Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
These initiatives were driven by Baroness Pinnock, 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 Pinnock has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Baroness Pinnock has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Baroness Pinnock has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
The existing guidance for the performing arts provides guidance for performances by solo singers in both indoor and outdoor settings. Since 15 August, live indoor performances in front of a socially distanced audience have been able to take place provided the performance space is COVID-19 secure and groups of up to 6 in the audience are kept separate from one another to ensure they do not mix and do not exceed the new legal limits.
The UK is one of the world’s major providers of trans-national education. As autonomous institutions, universities make their own decisions about education provision overseas and are responsible for ensuring their partnerships are managed appropriately with the right due diligence in place.
Relevant government departments, including the Department for International Trade, the Department for Education, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, regularly engage with the university sector to support higher education institutions when establishing trans-national education programmes, including working with the British Council to provide advice in particular contexts. If any provider has concerns, we encourage them to contact the government.
We are pleased to see that Universities UK is working on behalf of the sector, and with government support, further to inform the sector about the importance of appropriate risk management in its international endeavours. Its recent publication, ‘Managing Risks in Internationalisation: Security-related issues’, includes specific guidance on delivering educational programmes overseas and can be accessed here: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/managing-risks-in-internationalisation.aspx.
The department is providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, that cannot be met from their existing resources.
Schools have been eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required, due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements. We have published detailed guidance on the fund at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.
The first claims window for the fund closed on 21 July. All claims for funding within the specified cost categories and maximum limit have already been paid. We are assessing all other claims, which will be paid later in the autumn if approved.
There will also be a further opportunity in autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs they faced between March to July. This second claims window will be available for schools who were unable to claim in the summer and will be for the same eligible cost categories.
As set out in our reopening guidance, schools should use their existing resources when planning to welcome all children back for the autumn. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.
Within England there are rules in place to ensure that slurry is applied responsibly with regard to the environment to minimise the risk of it affecting nearby ecosystems and other sites via runoff. These include:
These regulations do include rules about where fertilisers, including slurry can be spread, however, there are no specific requirements on farmers not to spread next to houses, nor are there any plans to introduce this type of restriction.
Any proposal to include such a requirement would need to consider the effects on farmers, given that agricultural fields are business premises that farmers have to be able to grow crops on. Many farms rely on slurry application to fertilise their soil.
If there are any complaints about specific farms the local council should be informed. Local councils are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This includes any smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance.
Local authority environmental health officers take into account a number of factors when assessing whether a statutory nuisance exists, including the reasonableness of the activity being carried out, the time of day of the occurrence, its duration, its frequency of occurrence and whether or not best practicable means were being employed. These principles are based on long established case law.
Government has not required local authorities to close household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). Local authorities are working?hard?to keep essential collections in place and there have been changes in services in some areas due reprioritisation of staff and social distancing concerns. We published non-statutory guidance on 5 May for local authorities on managing HWRCs in England during the coronavirus pandemic. It was developed in conjunction with Public Health England and the Home Office and sets out measures to support the operation of HWRCs in line with public health measures.
The Government has published general guidance on access to green space on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces and FAQs on what you can and can’t do https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do#public-spaces--outdoor-activities--exercise. Defra has also issued guidance to local authorities and organisations such as the National Farmers Union and the CLA to pass on to their members specifically on rights of way. This advises landowners and occupiers who have a path crossing through a garden or working farmyard to display a polite request, if necessary, for the public to use another path and includes suggested wording. Further information for landowners can be found at:
Local authorities are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning alcohol services to meet these needs, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Health England (PHE) supports local authorities in this work by providing advice, guidance and data.
PHE has been collecting and publishing a range of data on alcohol sales and consumption during the period of the pandemic. This data can be viewed as part of the Wider Impacts of COVID-19 on Health monitoring tool, which is available in an online only format.
The data indicates that while many people have taken the opportunity of lockdown to moderate their drinking, or to not drink at all, there is a group of people who are drinking at levels which increase their risk of harm.
Symptomatic social care workers (and symptomatic members of their household) who are self-isolating can access testing through the online self-referral portal. Individuals can also be referred for a test by their employer through the employer referral portal.
Anyone in England over the age of five with any of the symptoms of COVID-19 can ask for a test through the National Health Service website.
To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library
The safety of residents and staff is a priority. We announced in our Adult Social Care Action Plan, on 15 April 2020, that testing will be provided to all care home residents before they are discharged from hospital into a care home.
A small number of people may be discharged from the National Health Service within the 14-day period from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms needing ongoing social care. Some care providers will be able to accommodate these individuals through effective isolation strategies or cohorting policies. If appropriate isolation/cohorted care is not available with a local care provider, the individual’s local authority will be asked to secure alternative appropriate accommodation and care for the remainder of the required isolation period.
This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to review our guidance in line with scientific advice.
The Nightingale Hospitals have been established to build extra capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and help local hospitals ensure that all those who need care can get it.
Over the coming months the Nightingale Hospitals will continue to have a role to play in supporting the National Health Service. This will be based on decisions by local clinical leaders on what will best complement other care available in the region to meet the needs of their communities.
The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) has advised that birth registration appointments should, where possible, be deferred while the current measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 are in place. Where there is an urgent need for a birth to be registered, GRO and Local Authority registrars are considering how this can be achieved on a case-by-case basis within public health guidance and local authority policy.
Longer term planning to register all births will be aligned to public health guidance.
Any physical meetings will need to be held in line with the Government’s Covid-19 Guidance for the safe use of council buildings and we have updated this guidance to highlight ways in which local authorities can, if necessary, minimise the risk of face-to-face meetings. It is for councils to apply the Covid-19 guidance to ensure meetings take place safely
This Guidance may be found (attached) at; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-council-buildings.
The Government keeps all policy under review. To extend the facility for councils to continue to meet remotely, or in hybrid form after 7 May 2021 would require primary legislation. We have received representations from local authorities and sector representative organisations making the case for the continuation of remote meetings beyond 7 May 2021 and are carefully considering next steps in this area.
The Department publishes data on the number of high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings in England with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations. The latest data is available (attached) at:
Information on buildings below 18 metres is not held.
For high rise residential buildings over 18 metres, local authorities and housing associations are undergoing a data collection exercise as part of an ongoing programme to build a more complete picture of high-rise residential buildings and the variety of external wall systems in use. We will publish appropriate summary information from the data collection in our monthly Building Safety Programme data release in due course.
Data estimating the proportion of high-rise residential buildings in England with little or no cladding can be found (attached) in this release: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england.
This information on buildings below 18 metres is not held.
The Department publishes data on the number of dwellings in high-rise social sector residential and private sector residential buildings in England with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations. The latest data is available (attached) at:
The Government has?confirmed that 75 per cent business rates retention will not be implemented in 2021-22.??This decision was taken to allow both the Government and councils to focus on meeting the immediate public health challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking beyond 2021-22, in determining the next steps, we will need to consider the impact the pandemic has had on both the demand for public services across councils, and their access to local resources. This will also require a careful consideration of the link between the fundamental review of business rates and the future of the business rates retention policy.
We will set out the timetable for our proposed way forward in due course.
It is essential that all our councillors, mayors and London Assembly members are held to the highest standards of conduct.
That is why the Government has committed to legislate on this issue as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
These challenging times have put the Government’s legislative programme under pressure. However, the Government will seek an early opportunity to legislate on this matter as soon as is practicable.
The Government has no plans to advise local councils that the six-month attendance rule should not apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 enable all local authority meetings before 7 May 2021 to be held remotely. Councils can thus continue to hold meetings whilst following Public Health guidelines, upholding democratic principles and maintaining a thriving local democracy.
On 18 April the Government announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support councils delivering essential front-line services during COVID-19, with allocations to individual local authorities announced on 28 April.
Since the first wave of COVID-19 funding, the Government has kept funding needs across the country under review, using data collection and our conversations with councils to refine our assessment of pressures.
The allocations are based on the population in each area. This distribution draws on our latest understanding of the distribution of additional COVID-19 pressures, which are likely to be distributed in a way that is different from pre-existing needs. The Government made a commitment to support all councils with the additional cost pressures from the extra work we have asked councils to carry out as a result of the epidemic. We are also aware of the impacts from falling revenues, which affect councils across the country.
The allocations should be seen in the context of the first wave of funding, which was distributed as an immediate response to developing pressures on adult social care. Across both waves, almost 70% of district councils will receive £1 million or more in support, whilst over 90% of the total will go to authorities with responsibility for social care services.
Government advice to landlords and tenants may be found (attached) at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876500/Consolidated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance_COVID_and_the_PRS_v4.2.pdf
Landlords should make every effort to abide by statutory gas safety obligations. However, we recognise that the current restrictions may be making it harder to carry out these checks. There are provisions in the regulations for landlords to account for situations in which they cannot carry out inspections, however they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law. Recognising the concern among landlords, residents and inspectors, on 7 April 2020, HSE published further guidance setting out detailed advice for a range of scenarios. This can be found (attached) here: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/landlords/
Our guidance is clear that no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless the work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. Where entry is required for emergency repairs landlords should take every possible step to minimise contact with residents and follow government guidance on tradespeople working in people homes, which may be found (attached) at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance
The Government has no plans to amend the attendance requirements.
The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 enable all local authority meetings to be held remotely. Remote attendance by members of a local authority counts for the purposes of the six- month rule on attendance.
As the country responds to the Covid-19 emergency, it is vital that local authorities can continue to function effectively, dealing with essential business in line with democratic principles whilst protecting the health and safety of their members, officers and the public.
The maximum penalty under section 216 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is a fine. The Government takes the recovery and enforcement of all financial impositions very seriously and remains committed to ensuring impositions are paid. The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay and use a variety of means to ensure the recovery of criminal fines and financial penalties. This includes deducting money from an individual offender’s earnings or benefits if they are unemployed or issuing warrants instructing approved enforcement agents to seize and sell goods belonging to the offender. Enforcement actions that can be taken against an offender who is a company include a warrant to seize and sell goods, and an application for the administration or winding up of the company.
The Government has committed in its Planning White Paper to review and strengthen existing planning enforcement powers and sanctions available to authorities, including higher fines where appropriate.