Baroness Pinnock Portrait

Baroness Pinnock

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government)

(since September 2021)
2 APPG memberships (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Carbon Monoxide, Tidy Britain
2 Former APPG memberships
Cricket, Water
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
28th Oct 2016 - 18th Sep 2021
EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee
12th Jun 2015 - 2nd Jul 2019


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 6th July 2022
15:00
Department Event
Thursday 14th July 2022
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Draft Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2022
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2022
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 59 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 193 Noes - 119
Speeches
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Local Government (Exclusion of Non-commercial Considerations) (England) Order 2022
My Lords, I draw attention to my relevant interests as a councillor on Kirklees Council and as a vice-president of …
Written Answers
Thursday 14th April 2022
Planning Blight
To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions are available to local authorities to take steps to mitigate planning blight.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 27th January 2020
Traffic Management (Amendment) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to make provision in relation to the civil enforcement of speeding contraventions
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Pinnock has voted in 320 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Pinnock voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Baroness Pinnock Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(73 debate interactions)
Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour)
Shadow Chief Whip (Lords)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Wilcox of Newport (Labour)
Opposition Whip (Lords)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(10 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Pinnock's debates

Commons initiatives

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

1 Bill introduced by Baroness Pinnock


A bill to make provision in relation to the civil enforcement of speeding contraventions


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Monday 27th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Pinnock has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


37 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
8 Other Department Questions
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to simplifying the process of Compulsory Purchase Orders to enable local authorities to act more quickly where the completion of projects is unreasonably delayed.

The Government is absolutely clear that new homes should be built out as soon as possible once planning permission is granted. Where sites are stalled or there are delays to delivery, it is for local authorities and developers to work closely together on the issues. We recognise communities need to see the homes they want and need built promptly. We are, therefore, exploring further options to support faster build out as part of the wider package of proposed changes to the planning system. As set out in the recent Levelling Up White Paper, we are also exploring the provisions around compulsory purchase powers to help speed up the process. An announcement on the way forward will be made in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions are available to local authorities to take steps to mitigate planning blight.

The Government has provided various tools for local authorities to mitigate against incomplete developments or rundown sites. Most notably, Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (the Act) provides a local planning authority (LPA) with the power in respect of land in their area to take remedial steps by serving a notice on the owner and occupier, when the condition of that land adversely affects the amenity of part of their, or an adjoining area. The notice should provide a clear timeframe for compliance and clearly particularise the remedial work that must be undertaken.

The scope of works that can be required in S215 notices is wide and includes planting, clearance, tidying, enclosure, demolition, re-building, external repairs and repainting. Any works specified by a notice need to be compliant and not lead to any breaches of planning control.

The use of Section 215 is discretionary, and an LPA should decide whether a notice under these provisions would be appropriate in a particular case, taking into account all the local circumstances. LPAs also have powers under Section 219 of the Act to undertake the remedial works themselves and to recover the costs from the landowner.

In addition, planning blight notices are a statutory mechanism available to owner-occupiers of dwellings who cannot sell their property except for a significantly reduced amount because it falls within one of the categories of 'planning blight' set out in Schedule 13 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If such a notice is confirmed, the owner can require the public body behind the scheme to acquire the premises at open market value in the absence of the scheme.

More information on blight notices in relation to Compulsory Purchase Orders can be found on Gov.uk.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to amending section 215 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 to allow local councils to prosecute land owners if schemes have not been completed within a reasonable time period.

The Government is absolutely clear that new homes should be built out as soon as possible once planning permission is granted. Where sites are stalled or there are delays to delivery, it is for local authorities and developers to work closely together on the issues.

Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 provides a local authority with the power to take remedial steps by serving a notice on the owner and occupier, when the condition of land adversely affects the amenity of the area. However, the use of Section 215 is discretionary, and a local authority should decide whether a notice under these provisions would be appropriate in a particular case, taking into account all the local circumstances as Section 219 of the Act allows local planning authorities to undertake the remedial works themselves and recover the costs from the landowner.

We recognise communities need to see the homes they want and need built promptly. We are, therefore, exploring further options to support faster build out as part of the wider package of proposed changes to the planning system. An announcement will be made in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards achieving the voluntary contributions of £4 billion for the remediation of cladding from developers of blocks of flats between 11 and 18 metres in height.

The Department has been working intensively with developers over recent weeks as it is essential that leaseholders living in their own flats in medium and high-rise buildings should not pay a penny to remediate historic cladding defects that are no fault of their own. We are clear that industry must develop a system to resolve the problems they have caused and pay to fix them. If they do not do the right thing and step in then, if necessary, we will impose a solution upon them in law. The Secretary of State recognises that other parties are also responsible for building safety failures and is bringing top cladding manufacturers operating in the UK into the talks. The Secretary of State is very clear on his expectations, and we have a process lined up to legislate where necessary if we don’t see the progress required.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk that developments of blocks of flats between 11 and 18 metres in height that used (1) special purpose vehicles, or (2) shell companies, for their construction could avoid paying towards the £4 billion cost for cladding remediation.

Leaseholders living in their own flats in medium and high-rise buildings should not pay a penny to remediate historic cladding defects that are no fault of their own. We are clear that industry must develop a system to resolve the problems they have caused and pay to fix them. If they do not do the right thing and step in then, if necessary, we will impose a solution upon them in law.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the share of contributions between (1) landlord, and (2) tenant, owners in a shared leasehold ownership scheme to the costs arising from cladding removal and fire safety improvements.

The extent to which leaseholders are liable for works or not is governed by the terms in their leases. Government is providing over £5 billion in grant funding for the remediation of unsafe cladding on residential buildings 18 metres and over. This means that leaseholders (including those in shared ownership) in eligible high-rise buildings can be reassured that unsafe cladding will be replaced at no cost to them. Government is also establishing a generous finance scheme which will provide leaseholders in residential buildings of 11-18 metres with access to finance for cladding remediation costs. We will publish more details on how this scheme will work as soon as we are in a position to do so. Finally, we have also introduced a new model for Shared Ownership which will include a 10-year period during which the landlord will support with the cost of repairs in new build homes. The changes will prevent new shared owners from being hit with unexpected repairs and maintenance bills and will help to bridge the gap between renting and homeownership.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Local Government Boundary Commission for England is required to propose new ward boundaries for the three new designated unitary authorities in North Yorkshire, Cumbria, and Somerset.

We intend to seek Parliamentary approval early in 2022 to secondary legislation to establish new unitary councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset. These orders will provide for elections in May 2022 to the new unitary councils in their implementation form, including the council size and warding arrangements. It is expected that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will carry out full electoral reviews of each of the new unitary councils before the second elections to these councils in May 2027.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish guidance on how solo singers can perform in a COVID-19-safe way either (1) inside, or (2) outside.

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.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with UK universities about the provision of university courses in countries where they have concerns about (1) governance, or (2) human rights, in those countries.

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.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to providing temporary additional funding to schools to help fund the increase in cleaning costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of restricting the spreading of slurry on fields that are adjacent to residential property.

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:

  • The Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations (2015), which control the application of nutrient rich material to land within designated areas vulnerable to the impact of excess nutrients. Further guidance can be found here on Gov.uk.
  • The Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (England) Regulations (2010); also known as SSAFO which set minimum standards for storage of organic manures to protect the environment. Further guidance can be found here on Gov.uk.
  • The Farming Rules for Water (2018) which outlines a national baseline for how to use fertilisers effectively for crop need and avoid spreading in inappropriate places or conditions. Further guidance can be found here on Gov.uk.

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.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to allow local authorities to re-open household waste recycling centres.

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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to issue guidance on the rights of access to public rights of way during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/operational-update-covid-19

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children with nutritional anaemia were treated in each of the English NHS regions in (1) 2019, and (2) 2020.

This information is not held centrally.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce specific policies that will reduce the occurrence of nutritional anaemia in children.

While we have no specific plans to do so, the Government’s advice on a healthy, balanced diet for children is shown in the Eatwell Guide. The Eatwell Guide is a visual representation of the types and proportions of foods needed for a healthy balanced diet, including variety of iron rich foods essential in preventing anaemia.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many instances of nutritional anaemia in children have been treated in paediatric units in hospitals in England in (1) 2019, and (2) 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested. Data on admissions do not record the type of ward or unit where a patient was treated and does not represent the number of incidences treated.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the the Royal College of Psychiatrists' analysis published on 14 September that estimated that the number of high-risk drinkers has risen from 4.8 million in February to 8.4 million during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what steps they plan to take based on any such assessment.

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.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements have been made to ensure prompt and universal COVID-19 testing for those (1) providing home care, and (2) receiving care at home.

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.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks to other residents and staff of returning people who have tested positive for COVID-19 from hospitals to care homes; and what steps they are taking to ensure such individuals are able to receive the required nursing care.

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.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use the NHS Nightingale Hospitals for the admission of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms to prevent the deaths of people in their own homes or in community settings.

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.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people who have died unexpectedly alone at home from COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19; and what preventative measures they are taking in response.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that 1,876 deaths involving COVID-19 took place in a private home in England and Wales in 2020, by the week ending 15 May. This figure is less than 3% of total deaths or 65,002. Therefore, whilst it is not known how many of these deaths were people living alone, it will be a small proportion of total deaths.

Even if relatively small, this figure should not be ignored, and measures are in place to attempt to prevent deaths at home. The National Health Service has published guidance on what people, including those living alone, should do if their COVID-19 symptoms worsen. Using the 111 and 999 helplines as well as networks of local volunteers, should enable those living alone be able to seek help if needed.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to enable parents of children born since the implementation of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to have their child’s birth registered.

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.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the size of the room that will be required to enable annual meetings of local and parish councils, where social distancing is fully observed.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to retain a hybrid system of virtual and physical attendance at local council meetings, including meetings of council committees and full council meetings, after the COVID-19 national restrictions are lifted.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many blocks of flats have aluminium composite material cladding; and how many of those blocks are (1) 18 metres or more in height, and (2) below 18 metres in height.

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-december-2020.

Information on buildings below 18 metres is not held.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many blocks of flats have flammable cladding other than aluminium composite material; and how many of those blocks are (1) 18 metres or more in height, and (2) below 18 metres in height.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households live in blocks of flats with flammable cladding.

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-december-2020.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to delay proposals to allow local authorities to keep 75 per cent of business rates income until the Treasury’s fundamental review of business rates has reported.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to honour the commitment made by the Local Government Minister on 18 October 2018 to amend section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 to disbar persons required to sign the Sex Offenders Register from acquiring or holding public office as councillors or mayors.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 5 May (HL3280), whether councils will be failing in their democratic duties if they do not hold a formal meeting within a six-month period; and what plans they have to advise local councils that the six-month rule should not apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) pressures were identified, and (2) criteria used, to inform the distribution of the most recent round of funding to local authorities to help them meet the additional demands on services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have provided to landlords about fulfilling the statutory obligation to conduct gas safety checks on properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend the requirement in the Local Government Act 1972 for a member of a local authority to attend at least one meeting of that authority every six months, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that remedies ordered by courts following prosecutions under section 216 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 are complied with.

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.