previously developed and non-agricultural land. Where greenfield sites are considered, projects should be designed to avoid, mitigate and, where necessary, compensate for impacts. The government supports solar that is co-located with other functions (for example, agriculture, onshore wind generation, or storage) to maximise the efficiency of land use.

The UK has a high degree of food security built on supply from diverse sources; strong domestic production, as well as imports through stable trade routes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the management of P&O Ferries regarding the requirement under retained EU law to hold consultations when implementing redundancy dismissals.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has written to the Insolvency Service asking them to urgently undertake a thorough review into the actions of P&O Ferries. This will include any scope to take action against the company’s directors. While I do not wish to prejudge the outcome, and it is important due process is followed, we will not hesitate to take further action if appropriate to do so.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the resilience of overhead line transmission of electricity to storm outages; and what steps they intend to take to achieve greater resilience.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy works closely with the National Grid Electricity System Operator, energy infrastructure operators, and the regulator Ofgem to assess the appropriate level of current and future resilience to key assets and infrastructure. Overhead lines are considered as part of a range of options in infrastructure planning.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the increase in energy costs for those living in rural areas; and what plans they have to alleviate those additional costs.

The Government believes it is essential that consumers of liquified petroleum gas and heating oil receive a fair deal. A competitive market allows consumers of both fuels to shop around for the best price for each delivery. The Government believes this provides the best long-term guarantee of low prices.

Support is available to eligible off-grid households through the Warm Home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the resilience of overhead power cables and the case for moving these wires underground.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has commissioned a post-incident review into Storm Arwen to identify lessons and best practice for system resilience, including physical infrastructure, as well as communications, resourcing.

As the independent regulator for energy, Ofgem has also announced a review into the impact of Storm Arwen. This will focus on the role of the network companies in maintaining resilience of the system, which includes physical infrastructure, and their emergency response.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect people who have lost power due to Storm Arwen to be reconnected; and whether a review has been undertaken of communication between (1) Government, (2) power distribution companies, and (3) members of the public about energy supply issues.

The impacts of Storm Arwen were very unusual. All customers that lost their electricity supply were restored by the 8th December.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has commissioned a post-incident review into Storm Arwen to identify lessons and best practice for communications, resourcing and system resilience. This will include a review of communications between Government, power distribution companies and the public.

As the independent regulator for energy, Ofgem has also announced it will undertake a review into the impact of Storm Arwen. This will focus on the role of the network companies in maintaining the resilience of the system and their emergency response, including their communications with customers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the reduced supply of polypropylene, (2) the increased price level of polypropylene, and (3) the impact this will have on supplies for medical use.

BEIS officials are in regular contact with the British Plastics Federation (BPF) who have informed them that there are global pressures affecting the demand and supply for some plastics polymers including polypropylene. These pressures are currently shared with a number of different materials sectors.

The BPF regularly surveys its members on key issues and have passed on information outlining that these pressures are due to a variety of issues including the current pandemic and some instances of extreme weather that has affected production. Officials will continue to work with the sector and with other government departments to monitor the effects of such issues, especially if they appear to have an impact on vital supplies of products that are needed for medical use.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to permit greater coal imports for the UK’s heritage market should the UK’s coal industry fail to meet the demands of that market.

In line with our Net Zero target, the Government is committed to phasing out unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025, and is consulting on moving this date forward to 2024. This policy applies to coal-fired power stations only – it does not apply to other coal consumers such as heritage railways, or to domestic coal mines. Companies do not require permission from the Government to import coal; the sourcing of coal for use in heritage railways and other industries is a private commercial decision for the companies involved.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic on (1) the income of businesses working in, and (2) jobs related to, the night-time economy; and what steps they are taking to address any such impact.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector, including those operating in the night-time economy, to understand and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

Night-time economy businesses have been able to benefit from government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants, additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses and the Cultural Relief Fund.

On 5 January, when the new national lockdown began, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that electricity generated by waste-to-energy facilities will be used to the benefit of the local community closest to where the electricity is generated.

Local communities are already able to benefit from the sale of electricity from Energy from Waste (EfW) plants in those instances where the local authority has made a provision to retain revenue from the sale when tendering a waste processing contract.

For EfW plants that utilise combined heat and power (CHP) technologies the local area can also benefit from the supply of low carbon heat, either via a heat network to heat homes and commercial premises or by direct connection to an industrial site to help incentivise businesses.

The Government is supporting EfW-based networks through its £320m Heat Network Investment Project and from 2022 an additional £270m will be available through the Green Heat Network Fund.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what infrastructure they plan to deploy to transmit the electricity generated from renewables both onshore and offshore to the national grid; and whether they plan to exclude the use of overhead powerlines for that purpose.

Regulation of the electricity network is a matter for Ofgem as the independent regulator. It is the responsibility of network companies to provide the infrastructure required to transmit electricity generated from renewables and they do this according to the framework set out by Ofgem through the price control. A number of methods can be used to transfer energy to transmission and distribution systems, including overhead powerlines. The choice of which method to use depends on a range of factors, including technical assessments, environmental impacts and costs.

The Offshore Transmission Network Review is currently considering how best to connect offshore renewable energy in the most efficient way, with a view to finding the appropriate balance between environmental, social and economic costs.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what infrastructure is required to transfer energy from battery storage to the National Grid; and whether pylons form part of that infrastructure.

A number of methods can be used to transfer energy from battery storage facilities to transmission and distribution systems. The choice of which method to use (undergrounding or overgrounding) depends on a range of factors, including technical assessments, environmental impacts and costs.

Battery storage is often connected at the distribution network rather than national grid transmission level, and as it is often located close to existing grid supply points requirements for additional pylons are reduced. Any proposals for the use of pylons will be subject to careful consideration through the planning regime, taking account of the views of local people and other relevant stakeholders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether energy stored in batteries for the National Grid is used to provide energy to communities located near to such batteries.

Batteries can provide a range of services to the electricity system, such as storing electricity from renewable generation during periods of low demand and releasing electricity when prices are high, as well as helping to reduce the cost of balancing the system. They can provide services at both local (community) and national levels.

Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) also operate local markets for flexibility services. These provide additional opportunities for batteries to support the decarbonisation of, and provide energy to, their local communities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 7.7 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020, when will (1) the permanent procedural moratorium rules be laid before Parliament under the Corporate and Insolvency Governance Act 2020, and (2) the consultation with the Insolvency Rules Committee regarding the permanent rules covering England and Wales commence.

Work on amendments to the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 to provide permanent procedural rules for the moratorium introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 is ongoing and the relevant regulations will be laid when Parliamentary time allows. The Government is aware that the current temporary provision expires on 30 March 2021 (subject to any extensions) and will have regard to that fact for the purpose of preparing and laying the permanent rules.

The Government intends that consultation with the Insolvency Rules Committee regarding these rules, as required by law, will commence in November 2020.

Separate rules will be required for Scotland and, since this area is partially devolved, the timing of those rules will be subject to further discussions with the Scottish Government.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the jetstream on recent weather events; and what plans they have to conduct research into the role of the jetstream in extreme weather events.

Extended spells of dry sunny weather during spring are primarily a consequence of the large-scale circulation and buckling of the jet stream allowing for the development of persistent high-pressure systems close to the UK. In spring 2020 the jet stream shifted to the north-west of the UK and successive areas of high pressure dominated the country, leading to sunny, warm and dry conditions. Weather conditions in February 2020 were also due to a change in the jet stream. In this instance, a strengthening of the jet over the UK delivered multiple storms and record rainfall. In both cases, the conditions were predicted in some detail days ahead in Met Office short-range weather forecasts and also anticipated in its long-range outlooks.

The role of the jet stream in influencing UK weather is well understood. The next step is to understand what is driving the behaviour of the jet steam when there are extremes. There is strong evidence from research by the Met Office that global connections from the tropics were responsible for the behaviour of the jet stream during February 2020. Work is ongoing to examine what influenced the jet stream during spring 2020. Future research by the Met Office will examine current variability in the jet stream and the effect on UK weather.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what specific support they have identified for small and medium-size enterprises operating in (1) the tourism, (2) the hospitality, and (3) the retail sectors, (a) who are experiencing cash flow problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (b) who pay council tax in lieu of business rates, and (c) who have commercial mortgages and are therefore ineligible for payment holidays. [T]

The two existing business grants schemes have helped supported many thousands of small businesses.

To ensure that Local Authorities can help these businesses, the Government has allocated additional up to £617 million funding to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants.

It is our intention that the following businesses should be considered as a priority for these funds:

· Businesses in a range of shared workspaces;

· Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;

· B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and

· Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the removal of public telephone boxes; and what steps they will take to retain public telephone boxes in rural areas with poor mobile phone connectivity.

The Government recognises the importance of public telephone boxes to people across the UK. The telephony Universal Service Order requires that certain providers maintain telephony services across the UK, including access to public telephone boxes.

It is for Ofcom to designate the providers subject to this Order and set rules for public telephone boxes, including the rules regarding their removal. Ofcom estimates that there are 1500 public telephone boxes in areas with poor mobile coverage, many of which will be rural.

Ofcom has recently announced a consultation designed to strengthen these rules. Ofcom’s proposals include a criterion that protects public telephone boxes where they do not have coverage from all four mobile network providers.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in expanding communications network coverage in rural areas; and what plans they have to share the resources used by the Emergency Services Network to achieve such coverage.

The Government’s £1 billion Shared Rural Network (SRN) agreement with the Mobile Network Operators, will see the operators collectively increase 4G mobile coverage to 95% by the end of the programme. While the programme is still in its early stages, we anticipate that areas of the UK will see improvements in coverage long before its completion. On 27 January 2021, the operators O2, Three and Vodafone announced a joint venture to build and share 222 new mobile masts to boost rural coverage across the United Kingdom and deliver the first stage of the SRN. This will see 124 new sites built in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland, and 54 in England.

Furthermore, on 24 February, EE announced it will be expanding 4G in more than 500 areas in this year to improve rural connectivity across the UK as part of the programme. This will include 333 in England, 132 in Scotland, 76 in Wales, and 38 in Northern Ireland. 110 areas have already been upgraded since the SRN deal was signed, with a further 469 to follow this year in the first phase of the programme.

The Government is committed to delivering value for money for the taxpayer by sharing infrastructure where possible for the Shared Rural Network. The Home Office will make the Extended Area Service (EAS) infrastructure, which is part of the new Emergency Services Network (ESN), available to all mobile operators for deployment as part of SRN. In some specific cases, SRN site upgrades may not be possible due to insurmountable practical or cost barriers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the value of imported products made from rabbit fur to the UK economy, and (2) the cost of a ban on the importation of such products would have on the UK economy.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data for 2019 indicates approximate values of £52,911,000 gross imports to the UK for raw furskins, tanned or dressed furskins, and articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other furskin articles. HMRC does not collect data on specific fur-bearing species.

Under existing domestic legislation it is an offence to keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur. However, we do permit the import and sale of such products. The Government is committed to exploring potential action in this area in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. If any action were to be taken on fur, a full assessment of the impact on UK businesses would be conducted.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the difficulties in exporting farm animals for breeding purposes to the EU because of a lack of facilities to take them; and what steps they will take to ease the export of such animals.

The construction and management of live animal Border Control Posts (BCPs) in the EU are commercial activities, and it falls on EU countries and competent authorities to approve the designation and operation of such facilities. As such, Defra is supporting National Farmers' Union and other industry bodies' efforts to push for the construction and designation of an appropriate BCP for livestock; specifically, through data collection and sharing to support the commercial case for such a facility, and through diplomatic channels to support the designation and approval process.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the EU's request in September 2021 for consolidated versions of Sanitary and Phytosanitary legislation integrating recent amendments to be made available as soon as possible, when they intend to make these versions available to the relevant Trade Specialised Committee.

We have informed the EU that consolidated versions of legislation are publicly accessible on www.legislation.gov.uk, and are made available as soon as possible.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what decisions they have taken following the recent discussions with the (1) United Nations, and (2) the EU, on the movement of perishable goods between the UK and the EU under the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

We are not aware of any discussions with the UN on this specific issue.

We continue to engage with the EU on a range of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues through the TCA framework. The TCA established the Trade Specialised Committee on SPS measures, including certification requirements and border clearance processes, and their application, in order to facilitate trade between the Parties. The Committee last met in September 2021 and the minutes can be found here.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue agricultural visas for picking and processing fruit and vegetables to female Ukrainian workers; and what consideration they have given to housing any such individuals in RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

The Home Office already operates such an immigration route. The Seasonal Worker visa scheme, which has been extended to 2024, allows overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available in 2022, and this is being kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 visas if there is evidence of need.

The Seasonal Workers visa route is managed by four scheme operators. The scheme operators select, sponsor and monitor migrants, and adhere to all Home Office requirements in practice, including those on migrant safety and welfare.

Under the scheme, licenced operators can recruit workers of any nationality or gender from any EU or non-EU country, including from Ukraine.

The operators of the Seasonal Worker visa route manage accommodation arrangements and must ensure that all workers are housed in safe hygienic accommodation and many UK farms are already set up for accommodating seasonal workers on site for the spring and summer months. Only asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute will be accommodated in the new reception centre at RAF Linton-On-Ouse.

On 24 February the Government announced that all Ukrainian nationals on an existing seasonal worker visa will have their leave in the UK extended to 31 December 2022 and can now switch to the Ukraine Extension Scheme visa if eligible.

Under the Ukraine Extension Scheme those who are successful in their application can stay in the UK for up to three years and will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds. Further details on eligibility can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-to-stay-in-the-uk-under-the-ukraine-extension-scheme. A copy of the guidance is also attached to this answer.

Ukrainian women who are currently in the UK and have a right to work here can also access agricultural jobs through the Department for Work and Pensions’ Find A Job website.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their proposals for seasonal workers for the UK agricultural sector.

Defra continues to work closely with industry and other Government departments to understand labour supply and demand, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements, and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the UK agricultural sector.

The Government has announced that the seasonal worker visa route will be extended to 2024 to allow overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available for 2022. This will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 if there is clear evidence of need.

While acknowledging the sector’s reliance on foreign workers, the UK is committed to becoming a high-skilled, high-wage economy and the Government has been clear that more must be done to attract UK workers through offering training, career options, wage increases and to invest in increased automation technology.

Defra’s Review of Automation in Horticulture will be published shortly and will inform a range of policy decisions regarding automation and seasonal labour from 2022 onwards.

In addition, agricultural businesses can continue to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status and EU nationals who have settled status can continue to travel to the UK to do seasonal work in 2022 and beyond. Over 5.7 million EU citizens and their families have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Defra is working with industry and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to raise awareness of career opportunities within the food and farming sectors among UK workers.

Defra is also working closely with the Home Office to ensure that the requirement for these sectors is understood across Government.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they (1) have held, and (2) will hold, with the (a) United Nations, and (b) EU, on the movement of perishable goods between the UK and the EU under the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; what assessment they have made of the implications of the International Treaty on the movement of Perishable Goods on the movement of such goods; and what changes they plan to make to the transport of perishable foods from 1 July when border checks are scheduled to come into force.

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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increase in the cost of (1) wheat, and (2) other feedstuffs, on all farmers, particularly pig producers.

Defra is monitoring the position on wheat closely, alongside other commodities which are used to make up animal feed rations for all species including the pig sector, with regular intelligence from industry on both availability and price. Domestic production of wheat comprises 85% of demand, which means the UK is less exposed to import availability than other countries, or on some other products. Currently, there is no direct impact of the Ukraine crisis on UK wheat imports.

Defra is working closely with its industry-led groups – the Arable Chain Advisory Group and Agri-Supply Coalition – alongside UK Flour Millers to monitor the wheat situation, including on prices. We are also working closely with grain trader associations including the Grain and Feed Trade Association, Openfield, Seed Crushers and Oil Processors Association, and cross cutting organisations including the NFU, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, the Agricultural Industries Confederation and pet food manufacturers.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on pigs and their welfare of the shortage of (1) abattoir workers, and (2) vets, resulting in delays to their slaughter.

We recognise the significant and ongoing challenges that the pig sector has faced over the last year. This is due to the pandemic and the loss of the Chinese export market to certain processing plants; global labour shortages; and disruption to supplies of carbon dioxide, which is used as a stunning method for pigs. In addition, in 2021, the UK pig herd was the largest for 20 years. Together these factors have resulted in a backlog of pigs on farm.

This supply chain disruption has not impacted animal welfare of pigs in slaughterhouses. Our concern is that increased numbers of animals on farms can create animal welfare issues if there is insufficient space or housing.

The Government has been working closely with the pig industry to put in place measures to alleviate the situation, including temporary visas for pork butchers, and Private Storage Aid and Slaughter Incentive Payment Schemes to incentivise processors to increase their throughput of pigs in slaughterhouses. These interventions are, together, making a significant contribution to reducing the backlog of pigs on farms. The Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, has chaired two roundtables – on 10 February and 3 March - with pig industry representatives from across the UK to discuss the challenges that the sector has been facing. Minister Prentis has also met with representatives of the agricultural banking sector to discuss the current situation in the pig sector. The banks confirmed that they are working closely with impacted pig farmers during this exceptionally challenging period and remain keen to be supportive.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for the provision of official veterinarians to monitor and enforce animal welfare regulations in slaughterhouses. The FSA has maintained veterinary supervision in all slaughterhouses, which includes providing veterinary resource for additional slaughter shifts.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how any gap in funding between basic farm payments and the new environmental land management schemes will be met.

Ahead of the new environmental land management schemes being fully rolled out, between 2021 and 2024 we will help farmers to manage their land sustainably and prepare to take part in our environmental land management schemes. This will include:

  • extensions to Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship;
  • new Countryside Stewardship agreements, available until 2023, with the final round of agreements starting in January 2024;
  • piloting our environmental land management scheme offers;
  • core elements of our Sustainable Farming Incentive – the first in our package of environmental land management schemes - available to all farmers in receipt of BPS from later this year with the first payments due by the end of the year.

We have already launched a new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We have also opened a number of productivity and innovation grant opportunities for farmers, and have already awarded grants to the value of more than £48 million.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the emphasis on sustainable farming initiatives will be rebalanced in view of the current rise in (1) food costs, (2) fuel, and (3) fertiliser, to secure an increase in food production in this country.

We have a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges. Our food import dependency on the Eastern Europe region is very low, so we do not expect any significant direct impact on UK food supply. Farmers are facing a number of challenges, including rising input costs. We are already taking a number of steps to support British farmers, including ensuring they have the workforce they need through our seasonal workers scheme, and informing policy through the establishment of the UK Agricultural Market Monitoring Group. On Thursday 31 March, we held an industry roundtable chaired by the Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, to look at the issues faced by the fertiliser industry and the impact on farmers. Alongside this, last week, we announced steps to assist farmers with the availability of fertilisers to address uncertainty among growers and keep costs down for farmers. This package of measures included delaying changes to the use of urea fertiliser by at least a year; revised and improved statutory guidance has been published on how farmers should limit the use of slurry and other farmyard manure at certain times of year. Farmers will be further supported through new slurry storage grants as of this year, helping meet the Farming Rules for Water and reducing dependence on artificial fertilisers by storing organic nutrients until needed or for onward processing. We also published further detail on the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) which will help farmers move towards sustainable farming practices over time, supporting farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil and to reduce soil erosion which are essential for sustainable food production, helping to bolster food security and the longer term resilience of the sector.

We believe food production and environmental protection go hand in hand; they are two sides of the same coin. That is why the SFI will open for early rollout of core elements of the scheme in summer 2022, to allow us to make the first SFI payments before the end of the year. We are planning to introduce a Nutrient Management Standard to the SFI in 2023 that will reward growers who make better use of naturally occurring sources of crop nutrients. Given current fertiliser prices, the priority must be to pioneer new technologies to manufacture more organic-based fertiliser products, and rediscover techniques such as using nitrogen fixing legumes and clovers as an alternative to fertiliser.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy on kept farm animals; and what steps they intend to take to assist livestock production.

All farm animals are protected by comprehensive and robust animal health and welfare legislation. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence either to cause any captive animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for the welfare needs of the animal. This is supplemented by detailed legislation to protect the welfare of livestock while on farm, as well as legislation to protect animal welfare during transport and at slaughter.

Defra works closely with the livestock sector to encourage a productive, efficient and profitable sector. The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway will push forward and support the gradual and continual improvement in farm animal health and welfare. The pathway is a critical part of the farming reforms set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, delivering benefits for animal health and welfare, farm productivity, food security, public health, UK trade and the environment. It does this by financially rewarding farmers who deliver public goods, stimulating market demand for higher welfare products and strengthening the regulatory baseline.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on pig production of the shortage of butchers; what assessment they have made of the implications of the shortage on animal welfare; and what steps they intend to take to alleviate this situation.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and to work closely with the pig industry to help them respond to challenges caused by the pandemic, including the loss of exports to the Chinese market for certain pig processors, disruption to CO2 supplies, and a temporary shortage of labour in the processing sector. This has led to a growing backlog of pigs on farms, which can pose challenges to animal welfare.

We have provided a package of measures to help address these unique circumstances, which includes temporary work visas for up to 800 pork butchers, and Private Storage Aid (PSA) and Slaughter Incentive Payment (SIP) schemes to facilitate an increase in the throughput of pigs through abattoirs. Together with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and other Government Departments, we are working to both expand existing markets and to identify new export markets for pork, particularly lightly processed pork. We are also working with industry to support their efforts on the recruitment and retention of domestic workers.

On 10 February, the Farming Minister Victoria Prentis chaired a roundtable with pig industry representatives from across the UK to discuss the challenges that the sector has been facing in recent months. We are launching a UK-wide review of supply chain fairness in the pig sector. We will be engaging with industry on this straight away, with a consultation expected later this year. We want to elicit industry views on improvements to fairness and transparency that could be made to ensure a profitable and productive future.

We have also introduced additional flexibility to the SIP scheme to further encourage uptake and reduce the backlog. This will remove all restrictions on the end destination of products killed during SIP shifts from 18 February.

It is the responsibility of the registered keeper or owner to ensure the health and welfare of the animals in their care and to apply and adjust contingency plans, in response to a changing situation. Contingency plans may involve movement of animals to another holding, or on-farm culling of animals that are suffering, or at imminent risk of suffering, adverse welfare impacts. Farms have contingency plans to deal with short-term disruptions. In some cases, this has resulted in animals being culled on-farm to prevent animal welfare issues or to address issues that have arisen.

While the shortage of butchers has reduced the opportunity for processors to butcher meat, particularly for the domestic retail market, it has not impacted the number of pigs slaughtered. Defra records show that the number of pigs slaughtered throughout 2021 was higher than the 5-year average. GB Pig slaughter numbers were up by 0.2 million to 11.4 million pigs in January-November 2021, compared to the same period 2020. Slaughter numbers were also 0.3m or 3% higher than the 2018-20 average.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the stability of the food supply chain; and what plans they have to ensure that (1) food, and (2) other perishable items, are not blocked in warehouses due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

In December 2021, the Government published the UK Food Security Report, an analysis of statistical data on food security. This is the first in a series of reports to be published triennially. This landmark report shows we have a resilient and stable food supply-chain which adapted quickly throughout the pandemic. Perishable products across the food supply chain have continued to be delivered to meet demand.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. This includes extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains.

We are engaging with the food industry to collect evidence to devise appropriate solutions to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks.

Some of these Government-led key measures include: the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency's action to increase HGV tests to 3,000 per week; the Department for Transport's 16-week skills bootcamps to train new and returning drivers; and the streamlining of the HGV testing regulatory framework, increasing testing capacity by around 50,000.

In addition, the Transport Secretary has relaxed driver hours regulation, allowing more flexibility in response to supply disruptions from the Omicron variant. This relaxation will last until 10 February 2022 in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when their Environment Principles Policy Statement will be published.

We will publish the environmental principles draft policy statement as soon as possible, following the consultation we carried out last year. In the meantime, we are working closely with departments to support them in planning for implementing the duty to have due regard to the policy statement.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opportunities for livestock producers in the UK in 2022.

Leaving the EU has provided a huge opportunity for UK agriculture to boost domestic productivity and improve its competitiveness - developing the next generation of food and farming technology, adopting the latest techniques and investing in skills and equipment. As a government we will always champion our farmers and producers, supporting them to grow more of our great British food.

In November we opened the new Farming Investment Fund which will provide grants to farmers, foresters, and growers in England (including contractors to these sectors) so that they can invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment.

We will also work with the sector to boost exports, building on the UK's growing reputation for high-quality food and drink, with high standards of animal welfare, traceability and sustainability. The Government will add eight new agri-food and drink attachés in priority markets. As well as posts in China, USA, India, Canada and Mexico, the agri-food attachés will be covering growth markets in the Gulf, Africa, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Existing attachés in China and the UAE have been pivotal in securing access for a greater range of products, driving export growth and building mutually supportive relationships with trading partners.

During the PM's visit to the US last year agreement was made regarding the small ruminant rule, which opens a valuable path for UK exports of lamb to the US. This achievement follows on from last year’s commencement of UK beef exports to the US for the first time in over 20 years. The UK beef sector can now begin to reap the economic benefits of trade with the US – with industry estimating beef exports will be worth £66 million over the next five years. The Mexican market is now also open for British pork for the first time, which means a potential boost of £50m over the first five years of trade. British exporters can now tap into this brand-new market, which boasts high demand for high quality pork meat. Last year, over £597 million of British food and drink exports headed to Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Farmers and food producers could now benefit hugely from better market access to a region that imports virtually all its food and has high demand for top-quality British produce including lamb.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of (1) the implications for producers and their livelihoods of the current bird flu outbreak, and (2) the availability of poultry for Christmas.

Defra’s avian influenza disease control measures aim to minimise the economic burden of the outbreak on the food, farming and tourism industries and the wider economy.

The Department works closely with poultry industry stakeholders and the impacts of the avian influenza outbreak are being monitored closely. Where avian influenza is confirmed on a premises, the producer receives compensation for any healthy birds culled for disease control purposes. Compensation is not available for sick birds or those that have died, or for consequential losses such as lost sales opportunities as a result of movement restrictions. These are well-established arrangements in line with the Animal Health Act 1981 (As amended).

Around 9 million British turkeys are reared for Christmas every year to some of the highest standards in the world. Although the supply of vets, catchers, farm staff and drivers remains a challenge for the poultry industry, recent avian influenza outbreaks at turkey farms are very unlikely to have any detrimental impact on the supply of British turkeys this Christmas.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 have been applied each of the last two years.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 ban the commercial third-party sale of puppies and kittens in England. This amendment, also known as Lucy's Law, came into force in April 2020. Any cases of pet dealers attempting to circumvent the ban on third-party sales should be reported to the relevant local authorities, as enforcers of the legislation. Defra does not hold the data for the application of Lucy’s Law by local authorities.

Defra recognises that raising awareness of deceitful sellers is another integral step towards tackling low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies. That is why we launched the communications campaign "Petfished" in March 2020 to raise the public's awareness of the consequences of buying from a low-welfare seller and challenging the assumption that it is easy to spot bad practice. The campaign also signposts to resources available to help people make good decisions and source from responsible breeders or rehoming centres in the UK.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the link between sewage spills and the disposal of wet wipes containing plastic; and what advice they plan to give to companies to reduce the use of plastic wipes.

We are committed to tackling the issues caused by wet wipes. On 20 November, we launched a call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastics, and this includes a chapter on wet wipes.

Defra continues to encourage the water industry and wet wipe manufacturers to work together to raise consumer awareness about the appropriate disposal of wet wipes and other non-flushable products.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the animal welfare implications of the shortage of workers in the processed meat sector; and what steps they are taking to address this.

Farmers have reported an overstocking of pigs on farms because of staff shortages in processing plants. This has the potential to lead to welfare issues for pigs on farm, due to overcrowding. The Government has implemented a number of measures to address the backlog and to reduce any on-farm animal welfare implications. Defra is not aware of any animal welfare issues in other meat processing sectors due to a shortage of workers.

The package of measures that Defra has provided to help to alleviate the backlog of pigs on farms and to ease potential welfare implications includes temporary work visas for up to 800 pork butchers and Private Storage Aid (PSA) and Slaughter Incentive Payment (SIP) schemes to facilitate an increase in the throughput of pigs through abattoirs.

Furthermore, in England and Scotland, the two meat levy bodies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and Quality Meat Scotland, suspended the statutory levy for pig farmers and producers during November 2021.

The Government will continue to monitor the evolving situation and is working closely with the industry through this challenging period.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many, and (2) which, measures they intend to take to reduce sewage discharges into rivers and coastal waters in the current price review.

Water companies set out the measures that are to be taken as part of a price review period in their business plans. For 2020-2025, water companies have committed £3.1 billion to a programme of improvements to monitoring and management of sewer overflows, including £1.9 billion of investment in the Thames Tideway Tunnel. This will deliver over 800 improvement schemes in response to Event Duration Monitoring insights and implementing additional monitoring to cover 100% of the network by the end of 2023.

Companies have also already re-opened their business plans as part of our efforts to build back greener from the pandemic. In July 2021, Ofwat approved a draft package of over £2.7 billion and as part of this new package of investment, companies committed an additional £144 million to help eliminate the harm caused by Storm Overflows and to trial the creation of two bathing rivers.

However, the Government has been clear that the current number of sewage discharges is unacceptable and that there is more to do. We have made tackling this a priority and are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

In July, the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator, Ofwat. In this publication, the Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from Storm Overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

Precisely which measures will be achieved by Water and Sewerage Companies in the next price review period will be a case for the Environment Agency and Water Companies to agree in the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) and will be reflected in water company business plans, but we have been clear that increased ambition is needed, and this will be laid out early in the new year.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the damage done by single use plastics in terms of causing flooding; and what steps they intend to take to reduce such damage.

Wet wipes are a significant contributor to sewer blockages - which can in turn contribute to flooding. Defra has recently launched a call for evidence to better understand the impact of wet wipes in sewers and is exploring options such as a ban on wipes containing plastic, a mandatory standard and labelling for all wipes. More information can be found at: Call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastic items - Defra - Citizen Space. More broadly, litter of all types can make flooding worse, and Defra’s proposed measures to reduce the use of single-use plastics, as well as broader measures to control litter and illegal waste will help mitigate this issue.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will bring forward regulations under Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

The Government is currently undertaking a review of the case for implementing Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The review will report in 2022.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Benyon on 17 November (HL Deb, col. 282), to what extent tenant farmers may claim for an environmental scheme as part of the Environmental Land Management Schemes without breaching their farm tenancy agreement.

The Government is working to ensure that the design of our future farming schemes is broadly accessible to as many land managers as possible including tenant farmers. As part of this we are considering questions around landlord consent and length of scheme agreement and we are exploring and testing how our new schemes might work in practice across different types of holdings and different types and lengths of tenancy agreements.

For our new environmental land management schemes to be successful, we need them to work for a wide range of farmers, foresters and other land managers including tenant farmers.

As part of the development of the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme, we have considered the needs of tenants and have worked closely with a number of organisations including the Tenant Farmers Association, Country Land and Business Association and National Farmers’ Union. We’re also working with tenants through our pilot, test and trials and user research

For the Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot, participants must have management control of the land included within the agreement for the duration of the pilot agreement. This is so that participants can fulfil the actions on the land whilst under agreement but has allowed tenants with land covered by short term tenancies to apply for the scheme pilot.

We are embedding the pilot learning and will continually review this eligibility to inform our development of all the future schemes including the early roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022.

Whilst land under Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancy Agreements and Farm Business Tenancy Agreements is substantially for agricultural use, landlords and tenants can work together positively to agree to diversifications including using the land for environmental improvements which can often be delivered alongside agricultural production.

To encourage this the Tenancy Reform Industry Group recently produced a Code of Good Practice CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE (rics.org) providing guidance to help tenants, landlords and their advisers take a positive and practical approach to agreeing variations to agricultural tenancy agreements that will help the sector adapt and make the most of new opportunities as we move through the agricultural transition period.

The Government encourages all tenants and landlords to work together and follow the Code of Practice on agreeing diversifications as we transition to new agricultural polices based on public money for public goods.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of landowners evicting tenant farmers that seek to use land for (1) water storage, (2) carbon sequestration, (3) tree planting, as part of Environmental Land Management Schemes; and what steps they are taking to mitigate any such risk.

The Government is working to ensure that the design of our future farming schemes is broadly accessible to as many land managers as possible including tenant farmers. As part of this we are considering questions around landlord consent and length of scheme agreement and we are exploring and testing how our new schemes might work in practice across different types of holdings and different types and lengths of tenancy agreements.

For our new environmental land management schemes to be successful, we need them to work for a wide range of farmers, foresters and other land managers including tenant farmers.

As part of the development of the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme, we have considered the needs of tenants and have worked closely with a number of organisations including the Tenant Farmers Association, Country Land and Business Association and National Farmers’ Union. We’re also working with tenants through our pilot, test and trials and user research

For the Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot, participants must have management control of the land included within the agreement for the duration of the pilot agreement. This is so that participants can fulfil the actions on the land whilst under agreement but has allowed tenants with land covered by short term tenancies to apply for the scheme pilot.

We are embedding the pilot learning and will continually review this eligibility to inform our development of all the future schemes including the early roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022.

Whilst land under Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancy Agreements and Farm Business Tenancy Agreements is substantially for agricultural use, landlords and tenants can work together positively to agree to diversifications including using the land for environmental improvements which can often be delivered alongside agricultural production.

To encourage this the Tenancy Reform Industry Group recently produced a Code of Good Practice CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE (rics.org) providing guidance to help tenants, landlords and their advisers take a positive and practical approach to agreeing variations to agricultural tenancy agreements that will help the sector adapt and make the most of new opportunities as we move through the agricultural transition period.

The Government encourages all tenants and landlords to work together and follow the Code of Practice on agreeing diversifications as we transition to new agricultural polices based on public money for public goods.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the requirement in farm tenancy agreements made under the (a) Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, or (b) Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 that the tenant is required to use the land exclusively for agriculture, and (2) the implications of this requirement on tenant farmers seeking to use land for (i) water storage, (ii) carbon sequestration, (iii) tree planting, as part of Environmental Land Management Schemes.

The Government is working to ensure that the design of our future farming schemes is broadly accessible to as many land managers as possible including tenant farmers. As part of this we are considering questions around landlord consent and length of scheme agreement and we are exploring and testing how our new schemes might work in practice across different types of holdings and different types and lengths of tenancy agreements.

For our new environmental land management schemes to be successful, we need them to work for a wide range of farmers, foresters and other land managers including tenant farmers.

As part of the development of the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme, we have considered the needs of tenants and have worked closely with a number of organisations including the Tenant Farmers Association, Country Land and Business Association and National Farmers’ Union. We’re also working with tenants through our pilot, test and trials and user research

For the Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot, participants must have management control of the land included within the agreement for the duration of the pilot agreement. This is so that participants can fulfil the actions on the land whilst under agreement but has allowed tenants with land covered by short term tenancies to apply for the scheme pilot.

We are embedding the pilot learning and will continually review this eligibility to inform our development of all the future schemes including the early roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022.

Whilst land under Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancy Agreements and Farm Business Tenancy Agreements is substantially for agricultural use, landlords and tenants can work together positively to agree to diversifications including using the land for environmental improvements which can often be delivered alongside agricultural production.

To encourage this the Tenancy Reform Industry Group recently produced a Code of Good Practice CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE (rics.org) providing guidance to help tenants, landlords and their advisers take a positive and practical approach to agreeing variations to agricultural tenancy agreements that will help the sector adapt and make the most of new opportunities as we move through the agricultural transition period.

The Government encourages all tenants and landlords to work together and follow the Code of Practice on agreeing diversifications as we transition to new agricultural polices based on public money for public goods.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they have on the catch taken by the EU Fisheries fleet in UK waters this year.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement requires both Parties to share information on records of catches from each other’s waters. The UK receives information on records of catches of quota and non-quota species from the UK Exclusive Economic Zone by EU vessels on a monthly basis.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the UK fishing fleet will continue to have access to their natural fishing grounds so that fishing is not displaced by inshore windfarms.

The Government is committed to promoting a more competitive, profitable and sustainable fishing industry across the whole of the UK, and setting a gold standard for sustainable fishing around the world. We are also committed to delivering 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 to deliver net zero. We recognise the spatial challenges this presents, for these industries and others.

Our existing English Marine Plans, which are in place for all English waters, seek to encourage opportunities for co-existence between fishing and other activities as well as promote new ways of working. However, we recognise that a greater level of spatial prioritisation may be required to enable this. A new cross-UK Government programme has been established to create a shared 2050 strategic vision for the marine environment. It will enable the Government to deliver on its commitments including net zero and sustainable fisheries.

This month, my department is also hosting a workshop with both the fishing and offshore wind industries to discuss the opportunities and challenges for co-location of activities.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the pressure on the management of non-quota species and the impact this will have on the UK Inshore Fisheries fleet.

There are over 200 non-quota species (NQS). We are working to develop our evidence base for the current management regime for NQS, which is complex and irregular in places. Some of our most valuable and vulnerable species are NQS and there would be a significant impact on the inshore fleet and other fishers if the stocks are not well managed.

We are looking at how best to improve management and believe that the Fisheries Management Plans offer the best way to do so, working with the EU where appropriate.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prepare for the requirement for mandatory veterinary health certificates for imports from the EU, that come into force on 1 October.

The Government has set out a new timetable for introducing full import controls for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

The new timetable considers the challenges businesses have faced due to the global pandemic, as well as its impact on supply chains across the UK and Europe. The Government believes a more pragmatic timetable will help give businesses time to recover from the pandemic and adjust to the new processes.

The controls will now be phased in across 2022.

From 1 July 2022:

  • The new requirements for GB Export Health Certificates from EU exporters, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary certificates for lower risk plant produce, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts will now begin on 1 July 2022.

All current controls for live animals, products of animal origin under safeguard measures and high priority plants and plant products remain unchanged.

In addition, the following customs controls will be phased in:

  • Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced.
  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.

The new timeline allows importers, exporters and EU certifiers more time to prepare for the requirements and controls. It will ensure we reduce any anticipated disruption when these measures are introduced.

Defra has been working hard with businesses to ensure they are prepared and has run numerous webinars and advice sessions, attended by around 4,000 businesses.

Around 4,600 businesses are already registered for the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). More than 13,000 individual users are registered for IPAFFS.

The process is simple and only requires a Government Gateway account to register. We have sought to make these processes as straightforward as possible, and many thousands of businesses are already prepared for their introduction.

Defra is working closely with customs agents who are keen to provide import and export support to businesses. We are looking to provide digital solutions to simplify processes and encouraging more agents to offer pre-notification support and support to EU exporters.

Pre-notification procedures from January 2022 to July 2022 have been reduced and now mirror the current import process introduced for live animals in January this year, requiring importers or their agents to complete 15 simple information boxes on IPAFFS.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the European Union on the implementation of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in relation to fishing rights and quotas in the waters around the Channel Islands.

We have had regular engagement, at all levels, with the European Union on implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in relation to fishing in the Channel Islands’ territorial seas and will continue to do so.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to negotiate a sanitary and phytosanitary trade agreement with the EU.

The sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) chapter of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement puts in place a framework that allows the UK and the EU to take informed decisions to reduce their respective SPS controls, with a commitment to avoid unnecessary barriers. It is in both Parties’ interests to use this framework to reduce the rate of SPS checks required.

We are open to discussion with the EU on an agreement that goes further in reducing trade frictions between us, but it cannot be on the basis of alignment with EU rules as this would compromise UK sovereignty over our own laws

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Specialised Committee on Fisheries to be established under the provisions of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

• The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for a number of Specialised Committees which sit underneath the Partnership Council. The Specialised Committee on Fisheries will provide a forum for discussion and co-operation in relation to sustainable fisheries management.

• Until the TCA has been ratified in European parliament, the Partnership Council and Specialised Committees will not become operational. The membership and administration of the Partnership Council and the supporting Specialised Committees is being worked through at a UK level in anticipation of ratification.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to digitise export health certificates and other customs documents required for exporting goods to the EU.

The Export Health Certificate Online (EHC Online) service is currently live with digitised forms covering all EU exports and currently covering just over 80% of rest of the world trade. To date, in excess of 130,000 EHC's have been applied for on the service and the system is working well.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be any legislative restrictions placed on the burning of coal by the UK heritage industry other than the ban on sales of house coal and wet wood in England.

The Government understands the importance of securing the long term viability of the Heritage Sector. The legislation which will come into force from May 2021 is applicable in England only and will end the sale of bituminous coal and smaller quantities of wet wood to households which will lead to significant health benefits. The legislation will not directly impact on the sale of coal to businesses such as the Heritage Sector, although we acknowledge the potential indirect impact this may have on the supply.

Defra currently has no further plans to restrict the use or sale of bituminous coal in England, however the Devolved Administrations are considering their approach to the burning of household solid fuels. On 13 January the Welsh Government published a consultation on reducing emissions from domestic burning of solid fuels to ensure only the cleanest forms of solid fuel and appliances are used in Wales, containing proposals in line with the new legislation in England.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effectiveness of existing flood warning systems, and (2) the level of investment in flood defences.

Over 1.52 million properties in England are signed up to the Environment Agency's (EA) free flood warning service, which sends a message directly by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued.

Our latest assessment from September 2020 showed that the EA’s Flood Warning Service is available to 84% of those who live in areas of flood risk (target 83%).

The take up is 82% by those who are offered the service (target 80%). The EA continues to work on improving performance against measures on flood warning quality (timeliness and accuracy, message quality).

There are millions of visits every year to the online Flood Information Service. This provides the public with an opportunity to give feedback on the service provided. From July to December 2020, 61% said that they were either satisfied or very satisfied.

Direct user feedback helps to target where improvements are needed and make best use of government funding. For example, as part of the discovery work for the NeXt Warning System, the EA looked into how the current flood warning service and supporting systems are designed, support and delivered. The report proposes recommendations on how they can build a next generation flood warning system to better support the needs of the users, the business and wider government.

Since 2010 the Environment Agency (and Natural Resources Wales) has worked with telephone providers to access and automatically register landline phone numbers onto the flood warning system. The service, which automatically adds phone numbers registered in areas at risk of flooding, now encompasses all four major Mobile Network Operators – O2, Three, Vodafone and EE.

From April 2021, the new 6-year £5.2 billion capital investment programme, announced in the March 2020 Budget, will start. This will ensure a further 336,000 homes and non-residential properties such as businesses, schools and hospitals are better protected from flooding and coastal erosion.

£24.9 million of this investment will be allocated annually to run the Flood Incident Management service which directly supports costs for Flood Warnings. In addition, £23.1 million will be spent over the next 5 years for developing and enhancing the service.

The Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme has also allocated £150 million from 2021 to 2027 for ‘resilience actions’, such as tailored flood warning systems.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with relevant water management bodies, including (1) water companies and, (2) the Association of Drainage Authorities, about (a) increasing the maintenance of water courses, (b) achieving integrated catchment management, and (c) increasing private sector investment in flood defences.

Ministers and officials meet regularly with water companies, the Association of Drainage Authorities and other stakeholders to discuss these and other matters that will help secure our long term resilience to flooding and costal erosion.

In July 2020 the Government published its long-term Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Policy Statement which sets out the Government's ambition to create a nation more resilient to future flood and coastal erosion risk. The Policy Statement sets out five key policies and over 40 actions, to deliver an integrated approach to managing water and develop a diverse range of sustainable funding and finance opportunities.

Between 2015 and 2020 we committed over £1 billion on the maintenance of flood defence assets. This is a real term increase in spending compared to the £812 million spent in the previous five years. Our Policy statement includes our commitment to ensure that there is a long-term approach to maintain our network of flood defences across the country, through a combination of investment and action by risk management authorities, government, riparian owners and wider beneficiaries. This, and all the actions set out in the Government's Policy Statement will continue to be delivered in partnership with all our stakeholders.

The Government's Strategic Policy Statement already requires Ofwat to ensure water companies improve planning and investment to prevent wastewater flooding and to improve infrastructure resilience against extreme flood events. Following the 2019 Price Review the water sector has committed to invest more than £1 billion to protect the environment, homes, businesses and drinking water from flooding.

Water companies are developing Drainage and Sewerage Management Plans that will inform the next price review. These plans provide a framework for organisations to work together, through which joint solutions and approaches can be developed to improve drainage and environmental water quality. Water companies are participating in and, in some cases, fund the Catchment Based Approach which is one of the Government's key mechanisms to deliver integrated catchment management.

Ahead of the next price review in 2024, the Government has committed to consider if additional outcome measures are required through future Price Reviews and the Environment Agency and Ofwat will develop a joint approach for how water companies should address flood and coastal resilience.

Between 2015-2021 the government's partnership investment programme has generated over £500 million from private and public sources to complement the government's grant in aid budget. This investment has helped deliver flood defence projects across England helping the Government meet its commitment of better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding.

The Government's Policy Statement sets out how we will explore opportunities to further incentivise contributions from others including from businesses and the private sector. On 1 February we published a call for evidence on strengthening the assessment of local factors in the government's flood and coastal defence programme, including how we can incentivise increased private sector contributions to flood and coastal defence projects.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role farmers can play in improving biodiversity in their preparations for participation in the Conference on the Convention on Biodiversity in 2021.

Farmers have a crucial role to play in implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity at home.

This role was evident from the evaluation of Biodiversity 2020, the Government’s previous strategy for implementing the Convention commitments in England. This report, published in 2019, found strong partnerships that included farmers and landowners had supported progress in driving forward our biodiversity goals on land, by managing habitat condition, extent and connectivity. Agri-environment schemes were considered in the report to be the main mechanisms by which biodiversity improvements have been delivered. It highlighted how farmers and landowners, through agri-environment options and partnership working with Government and the conservation community, had supported the recovery of declining species, including cirl bunting and turtle dove.

Domestic biodiversity and land management policy is devolved in the UK. We are developing a new strategy for nature to replace Biodiversity 2020 in England. We expect the new strategy will continue to stress the importance of farmers, farming and wider land management as we take forward our plans under a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as those set out under our 25 Year Environment Plan.

Our new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be a powerful tool for delivering the goals of our 25 Year Environment Plan, including for biodiversity, on farmed land in England. Environmental Land Management will also play a role in supporting the “30by30” target, to protect 30% of England’s land for biodiversity by 2030, through habitat creation and restoration, or securing long-term management and protection for wildlife-rich habitats.

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Kunming, China in 2021. The make-up of the UK delegation will be confirmed closer to the time and will be dependent on the conference agenda.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to include farming representatives in the UK delegation to the Conference on the Convention on Biodiversity in 2021.

Farmers have a crucial role to play in implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity at home.

This role was evident from the evaluation of Biodiversity 2020, the Government’s previous strategy for implementing the Convention commitments in England. This report, published in 2019, found strong partnerships that included farmers and landowners had supported progress in driving forward our biodiversity goals on land, by managing habitat condition, extent and connectivity. Agri-environment schemes were considered in the report to be the main mechanisms by which biodiversity improvements have been delivered. It highlighted how farmers and landowners, through agri-environment options and partnership working with Government and the conservation community, had supported the recovery of declining species, including cirl bunting and turtle dove.

Domestic biodiversity and land management policy is devolved in the UK. We are developing a new strategy for nature to replace Biodiversity 2020 in England. We expect the new strategy will continue to stress the importance of farmers, farming and wider land management as we take forward our plans under a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as those set out under our 25 Year Environment Plan.

Our new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be a powerful tool for delivering the goals of our 25 Year Environment Plan, including for biodiversity, on farmed land in England. Environmental Land Management will also play a role in supporting the “30by30” target, to protect 30% of England’s land for biodiversity by 2030, through habitat creation and restoration, or securing long-term management and protection for wildlife-rich habitats.

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Kunming, China in 2021. The make-up of the UK delegation will be confirmed closer to the time and will be dependent on the conference agenda.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES); if so, when; and what annual budget they intend to allocate for ICES' research and scientific activities from 2021.

The UK is in the process of finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The UK expects to sign the MoU in time for it to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

The cost to the UK for advice received from ICES will be outlined within the MoU.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) the construction of, and (2) the underwater noise levels caused by, wind turbines at sea on (a) dolphins, (b) porpoises, (c) whales, (d) seals, and (e) other marine life; and what steps they are taking to mitigate any such impact.

Defra has commissioned a number of projects to assess the impact of underwater noise pollution. These include several projects to set targets for Good Environmental Status (GES) under descriptor 11 (marine noise) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which assesses noise and its effects on marine species including fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates. Most recently, we have this year published a risk assessment of underwater noise pollution in Special Areas of Conservation for marine mammals, wider Marine Protected Areas and throughout the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.

A Defra project is currently investigating effectiveness of existing, new and emerging mitigation techniques for offshore wind. We are working with other Government bodies, The Crown Estate, industry and wider stakeholders to mitigate against, and prepare for, any environmental impacts of growth in the offshore wind sector

To mitigate the impact of underwater noise in the Southern North Sea we have worked with the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to publish guidance for assessing the significance of noise disturbance against Conservation Objectives of harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation and continue to work with industry and marine regulators on its implementation.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what relationship they plan to have with the EU's Scientific Review Group after 1 January 2021.

As we have left the EU we will no longer participate in, or be bound by, EU structures, including the EU Scientific Review Group which comprises representatives from EU Member States’ Scientific Authorities. Our Scientific Authorities, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, will continue to provide scientific advice on a range of CITES matters and collaborate internationally with other CITES Scientific Authorities to ensure we remain a world leader in environmental protection.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the power to prohibit the holding of specimens including live animals under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been removed; if so, (1) why, and (2) what plans they have to reverse any such removal.

The Environment and Wildlife (Miscellaneous Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 do not lessen government powers or weaken our implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The provision in Council Regulation 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein states that Member States ‘may prohibit the holding of specimens, in particular live animals of the species listed in Annex A’.

Rather than conferring any legislative powers, this provision simply states that EU Member States have discretion to act should it be considered necessary. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will continue to be able to act, meaning the inclusion of the provision in retained direct EU legislation would be an unnecessary statement of the government’s ability to put in place legislation. Its omission does not lessen existing powers or weaken our controls on endangered species.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what happens to the fines levied under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; and what plans they have, if any, to use any money raised by such fines solely for the benefit of wildlife and endangered species.

CITES offences and penalties are used as a deterrent to illegal wildlife trade which in turn protects wildlife and endangered species. The collection of fines resulting from convictions under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations (COTES) is undertaken by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

With the agreement of HM Treasury (HMT), as part of its Spending Round 2015 settlement the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been permitted to retain receipts from all fine collections. These receipts form part of the overall settlement provided by HMT to MoJ to operate the Courts and Tribunals Service and are used for this purpose.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the damage caused by sky lanterns; and what plans they have to impose a national ban on such lanterns in rural areas.

In 2013, the UK and Welsh Governments jointly commissioned an independent study looking at the impacts of sky lanterns and helium balloons on livestock and the environment. The report concluded that the impact was generally low, though did highlight a potential fire safety risk.

Any action the Government takes must be proportionate to the level of risk and we have concluded, based on the results of this research, that an outright ban would be disproportionate in the circumstances. Should evidence that this approach is no longer sufficient arise, we will take the necessary action.

We do recognise the need to protect our environment and wildlife and have therefore used media messaging to encourage people and businesses to consider the risks before releasing lanterns.

There may be times when a local ban is appropriate as part of a wider strategic approach. and local authorities already have powers to restrict or ban the use of sky lanterns on council or public land. Many councils in England, Scotland and Wales have applied such a ban. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of single-use products.

Voluntary actions and initiatives aimed at minimising the risks associated with sky lanterns and driving up safety standards have been effective. This includes a voluntary Code of Practice for sky lanterns developed by industry with Government support to ensure that they are manufactured to be safe and are sold responsibly. Sky lanterns also fall in scope of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 which oblige producers and distributors to place only safe consumer products on the market.

As the law stands in England, it is conceivable that a magistrates’ court would conclude that a release of sky lanterns constitutes a littering offence. Section 87 of the?Environmental Protection Act 1990 says: “A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter in any place to which this section applies and leaves it”. Ultimately it would be for a court to rule whether this phrase would cover sky lantern releases.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of export health certificates for animal products that will need to be issued from 1 January 2021; and what is their current capacity for issuing these certificates.

New requirements for export health certificates (EHCs) for goods moving from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021 may increase demand for EHCs for products of animal origin (POAO) by up to five times, compared with the approximately 57,000 issued for third country trade in 2017. To meet this possible demand, we have increased the number of Official Vets (OVs) holding the relevant qualification to certify POAO exports from around 600 in February 2019 to more than 1200 today, with further funded training announced on 1 October 2020. In addition, around 1000 Food Competent Certifying Officers (FCCOs) working in 153 different local authorities across Great Britain can certify some exports and therefore contribute towards certification capacity. We have also introduced the role of Certification Support Officers (CSOs) to help reduce the burden on OVs and FCCOs. CSOs are able to carry out preliminary and administrative work to prepare consignments for export. On 1 October, we announced additional funded training to help increase the number of CSOs from 96 qualified and authorised by APHA.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the UK is facing a critical shortage of veterinarians; and what steps they are taking to increase veterinary capacity.

The Department is aware of staff shortages within the veterinary profession which has an existing job vacancy rate of around 10%. Defra is working with the UK veterinary profession to address the UK’s veterinary resourcing needs and to ensure capacity in both the short and long term.

With support from stakeholders, the Department was successful in ensuring that veterinarians were added to the UK Shortage Occupation List in September 2019. This will make it easier for UK employers to recruit vets from overseas. Additionally, two new veterinary schools have been opened to expand the number of UK veterinary graduates in the future.

To support official veterinarians further, Defra created a Certification Support Officer (CSO) role to help work on export certification. Additionally, to ease the burden of statutory TB skin testing of cattle, from 2 November 2020, Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) can be employed and trained by private veterinary businesses in England.

15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Burning as a tool for the restoration of upland blanket bog: Position Statement by Natural England, published in February 2019, which advises that "in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to carry out a one-off burn for the purposes of restoration"; and what steps they intend to take in response to that advice before imposing any blanket ban on such burning.

The Government has always been clear of the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats, and we are looking at how legislation could achieve this. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives. We have urged landowners to adopt these and continue to work with them constructively.

Any legislative proposals will be developed with consideration of the expert advice of Natural England. These considerations are complex, but it is important that we take the right steps to restore and protect this valuable habitat.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the Environment Agency, and (2) water companies in England, about testing waste water for COVID-19; and what plans they have to use the results of such tests to detect early warning signs of community COVID-19 outbreaks.

Defra, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) have been working together since April 2020 to establish a national monitoring programme to detect fragments of genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in waste water. The programme was announced by Defra in a press release on 12 June. Data from the programme is being used as an early warning system to detect the presence of the virus in the population. The programme could not have been established without close collaboration with the water companies. Defra, EA and JBC continue to work with water companies to further develop and refine the work programme.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendations on the standards for food imports which should apply in international trade agreements in the report by Henry Dimbleby National Food Strategy: Part One, published on 29 July.

The Government has a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

We will use all appropriate policy levers available to us to achieve our policy aims ensuring that trade agreements live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK.

The National Food Strategy recommends that the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission consider this issue. As noted in the public record of its meeting of 21 August, available online, the Commission has already started discussing its response. The membership agreed to deliberate further on some of the report’s recommendations on the international framework of rules and standards.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in agreeing common frameworks with the devolved administrations, in particular in regard to (1) trade, (2) agriculture, and (3) fisheries, policies.

Defra is working closely with the Devolved Administrations to agree the common frameworks that we will need for those returning EU powers that intersect with Devolved competence. We have made significant progress in developing the policy content of the frameworks mentioned and these will be shared for parliamentary scrutiny at the appropriate stage of policy development. The set of principles, including the need to ensure that frameworks support the UK’s international trade obligations, agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee for EU negotiations in October 2017 guide Defra and the Devolved Administrations in the development of these frameworks.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to clarify their relationship with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea; and when they expect to conclude the agreements that are necessary before 31 December.

The UK has agreed in principle a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This will ensure the advice we require is in place so that the UK can continue to meet its international and domestic commitments and obligations on sustainability. The MoU will be signed by December 2020, entering into force on 1 January 2021.

The UK has been a member of ICES since its inception in 1902 and we intend to continue playing a strong role in it in the future. UK scientists make a significant contribution to the science that generates ICES’s advice, including annual recommendations for total allowable catches, and they will continue to provide their scientific expertise. The UK will continue to provide strong support for ICES’s scientific activities in 2020 and beyond.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the farming and agricultural sectors.

The Government is aware that coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. We are working closely alongside the agricultural industry to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts on farming and the agricultural sectors.

Defra’s Food Chain Emergency Liaison Group (FCELG) is meeting regularly to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the food and farming sectors across the UK, and what actions are needed to support the sectors. This group includes the National Farmers Union (NFU), other industry stakeholders and the devolved administrations.

Since 18 March, the UK Agricultural Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG) has increased the frequency of its meetings to weekly. Its aim is to monitor UK agricultural markets and provide forewarning of any atypical market movements. During the coronavirus outbreak this is allowing Defra and the devolved administrations to share the latest stakeholder information to assess the effects of COVID-19 on the agricultural industry, as well as prepare the evidence base for a possible range of interventions needed in specific markets, or geographical regions.

Officials are having regular meetings with the different agricultural sectors to understand the specific issues affecting each sector. We have also provided all agricultural industry stakeholders with a central point of contact to send details of any emerging impacts as and when they arise.

The Secretary of State remains in regular contact with representatives of the farming and agricultural sectors and will continue to engage with them on the effects of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with the farming sectors to respond to emerging issues as they arise.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of municipal waste site closures on the prevalence of fly tipping; and what advice they provide to local councils about reducing the incidence of fly tipping.

Fly-tipping is unacceptable and the Government is committed to tackling this crime.

We are aware of reports of an increase in fly-tipping and that, anecdotally, this may be a result of the decisions taken by local authorities to close household waste recycling centres. However, this does not appear to be consistent across the country. We have requested fly-tipping incident data through the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG), chaired by Defra, which includes local authorities and other key stakeholders, to help us to monitor the situation.

We have published guidance to help local authorities prioritise waste services. This recommends keeping household waste recycling centres open if it is safe to do so and that the clearance of fly-tipped material should be given a high priority. The Government has been working with local authorities to explore ways in which household waste recycling centres that have been closed might be re-opened, whilst observing social distancing and other requirements. The Government published guidance on this on 5 May 2020.

Through the NFTPG, we have also disseminated messaging aimed at householders promoting the secure storage of waste, use of registered waste carriers and reiterating that waste must not be fly-tipped.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy on the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and, in particular, genome-edited crops; and what plans they have to make regulations to address any potential danger of cross-contamination with non-GMO products.

The UK Government takes a science-based approach to genetically modified organism (GMO) policy and regulation. Our view is that genome-edited organisms should not be subject to GMO regulation if the DNA changes could have occurred naturally, or through traditional breeding methods.

No genetically modified or genome-edited crops are grown commercially in the UK.

The UK Government supports choice for both farmers and consumers. Before any GMO crops are grown here, we will need to put rules in place to segregate production methods and facilitate that choice. These rules will be based on independent scientific advice and they will take the potential for cross-pollination into account.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the recommendations contained in the report by Sir Michael Pitt The Pitt Review: Lessons learned from the 2007 floods, published on 25 June 2008, in particular to end developers’ automatic right to connect new developments to public sewers.

The Government implemented recommendations from Sir Michael Pitt’s review through the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on the Post-legislative scrutiny of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 was in its Sixth Report of Session 2016–17, published on 26 April 2017.

The Government response to the Committee’s report notes that planning practice guidance includes a hierarchy for sustainable drainage options that favours non-sewer solutions. Draining to a combined sewer should be the least favoured option in new development, to be considered when sustainable drainage options are not reasonably practicable. Removing the right to connect to an existing sewer therefore would offer no clear benefits over current arrangements and is likely to add costs and delay to the planning process for new housing.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the environmental damage caused by spillages from combined sewer overflows releasing raw sewage into rivers; and what plans they have to prevent such spillages.

Combined sewers that carry surface water from roofs and roads together with sewage from homes are a common sewage system. On occasion, storm sewage discharges occur from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) when the risk of sewer flooding is high and pipework capacity is exceeded. This is done to reduce the flood risk to homes and businesses. The Environment Agency (EA) has looked at the reasons for rivers not achieving good ecological status and found that about 3% of water bodies are failing due to the impact of CSOs.

To prevent spillages, between 2015 to 2020 water companies are installing monitors on up to 13,000 of the 15,000 CSOs in England. These will measure how often and for how long they operate, helping inform where improvement works may be required and providing information to the public about spills. This information has been used to help develop the environmental programme that the water companies will be implementing over the next five years. This includes further monitoring of CSOs, over 700 investigations and more than 200 schemes for environmental improvement or to reduce the spills from CSOs.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they promote and develop (1) food security, and (2) self-sufficiency, in the production of UK food.

Our landmark Agriculture Bill sets out a clear path for future policy to support farming and the environment which includes commitments to regularly review our food security.

As part of the Bill, we are including a new requirement for the UK Government to regularly report on food security to Parliament, demonstrating the importance we place on this subject. The report will contain information on the role of strong domestic production alongside diverse sources of supply. It will encompass a range of current issues relevant to food security including global food availability; supply of food sources; the resilience of the supply chain for food; household expenditure on food; food safety and consumer confidence in food.

The UK has a high degree of food security, built on access to a range of different sources including strong domestic production and imports from other countries, demonstrated by the UK's current production to supply ratio of 75% for indigenous-type foods and 60% for all foods

The National Food Strategy will cover the entire food chain from field to fork, building on work already underway in Defra.

It will address the challenges of supporting people to eat healthy diets, producing food sustainably and protecting national food security, whilst also looking at related issues such as food price and trade.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made as to whether the progress of negotiating free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements is constrained by a lack of staff and resources.

The Government has an ambitious programme of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. When delivering any programme, but particularly one of such scope and ambition as our FTA programme, resource will always be a constraint.

To achieve the best outcomes for the UK, we manage the delivery of our work to ensure that we use our finite resource in the right way. This has allowed the Department to realise unparalleled success in the delivery of our FTA programme. So far, we have agreed trade deals with 70 countries plus the EU. Those deals covered £766 billion of our bilateral trade in 2020.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what priority they are giving to negotiating economic partnership agreements with Commonwealth countries.

We are committed to working with our friends and allies in the Commonwealth to remove unnecessary barriers to free and fair trade.

The UK already has trade deals with 33 Commonwealth members. In addition, a further 15 Commonwealth members who qualify as developing countries benefit from reduced tariffs under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 4 November (HL3304), when the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) will advise on the free trade agreements negotiated between the UK and (1) Australia, and (2) New Zealand; and whether the TAC will provide their advice before the agreements are finalised.

As agreed during the passage of the Trade Act 2021, the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) will consider whether the relevant provisions of an FTA are consistent with the maintenance of UK levels of statutory protection in relation to: animal and plant life or health; animal welfare; and the environment. In line with this, the TAC will consider the agreement after it has been signed but prior to it be laid before Parliament under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act. The TAC will not advise on policy or live negotiations.

The TAC will commence its scrutiny of the free trade agreements negotiated between the UK and (1) Australia, and (2) New Zealand following signature of these agreements. The TAC will then have a minimum of three months to prepare its advice.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that imported meat and food products under any Free Trade Agreement meet the same high standards of production in terms of (1) animal welfare, and (2) health environmental conditions of home produce; and whether failure to meet such standards will mean these imports will not be allowed.

HM Government remains committed to Britain’s high animal welfare, food safety, environmental, product and labour standards. We have established the Trade and Agriculture Commission and placed it on a statutory footing to independently help us make sure that British food safety standards are protected throughout trade negotiations.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on British farmers of the Free Trade Agreements negotiated with (1) Australia, and (2) New Zealand.

We have engaged closely with farmers seeking their views throughout negotiations. The Agreements will include protections for the agriculture industry, and we have a range of tools to defend British farming against any unfair trading practices.

Following the conclusion of negotiations, full impact assessments will be published which set out the impacts of the Agreements.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Minsterial Forum set up to include the devolved administrations in trade policy and trade agreements last met; how often it has met since it was established; and what is the composition and remit of the Forum.

The Ministerial Forum for Trade last met on 22nd April 2020. It has been convened twice since it was established in January of this year and will meet again in the coming weeks. The Forum is chaired by my Hon Friend, the Minister of State for Trade Policy, and membership comprises Ministerial representatives from each Devolved Administration and UK Government Territorial Offices. The forum covers matters of trade policy, including the UK’s current and future negotiations, priorities at the WTO and trade disputes.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the (1) remit, and (2) composition, of the proposed Trade and Agriculture Commission; and whether the Commission's recommendations to the Government will be binding.

The Department for International Trade has announced on Friday 10 July further details of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission which has been set up to act as an advisory board to my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade.

The Commission will be chaired by Tim Smith, former director of FSA, and will have a fixed term of six months to consider trade policies that Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, producers and exporters. The Commission will ensure the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined. At the end of its work, the Trade and Agriculture Commission will produce an advisory report which will be presented to Parliament by the Department for International Trade. The recommendations will not be binding as the Commission has an advisory role.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the UK insurance sector regarding insurance cover for the users of e-scooters.

As part of The Future of Transport Regulatory Review, the Department is reviewing regulations for micromobility vehicles, including e-scooters. Further conversations will be held as more evidence from e-scooter trials and wider sources is collected. These will feed into considerations for how best to regulate e-scooters, including whether to require insurance and, if so, what kind.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to introduce compulsory insurance for e-scooters; and if so, how that measure would be enforced.

Users are required to scan their driving licence via the operator’s app in order to verify their eligibility to ride an e-scooter. In some cases this is done via facial-recognition technology where the user must scan their driving licence and then take a clear photo of themselves on the operator’s app. This allows the operator to verify that the user is using a valid driving licence and is at least 16 years old. Some operators use manual verification of driving licences before allowing users to rent an e-scooter.

Additionally, the police have powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 and seize e-scooters, if an individual is found to be driving without a driving licence or is under the age of 16.

As part of its stakeholder engagement, the Department is in continuous contact with representatives of the motor insurance industry and as part of that, does discuss e-scooters to understand their views.

Ministers are currently considering options for how best to regulate e-scooters, including whether to require insurance and, if so, what kind.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks are undertaken in e-scooter rental trials to ensure that those who use the e-scooters (1) hold the appropriate driving licence, and (2) are at least 16 years old.

Users are required to scan their driving licence via the operator’s app in order to verify their eligibility to ride an e-scooter. In some cases this is done via facial-recognition technology where the user must scan their driving licence and then take a clear photo of themselves on the operator’s app. This allows the operator to verify that the user is using a valid driving licence and is at least 16 years old. Some operators use manual verification of driving licences before allowing users to rent an e-scooter.

Additionally, the police have powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 and seize e-scooters, if an individual is found to be driving without a driving licence or is under the age of 16.

As part of its stakeholder engagement, the Department is in continuous contact with representatives of the motor insurance industry and as part of that, does discuss e-scooters to understand their views.

Ministers are currently considering options for how best to regulate e-scooters, including whether to require insurance and, if so, what kind.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend road traffic legislation to make causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling an offence; and whether any such changes would cover (1) electrically assisted pedal cycles, and (2) e-scooters.

The Department for Transport is working on addressing concerns around dangerous cycling and will publish conclusions in due course. Decisions on which modes of transport might be covered by any new legislation will be taken at the time.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) motoring organisations, and (2) other road users, regarding the imminent changes to the Highway Code.

When carrying out the review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, the Department for Transport worked closely with an expert stakeholder group from the outset representing different users of the road. All road users had the opportunity to shape the changes to The Highway Code through a 12-week formal consultation process.

The Department has been and continues to work with a broad range of stakeholders including Cycling UK, the AA, RAC, Road Haulage Association and the British Horse Society on a communications campaign to raise awareness of the changes that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of all road users.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on facilitating international travel; and what plans they have (1) to clarify the status of countries on the green list, and (2) to reduce the cost of PCR tests.

The Global Travel Taskforce outlined plans for the safe and sustainable reopening of international travel using a traffic light system. The traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. Country categorisation is published on gov.uk.

The Government continues to work with the travel industry and private testing providers to further reduce testing costs, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible. The price of tests has reduced significantly over recent weeks, and several providers are offering Day 2 tests for green arrivals for under £50.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a hard copy passenger locator form on all (1) flights, (2) ferry journeys, and (3) Eurostar train journeys, arriving into the UK, to improve tracking of passengers and their compliance with self-isolation rules.

The passenger locator form is designed to track and trace those individuals who may have come into contact with another person who has, or goes on to develop, coronavirus. It is also used to monitor self-isolation of those individuals who have been abroad and returned to the UK and who are not exempt from self-isolation measures.

The PLF was introduced as an electronic form, and allows Public Health England to conduct fast and efficient contact tracing.

The vast majority of arriving passengers are complying with all the requirements of the Covid-19 related health regulations at the border.

Border Force Officers are on hand at the Border to help passengers who may struggle to submit an electronic form.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the sale of alcohol airside at international airports in the UK; and what plans they have to bring such sales into line with the sale of alcohol landside.

The Government keeps the matter of licencing at airports under consideration. There are tough penalties in place for drunk and disruptive behaviour onboard an aircraft, including imprisonment for up to two years or an unlimited fine. Pilots also have the power to deny boarding or force passengers to disembark a plane if they are drunk and threaten the safety of the aircraft or its passengers.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to keep the public service obligation for Belfast International Airport under review.

The Government recognises that connectivity between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is vital, which is why we secured a £5.7 million support package in May this year to temporarily support the last remaining service from Belfast to London during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK policy on public service obligations (PSO) is to protect existing routes into London that are in danger of being lost. It is for the relevant local authority or devolved administration to determine the need for a PSO on a route and to submit a business case to DfT for consideration. The local authority must also hold a full and open tender to select an airline to operate the route on an exclusive basis. Airlines select the airports they wish to operate from, if there is more than one option available, as part of their bid.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy; and when they plan to publish an updated version.

The Government remains committed to delivering the aims and ambitions set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and progress to date is set out in the first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Report to Parliament published in February 2020.

On the 9 May, the Government announced a £2 billion package of funding for cycling and walking over the next five years. Later this summer, the Government will say more about plans to update the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, to build on the new opportunities that this funding provides.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what source of energy (1) is, and (2) is planned to be, used to power electric (a) buses, and (b) cars; and what estimate they have made of the sustainability of those sources of energy.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy produce annual statistics and future projections of UK energy demand currently up to 2035. Of electricity generated in 2019, low carbon electricity’s share of generation amounted to 54.2 per cent. This comprised 36.9 per cent renewables and 17.4 per cent from nuclear generation. Fossil fuel’s share of generation was 43.4 per cent, of which 40.9 per cent was from gas, 2.1 per cent coal and 0.3 per cent oil. The remaining 2.4 per cent generation share came from pumped storage and other fuels including the non-renewable component of waste. It is not possible to identify accurately what proportion of energy is used to recharge electric buses and other electric vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation took place to inform the new guidance on cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic; and how they intend to police that guidance. [T]

This guidance has been fast-tracked without consultation because of the need to make sure the opportunity to improve cycling and walking facilities is not missed – the Government has only a few weeks in which action can be taken. The guidance will be reviewed after 3 months and local authorities and others will be involved in that process.

The guidance sets out our vision for ensuring active travel is embedded in local authorities’ green restart plans. We expect them to be prioritising walking and cycling and considering how to make adjustments to their roads to enable social distancing. The Department is not responsible for policing what local authorities implement on their roads.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to reviewing the rate of inflation figure used for state pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions is required by law to undertake an annual review of benefits and pensions. CPI in the year to September is the latest figure that the Department for Work and Pensions can use to allow sufficient time for the required operational changes before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year.

All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September.

The Department for Work and Pensions decisions regarding benefits/pensions for 2022/23 were announced to Parliament on 25 November 2021 and the increase of 3.1 per cent from April 2022 was agreed by both Houses of Parliament.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that pensioners with (1) vision, and (2) hearing, impairments are able to apply for Pension Credit.

Individuals wishing to claim Pension Credit can do so by telephone, online or by postal claim form. Within these three options, there are a number of different ways the Department communicates with people with visual or hearing impairments. These include large print, Braille and British sign language options. Hearing loop, textphone and Next Generation Text relay facilities are also available.

More generally, people wishing to claim Pension Credit who need help to do so can receive help from family members, friends or voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice or Age UK.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of take up of Pension Credit; and what discussions they have had with the BBC about publicising eligibility for Pension Credit alongside advertising to the same group their eligibility for free television licences.

The Department assesses levels of take-up of Pension Credit on an annual basis. Latest official statistics on the take-up of income-related benefits at Great Britain level, including Pension Credit, can be found in the publication “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up in 2018 to 2019”, is available on the gov.uk website.

As well as regular meetings to discuss Pension Credit and the implications of the new television licence arrangements, DWP officials have worked with the BBC to ensure that the BBC’s letters to all existing free TV licence holders informing them of the new arrangements included information on how to claim Pension Credit. The Minister for Pensions and I are engaging with the BBC to discuss what more we could do together to increase take-up of Pension Credit.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the numbers of GPs retiring in the next few years; and what steps they are taking to address this.

No specific assessment has been made as the decision to retire can be influenced by many factors. We are working to support and increase the general practice workforce, address the reasons why doctors leave the profession and encourage them to return to practice.

The updated GP Contract Framework for 2020/21 announced a new retention schemes and continued support for existing schemes to allow more general practitioners (GPs) to remain in the National Health Service. We are also working with the NHS and the profession to understand how GPs’ working environment can be improved.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the regulations limiting the number of patients able to wait in consulting rooms in healthcare settings have been lifted.

There are currently no regulations limiting the number of patients able to wait in consulting rooms in healthcare settings.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the level of COVID-19 infections on (1) pharmacies, and (2) GP surgeries.

No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the level of COVID-19 infections on pharmacies and general practitioner (GP) surgeries.

However, to support community pharmacies during the pandemic, we reprioritised services, removed some administrative tasks, enabled working behind closed doors and allowed flexibility in opening hours and closures. If required, these measures can be reintroduced.

In addition to £520 million made available to improve access and expand general practice capacity during the pandemic, we established a £250 million Winter Access Fund to allows patients to see or speak to GPs and their teams. In 2020, we announced £1.5 billion to create an additional 50 million general practice appointments by 2024 by increasing and diversifying the workforce.

General practices have remained open throughout the pandemic, offering face to face appointments to those who need them as well as telephone and online consultations. Practices now offer triage and remote consultations alongside face-to face appointments, in order to see as many patients as possible, while protecting staff and patients from infection risks.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of staff shortages on the (1) NHS, and (2) care sector, in terms of treating patients and those in care.

No formal assessment has been made. Safe staffing levels remain the responsibility of local clinical and other leaders, supported by national guidance and regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

The monthly workforce statistics for October 2021 show that there over 1.2 million full time equivalent staff in the National Health Service. Since October 2020, there are 4,800 more doctors, over 10,900 more nurses and over 44,700 more NHS Health and Community Hospital Services staff in total. We are on schedule to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament and we have funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England.

We have provided £462.5 million to local authorities and social care providers for recruitment and retention in the sector, expanded the Health and Care Visa to include care workers and we have launched the Made with Care recruitment campaign, running until March 2022.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the level of absence amongst (1) NHS staff, and (2) carers, over the last month attributed to COVID-19.

In the month to 5 January 2022, the average daily number of staff absent from work in National Health Service hospital trusts for COVID-19 related reasons was 30,637. This compares to a peak of over 100,000 absences per day in April 2020 and over 50,000 absences per day in January 2021.

The Department does not hold data on the number of carers absent from work due to COVID-19 over the last month. The Department collects data on COVID-19 related absence among staff in care homes and domiciliary care, which is currently being collated and validated for future publication.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to lift social distancing regulations to allow an increase in face to face appointments at GP surgeries.

On 14 October, the UK Health Security Agency published an online review into changes to COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance to help ease pressure on the National Health Service, Recommendation 4: a more flexible approach to patient consultations in primary care and general practice. The review states that face to face consultations should be permitted where this is safe for patients and staff, whilst recognising that telephone and video consultations continue to have an important role. Physical distancing can be reduced from two metres to one metre with appropriate mitigations, such as the continued use of face coverings or masks.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letters from NHS England and NHS Improvement to GP practices dated 17 March 2020 and 4 August 2020, when additional costs related to COVID-19 borne by dispensing GPs will be reimbursed.

Dispensing practices continue to be reimbursed for additional costs related to COVID-19 in the same way as non-dispensing practices. At the beginning of the pandemic the COVID-19 support fund for general practice (GP) reimbursed practices for additional expenditure they incurred for absence cover, bank holiday opening and the costs of some consumables.  A further £270 million has been made available from November 2020 until September 2021, allocated to systems and ring-fenced exclusively for use in GP to ensure practices can continue to provide the necessary care for all patients.

18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the operation of the NHS COVID-19 app.

The NHS COVID-19 app is kept under close review and is continually being refined and enhanced to ensure it can continue to break chains of transmission. Research from academics and bodies such as The Alan Turing Institute and The University of Oxford have shown that the app continues to work effectively, and user research and feedback are continually considered and incorporated into app releases. Constant evaluation is conducted to ensure the app can continue to support present and future requirements.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what treatments are available on the NHS in England which help to prevent those with ostopenia contracting osteoporosis; and whether those with ostopenia are kept under regular review to assess the risk of developing osteoporosis.

People with osteopenia will not necessarily go on to develop osteoporosis. In those found to have a bone density within an osteopenic range, preventative lifestyle measures, such as healthy eating, exercise and taking vitamin D supplements, are recommended to protect against developing osteoporosis.

Clinicians may wish to monitor patients found to have a bone density within an osteopenic range, depending on what risk factors they have for osteoporosis or fragility fracture.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure patients in rural areas receive the COVID-19 vaccination in a timely manner; whether any such steps take into account the (1) isolation of such patients, and (2) the distances such patients have to travel to medical facilities.

Currently, in England, more than 98% of the population is within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit. The mobile model helps more remote rural communities, particularly those where public transport is limited.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to work with dispensing doctors for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to patients in rural areas.

General practices, including dispensing practices, form just one part of the plan for delivering COVID-19 vaccination and will operate as part of a system of providers, ensuring the best possible coverage of the UK population. Each Primary Care Network grouping is required to work with their local regional team to understand the current healthcare provision for vulnerable groups. Where there are gaps in provision, NHS England will commission additional providers, such as community pharmacy, hospital hubs, and mass vaccination centres, to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. The first community pharmacy sites and mass vaccination centres opened the week commencing 11 January 2021.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination will be available in those rural areas which are less easily accessible and with higher population sparsity.

The National Health Service has a tried and tested track record for delivering vaccination programmes and will work with existing partners across the healthcare system to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine can be deployed safely and effectively. Detailed planning is underway building on the NHS’s expertise delivering immunisation programmes including the flu vaccination programme. Planning considerations include the size and make-up of the workforce needed to deliver a potentially extensive vaccination programme at pace, training requirements, guidance, consumables and other equipment. They also include the supporting infrastructure required, including warehousing, transport, logistics for transport across the nation and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future importance of dispensing practices in administering COVID-19 vaccinations in rural areas with poor transport links and connectivity.

The National Health Service has a tried and tested track record for delivering vaccination programmes and will work with existing partners across the healthcare system, including general practices, to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine can be deployed safely and effectively. Detailed planning is underway building on the NHS’s expertise to deliver immunisation programmes, such as the flu vaccination programme. Planning considerations, includes the supporting infrastructure required, including warehousing, transport, logistics for transport across the nation and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential reliance on paracetamol in alleviating possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination; what plans they have to ensure that patients in rural areas can access such medication where there is no community pharmacy in place; and whether rural dispensing practices will be permitted to sell sufficient quantities of such medication.

Assessments on the potential reliance on medication in alleviating possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination are not finalised as we do not yet know the full characteristics, including side effects, of any of the vaccines in development. All plans for deployment remain flexible as there are no certainties in the development, production, formulation and timing of any new vaccines.

Detailed planning is underway building on the National Health Service’s expertise to deliver immunisation programmes, such as the flu vaccination programme. Planning considerations, includes the supporting infrastructure required, including warehousing, transport, logistics for transport across the nation and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage.

Medication such as paracetamol can also be purchased from supermarkets and other retail outlets, as a ‘general sales’ medicine. Paracetamol can also be purchased online, including in a larger quantity from an online pharmacy.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that remaining influenza vaccines are delivered to GP practices and administered for those over the age of 50 in advance of the COVID-19 vaccine being made available.

The flu vaccine programme is currently underway, with priority given to those who are most at risk from the effects of flu, and frontline health and social care workers. We have announced that we will be extending the programme to those aged 50-64 from 1 December.

The Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available this winter. General practitioners who have exhausted their own supply are now able to order from this central stock.

Overall, there is sufficient vaccine for more than 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the uptake of the influenza vaccination programme this autumn; and what measures they intend to take to promote uptake.

On 5 August 2020 we published the Annual Flu Letter Update 2020/21, which set out our ambitions for uptake for all eligible groups.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that regional teams have plans in place to increase coverage of the influenza vaccination this winter. In addition to developing the existing system of providing vaccinations through general practice, community pharmacies, schools, community and other National Health Service settings to reach new cohorts and increase uptake in existing cohorts; new models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovative thinking such as mobile and mass vaccination models to allow for increases in uptake safely whilst observing social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the British Medical Association about the capacity to deliver seasonal flu jabs to all people aged over 50 in the autumn. [T]

NHS England and NHS Improvement have had discussions with the British Medical Association, and other representative bodies to discuss delivery of the expanded flu programme.

In addition to developing the existing system of providing vaccinations through general practice, community pharmacies, schools, community and other National Health Service settings to reach new cohorts and increase uptake in existing cohorts; new models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovative thinking to deliver the programme this winter.

29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the causes of the outbreak of COVID-19 at meat processing plants; and what measures they plan to take (1) to address such outbreaks, and (2) to prevent any such recurrence. [T]

Public Health England (PHE) local health protection teams respond to notifications of suspected outbreaks in food processing plants by undertaking a risk assessment, providing public health advice, including on infection prevention and control and social distancing measures, and advising on the testing of employees. In doing so, an assessment is made as to whether transmission may be occurring in or outside the workplace.

An enhanced outbreak investigation protocol has been developed which will allow PHE to further understand the factors relating to infection transmission in meat-related food production settings to ascertain potential routes of transmission: within the workplace through a more detailed understanding of the workforce, the working environment and working practices; staff and environmental biological sampling; factors outside the workplace, such as transport arrangements, housing, employment conditions.

The learning from such investigations can identify measures that may help prevent outbreaks from occurring in these settings.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that NHS England implements the Electronic Prescription Service in dispensing practices to benefit rural patients.

The majority of dispensing practices are live with the prescribing functionality of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). In the next round of general practitioner contract negotiations, the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement will look at what further support can be provided to dispensing practices to implement the EPS.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with NHS England about why it has not triggered Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/349) to allow for the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department is in regular discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement over the provision of services during this pandemic.

The Secretary of State has enabled Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013. Regulation 61 allows NHS England and NHS Improvement to commission a dispensing doctor to provide pharmaceutical services to patients to whom the dispensing doctor is not otherwise entitled to provide pharmaceutical services during an emergency.

The prerequisite is the temporary closure of pharmacy premises which results, in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s opinion, in inadequate provision of pharmaceutical services in an area. There are currently few pharmacies closed across England and whether this extra provision is needed, in any particular area, is an operational decision for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect personal protective equipment in storage areas to be distributed to front line medical practitioners in hospitals and GP surgeries

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers. We have provided PPE equipment to over 26,000 care homes including home care and hospices across the country. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, over 48 million PPE items were delivered.

We are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We have brought together the NHS, industry and the armed forces to create a new nationwide PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it.

We have a 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline for those experiencing supply disruption with business as usual ordering channels. Where there may be any shortages, we act on this immediately. Local Resilience Forums are also supporting care homes, hospices, home care and primary care in getting hold of PPE equipment.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that COVID-19 will be listed as a qualifying disease for insurance payouts.

On 5 March 2020, the Government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Insurers’ policies that cover notifiable diseases will typically only cover a specific subset of notifiable diseases (such as cholera or anthrax) that the insurer will reference in the policy documentation. These policies will exclude any notifiable disease not on the insurer’s list, as well as future/unknown diseases such as COVID-19. The price that the insurer charges for the policy is modelled against the risk posed by this set list of diseases.

Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance that cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. These policies effectively cover any disease listed as a notifiable disease, enabling the business to claim for losses for all notifiable diseases as well as from diseases that are unknown at the point the policy is written.

The effect of the Government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim – subject to the terms and conditions in their policy. For example, someone infected with COVID-19 may need to have been on the premises.

12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of medical supplies following the outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus and the closure of manufacturing facilities in China; and what contingencies they have in place in the event of any shortages of supplies.

The National Health Service and wider health system are extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks and follow tried and tested procedures of the highest standards to protect staff, patients and the public. The Department has stepped up its efforts to assess risks to the availability of medical supplies and put in place contingencies to help ensure uninterrupted supply.

These efforts have included:

- a response group has been established to evaluate the potential impacts of this situation on continuity of supply of medical goods;

- asking suppliers to conduct a full risk assessment of the impact of the situation on their supply chains;

- requesting that suppliers who still retain some or all of their European Union exit stockpiles, should hold on to them, while the Department considers more targeted approaches;

- directing NHS Supply Chain to pause ramp-down activity of the centralised stock-build of medical devices and clinical consumables; and

- contacting all known medical suppliers trading from or via China.

Working closely with industry, the NHS and others in the supply chain, we continue to monitor the situation to help prevent shortages and minimise the risks to patients.

10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the level of funding will be for the BBC World Service from April 2022.

We strongly value the work of the BBC World Service and its independent and impartial broadcasting. In 2021-22, the FCDO is providing a total of £94.4 million to the World Service. The FCDO is committed to providing funding for the BBC World Service through to 2025, with final allocations to be confirmed after the conclusion of the FCDO business planning process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to prevent the sale of counterfeit drugs to developing countries, and (2) to ensure that only patented drugs are sold to those countries. [I]

The UK has long supported strategies to increase access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines to people living in low- and middle-income countries. This includes patented products, and their generic equivalents, which are affordable versions of brand name products. We also work to prevent the spread of substandard, falsified, and counterfeit medicines; for example, through support to the WHO's Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medical products.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government under what conditions a formal complaint against a financial service provider may be considered not a regulated activity by the Financial Ombudsman Service; and what forms of redress consumers have against financial malpractice by financial service providers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) dispute resolution rules set out what complaints the Financial Ombudsman Service is able to look at. These are set out in the DISP rules in the FCA Handbook. These rules provide that the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) can consider complaints about regulated activities but also certain other activities which are not regulated activities. DISP 2.3.1R sets out what activities the FOS’s Compulsory Jurisdiction covers. https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/DISP/2/3.html

The FOS was set up by Parliament to resolve complaints between financial businesses and their customers quickly and with minimum formality, on the basis of what is, in the ombudsman’s opinion fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case. Where a complaint is determined in favour of the complainant, the FOS can make a money award in favour of the complainant or direct the businesses to take certain other steps.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the tax situation regarding the lump sum payments extended through the agriculture regulations.

The Government intends to introduce legislation to provide clarity that payments under the Lump Sum Exit Scheme will be treated as capital in nature and will be subject to capital gains tax, or corporation tax in the case of incorporated entities. The existing capital gains reliefs will be available where the qualifying criteria are met.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to repay the rebate announced to help alleviate household energy bills; and what assessment they have made of the impact on households as a result of such repayment.

In recognition of the increase in energy costs and the impact this will have on households, the Government is providing significant financial support – up to £350 – to the majority of households. One element of this is a £200 discount for households delivered via their energy bill this autumn.

We expect households will pay back the discount from 2023 – when energy prices are expected to be lower - through an increase to standing charges on their bills of around £40 per annum over five years.

This approach is fiscally responsible while also helping customers manage the unprecedented increase in energy bills by spreading the increased costs of global prices over time. The policy will provide a significant discount to bills this year whilst gas prices are at historic highs.

The government will explore this issue through a public consultation run by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the spring.

This policy is on top of wider support available for vulnerable households, elderly and low-income people this winter. These schemes include the Warm Home Discount, which is being expanded to 3m people and increased to £150, up to £300 Winter Fuel Payment for all households with at least one member above State Pension age and a £25 per week Cold Weather Payment. These measures will help ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the winter.

There is also our £500m Household Support Fund which will help vulnerable households, including pensioners, with the costs of essentials this winter – local authorities will ensure it reaches those who need it most, and 50% of the funding is ringfenced for households with children.

In addition to these measures, we’re also providing £3bn over this Parliament to help more than half a million lower income homes become more energy efficient, saving them £290 per year on average.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what long-term arrangements they will put in place to assist (1) low-income households, and (2) pensioners on fixed incomes, to alleviate their domestic energy costs.

The Government recognises many households will need support to help deal with the rising cost of energy prices. Therefore, we are providing support worth £9.1bn in 2022-23 composed of:

  • A £200 discount for households delivered via their energy bill this autumn, paid back automatically over the next 5 years, spreading the increased costs of global prices over time in a way that is more manageable for households.
  • A £150 non-repayable cash rebate to 80% of households to help with rising costs now, delivered as a payment from government to Local Authorities, for implementation from this April via a payment to all households in Council Tax Bands A-D.
  • £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax reduction.

There is also our £500m Household Support Fund which will help vulnerable households, including pensioners, with the costs of essentials this winter – local authorities will ensure it reaches those who need it most, and 50% of the funding is ringfenced for households with children.

This is on top of wider support available for vulnerable households, elderly and low-income people this winter. These schemes include the Warm Home Discount, which is being expanded to 3m people and increased to £150, up to £300 Winter Fuel Payment for all households with at least one member above State Pension age and a £25 per week Cold Weather Payment. These measures will help ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the winter.

In addition to these measures, we’re also providing £3bn over this Parliament to help more than half a million lower income homes become more energy efficient, saving them £290 per year on average.

In the longer term, the Government will look to reduce our reliance on global gas prices by moving to a cleaner, more resilient energy system and improve energy efficiency to help keep bills down.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review regulations relatig to short selling  to ensure that any such regulations are fit for purpose.

The government works closely with the regulators and market participants to monitor the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, in line with the government’s objectives of supporting economic growth and financial stability.

The UK’s Short Selling Regime, introduced in 2012, regulates short selling practices while safeguarding companies and the financial system.

Among other things, it requires persons to report their short positions in companies whose shares are admitted to trading on UK trading venues, and provides the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with powers to request information from persons on their short selling activities, to apply penalties to persons who do not meet their regulatory obligations under the short selling regime, and to restrict the short selling of certain instruments in certain circumstances.

In particular, the FCA can temporarily restrict short selling when the price of an instrument has fallen significantly during a single trading day in relation to the closing price of that instrument on the previous trading day, and can restrict short selling for a period of up to three months when there are adverse events or developments which are a serious threat to financial stability or to market confidence in the UK.

It is the Government’s position that this regime is working as intended, providing the necessary safeguards to allow the operation of a fair and effective market. Therefore, we see no need to conduct a full review of this legislation at this time.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use green gilts to promote (1) waste recovery, and (2) energy generation from waste.

On Monday 9 November, The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the UK’s intention is issue its inaugural Sovereign Green Bond (SGB), subject to market conditions, in 2021.

Further details on timings and other aspects of the policy, such as the issuance framework, which will set out the projects that the SGB will help to finance, will be provided in due course.

While it is possible that government expenditures on projects relating to waste recovery and energy generation from waste could be financed with the proceeds of the SGB, such decisions will be made in the coming months following discussions with other government departments, structuring advisors and other stakeholders. The government will provide updates as appropriate.

The government is already taking powers in the Environment Bill to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes which promote waste recovery. These require producers to fund the end of life costs of their products and can deliver higher collection, recycling and recovery rates.

In addition, the Landfill Tax was introduced in 1996 with the aim of diverting waste away from landfill to more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as Energy from Waste. It has been hugely successful in achieving this aim alongside other waste policy – since 2000, Local Authority waste sent to landfill in England has fallen by 87%.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why (1) betting shops, (2) bingo halls, and (3) casinos, were excluded from the business rate holiday; and what plans they have to extend such businesses the same relief as granted to other retail and leisure businesses.

The Government has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Chancellor previously announced a 100% rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in 2020-21. On 25 March the Government went further and removed some of the exclusions for this relief, so that eligible retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have to close as a result of the measures announced by the Prime Minister in his statement of the 23 March, will now be eligible for the relief.

Support is also available to those not eligible for business rates relief. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, a statutory sick pay relief package, the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment, and a new lending facility from the Bank of England for larger firms.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that commercial businesses seeking insurance payouts for cancellations or closures due to COVID-19 are covered.

The Chancellor has made clear that, for those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics, government’s medical advice of 16 March is sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

In addition, the FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers pandemic related losses. As such, any affected businesses should note the government’s full package of support.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Border Force regarding problems encountered by passengers at e-gates with the new UK passports.

Passengers may be referred from the e-Gates to an officer at PCP desks for a variety of reasons. There are well defined processes for updating UK border systems when new documents are introduced and the performance of new British passports through UK border controls is being monitored. We are receiving feedback there may be higher levels of referrals with some of these passports and are working to determine root cause.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what basis, and for what intended purpose, a refugee camp is being planned for the former RAF Station at Linton-on-Ouse; and what assessment they have made about whether the camp would be best suited to housing seasonal workers to pick and process fruit and vegetables grown in the area.

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

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to resolve the reported failure of new British passports to be read at border e-gates due to glossy coating of the pages, which has led to delays at airports.

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

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each of the six months from August 2021, how many fines or penalties have been issued for inappropriate use of (1) rental e-scooters, and (2) privately owned e-scooters.

The information requested is not held.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proceeds of crime generated by cyber attacks by hostile states utilising ransom demands; and what steps they are taking to prevent such crime.

During 2021, ransomware became the most significant cyber threat facing the UK. In response, in June the Home Office launched a cross-government policy sprint to accelerate our response to this growing threat. The sprint has engaged in three pillars of activity aligning to the wider SOC strategy pillars (prepare, prevent, protect and pursue): threat, resilience, and international. Underreporting continues to impact our ability to understand the true cost and scale of cybercrime to the UK, an aspect we are actively trying to improve.

Tackling cyber crime, including ransomware, is at the heart of the UK government’s new National Cyber Security. The strategy was launched in December 2021 and presents the UK’s role as a responsible and democratic cyber power, protecting and promoting UK interests in, and through, cyberspace. The strategy commits £2.6bn of new investment to deliver objectives under five strategic pillars: Ecosystem; Resilience; Technology; International; and Threat.

HMG continues its work with global partners to detect and disrupt shared threats emanating from overseas, the most consistent of these from ransomware criminals based in Russia. In December 2021, the UK held a G7 Senior Officials’ Forum on Ransomware to combat the threat, and the UK is taking a leading role in the international Counter Ransomware Initiative. Further information on the impacts and actions to combat cyber crime can be found in the National Cyber Security Centre Annual Review 2021, on ncsc.gov.uk.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many points have been added to driving licences for the illegal use of e-scooters in each of the last three months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which is already reasonably accessible to you here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales.

However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a motoring offence, including a fine or penalty points is not collected.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fixed penalty notices have been issued for illegal use of e-scooters in each of the last three months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which is already reasonably accessible to you here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales.

However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a motoring offence, including a fine or penalty points is not collected.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal e-scooters have been confiscated in (1) London, (2) Birmingham, and (3) other cities in England, in each of the last three months.

Information on numbers and types of vehicle seized is not held centrally.

The Metropolitan Police seized over 1,000 scooters in June 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) local authorities, and (2) police forces, to prevent the illegal (a) purchase, and (b) use, of e-scooters in England.

Legislation was amended in July 2020 to allow for rental e-scooter trials around England which will run for 12 months with the trial period beginning in each area as and when e-scooters become available to the public. It remains illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on the road as they do not meet the requirements of stringent construction regulations, registration, road tax, insurance and MOT testing.

It is not illegal to sell an e-scooter as they can be used legally on private land. However, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, there is a general obligation for traders to give consumers sufficient information about goods and services at the point of sale, so consumers are not misled.

Electric scooters have to abide by the same road traffic legislation as mopeds and motorcycles. To drive or ride any motor vehicle without permission onto a footpath, common land, moorland or land of any description that does not form part of the road is an offence under section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. To drive or ride a powered scooter on a pavement, as with pedal cycles, is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835.

Enforcement of road traffic laws on the illegal use of e-scooters is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers who will decide how to deploy available resources, taking into account any specific local problems and demands. Where e-scooters amount to anti-social behaviour, then local authorities make byelaws/injunctions and Anti-Social Behaviour orders to curb the misuse of vehicles.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Town and Country Planning Association, Planning 2020: Raynsford Review of Planning in England, published in November 2018; and what steps they intend to take in response.

The Government believes that further reform of the planning system is necessary. We will be publishing a planning White Paper in due course, which will aim to make the planning system clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including home owners and small businesses. It will also address resourcing and performance in local planning departments and ensure timely decisions are made. It will seek to improve the ways communities can get involved in the planning process, including through the opportunities afforded by new digital methods of engagement.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding they are giving to the National Association of Child Contact Centres; and whether the grant will be for a (1) two year, or (2) three year, period.

Whilst the Government has no overall responsibility for funding child contact centre provision, we are supportive of the work of the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) and have provided grant funding since 2013. The formal process of awarding any grant to NACCC from April 2022 has not yet been completed, so we are unable to confirm the amount and period for any future grant.

10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what progress they have made in developing a report about the extent to which individuals are protected from domestic abuse when using contact centres in England, as set out in section 83 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

The Government is on track to publish a report about the extent to which individuals, when they are using contact centres in England, are protected from the risk of domestic abuse or, in the case of children, other harm. This will be delivered by April 2023 as set out in section 83 of the Domestic Abuse Act.