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Lord Bishop of Durham

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Lord Bishop of Durham has no previous appointments


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Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Schools Bill [HL]
My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Storey, that there are many maintained and voluntary-aided stand-alone schools that …
Written Answers
Monday 1st August 2022
Debts: Cost of Living
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of increases to the cost of living …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 23rd May 2022
Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL] 2022-23
A Bill to remove the limit on the number of children or qualifying young persons included in the calculation of …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Bishop of Durham has voted in 72 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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 Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(34 debate interactions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(53 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(18 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(16 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(16 debate contributions)
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Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bishop of Durham, 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.


Lord Bishop of Durham has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Bishop of Durham has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Lord Bishop of Durham


A Bill to remove the limit on the number of children or qualifying young persons included in the calculation of an award of universal credit.


Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 8th July 2022
(Read Debate)

Lord Bishop of Durham has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


150 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
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the changes to the Immigration Rules in 2012, how many British citizens they estimate emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative visa.

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

Dear Lord Durham,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many British citizens are estimated to have emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative visa, following the changes to the Immigration Rules in 2012 (HL12280).

The Home Office would be best placed to provide information about Adult Dependent Relative visa refusals since 2012.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) does publish estimates of the numbers of British citizens emigrating from the UK[1]. Table 1 shows the numbers of British citizens the ONS estimates to have emigrated from 2012 onwards. 2019 is the latest year for which data is available.

The ONS publishes statistics on reasons for migration. However, data are not collected on the numbers of citizens who have emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa. Therefore, the ONS are unable to estimate how many citizens emigrate for that purpose nor how many are due to the refusal of an ADR visa.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1, British citizens emigrating[2]

British (Including Overseas Territories)

Year

Estimate

+/-CI

2012

143

14

2013

134

12

2014

137

13

2015

124

13

2016

134

13

2017

129

13

2018

125

15

2019

138

17

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/datasets/longterminternationalmigrationcitizenshiptable201a

[2] Numbers in thousands

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the levels of fuel poverty for those who live in tied accommodation.

The fuel poverty statistics for England include a breakdown by household tenure but it is not possible to identify if households are living in tied accommodation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the National Autistic Society School Report 2021, published on 9 November; in particular, the findings about informal exclusions; and what steps they intend to take in response to ensure that schools do not practice such exclusions.

The department does not hold figures on the number of pupils who have been informally excluded from school. Informal exclusions are unlawful and therefore there is no mechanism for recording them.

The government is considering the National Autistic Society School Report 2021, which provides helpful insights into this practice. Further information on this report can be found at: https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/news/school-report-2021?dm_i=YA3,7MFOP,63DHOU,V1NPQ,1&mc_cid=cd260af2f9&mc_eid=b460e5a1f.

The department makes clear in the ‘Statutory Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions’ guidance that ‘informal’ or ‘unofficial’ suspensions, such as sending pupils home ‘to cool off’, are unlawful, regardless of whether they occur with the agreement of parents or carers. Any suspension of a pupil, even for short periods of time, must be in line with the relevant legislation and be recorded as a suspension.

The department will shortly be consulting on the ‘Behaviour in Schools’ guidance and the ‘Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions’ guidance. These will equip headteachers to create calm, orderly, safe and supportive school environments where exclusions are only ever used lawfully and as a last resort.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have been informally excluded in the last academic year.

The department does not hold figures on the number of pupils who have been informally excluded from school. Informal exclusions are unlawful and therefore there is no mechanism for recording them.

The government is considering the National Autistic Society School Report 2021, which provides helpful insights into this practice. Further information on this report can be found at: https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/news/school-report-2021?dm_i=YA3,7MFOP,63DHOU,V1NPQ,1&mc_cid=cd260af2f9&mc_eid=b460e5a1f.

The department makes clear in the ‘Statutory Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions’ guidance that ‘informal’ or ‘unofficial’ suspensions, such as sending pupils home ‘to cool off’, are unlawful, regardless of whether they occur with the agreement of parents or carers. Any suspension of a pupil, even for short periods of time, must be in line with the relevant legislation and be recorded as a suspension.

The department will shortly be consulting on the ‘Behaviour in Schools’ guidance and the ‘Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions’ guidance. These will equip headteachers to create calm, orderly, safe and supportive school environments where exclusions are only ever used lawfully and as a last resort.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many child refugees are currently in looked after care in the UK.

The department does not collect data on all child refugees that are currently in care, but does collect data on the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) who are looked after by local authorities in England. Of the 80,850 children looked after up to 31 March 2021, there were 4,070 UASC, down 20% from the previous year which was 5,060.

Figures on the number of children looked after who were UASC were published recently in the annual statistical release at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

Figures on children who were UASC outside England is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to how the education system might be used to broaden public awareness about actions that individual members of the general public are able to make in line with the target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The department recognises the contribution it can make to help create a sustainable future through education, developing the skills needed for a green economy, and supporting sectors to reach net zero targets.

Topics relating to climate change are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and in GCSEs. Through the citizenship programmes of study, pupils are taught how to explore political and social issues critically through evidence, debate, and reasoned argument. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities, and the sustainability of the environment. A new environmental science A Level was introduced in 2017, which will enable pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it will be tackled.

In further and technical education, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has convened a Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel to encourage trailblazers to align apprenticeships to net zero and wider sustainability objectives.

The Department for Education and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched the Green Jobs Taskforce in November 2020 to help the UK deliver the skilled workforce needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The taskforce, working in partnership with business, skills providers, and unions will develop an action plan to support 2 million good quality, green jobs and the skills needed by 2030, and so support the UK to transition to a net zero economy.

18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report commissioned by the Treasury The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, published on 2 February, what steps they are taking to ensure that all children understand how nature contributes to the UK economy.

The department is currently working with Her Majesty’s Treasury to contribute to a full response to the Dasgupta Review.

The National Curriculum is a framework which sets out the content that the department expects schools to cover in each subject, but teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. This includes choosing to cover particular topics in greater depth if they wish. Although academies and free schools are not required to teach the National Curriculum, they are expected to teach a curriculum that is similar in breadth and ambition, and this is reflected in the Ofsted school inspection handbook. This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-eif.

Subject content related to the environment is included within the science and geography National Curriculum. At primary level (key stages 1 and 2), pupils are taught how environments can change, including positive and negative impacts of human action, weather, and climate zones. In secondary science (key stages 3 and 4), pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect that this has on the climate. At GCSE, pupils consider the evidence for anthropogenic causes of climate change. They also study the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide and methane and how this can be mitigated.

Under the key stage 2 non-statutory guidance for citizenship, pupils are taught about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment.

In geography, at key stage 2 and 3 pupils should be taught human geography. In key stage 2, pupils are taught about types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. In key stage 3 pupils are taught about population and urbanisation, international development, economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors, and the use of natural resources. These topics can be built upon in more depth at GCSE.

In 2017, the department introduced a new environmental science A level. This enables pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include (1) social, (2) emotional, and (3) spiritual development, in the help being offered to primary school children to catch up on missed education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. As a result, all schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The statutory relationships and health education curriculum includes teaching about mental wellbeing. The topic covers how to talk about emotions accurately and sensitively, the benefits and importance of physical exercise and community activities on mental wellbeing and happiness, and where and how to seek support if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing. A significant contribution towards developing primary school children’s social, emotional and spiritual development is also made by school ethos, effective relationships throughout the school.

The department has committed £1.7 billion additional funding to date to help pupils recover from the recent disruption they have experienced: £1 billion in June 2020, including a £650 million premium for schools, and a further £700 million in February 2021 to provide additional funding through a Recovery Premium, summer schools, expansion of tutoring programmes and early language support.

This new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged pupils. To help schools use this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up and a further school planning guide, which are available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1 and https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

The guidance is clear that interventions, including those focused on aspects of education such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, are likely to be important to support those who have fallen furthest behind. Summer schools can also be effective in improving wellbeing, including through providing a mix of enrichment activities alongside academic content.

We have commissioned a mixed-methods research study that will examine schools’ recovery approaches to lost time in education as a result of COVID-19. This research will deliver an understanding of how schools are assessing the scale of any attainment loss, how the catch-up funding is being used, and the approaches schools are taking to catch pupils up – alongside any barriers/success factors to these approaches. The study will also assess how schools are helping pupils recover from any wellbeing or behavioural loss that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To provide further support during the autumn and spring terms, the department has worked with our partners, the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations, to launch Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, will train local experts to provide additional training, advice and resources to schools and colleges to help support pupil and student wellbeing, resilience and recovery.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) short-, and (2) long-term, financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early years childcare providers in receipt of local authority funding who have restricted access to the Job Retention Scheme. [T]

Our immediate objective is to ensure that critical workers have the childcare that they need to do their jobs during this crisis and that vulnerable children have access to early years provision.

Maintaining a healthy childcare market in the longer term is also crucially important, which is why the government will continue to pay for free early years entitlement places from the Dedicated Schools Grant, as well as ensuring early years providers have access to other government support schemes for businesses whose operations have been severely affected by COVID-19.

Further information on the support available is included in the guidance ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all children, not only those at a crisis point, have access to nature.

Defra recognises the crucial importance of having good access to green spaces for health and well-being. The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural landscapes in England for the next generation, and to helping people improve their health and wellbeing by connecting with nature.

There are a wide range of initiatives within Defra which will help to increase access to green spaces across the whole of England. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trees for Climate programme
  • Green Recovery Challenge Fund
  • Green Social Prescribing Project
  • Engagement with Protected Landscapes to improve access
  • Nature for Climate Fund
  • National Framework of Green Infrastructure Standards
  • Development of the England Coast Path and a new coast to coast National Trail in the north of England

On access to nature for children specifically:

  • The Children and Nature Programme, managed jointly by Defra, Natural England, and Department for Education, aims to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments.
  • Generation Green, a project funded through the first round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. It is a 16-month project, in partnership with the 10 English National Parks, that aims to provide more than 100,000 progressive opportunities to connect young people to nature, prioritising young people from BAME groups, disadvantaged backgrounds and coastal communities. It also aims to create and save jobs and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.
Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January.

Tearfund’s research report on ageing in Rwanda is an important contribution to a growing evidence base on changing demographics in Rwanda. It complements UK Aid funded research looking at the implications of ageing and demographic change in Rwanda. Tearfund’s report highlights the unique nature and speed of the demographic transition in Rwanda, a result of rapid improvements in life expectancy and a reduction in the fertility rate. While this is likely to provide opportunities in the future, the large growth in the number of older people will also create challenges; many of which, as the report clearly outlines, are being experienced by older people in Rwanda today. These include unmet mental health needs arising from loss, trauma and bereavement as well as vulnerability exacerbated by gaps in social protection, health and care services. DFID engaged in the dissemination event for this report in Kigali and will draw on findings from the research to further strengthen its work on social protection, agriculture and livelihoods to respond to the needs of older people in Rwanda.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January, what plans they have, if any, to ‘age-proof’ UK international development policies.

As the Tearfund report recognises, there is more work to do to ensure older people are actively included in international development policies and resources. DFID’s vision is a world where all people, in all stages of their lives, are engaged, empowered and able to exercise their rights. Age is an important factor in our efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. DFID ensures that issues of age, gender and disability are included in all UK international development policies. For example, DFID’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January, what plans they have, if any, to distribute foreign aid cross-generationally in Rwanda.

UK Aid in Rwanda responds directly to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and ensure that no one is left behind. In Rwanda, DFID is tackling vulnerabilities and exclusion at all stages of life; from early childhood, through school and adolescence into adulthood and older age. DFID Rwanda’s new £64.5 million programme to support the social protection sector includes explicit objectives to address old-age vulnerabilities, as highlighted in the Tearfund ‘Ageing in Rwanda’ report. Furthermore, given that many older people continue working past the official retirement age of 65, our support to older people is also integrated into broader interventions such as improving agricultural productivity and livelihoods in Rwanda.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they assess the effectiveness of UK aid in Rwanda for Rwandans over the age of 60.

Assessing the effectiveness of our work is a key priority for DFID, in order to ensure that our programmes achieve their intended results and that they contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals across our programming. One of the key means of supporting older Rwandans is through the social protection sector which DFID Rwanda has supported for over a decade. We have made strides in addressing the vulnerabilities of older people. As part of our most recent social protection programme in Rwanda (2013 - 2018), DFID’s support enabled the expansion of support to households living in poverty with no capacity to work – the vast majority of which are older people - to cover all 416 sectors in Rwanda and more than tripling the number of beneficiary households reached. DFID Rwanda’s new £64.5 million programme to support social protection provision in Rwanda also aims to better address specific vulnerabilities and support Rwanda’s longer-term policy objectives to implement an old-age pension.

20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of government debt deductions on Universal Credit recipients’ ability to afford essential items; and what steps they are taking to prevent debt deductions contributing to destitution as the cost of living increases.

The Department has not made an assessment. However, DWP takes every care to recover benefit debt without causing undue financial hardship.

To that end we have lowered the standard cap on deductions from Universal Credit twice over recent years, firstly from 40% to 30% in October 2019 and then to 25% in April 2021.

We also ensure that any deductions are taken in priority order, which effectively means that higher priority deductions, such as utilities payments, are taken first, with debt only taking up the balance of the overall cap.

Where a person feels they cannot afford the proposed rate of recovery, and the debt has not arisen as a result of fraud, they are encouraged to contact us. When they do, we work with them, reviewing their financial circumstances and in most instances, agreeing a temporary reduction in their rate of repayment. We have recently extended the time period for any reduced repayment of this type to remain in place.

In exceptional circumstances, the Department does have discretion to waive recovery of debt. Guidance on this can be found in full at Chapter 8 of the Benefit overpayment recovery guide, on the GOV.UK website, which was updated in 2022 to ensure that all appropriate factors are taken into account when a case is being considered for waiver.

In recognition of the financial pressures people are currently facing the Government is providing over £15bn in further support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. This

package is in addition to the over £22bn announced previously, with Government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37bn this year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to Universal Credit claimants who are in debt to become debt free.

DWP staff provide benefit and employment support across Great Britain through our national network of Jobcentres, who work in partnership with a variety of organisations that offer local budgeting and debt advice support.

The Government is keen to ensure that everyone accesses the benefits they are entitled to, which is why we have just launched an eligibility checker that can be found on the GOV.UK website. DWP also funds the Money and Pensions Service that provides additional support to help people, particularly those most in need to improve their financial wellbeing. It provides access to high-quality money and debt advice through its Money Helper services and signposting to third party organisations best placed to help.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the Local Housing Allowance for families in its frozen state.

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

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect the Local Housing Allowance being frozen will have in the northeast of England.

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

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect the Local Housing Allowance being frozen will have on families with children.

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

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they applied the Family Test to the Universal Credit two child limit when the policy was introduced; and whether they intend to do so on the policy’s fifth anniversary.

When developing the policy to provide support to a maximum of two children, the Department considered its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty which included some impacts on families where members are protected under the Equality Act 2010.

Specific consideration was given to the impact on claimants with protected characteristics who would be affected by the introduction of the policy, including but not limited to, the gender and age of claimants in receipt of the child element of Universal Credit, ethnic minority households and households who are in receipt of disability related benefits.

The Family Test should be considered in the process of policy development. There are currently no plans to apply the test now.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they applied the Family Test to the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022.

In making her decisions relating to the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022, the Secretary of State considered her obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty which also included the impact on families.

Specific consideration was given to the profile of disability related benefits; the proportion of families in receipt of State Pension and Pension Credit by ethnicity; and the gender and age of claimants for Universal Credit (UC), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support and Housing Benefit (HB). In addition, consideration was given to the ethnicity breakdown of ESA and JSA claimants and the family type of UC and HB households.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 16 March (HL Deb col 277), what measures they are using to evaluate the effects of the two child limit on Universal Credit.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2021 were published in July 2021 and can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/universal-credit-and-child-tax-credit-claimants-statistics-related-to-the-policy-to-provide-support-for-a-maximum-of-2-children-april-2021. Previous releases can also be found here.

Statistics related to the period up to April 2022 will be published in the summer.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have so far requested assistance from the Household Support Fund.

Any requests for assistance from Household Support Fund will have been directed to Local Authorities, who are running the schemes in their local area.

The Household Support Fund requires that Local Authorities provide Management Information returns to the Department to be published at the end of the scheme.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are in receipt of (1) the Cold Weather Payment, and (2) the Winter Fuel Payment.

There are an estimated 4 million eligible recipients for Cold Weather Payments in Great Britain. As at 18 February 2022 there have been six cold weather triggers, leading to 13,000 Cold Weather Payments being made this winter so far.

Winter Fuel Payments are payable to everyone who has reached State Pension age on or before the end of the third week of September in any particular year. The latest published Winter Fuel Payments statistics are for the period 2019/20 and show that 11.4m customers received a payment in Great Britain.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of introducing senior safeguarding leaders within the Department for Work and Pensions.

Since 2020, the Department has appointed more than 30 Advanced Customer Support Senior Leaders (ACSSLs) across Great Britain; these roles were previously known as Senior Safeguarding Leaders.

ACSSLs support internal teams with customers who have multiple needs. They are a critical link into external agencies’ escalation routes, enabling increased cross-agency case collaboration and more holistic support for customers. From a standing start in April 2020, ACSSLs now maintain around 750 relationships* with external organisations and agencies that provide support to vulnerable claimants.

As their role has been established and developed over the last 20 months, ACSSLs have built the capability and confidence of frontline teams - coaching them in using existing tools for the most complex cases and supporting them in applying new guidance. Through the ACSSLs, the Department has gained greater visibility with local partners - so we can work collaboratively for a customer when this is required. ACSSLs have also helped us gather data and insight into customers’ top areas of concern, helping us to deliver a better service for all claimants.

During 2021 we continually assessed the effect of introducing this role, how areas of concern about customers are identified, and the effectiveness of internal Service Line escalation routes.

Our findings so far demonstrate that ACSSLs are effective in supporting existing DWP Service Lines to assist customers most at risk of harm. It is also evident that clear Service Line escalation routes are needed to provide timely resolution for our most vulnerable customers, which in turn reduces the need for ACSSL intervention.

Following this work, ACSSLs’ future focus will include their coaching & facilitator role, their work with external agencies, and strengthening the learning they return to the business in real time.

*Please note: the data used here is taken from internal management information (MI) and is not in the public domain.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has to meet with the group of bereaved families calling for an independent public inquiry into deaths and serious harm related to the benefits system.

The Secretary of State and her ministerial team regularly meet external stakeholders to gain insight into customers’ experiences of the benefits system, and to determine how it might be improved.

The Department’s key obligation is to ensure that claimants receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely manner. We are committed to learning from cases where there is suggestion or allegation that the Department’s actions or omissions may have negatively contributed to the customer’s circumstances. We conduct internal retrospective investigations (known as Internal Process Reviews) to capture these lessons and take them forward to inform future policy and service.

There also exists a wide, independent and transparent system for investigating such cases, including the Independent Case Examiner, the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman and (where engaged) Coroners’ Courts in England and Wales.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases have been reported to the Department for Work and Pensions via the coroners focal point since February 2020.

From February 2020 to January 2022, 46 cases have been raised via this channel. This figure includes enquires made by the police and other bodies, and erroneous referrals where we signposted the enquirer elsewhere as appropriate.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, how they plan to address the rise in child poverty in the North East of England.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, what steps they are taking to support larger families living in poverty.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, what steps they are taking to address the rising number of children in relative poverty.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what key (1) economic, and (2) health, indicators they plan to use to inform their planned assessment of how best to support low-income families; and whether such any such assessment will include determining whether to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timeline for their assessment of (1) how best to support low-income families, and (2) whether to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children, published on 14 December, what new measures they are putting in place to respond to the needs of low-income families, and in particular, the children of such families.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system. From 6 April 2020 the Government temporarily increased the standard allowance in Universal Credit by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating, for new and existing Universal Credit claimants. This measure remains in place until March 2021.

The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170 million for local authorities in England. The grant will carry conditions and reporting requirements to ensure the scheme is focussed on providing support with food and utility costs to vulnerable families with children. At least 80 per cent is to be spent on families with children, providing some flexibility for councils to help other vulnerable people. Councils will also be required to spend at least 80 per cent on food and key utilities for heating and power, again, with some flexibility for other essentials. It is also increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers by more than a third to help low income families. From April the value of vouchers will rise from £3.10 to £4.25.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what factors they will consider in their review of whether to make permanent the temporary Universal Credit uplift; and when they plan to announce the outcome of that review.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by more than 60 organisations and bishops on 29 November on the Universal Credit uplift and legacy benefits; and what plans they have to extend the uplift to legacy benefits.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children to increase the child component of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits by £20 a week, following their research showing that 7 in 10 families with children in receipt of Universal Credit are cutting back on essentials as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Government has introduced an unprecedented package of welfare support of over £6.5 billion to help families cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. This has included increases to
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit worth up to £1,040 this financial year. In addition, we have increased Local Housing Allowance, lifting rates to the 30th percentile in the Private Rented Sector, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets.

Local Authorities in England will now be able to use the £500 million Hardship Fund announced at the Spring Budget, to help working people on Local Council Tax Support to provide additional help to vulnerable people locally through arrangements such as Local Welfare Schemes. On 10 June, it was announced that we are now providing £63 million in additional funding to local authorities in England to help people who find themselves in severe financial difficulties, through local welfare assistance programmes.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the statistics detailing the number of families and children affected by the two-child limit benefit policy up to April.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2019 are available on GOV.UK. Statistics related to the period up to April 2020 will be published in the summer.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the statistics detailing the number of families affected by the two-child limit benefit policy broken down by (1) parliamentary constituency, and (2) local authority.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2019 are available on GOV.UK. Statistics related to the period up to April 2020 will be published in the summer.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to adopt the Social Metrics Commission's measurement of poverty across all departments following the Department for Work and Pensions' commitment in May 2019 to develop experimental statistics using that Commission's measurement; and whether they have any further information on this issue.

In May 2019 the Government announced that it would develop a new experimental poverty statistic.

The Department aims to publish these statistics in the second half of 2020 and this work is ongoing.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce child poverty levels.

This Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty in all its forms. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond one that focuses on income alone to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, a copy of which is attached, we set out detailed evidence on the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and their impact on the outcomes of children in families where none of the parents are working. We also set out nine indicators to track progress in the areas that matter, including two statutory measures of parental worklessness and educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference to children’s outcomes.

There is clear evidence that children in working households are not only less likely to grow up in poverty – their life chances are also significantly better. We will therefore continue to reform the welfare system so that it works with the tax system and the labour market to support employment and higher pay. At the heart of our reforms is Universal Credit, which is designed to help people move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings. Once fully implemented, Universal Credit will inject in excess of £2bn more into the working age welfare system, helping families in the greatest need.

Promoting full-time work through work incentives is a key feature of this approach, reinforced by the National Living Wage and the rising Personal Tax Allowance, which work together to promote independence from benefits.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether 14 residents in a dormitory meets the UKHSA recommendations for a COVID-19 compliant environment; and if so, what guidance informed this recommendation.

The UK Health Security Agency does not specify numbers for a COVID-19 compliant environment, but advises on all locations being appropriately risk-assessed with identified risk mitigations put in place to address those risks. Risk mitigations may include: not using a location; fewer people in any given space; use of physical barriers; increased ventilation; testing, tracing and isolation protocols with different approaches for vaccinated/non-vaccinated people if relevant; and face coverings in confined or enclosed spaces.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether EU nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020 and who go on to be granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will be liable for chargeable healthcare as set out in NHS Charging Regulations guidance or whether they are entitled to free healthcare.

Citizens of a European Union country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and their family members who were lawfully residing in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020 will keep their right to healthcare on the same basis as UK residents, as long as they meet the ordinary residence test. From 1 July 2021, they must have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). These rights will be subject to any future domestic policy changes which apply to UK nationals.

An individual that has made an application to the EUSS will be considered non-chargeable from the date of their application until an outcome is determined by the Home Office. An individual who is eligible to apply to the EUSS but who has not submitted an application by 30 June 2021 will be chargeable. If they receive and pay for relevant services and then later make a late application which is granted, they will not be refunded for the earlier treatment.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether NHS staff organising COVID-19 vaccination appointments are required to ask patients for proof of residence in the UK.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available to EU nationals who have not confirmed their status under the EU Settlement Scheme after the 30 June deadline for applications has passed.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether migrants who have not paid the International Health Surcharge will be charged for a COVID-19 vaccination; and whether there will be any checks on a person's immigration status before such vaccinations are carried out.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding has been provided to local authorities (1) to support (a) asylum seekers, (b) refugees, and (c) migrants, to register with a GP, and (2) to ensure that those people are factored into COVID-19 vaccination plans.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available free of charge to anyone living in England, including those here without permission. The terms under which general practices are commissioned to deliver vaccination services enable practices to vaccinate unregistered patients. Individuals who are not registered with a practice will therefore be able to access the vaccine in line with the priority groups outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI). However, we would strongly encourage everyone to register so that they may be more easily invited for vaccination.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local government, voluntary, community and social enterprise partners and Healthwatch England on a campaign to support all people, particularly those in inclusion health groups, to register with a general practitioner (GP), which supports the identification of those who should be prioritised for the vaccine.

NHS England and NHS Improvement fund health assessment services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for destitute asylum seekers in the six Home Office-commissioned initial accommodation centres in England. In 2020/21, approximately £3.2 million was allocated to those CCGs. These services are in place to avoid disproportionate impact on local GP services and health assessment services may refer individuals for GP registration, which now includes prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccination in line with the JCVI’s advice.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children, published on 14 December, what assessment they have made of the mental health issues of (1) parents, and (2) children, of low-income families.

We recognise how important it is that everyone, including those in low-income families, get the support they need with their mental health and we are working to ensure that mental health services are there for everyone who needs them during the pandemic. We have released guidance through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website where people can get advice to support their mental health and wellbeing, which includes dealing with money worries and job uncertainty during the pandemic.

18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence was used to inform the increase in the immigration health surcharge, announced in the 2020 Budget.

The Department looked at actual data on surcharge-payers’ use of the National Health Service between April 2015 and September 2019 and their length of stay in the United Kingdom. This estimated the total costs to the NHS of treating the average surcharge-payer to be around £624 per person per annum.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to revisit the sanctions imposed on Burundi after the lifting of sanctions by the EU and United States of America.

We note that the US Government revoked its Burundi sanctions regime in November 2021 and that in February 2022 the EU lifted its suspension on direct financial assistance to the Government of Burundi. The EU retains a separate sanctions regime on Burundi, under which four individuals are designated. The UK's Burundi (Sanctions) Regulations 2021 are no longer in force. No individuals or entities were designated under those regulations. However we remain concerned about reports of human rights violations and abuses being committed against political opposition, critical voices and human rights defenders in Burundi. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is therefore working on re-laying new Regulations to allow us to impose sanctions rapidly if needed. As required by Section 30 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, the Government will report annually to Parliament on all sanctions regimes.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the current level of human rights protection in Burundi.

The UK Government welcomes steps taken by the Government of Burundi over the past 18 months, which demonstrate greater commitment to human rights including prisoner releases and engagement with some media outlets. However we remain concerned by reports of human rights violations and abuses being committed against the political opposition and critical voices. We are also concerned about the treatment of human rights defenders in Burundi. Our non-resident Ambassador to Burundi discussed human rights with the Government of Burundi and non-governmental actors when he visited the country in January. We will continue to monitor developments and advocate for improved human rights in Burundi through the British Embassy Liaison Office in Bujumbura and through our network of partners.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK donations of COVID-19 vaccinations to other countries ever have conditions attached to the donation; and if so, what conditions have been placed on donations.

The UK has consistently stressed that we are all facing the same pandemic and the threat of further waves and variants of the virus makes cooperation between all our partners and the UK ever more vital and important. For this reason, we do not ask recipients to take any steps beyond the reasonable and responsible use of the vaccines. We have donated over 30 million doses, benefiting over 30 different countries, with a further 25 million doses committed to COVAX when available. The main objective of any donation is to promote the economic development and welfare of the recipient country, though we will also seek to strengthen key relationships, in line with the Integrated Review.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the announcement made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 27 October that 60,000 refugees are voluntarily returning home to Burundi this year, what steps they will take to support (1) the UN, and (2) the refugees' return, and (3) integration in that country.

The UK Government welcomes the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in conjunction with governments in the neighbouring region, to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees to Burundi. Working with its development partners, the Government of Burundi launched the 2021 Joint Refugee Return and Reintegration Plan, which aims to support the safe and dignified return home of some 143,000 Burundian refugees in the sub-region and beyond, and to promote their sustainable reintegration. We continue to urge the Government of Burundi to ensure that the needs and rights of refugees, other displaced people and host communities are recognized and factored in to socio-economic planning, as this is vital for underpinning sustainable returns and reintegration. The UK Government is supporting these efforts, including through funding to the UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, and bilaterally for the reintegration and other humanitarian initiatives to support the refugee population. The UK has provided a total of £17 million of humanitarian support to Burundi between July 2017 and November 2021.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the droughts in Lesotho; and what steps will they take to ensure that those living there have enough water to maintain hydroelectric power.

The UK is concerned by the impacts of the droughts in Lesotho. In 2020, the UK provided £6.5 million to support the immediate needs of vulnerable populations across the Southern Africa region, including £1.9 million to Lesotho through multilateral partners, when drought conditions first occurred. Lesotho currently imports most of its electricity, but the Government of Lesotho is expanding its potential domestic hydropower capacity under Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The UK is supporting the development of clean power options in Lesotho with assistance from the Renewable Energy Performance Platform and funding a regional transboundary water management programme in southern Africa. This programme supports countries in southern Africa, including Lesotho, to manage their shared water resources and better cope with the impacts of climate change (especially floods and drought).

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support countries that are vulnerable to disruption caused by climate change; what discussions they have had with the government of Burundi about the impact of rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika on the displacement of people; and what support, if any, they intend to provide to that country to mitigate the effects of climate change.

We recognise that it is often the most vulnerable countries who are being hit hardest by the impact of climate change. We are clear that COP26 needs to deliver ambitious outcomes on adaptation as well as mitigation. That is why the UK has committed to doubling our climate finance for mitigation and adaptation to £11.6 billion from 2021-2025. This will help developing countries take action to tackle climate change. During discussions in June, the former Minister for Africa encouraged Burundi to engage on climate adaptation, including through COP26.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November; and in particular that report’s findings that Burundi is (1) 157th out of 167 countries ranked in terms of overall prosperity, and (2) among the top 10 worst countries in the world in the categories of (a) economic quality, (b) living conditions, and (c) health.

The UK remains concerned by the development indicators for Burundi and the findings of this report. The UK has been providing support to Burundi to tackle health crises including helping to tackle acute malnutrition, responding to a malaria outbreak and supporting on Ebola and COVID-19 response.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November, that Lesotho is among the top 10 worst countries in the world in the natural environment category.

We are concerned by the ongoing impact of climate variability upon the prosperity of Lesotho, as well as the Legatum Prosperity Index's findings for natural environment ranking Lesotho as 166 out of 167 countries. Climate and Natural Resources have been a pillar of the UK Government's strategic approach to Africa since 2018, with an increased focus on these issues across the continent. We recognise how important natural resources are for Lesotho's long-term prosperity, and that is why climate change and environmental issues are key priorities for the recently re-opened British High Commission in Maseru.

The UK is supporting Lesotho to improve the management of their shared water resources, helping people to cope with the impacts of existing climate variability through the FCDO's regional Transboundary Water Management Programme. This is supporting efforts to respond to the urgent issue of wetland degradation across Southern Africa, and the declining capacity at the source of the Orange-Senqu river to retain, regulate and sustain base water flows, which are crucial for local livelihoods and for water supply within Lesotho and South Africa. The UK also recently announced a £7 million Southern Africa COVID-19 Humanitarian and Remittance Relief Fund, which will support countries across the region hit by the combined effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November, that Rwanda is among the top 10 most improved countries in the world in the categories of (1) governance, (2) investment environment, and (3) market access and infrastructure.

Good governance, a sound investment environment and strong market access and infrastructure are all important for economic growth. As indicated by the findings of the report, Rwanda has made good progress in many of these areas over the past ten years. UK support has helped strengthen the Rwanda Revenue Authority to dramatically improve tax collection, create a national land title system to support investment, support Government to deliver an electronic system reducing the time and cost of clearing goods across borders, and increase the involvement of citizens in some areas of policymaking. These investments also create opportunities for UK trade and support Rwanda to exit from aid. We continue to regularly raise with the Government of Rwanda the need to match its impressive developmental progress with increased political and civic rights for citizens.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current intergovernmental relations between the governments of Rwanda and Burundi.

The UK notes positive developments in the Rwanda-Burundi relationship, including the meeting of foreign ministers at their shared border on 20 October. We support continued dialogue and increased cooperation between the two governments. Good relations between Rwanda and Burundi are important for continued development and sustainable peace.

20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the return of Burundian refugees from Rwanda; and what steps they have taken to support any such resettlement.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working with the Governments of Rwanda and Burundi to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees to Burundi. Since 26 July 2020, a large number of refugees have been repatriated from Rwanda. The UK continues to support the work of UNHCR including reintegration support for repatriated refugees, in addition to wider food security, malnutrition and emergency management interventions. The UK has provided a total of £15 million in humanitarian support to Burundi between July 2017 and December 2020.

20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking in response to the report by the UN Human Rights Council Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, published on 16 September.

The UK remains extremely concerned by the ongoing human rights situation in Burundi, and its humanitarian consequences. The findings of the report of the Commission of Inquiry that Burundi remains at risk of atrocities, is deeply troubling. We welcome the Government of Burundi's commitment to deliver real change and break from the past. The UK will be ready to engage in more substantive dialogue with Burundi once it has taken demonstrable steps to improve human rights, and made progress towards peace and stability. However, we believe an inclusive dialogue, led by the region, remains one of the only viable options to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Burundi. In this context, we continue to urge Burundi to engage both with the region and with the wider international community on human rights, sustainable peace and development issues in the country.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Rwanda following the publication of the report by Human Rights Watch "As long as we live on the streets, they will beat us": Rwanda's abusive detention of children, published on 27 January, which claims that Rwandan authorities are formalising their abusive arrests and detention of vulnerable children under the pretence of rehabilitation.

We are aware of the Human Rights Watch report "As Long as We Live on the Streets, They Will Beat Us", published on 27 January, which we are currently reviewing. We urge the Government of Rwanda to abide by its international human rights obligations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Rwanda ratified in 1991. The UK regularly raises human rights issues in our discussions with the Government of Rwanda. The Prime Minister most recently met President Kagame in the margins of the Africa Investment Summit in January.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the Money and Pensions Service is taking to help those in need of debt advice know where to seek it.

The Government is committed to monitoring and understanding personal debt levels in the UK, including the impact of cost-of-living pressures, and help individuals access appropriate guidance and support if they need help to get their finances back on track. Different organisations measure and define ‘problem debt’ in different ways. The Government monitors personal debt levels by working closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) , the Financial Conduct Authority and by engaging regularly with many other stakeholders on their research and findings.

MaPS undertakes an annual survey of Debt Need to understand how many people are facing financial difficulties and to better understand their characteristics, needs and preferences. The most recent survey indicated that 16% (around 8.5 million) of the UK adult population needed debt advice, with a further 20% (around 10.6 million) ‘at risk’ and likely to need help if their situation deteriorates.

To help people in problem debt, the Government continues to maintain record levels of funding for free-to-consumer debt advice in England in 2022-23, bringing this year’s debt advice budget for MaPS to over £90 million.

In addition to this, the Government launched the Breathing Space scheme in England and Wales last year. The scheme gives eligible people in problem debt who receive professional debt advice access to a 60-day period in which enforcement action is paused and most fees, charges and interest are frozen. Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is an additional strand of Breathing Space that enables people receiving mental health crisis treatment to access the protections of the scheme for the full duration of their treatment, plus a further 30 days. In 2021, MaPS set up a single point of entry for the service and commissioned a dedicated pilot, delivered by Rethink Mental Illness.

The Government also continues to develop the Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP), a statutory agreement that will enable a person in problem debt to combine their debts into a single repayment plan, with payments made over a manageable time period, while receiving legal protections from creditor action for the duration of their plan.

To help people access debt advice, MaPS launched MoneyHelper in 2021, a consumer-facing service which provides free and impartial guidance for people across the UK. This includes budget planning and bill prioritiser tools, practical tips for engaging with creditors and a Debt Advice Locator Tool, which helps people find free, high-quality debt advice in their local area or via telephone and online.

MaPS has also developed the Money Advisor Network pilot which enables a range of organisations including Job Centre Plus, local authorities and financial service providers to refer people for free to MaPS funded debt advice. The individuals referred can either proceed immediately to debt advice, request a call-back at a more convenient time or schedule an in-person appointment.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of increases to the cost of living on problem debt for those in the bottom 40 per cent of equivalised household incomes; and what steps they are taking to protect such households from problem debt.

The Government is committed to monitoring and understanding personal debt levels in the UK, including the impact of cost-of-living pressures, and help individuals access appropriate guidance and support if they need help to get their finances back on track. Different organisations measure and define ‘problem debt’ in different ways. The Government monitors personal debt levels by working closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) , the Financial Conduct Authority and by engaging regularly with many other stakeholders on their research and findings.

MaPS undertakes an annual survey of Debt Need to understand how many people are facing financial difficulties and to better understand their characteristics, needs and preferences. The most recent survey indicated that 16% (around 8.5 million) of the UK adult population needed debt advice, with a further 20% (around 10.6 million) ‘at risk’ and likely to need help if their situation deteriorates.

To help people in problem debt, the Government continues to maintain record levels of funding for free-to-consumer debt advice in England in 2022-23, bringing this year’s debt advice budget for MaPS to over £90 million.

In addition to this, the Government launched the Breathing Space scheme in England and Wales last year. The scheme gives eligible people in problem debt who receive professional debt advice access to a 60-day period in which enforcement action is paused and most fees, charges and interest are frozen. Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is an additional strand of Breathing Space that enables people receiving mental health crisis treatment to access the protections of the scheme for the full duration of their treatment, plus a further 30 days. In 2021, MaPS set up a single point of entry for the service and commissioned a dedicated pilot, delivered by Rethink Mental Illness.

The Government also continues to develop the Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP), a statutory agreement that will enable a person in problem debt to combine their debts into a single repayment plan, with payments made over a manageable time period, while receiving legal protections from creditor action for the duration of their plan.

To help people access debt advice, MaPS launched MoneyHelper in 2021, a consumer-facing service which provides free and impartial guidance for people across the UK. This includes budget planning and bill prioritiser tools, practical tips for engaging with creditors and a Debt Advice Locator Tool, which helps people find free, high-quality debt advice in their local area or via telephone and online.

MaPS has also developed the Money Advisor Network pilot which enables a range of organisations including Job Centre Plus, local authorities and financial service providers to refer people for free to MaPS funded debt advice. The individuals referred can either proceed immediately to debt advice, request a call-back at a more convenient time or schedule an in-person appointment.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of increases to the cost of living on problem debt; and what steps that are taking to reduce problem debt.

The Government is committed to monitoring and understanding personal debt levels in the UK, including the impact of cost-of-living pressures, and help individuals access appropriate guidance and support if they need help to get their finances back on track. Different organisations measure and define ‘problem debt’ in different ways. The Government monitors personal debt levels by working closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) , the Financial Conduct Authority and by engaging regularly with many other stakeholders on their research and findings.

MaPS undertakes an annual survey of Debt Need to understand how many people are facing financial difficulties and to better understand their characteristics, needs and preferences. The most recent survey indicated that 16% (around 8.5 million) of the UK adult population needed debt advice, with a further 20% (around 10.6 million) ‘at risk’ and likely to need help if their situation deteriorates.

To help people in problem debt, the Government continues to maintain record levels of funding for free-to-consumer debt advice in England in 2022-23, bringing this year’s debt advice budget for MaPS to over £90 million.

In addition to this, the Government launched the Breathing Space scheme in England and Wales last year. The scheme gives eligible people in problem debt who receive professional debt advice access to a 60-day period in which enforcement action is paused and most fees, charges and interest are frozen. Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is an additional strand of Breathing Space that enables people receiving mental health crisis treatment to access the protections of the scheme for the full duration of their treatment, plus a further 30 days. In 2021, MaPS set up a single point of entry for the service and commissioned a dedicated pilot, delivered by Rethink Mental Illness.

The Government also continues to develop the Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP), a statutory agreement that will enable a person in problem debt to combine their debts into a single repayment plan, with payments made over a manageable time period, while receiving legal protections from creditor action for the duration of their plan.

To help people access debt advice, MaPS launched MoneyHelper in 2021, a consumer-facing service which provides free and impartial guidance for people across the UK. This includes budget planning and bill prioritiser tools, practical tips for engaging with creditors and a Debt Advice Locator Tool, which helps people find free, high-quality debt advice in their local area or via telephone and online.

MaPS has also developed the Money Advisor Network pilot which enables a range of organisations including Job Centre Plus, local authorities and financial service providers to refer people for free to MaPS funded debt advice. The individuals referred can either proceed immediately to debt advice, request a call-back at a more convenient time or schedule an in-person appointment.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they applied the Family Test to the measures set out in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Spring Statement on 23 March; and if so, what their conclusions and mitigations were.

The Treasury has established processes in place to ensure appropriate assessments of equality and family test impacts are conducted in the development of new policy.

In the interests of transparency, we have gone beyond legal requirements by publishing impacts for the tax measures announced at the Spring Statement 2022 in summary form in Tax Information and Impact Notes (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tax-information-and-impact-notes-tiins - spring-statement-2022)

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are planning to take to address the high cost of living, even after the rate of inflation has reduced.

As the global economy recovers, many economies are experiencing high inflation, in part due to pressures from rising energy prices and disruptions to global supply chains. These global pressures are the main driver of higher inflation in the UK.

We understand the pressure that a higher cost of living places on people and low-income families. The government is providing support worth over £20 billion this financial year and next that will help families with the cost of living. This includes cutting the Universal Credit taper rate and increasing work allowances to make sure work pays, freezing alcohol and fuel duties to keep costs down, and the £9.1 billion package announced in February 2022 to help households with rising energy bills.
Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice on 29 November 2021 (79500), how many surgeries have been held at Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre since contingency arrangements were put in place to provide access to the Detention Duty Advice Scheme.

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in immigration removal centres (IRCs) in England under the Detained Duty Advice Scheme. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

Staff in immigration removal centres work closely with the LAA to manage demand for the Detained Duty Advice Scheme (DDAS). Following feedback, the weekly rotas for legal providers were instead made into daily rotas, thereby increasing choice for detained individuals, as well as the number of advice slots available allowing for flexibility around the time and days these sessions can be held. The surgeries are operated when detained individuals request to engage with a legal provider under the scheme. On an ad-hoc basis additional advice sessions are also arranged in line with demand. This approach has continued throughout the immigration removal estate and is in operation at Derwentside IRC.

In order to provide access to DDAS services for women held at Derwentside IRC, from 1 January 2022, existing legal providers at Yarl’s Wood IRC were invited to provide an additional 6 months of interim provision at Derwentside. There have been 44 Detained Duty Advice Surgeries available from 1 January 2022, to date, at Derwentside. Within these surgeries, 109 appointments have taken place by phone and 63 by video-conferencing platforms.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the contract with Care and Custody to deliver the management of all detainees’ needs at the Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre is monitored.

Mitie Care and Custody is required to provide a safe and secure environment for detained individuals in their care at Derwentside immigration removal centre (IRC). There is a robust and comprehensive system of contract management and monitoring in place for the delivery of services. The contract is managed in line with Government best practice and the Cabinet Office commercial operating standards. This includes weekly and monthly operationally led meetings to review performance and formal Quarterly Contract Review Meetings to establish whether the services are being performed to the required standards. Mitie’s performance is measured against a set of defined key performance indicators.

Onsite Home Office compliance teams are responsible for ensuring that suppliers are fulfilling their contractual requirements. They monitor the services provided, the treatment of detained individuals, the condition of the establishment and ensure that the Home Office is receiving effective service and value for money.

Independent monitoring of our IRCs is vital to ensuring that each centre provides a secure and humane environment for detained individuals. Recommendations are made by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons in their regular reviews, and public reports, of IRCs. Accepted recommendations are incorporated into a publicly available service improvement plan. In addition, each centre has its own Independent Monitoring Board, tasked with ensuring proper standards of care and decency for those in detention. The Boards issue annual reports, and also make recommendations for improvements.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many in-person legal visits have taken place at Derwentside immigration removal centre since women were first detained there.

The Home Office publishes statistics on immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release ’. This includes data on people:

Data on those entering detention, by place of detention, relate to the place of initial detention. Data on ‘in detention’ refers to the number of people in detention at the end of the period. An individual who moves from one part of the detention estate to another will not be counted as entering any subsequent place of detention. Last place of detention does not show where an individual spent their time in detention. In some cases, an individual may have spent a period of time detained elsewhere before being moved to their last place of detention.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can make an application for support and accommodation whilst their application for asylum is being considered. All asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help, where they can raise any concerns regarding accommodation or support services, and they can get information about how to obtain further support.

Detained individuals are advised of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in IRCs in England. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

At Derwentside IRC there has been 6 in-person legal visits between 28 December 2021 and 7 June 2022. Legal visits can take place from legal providers attending under the Legal Aid Detained Duty Advice Scheme and other legal providers visiting their clients who are in detention. In line with Government advice on social distancing, during the pandemic, face to face legal visits were facilitated in exceptional circumstances, and only if other means of contact (Skype, telephone, email) were not feasible or appropriate. In light of changes to Government guidance, face to face legal visits can now be facilitated. Safe systems of work are in place to ensure the safety of detained individuals, onsite staff and visitors during these visits.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women have been deported from the UK after residing at the Derwentside immigration removal centre.

The Home Office publishes statistics on immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release ’. This includes data on people:

Data on those entering detention, by place of detention, relate to the place of initial detention. Data on ‘in detention’ refers to the number of people in detention at the end of the period. An individual who moves from one part of the detention estate to another will not be counted as entering any subsequent place of detention. Last place of detention does not show where an individual spent their time in detention. In some cases, an individual may have spent a period of time detained elsewhere before being moved to their last place of detention.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can make an application for support and accommodation whilst their application for asylum is being considered. All asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help, where they can raise any concerns regarding accommodation or support services, and they can get information about how to obtain further support.

Detained individuals are advised of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in IRCs in England. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

At Derwentside IRC there has been 6 in-person legal visits between 28 December 2021 and 7 June 2022. Legal visits can take place from legal providers attending under the Legal Aid Detained Duty Advice Scheme and other legal providers visiting their clients who are in detention. In line with Government advice on social distancing, during the pandemic, face to face legal visits were facilitated in exceptional circumstances, and only if other means of contact (Skype, telephone, email) were not feasible or appropriate. In light of changes to Government guidance, face to face legal visits can now be facilitated. Safe systems of work are in place to ensure the safety of detained individuals, onsite staff and visitors during these visits.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women have been released into the community from the Derwentside immigration removal centre since it opened on 28 December 2021; and what support has been provided to help them access suitable accommodation.

The Home Office publishes statistics on immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release ’. This includes data on people:

Data on those entering detention, by place of detention, relate to the place of initial detention. Data on ‘in detention’ refers to the number of people in detention at the end of the period. An individual who moves from one part of the detention estate to another will not be counted as entering any subsequent place of detention. Last place of detention does not show where an individual spent their time in detention. In some cases, an individual may have spent a period of time detained elsewhere before being moved to their last place of detention.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can make an application for support and accommodation whilst their application for asylum is being considered. All asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help, where they can raise any concerns regarding accommodation or support services, and they can get information about how to obtain further support.

Detained individuals are advised of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in IRCs in England. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

At Derwentside IRC there has been 6 in-person legal visits between 28 December 2021 and 7 June 2022. Legal visits can take place from legal providers attending under the Legal Aid Detained Duty Advice Scheme and other legal providers visiting their clients who are in detention. In line with Government advice on social distancing, during the pandemic, face to face legal visits were facilitated in exceptional circumstances, and only if other means of contact (Skype, telephone, email) were not feasible or appropriate. In light of changes to Government guidance, face to face legal visits can now be facilitated. Safe systems of work are in place to ensure the safety of detained individuals, onsite staff and visitors during these visits.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether co-chairs have been appointed to the Joint Committee that was to be established "without delay” after the asylum partnership arrangement with the government of the Republic of Rwanda came into effect.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become operational in the coming months. More details on this will be set out in due course.

The co-chairs for the Joint Committee will be decided upon in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether individuals have been appointed to the Monitoring Committee that was set out in the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become operational in the coming months. More details on this will be set out in due course.

The co-chairs for the Joint Committee will be decided upon in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the terms of reference for the Monitoring Committee, which was referred to in the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement; and when the Monitoring Committee will be operational.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become operational in the coming months. More details on this will be set out in due course.

The co-chairs for the Joint Committee will be decided upon in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be on the Independent Monitoring Board referred to in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and the government of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement; and when will the Board be fully operational.

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)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government which policies, if any, the Home Office has applied the Family Test to in the last year.

The Family Test is one of a number of impact assessments applied during the policy making process to relevant policies developed by the Home Office.

For example, the Test was applied to the Police Covenant measures of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have applied the Family Test to the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is part of our New Plan for Immigration, delivering the most comprehensive reform of the asylum system in decades.

We have undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment as part of our work on the Nationality and Borders Bill, which was published on 16 September 2021.

The assessment considers the potential impacts on people because of their marriage / civil partnership. It also includes consideration of the possible impacts on children.

The Equality Impact Assessment can be found on the GOV.UK website at; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nationality-and-borders-bill-equality-impact-assessment.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish offshore asylum processing centres in Rwanda.

The Government have been clear that we are committed to working closely with international partners as we work to fix our broken asylum system. We are talking to a range of partners about how we could work together and will not rule out any option that could help reduce illegal migration and relieve the pressure on the broken asylum system.

We will not give a running commentary on discussions with our international partners but would only ever work with countries which are safe and will treat those transferred in accordance with our international obligations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office on 16 April (175879), whether they now intend to publish the internal review looking into the assessment of asylum claims on the grounds of (1) religion, and (2) sexuality.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection to individuals fleeing persecution based on their religious beliefs, sexual orientation and gender identity and are committed to delivering an asylum system that is responsive to all forms of persecution.

The review into the way asylum claims on the basis of religious and LGBT+ grounds are assessed has been completed. The Home Office do not have any plans to publish the findings of this internal review.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether issuing priority removal notices and evidence notices to those under the age of 18 at the time of their arrival in the UK is compliant with (1) the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, (2) the Children Act 1989, and (3) the Children Act 2004.

As part of our obligations under the public sector equality duty, an equality impact assessment has been completed in respect of the measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill concerning priority removal notices and evidence notices, this includes a consideration of possible impacts on children.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children are currently waiting for a decision on their asylum application and have waited for over six months.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum in the Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release, which can be found on go.uk. Data on the number of people awaiting a decision on an asylum application are published in table ASY_D03 of the 'asylum and resettlement detailed datasets', which can be found attached. Age breakdowns are not available in the published data.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what records they keep of the number of child refugees who go missing in the UK.

Safeguarding procedures are in place to ensure children in temporary accommodation are safe and supported until a permanent place can be found with a local authority.

The Department for Education’s Statutory guidance on children who go missing from care requires local authorities to share data on all missing children locally in a multi-agency forum to ensure children who have gone missing are appropriately safeguarded.

All incidents of children going missing are recorded by local police forces. The immigration status of a child may not be recorded by police if it is not believed relevant to the incident, which may be the case if, for example, a child in local authority care has had refugee status for some time.

Data on the number of all child refugees reported missing in 2021 is therefore not collated by central government in a reportable way.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many missing persons cases of child refugees have been issued in 2021.

Safeguarding procedures are in place to ensure children in temporary accommodation are safe and supported until a permanent place can be found with a local authority.

The Department for Education’s Statutory guidance on children who go missing from care requires local authorities to share data on all missing children locally in a multi-agency forum to ensure children who have gone missing are appropriately safeguarded.

All incidents of children going missing are recorded by local police forces. The immigration status of a child may not be recorded by police if it is not believed relevant to the incident, which may be the case if, for example, a child in local authority care has had refugee status for some time.

Data on the number of all child refugees reported missing in 2021 is therefore not collated by central government in a reportable way.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the evaluation of the 'Action Access' alternative detention pilot.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have appointed the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to independently evaluate this pilot.

NatCen will be publishing the evaluation on their website the aim is for the evaluation to be published by the end of the year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they sought planning permission from Shepway District Council for the continued use of Napier Barracks to house people seeking asylum; and if not, why not.

Planning permission was not sought from Shepway District Council as we pursued the Special Development Order process, which meant there was no requirement to seek planning permission from local authorities.

Engagement with both Folkestone and & Hythe District Council (formerly Shepway District Council) and Kent City Council, outlining the background and explaining our plan to continue using the site was undertaken as part of the Special Development order process.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a Children's Rights Impact Assessment has been conducted for the provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is part of our New Plan for Immigration, delivering the most comprehensive reform of the asylum system in decades.

An Equality Impact Assessment was published on 16 September, and this includes consideration of possible impacts on children. The Equality Impact Assessment can be found on the GOV.UK website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nationality-and-borders-bill-equality-impact-assessment.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the proposed changes to family reunion rights in the Nationality and Borders Bill on the number of (1) men, (2) women, and (3) children, who will come to the UK via family reunion; whether they expect the number of such people to be lower than in previous years; and if so, by how many.

Family reunion will only be permitted to Group 2 refugees where refusing would be a breach of our international obligations under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Taken in combination with wider measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill, this policy seeks to deter migrants from undertaking extremely dangerous journeys to the UK from safe countries.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether family reunion rights will be restricted for all group 2 refugees as a result of the proposed changes to the law in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Family reunion will only be permitted to Group 2 refugees where refusing would be a breach of our international obligations under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Taken in combination with wider measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill, this policy seeks to deter migrants from undertaking extremely dangerous journeys to the UK from safe countries.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the definition of an accommodation centre applied by the Home Office; and what are the reasons Napier Barracks is not classified as such.

The Government is considering introducing full-board accommodation centres, as provided for in Part 2 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. These are expected to provide long term support for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute and have the appropriate services and facilities in place at the site for that purpose.

The centres will therefore differ from the full-board accommodation facilities that are currently used to provide temporary support to individuals until they are moved to flats or houses (“dispersal accommodation”), or the contingency accommodation currently provided at Napier and in various hotels across the UK because of the shortage of dispersal accommodation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact on integration of housing people seeking asylum in Napier Barracks.

The ongoing use of Napier Barracks is necessary to meet the demand to accommodate asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute. The support and integration of asylum seekers accommodated in Napier is the same as those accommodated in other types of accommodation.

Asylum seekers have access to Migrant Help, a voluntary sector organisation funded by the Home Office, are able to use the NHS free of charge and are provided with other support to cover their essential living needs, in the same way as other asylum seekers accommodated by the Home Office.

Residents are free to leave the site and are encouraged to do so for social, religious or cultural purposes. There have been a number of improvements made to the facilities over recent months, designed to aid integration such as the reintroduction of sports and recreational activities and Non-Government Organisations on site providing activities, advice and assistance.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions (1) Ministers, and (2) representatives, from the Home Office had with Shepway District Council before the Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021 (SI 2021/962) was laid before Parliament.

Discussions took place with both Folkestone & Hythe District Council (formerly Shepway District Council) and Kent City Council, outlining the background and explaining our plan to continue using the site.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all residents at Napier Barracks have been offered a COVID-19 vaccination.

Asylum seekers, including those resident at Napier, have the same access to the Covid-19 vaccination as the general UK population.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of COVID-19 there have been at Napier Barracks since April.

Twelve people have tested positive for coronavirus whilst accommodated at Napier Barracks since April 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) departmental officials, and (2) Ministers, have undertaken the 'Face behind the case' training.

(1) The ‘Face Behind the Case’ e-learning is for UKVI staff, to highlight the impact decisions have on our customers. As of 28 June 2021, the training has been completed by 9,633 officials across the Home Office. (2) This data is not held by UKVI.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group on implementing the Migrants' Commissioner role; and what progress they have made on this issue.

The Home Office has tasked a sub-group of the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group (WWG) to independently advise the Home Secretary on what the Migrants’ Commissioner role should look like, including who and what it should cover, and the best model for delivering it.

The Sub-group will make their recommendations for the Home Secretary’s consideration prior to Wendy Williams’ return to inspect the Department’s progress in September.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March, when they plan to consult on the proposal to remove support from families who have become Appeals Rights Exhausted (ARE), but have a child that was born prior to becoming ARE.

The Home Office plans to consult on the implementation of the support provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 later this year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March, whether they intend for the proposal that judges be told to give “minimal weight” to evidence raised by an asylum seeker late in the legal process to apply to unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

The policy intention is that judges must have regard to the principle that minimal weight should be attached to late evidence unless there are good reasons why the evidence was provided late. It will be a matter for judges to make decisions having regard to that principle on a case-by-case basis.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people likely to be resettled this year under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme; and how that figure compares to (1) 2018, and (2) 2019.

In December 2020, the UK resumed resettlement following a pause due to the pandemic. On 25 February 2021 the Government met its target of resettling 20,000 refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Since then, the Government has continued to welcome refugees through the global UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS).

The number of refugees we resettle every year will depend on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting those we resettle and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. This year, the recovery from the pandemic will be a significant factor affecting capacity. We are working closely with our partners to assess the capacity for resettlement in the months ahead and will continue to welcome those in need in the years to come.

The numbers of refugees resettled are published through official statistics at quarterly intervals. The next set of statistics will be published in July and will include the number of people resettled since March. These are available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals have been resettled under its Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme since the scheme restarted.

In December 2020, the UK resumed resettlement following a pause due to the pandemic. On 25 February 2021 the Government met its target of resettling 20,000 refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Since then, the Government has continued to welcome refugees through the global UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS).

The numbers of refugees resettled are published through official statistics at quarterly intervals. The next set of statistics will be published in July and will include the number of people resettled since March. These are available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether European Economic Area nationals who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will be permitted to have the right to work and rent while their applications are pending.

From 1 July, right to work and right to rent checks will change and EEA citizens will be required to demonstrate eligibility through evidence of their immigration status, rather than their nationality.

EEA citizens who have an outstanding, late application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and do not have any other form of immigration leave will not be permitted to take up new employment or enter into a new tenancy agreement until they have been granted status under the EUSS.

We have designed a process to ensure employers do not have to cease the employment of an individual who has been working for them since before the end of the grace period, who makes a late application.

Likewise, a landlord is not required to evict an existing tenant who no longer has lawful status in the UK, but they must make a report via GOV.UK to the Home Office, to maintain their statutory excuse.

A person granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme on the basis of a late application will have the same rights from the date they are granted status, as a person who applied by the deadline. This includes their right to work and right to rent.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the update to the EU Settlement Scheme caseworker guidance on late applications and its discussion of children in care and care leavers, whether care leavers who are over 18 at the deadline are included as having reasonable grounds to make out of time applications.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish updated figures of the number of children in care and care leavers identified as eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to work with local authorities to ensure all eligible children in care and care leavers are identified before the EU Settlement Scheme deadline.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that the number of young people in the care of local authorities who still need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme do so before the deadline.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of their Comprehensive Improvement Plan in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, they have a stated aim to increase case escalation where there are ethical considerations.

The ethical decision making model, developed in response to Recommendation 17 of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, is designed to support staff to flag possible unintended consequences to ensure that services and policies are delivered in the way that Ministers intended.

The focus is on ensuring that operational staff are making the right decision first time. The model takes decision-makers through a four step process from evidence through to impact, and prompts staff to consider whether their decisions are in line with the ethical standards within the Home Office Values(Respectful, Compassionate, Collaborative and Courageous) and Civil Service Code (Integrity, Honesty, Objectivity and Impartiality). If a member of staff identifies an ethical issue, that signals a possible unintended consequence of policy, they may resolve it themselves, discuss it with a colleague, or escalate the concern as appropriate. The model will not replace the immigration rules.

As part of the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, we state that we expect to see an increase in the number of cases escalated for ethical consideration. This increase will take place as the ethical decision-making model, that is currently being tested in different immigration business areas, is rolled out fully and prompts that consideration. Over the longer term, we would expect to see a decrease in the number of cases that are overturned at tribunal as the ethical decision-making model will assist decision-makers to get the decision right first time.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) are the Terms of Reference, and (2) is the intended completion date, for Wendy Williams' review of progress on recommendations made in the report Windrush Lessons Learned Review: independent review by Wendy Williams, published on 31 March 2020.

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

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to update the progress they have made in evaluating the environment for immigrants following the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

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

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what requirements they have established with Migrant Help (1) to log and record every call made to the service by asylum seekers in contingency accommodation, and (2) to set a target time for responding to issues raised in these calls, as part of its contracts with that charity; and what assessment they have made of whether Migrant Help is fulfilling any such requirements in carrying out such contracts.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a list of requirements that dispersal accommodation must meet.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers with school-age children are currently housed in contingency accommodation; and how long they expect it will be before such asylum seekers are allocated dispersal accommodation.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers they have asked (1) Mears, (2) Serco, and (3) Clearsprings Ready Homes, to provide accommodation for as part of Operation Oak.

We currently have c8100 people in hotels, with our providers working to procure sufficient accommodation across the UK to exit contingency accommodation and maintain a business as usual operation thereafter.

We require providers to work at pace but have directed them to only procure accommodation which is safe and secure for asylum seekers and the communities in which they live.

We remain committed to working in partnership with local authorities, through the use the Strategic Migration Partnerships to ensure the views of local authorities are included when forward planning.

12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a maximum recommended length of stay for asylum seekers in contingency accommodation before they are offered more suitable long-term accommodation.

There is no maximum recommended length of stay for asylum seekers in contingency accommodation.

The global pandemic and the pause on the cessation of support has meant that the supported population has grown and in order to ensure the health of both asylum seekers and the community in which they live the Home Office has had to use contingency accommodation to avoid destitution.

We would encourage Local Authorities who do not currently house supported asylum seekers, such as Durham, to participate in the asylum dispersal scheme so that we can minimise the length of stay in contingency accommodation

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what procedures they have established to (1) monitor, and (2) evaluate, contracts with asylum accommodation providers.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied. Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them.

This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Contract management is operated in line with Covid-19 guidance. Service Delivery Managers speak daily with providers about service delivery and performance. ​In response to the global pandemic, officials also have formal meetings on a weekly basis to ensure individuals are housed safely, services are delivered in line with their contractual obligations and adherence to guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is followed. ​

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on particular areas of concern.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of staff working for asylum accommodation providers have received the training specified in the Asylum Accommodation and Support Statement of Requirements; and whether training for staff who have face-to-face contact with service users is stipulated in Home Office contracts with providers.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) are published and the requirements of the contract are set out in the Statement of Requirements, this includes provisions around training and the training programme for those with face-to-face contact with our customers.

The Provider must fully equip and train staff (including volunteers) to ensure they are able to fulfil their roles and ensure appropriate and sufficient security provisions are made for all staff undertaking face-to-face activities. Those with face to face contact must cover the following:

  • Ethnic diversity and cultural awareness
  • Suicide and self-harm awareness and prevention
  • Basic First Aid
  • Gender based violence
  • Fire Safety
  • Health and Safety
  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Modern Slavery
  • Training relating to housing standards and regulatory requirements

As a minimum, provider staff should receive refresher training on the requirements listed above annually (i.e. refresher training completed every twelve (12) months), or more regularly if required.

The Home Office does not intend to publish data on the number of staff employed by accommodation providers, who will be expected to undertake training. However, provider performance and service delivery is discussed on a weekly basis. There are formal performance meetings each month, plus strategic boards with senior provider management, once a quarter.

The Home Office discusses performance of the contracts and service improvements with Local Authorities who participate in asylum dispersal. Durham is the only Local Authority in the North East of England who do not accommodate supported asylum seekers. We would encourage all Local Authorities to play their part and hope Durham will join their neighbours in doing so.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 11 February 2021 (150977), what are the timescales for ending the use of (1) Napier, and (2) Penally, barracks to accommodate asylum seekers.

Napier Barracks will remain in operation in accordance with current needs.

9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 8 February (148930), when they plan to hold roundtables with stakeholders to discuss (1) the recommendations, (2) actions taken, and (3) proposed next steps, arising from the independent rapid review by Human Applications.

The Home Office contracted with an independent organisation, Human Applications, to conduct a rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and the former military barracks. This was to provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19

Human Applications completed their visits, which included both the Napier and Penally sites, and they have now submitted a report with their findings and recommendations. Once we have responded to the report, we intend to share a summary of the findings and actions taken with key stakeholders.

We have already shared the report with accommodation providers to allow them to action specific findings.

The roundtables were held between 16-26 February, with stakeholders from Local Authorities, Statutory Bodies, Strategic Migration Partnerships and Non-Governmental Organisations; recommendations were shared to inform discussions on the day.

An action plan to move these recommendations forward is being developed, and stakeholders will be consulted, and progress reported through our usual engagement routes; Asylum Strategic Engagement Group, Asylum Support Subgroups, SMP weekly meetings and HO, Local Government Chief Executives meeting.

The recommendations from this review were shared on the 9 March with the Home Affairs Select Committee together with actions taken to address these recommendations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 8 February (148930), when the recommendations of the independent rapid review by Human Applications will be published.

The Home Office contracted with an independent organisation, Human Applications, to conduct a rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and the former military barracks. This was to provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19

Human Applications completed their visits, which included both the Napier and Penally sites, and they have now submitted a report with their findings and recommendations. Once we have responded to the report, we intend to share a summary of the findings and actions taken with key stakeholders.

We have already shared the report with accommodation providers to allow them to action specific findings.

The roundtables were held between 16-26 February, with stakeholders from Local Authorities, Statutory Bodies, Strategic Migration Partnerships and Non-Governmental Organisations; recommendations were shared to inform discussions on the day.

An action plan to move these recommendations forward is being developed, and stakeholders will be consulted, and progress reported through our usual engagement routes; Asylum Strategic Engagement Group, Asylum Support Subgroups, SMP weekly meetings and HO, Local Government Chief Executives meeting.

The recommendations from this review were shared on the 9 March with the Home Affairs Select Committee together with actions taken to address these recommendations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have for an immigration centre for women on the former site of Hassockfield Secure Training Centre.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review, to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity for men and women it proves necessary to detain for the purposes of removal, and to protect the public; and to provide value for money.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date they plan to commence hosting "reconciliation events" with individuals from the Windrush generation.

We are hosting a series of events to allow members of the Windrush generation and their wider community to share their experiences. By engaging with their stories, the Home Office can acknowledge, continue to learn from the past and take the necessary measures to improve the culture in the department.

We also want to celebrate the contribution of members of the Windrush generation to the UK, as a form of cultural commemoration, rebalance the Home Office’s relationship with communities and look to the future. As this kind of forum works best in person, we have had to delay their commencement, in light of Covid restrictions.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals have been granted an Adult Dependent Relative visa since 2016; and how many of those Adult Dependent Relative visas were granted through appeal.

The entry clearance data which is published and available can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

(Select Entry Clearance visas granted outside the UK)

Providing the complete information requested would exceed the word limit for responses to written parliamentary questions and for further info see below

Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service data relating to appeal outcomes is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunal-statistics-quarterly-july-to-september-2020

The data required for this question in terms of how many were granted through appeal cannot be produced through normal data cycles and would involve manual reconciliation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications for Adult Dependent Relative visas have been refused since 2016.

The data required for this question cannot be produced through normal data cycles and would involve the need for a manual trawl which would incur cost.

The entry clearance data which is published and available can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

(Select Entry Clearance visas granted outside the UK)

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 16 June 2020 (HL4993), how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the Immigration Rules.

The Home Office are unable to state how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the immigration rules as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office do publish data on the number of Family Reunion visa grants, by age and can be found in the published Immigration Statistics at, Fam_01.

An extract is contained in the table below;

Date of visa grant

Year ending Sept 2019

Year ending Sept 2020

Total grants

6,474

6,066

Under 18 (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,236

3,197

18+ (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,238

2,869

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have appointed an independent reviewer to carry out a review of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration; and if not, when such an appointment will be made.

As outlined in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, we are progressing with the appointment of an independent reviewer to lead a full review of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. We will announce further details early next year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 November (HL9361), what plans they have to provide an update on when the review into the right to work of asylum seekers will be laid before the House.

The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 28 October (HL9221), wthat plans they have to ensure that once the refugee resettlement schemes are resumed, the commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme will be fulfilled, in addition to the new Global Resettlement Scheme commitment of 5,000 per year.

We have been working closely with key domestic and international stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Due to the lead times for refugee arrivals, it is likely that we will see most refugees start to arrive early in the new year.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system. We have committed to a review of safe and legal routes to the UK. We are aware that the pause in resettlement has had an impact on our resettlement partners and will continue to work with them as future plans are developed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 28 October (HL9221), what assessment they have made of the impact that the suspension of the refugee resettlement schemes has had on (1) local authorities, and (2) the (a) financial sustainability, and (b) long-term capacity, of other refugee resettlement service providers.

We have been working closely with key domestic and international stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Due to the lead times for refugee arrivals, it is likely that we will see most refugees start to arrive early in the new year.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system. We have committed to a review of safe and legal routes to the UK. We are aware that the pause in resettlement has had an impact on our resettlement partners and will continue to work with them as future plans are developed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will evaluate the success of the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews.

Asylum Operations are exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylum claims. Alongside seeking temporary resource from within the Home Office and other government departments, we are also exploring with third-party suppliers, through a proof of concept, to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required as a temporary, short term measure. An eight-week controlled mobilisation of testing has been confirmed. Once we have completed the proof of concept exercise, an evaluation will be completed, and this will inform any further recommendations or actions.

Asylum interviews have not been outsourced, and at this stage we are only exploring the potential feasibility. The increased interview throughput will help rebalance the system, but also speed up decision making, reduce the number of outstanding cases and support costs.

Asylum Operations will be looking to source resource with the right competency and recent experience in conducting sensitive interviews. To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, third-party interviewing officers will complete a bespoke training package, delivered by the qualified asylum operations training team, that has been designed specifically to meet their needs. Anyone who conducts asylum interviews receives thorough training to ensure they are fully equipped for the role.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the benefits of consulting with civil society groups, and those who are engaged in supporting asylum seekers through interview processes, before establishing the system for the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews without such a consultation.

Asylum Operations regularly engage with civil society groups via stakeholder forums and often consult with civil society groups on asylum processes.

Asylum Operations first communicated with civil society groups on the proof of concept for asylum interviews on 22 September 2020. We further engaged on the 6 October 2020 and continue to gather feedback to support the development of the proof of concept. We are in the process of responding in writing to further questions already submitted from civil society groups.

The proof of concept will help establish if there is a longer-term viability. Once the proof of concept phase is complete, we will evaluate as part of ongoing engagement with civil society groups to support further development

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews, whether the claimants will be informed that they are being interviewed by a third party rather than a Home Office employee; and if not, whether this information will be available upon request.

The Home Office is not planning to disclose to a claimant if they have been interviewed by a third party rather than a Home Office employee. We do not ask staff to disclosure their employee status prior to interview.

Third party interviewing officers will complete a bespoke training package, delivered by the qualified asylum operations training team, that has been designed specifically to meet their needs. The course will include training specifically about modern slavery and safeguarding awareness. Anyone who conducts asylum interviews receives thorough training to ensure they are fully equipped for the role. We expect the experience to equal the existing high standards already in place.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews and the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 October (HL Deb, col 1598), when the review into "safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers, refugees and their families" will be completed; and whether that review will be published.

Safe and legal routes are a core part of our proposed reforms to the asylum system to ensure it is both firm and fair. As made clear in the answer on 21 October (HL Deb, col 1598), as an integral part of that work the Government will conduct a review of safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers, refugees and their families, which will include reviewing routes for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to reunite with their family members in the UK.

This government intends to bring forward legislation next year that will deliver some of our much-needed reforms.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 29 September (HL8116), what plans they have to publish the terms of reference for the Home Office review into the right to work of asylum seekers.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 29 September (HL8116), what external organisations have been (1) formally, and (2) informally, consulted as part of the Home Office review into the right to work of asylum seekers.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 9 September (HL Deb, col 820), when the review into the right to work of asylum seekers will be laid before the House.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will announce their long term refugee resettlement commitment beyond 2021.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the final 232 refugees within the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme will be resettled in the UK when it is safe to do so.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 September (HL7752), what discussions they have held with local authorities about their capacity to restart refugee resettlement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether any local authorities have confirmed that they are ready to restart resettlement.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 5 October (HL Deb, col 407), whether they have revised their aim of resettling 5,000 refugees in 2020/21 under the UK's new resettlement scheme as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and, if so, what is the revised aim for resettlement this year.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have put in place to ensure that children can continue to be transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied?children?from Greece, Italy and France?to the UK; 478?have now?successfully?transferred.??We?remain?in contact?with our counterparts?in?Italy?to?complete?the transfer of the final two children?as soon as?it is safe to do so.??We?welcome the pledges made by other?countries?to?support Greece?and?stand ready to offer advice and guidance to?those?developing?their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK of successful transfers of separated children from Greece to other countries in Europe under the European Commission’s relocation scheme for transfers of unaccompanied children.

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied?children?from Greece, Italy and France?to the UK; 478?have now?successfully?transferred.??We?remain?in contact?with our counterparts?in?Italy?to?complete?the transfer of the final two children?as soon as?it is safe to do so.??We?welcome the pledges made by other?countries?to?support Greece?and?stand ready to offer advice and guidance to?those?developing?their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish an impact assessment of the proposed increase in the immigration health surcharge; and whether any such assessment will include the impact on children's rights.

The Impact assessment for the Immigration Health Surcharge Order can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2020/30/pdfs/ukia_20200030_en.pdf

A policy equality statement and family test have also been completed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to exempting NHS workers from the immigration health surcharge.

The Government fully recognises the role overseas Doctor’s Nurses and Allied Health Professional play in our NHS, hence we are working to introduce an NHS visa for qualified health professionals who will be offered fast track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Yet it is right all who come to work in the UK contribute towards the cost of providing the NHS services they will have access to from their arrival as do providers of other essential public services such as teachers and care-workers. Those who show a long-term commitment to our country become exempt from the immigration health surcharge when they secure Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be any change to the existing requirements for a Temporary Worker-Religious Worker visa (Tier 5) under the new points-based immigration system.

Under the current Immigration Rules, there are a range of routes for specialist activities, including temporary religious workers. From January 2021, these routes will be opened to EEA and Swiss citizens.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the ministerial visits mentioned in the Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper, published on 2 February, will take place in the North of East of England.

Ministers and officials are visiting all parts of the UK, including the North East, to hear from a range of voices from all tiers of government, the public and private sectors, and community and voluntary groups.

In March, Ministers and senior officials have visited Newcastle, Blyth, Hartlepool, Darlington and Sunderland. Further activity will be undertaken after the local elections in May.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will be carrying out cause-based consultations in the North East following the Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper, published on 2 February, as part of the ministerial level visits.

We are creating a range of opportunities for people to give their views on Levelling Up including focus groups in local areas and a national public survey, both launching in March. Further activity will be undertaken after the local elections in May.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the local panels mentioned in the Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper, published on 2 February, will take place following ministerial visits in the consultation phase.

We are creating a range of opportunities for people to give their views on Levelling Up including focus groups in local areas and a national public survey, both launching in March. Further activity will be undertaken after the local elections in May.