Lord Foster of Bath Portrait

Lord Foster of Bath

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 7th October 2015


4 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Gambling Related Harm, Intellectual Property, Media, Taiwan
1 Former APPG membership
Publishing
Communications and Digital Committee
13th Oct 2021 - 31st Jan 2024
International Agreements Committee
30th Jun 2020 - 3rd Nov 2021
Gambling Industry Committee
13th Jun 2019 - 16th Jun 2020
Rural Economy Committee
17th May 2018 - 26th Mar 2019
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2016 - 16th Jun 2017
Licensing Act 2003 Committee
14th Jun 2016 - 4th Apr 2017
Comptroller (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
7th Oct 2013 - 8th May 2015
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)
6th Sep 2012 - 7th Oct 2013
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (also Shadow Deputy Prime Minister)
1st Jul 2003 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
1st Jun 2002 - 1st Jun 2003
Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Transport and the Regions)
1st Jun 1999 - 1st Jun 2001
Education & Employment
15th Nov 1995 - 29th Mar 1999
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 1995 - 1st Jun 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
1st Jun 1992 - 1st Jun 1995


Department Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
Ministry of Justice
Legislation - Main Chamber
Victims and Prisoners Bill - committee stage (day 7)
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
10:30
Justice and Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Electronic border management systems
12 Mar 2024, 10:30 a.m.
At 10:30am: Oral evidence
Hon Alexander Downer AC - Chairman of Policy Exchange, former Minister For Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth of Australia; and author of the Independent Review of Border Force (2022) at Policy Exchange
At 11:20am: Oral evidence
Sophie Barret-Brown - Senior Partner and Head of UK Practice at Laura Devine Immigration, London
Christi Hufford Jackson - Partner and Head of the US Practice at Laura Devine Immigration, London
Monique Hawkins - Interim Co-CEO and Policy & Advocacy Officer at The 3 million
View calendar
Department Event
Monday 18th March 2024
Ministry of Justice
Orders and regulations - Main Chamber
Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Suitability for Fixed Term Recall) Order 2024
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 63 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Wednesday 28th February 2024
Media Bill
My Lords, this has been, as usual, an interesting and incredibly well-informed debate. But it has presented us with a …
Written Answers
Monday 4th March 2024
Listed Events Regime: Digital Rights Review
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish the results of the Digital Rights Review 2022.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 24th May 2022
Domestic Premises (Electrical Safety Certificate) Bill [HL] 2022-23
A Bill to require an electrical safety certificate to be provided to a prospective purchaser of domestic premises in specified …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Foster of Bath has voted in 462 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

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

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(43 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
(32 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Lord Foster of Bath's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Foster of Bath, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


5 Bills introduced by Lord Foster of Bath


A Bill to require an electrical safety certificate to be provided to a prospective purchaser of domestic premises in specified circumstances; and for connected purposes

Lords Completed

Last Event - 3rd Reading
Wednesday 1st February 2023
(Read Debate)

A bill to require the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic properties have a minimum energy performance rating of C on an Energy Performance Certificate; to make provision regarding performance and insulation of new heating systems in existing properties; and for connected purposes

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 7th February 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision to increase the energy performance of buildings; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 20th July 2021
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for a national strategy for cost-effective and efficient use of energy; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Tuesday 14th June 2016

A Bill to give all football clubs the freedom to build, or maintain existing, safe standing sections in their stadia if they choose; to establish minimum safety criteria that must be met for standing sections in football stadia; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 7th December 2010

Lord Foster of Bath has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


179 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
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which energy efficiency measures are included in the "fabric-first approach to decarbonising buildings" set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy (CP 388).

The Heat and Buildings Strategy is based on a 'fabric first' approach to decarbonising buildings by focusing on upgrading the building fabric before making changes to heating systems, to ensure the transition to low-caron heating is cost-effective and resilient.

Current schemes allow the installation of measures which improve the energy performance of a dwelling within the scope of the “Standard Assessment Procedure” (SAP) – which assesses the energy performance of dwellings. This can include measures such as solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, underfloor insulation, draught-proofing, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, high heat retention storage heating, low energy lighting, solar PV, solar thermal and heating controls.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that membership of the Energy Efficiency Taskforce includes representation from all parts of the energy efficiency sector, particularly with regard to insulation.

As part of their work, the Taskforce has established four working groups. These have included insulation experts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what organisations are members of the electricity Storage Health and Safety Governance Group; and when it last met.

The Electrical Storage Health and Safety Governance Group last met on 13th March 2023. Member organisations include: the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the National Physical Laboratory, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office for Product Safety and Standards, London Fire Brigade, Kent Fire and Rescue Services, the National Fire Chief’s Council, the Association For Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers, the British Association of Electrotechnical Allied Manufacturers Association, the British Standards Institution, the University of Newcastle, the Institute for Engineering and Technology, the Energy Institute, and representatives from both the domestic and grid-scale energy storage industry as well as engineering consultancies.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of fires arising from solar photovoltaic panels.

Research funded by Government between 2015 and 2018 by the Building Research Establishment indicates the risk from solar PV fires is very low. Government continues to work with industry to make solar even safer and ensure best practice. In February 2023 RISCAuthority, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and Solar Energy UK published an updated Joint Code of Practice on recommendations for fire risk prevention in UK solar systems.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the Offshore Transmission Network Review did not involve a comparative assessment of alternative brownfield sites closer to London for offshore wind power connections to the grid than sites in East Anglia.

The Offshore Transmission Network Review seeks address the uncoordinated growth of offshore transmission assets and develop a more coordinated approach to the design and delivery of transmission for offshore wind in Great Britain. For projects that already had firm connection contracts, limited changes could be made without breaking those commercial contracts, which is something the government has no power to do. For these projects, the Government has launched a £100m funding scheme to support developers to develop options for voluntary coordination. This could include reconsideration of some cable routes to reduce landing zones and use brownfield sites.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the planned fivefold increase in the target for offshore wind power production by 2030, what plans they have to amend the criteria for assessing the related cumulative impact.

Ensuring environmental protections are maintained is a key component of work being undertaken by Government to facilitate the acceleration of offshore wind. The Energy Bill makes provisions to deliver the Offshore Wind Environmental Improvement Package (OWEIP), which was announced in the British Energy Security Strategy.

The OWEIP will streamline Habitat Regulation Assessments, develop and implement Offshore Wind Environmental Standards, and create a Marine Recovery Fund to enable environmental compensation to be undertaken at a strategic level. This ensures developments are located where there are lower environmental sensitivities, and/or where impacts can be avoided, reduced, mitigated, or if required, compensated.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) tourism, (2) tourism-related jobs, and (3) the environment, by (a) the planned building of Sizewell C, (b) offshore wind farms, and (c) the associated infrastructure in the Suffolk coastal area.

No individual pre-emptive assessments are made by the Government to avoid prejudicing planning decisions which are taken on the merits of each individual case.

All projects are consented after thorough consideration of all relevant information, including cumulative impacts. Environmental and socio-economic impacts are considered in line with policy in the National Policy Statements.

The rationale for the Secretary of State’s decision for development consent in relation to Sizewell C, consented offshore wind farms and associated infrastructure are set out in the published decision letters available on the relevant project pages of the Planning Inspectorate’s National Infrastructure Planning website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what factors prevent the establishment of the National Grid Future Systems Operator by 2023.

In the Government’s consultation response published in April 2022, we proposed the creation of a new, independent Future System Operator (FSO). Depending on a number of factors, including timings of legislation, updating licensing arrangements, amending industry codes, and discussing timelines with key parties, the FSO could be established by, or in, 2024.

The Primary Legislation required to establish the FSO is contained within the Energy Bill 2023, which is currently passing through Parliament. Subject to reaching Royal Assent, we aim to establish the FSO as soon as practicable, while maintaining the safety and stability of the energy systems and ensuring a smooth transition.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment has been made of the suitability of the use of Modular Offshore grids in the North Sea corridor to transport power closer to demand; and what assessment they have made of the implementation of Belgium’s offshore grid in this regard.

The Electricity System Operator has undertaken consideration of the best approach to coordinate offshore transmission infrastructure to deliver greater efficiencies, reductions in planned infrastructure and accelerate the offshore wind delivery. Belgium’s Modular Offshore Grid connects several wind farms via a single cable. The UK’s Holistic Network Design delivers a similar outcome at greater scale, covering 21GW of offshore generation in its first round and 23GW in its second. Our approach will utilise shared connection points for multiple generators and aims to use multipurpose interconnectors to transmit energy from generators to consumers; reducing costs and impacts for developers, communities, and bill-payers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what research they have carried out in the last 12 months into (1) the propensity of (a) homeowners, (b) private residential landlords, or (c) social landlords, to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their properties, (2) the barriers to making such improvements, and (3) how any such barriers might be overcome; and what were the results of that research.

The Department continually gathers information on the propensity to install measures as it delivers energy efficiency policies. The potential issues these schemes address include financial barriers, information on what measures to install, concerns about the quality of installations and access to installers. Independent evaluation reports are published that summarise key lessons.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what information they have received from Fire and Rescue Services about the safety of (1) e-bikes, and (2) e-scooters; and the safety of the batteries of those vehicles.

All e-bikes and e-scooters must comply with product safety legislation including the batteries used to power them. The Government maintains regular contact with the Fire and Rescue Services and has discussed many issues including fire incidents relating to e-bikes and e-scooters. We encourage users to follow available guidance, including from Electrical Safety First and from the London Fire Brigade, alongside manufacturer instructions on safe use.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure public awareness of the availability of the Priority Services Register, including among owner occupiers; and what requirements they have placed on energy suppliers to ensure that households registered with a Priority Services Register have safe gas and electricity supplies in their homes.

Condition 26 of Ofgem’s gas and electricity supply licence conditions requires suppliers to identify consumers who are eligible for the Priority Service Register and offer to add any, or all, of the Minimum Details to the Priority Services Register during interactions. Condition 29 of Ofgem’s gas supply licence conditions requires suppliers to provide a gas safety check free of charge to vulnerable consumers. Further details on support available for those on the Priority Service Register can be found on the Ofgem website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage investment into technological solutions in the hazard prevention market.

Placing new or innovative products on the market requires the same product safety requirements to be met as is required for existing products. Guidance is available for businesses to help set what is required so that they have a clear route for getting their products to market.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), acts as the prime channel through which Government incentivises business-led technology innovation. It funds innovation through the allocation of competitively awarded grants and funding is available to all businesses undertaking innovation, irrespective of the technology or sector in which they are working. The UKRI Gateway, available via UKRI’s website, provides data on all funded research and innovation projects.

Innovate UK also helps to connect innovative businesses with the right partners and expertise to help them bring their ideas to market, and grow and scale their companies, through the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK EDGE.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage routes-to-market for new fire and electrical safety technologies.

Placing new or innovative products on the market requires the same product safety requirements to be met as is required for existing products. Guidance is available for businesses to help set what is required so that they have a clear route for getting their products to market.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), acts as the prime channel through which Government incentivises business-led technology innovation. It funds innovation through the allocation of competitively awarded grants and funding is available to all businesses undertaking innovation, irrespective of the technology or sector in which they are working. The UKRI Gateway, available via UKRI’s website, provides data on all funded research and innovation projects.

Innovate UK also helps to connect innovative businesses with the right partners and expertise to help them bring their ideas to market, and grow and scale their companies, through the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK EDGE.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they collect regarding electrical appliances purchased online that are (1) counterfeit, (2) poor quality, or (3) faulty.

Businesses have a legal duty to notify market surveillance authorities where they have identified a safety issue with a product they have placed on the market, including online. To support the best use of this information, in 2019, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) launched the UK’s Product Safety Database. The database allows authorities to access and exchange data securely and effectively to ensure swift and appropriate action can be taken to protect consumers. If consumers have a concern about the safety of a product, or other consumer concerns relating to quality or faults, they can contact Citizens Advice in England and Wales, Advice Direct Scotland or Consumer Advice Service. They will refer suspected breaches of consumer law on to Trading Standards for enforcement action where appropriate.

In order to further support consumers, OPSS publishes alerts on GOV.UK about unsafe products and recalls using information from the database. This includes regular Product Safety Reports. These contain information about individual products, including electrical products, that have been investigated and found to present a risk to the health and safety of consumers. Reports include details about the product, photos of the product, the risks it presents (such as electrical shock), the details of distributor and/or manufacturer, whether it was sold on an online marketplace, details of non-compliance, and the corrective actions taken by businesses.

OPSS does not currently record information regarding electric shocks, or other injuries such as burns, caused by electrical items purchased online. However, OPSS is currently trialling information sharing with some NHS hospitals and continues to examine how we can make the best use of available data.

In relation to counterfeit goods, the Government works with industry and enforcement agencies on a range of initiatives. The Intellectual Property Office collects intelligence on counterfeit items and works in partnership with Trading Standards, law enforcement, and industry groups to reduce the sale of counterfeit goods on e-commerce stores and via links from social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to recording of electric shocks, or other injuries such as burns, caused by electrical items purchased online.

Businesses have a legal duty to notify market surveillance authorities where they have identified a safety issue with a product they have placed on the market, including online. To support the best use of this information, in 2019, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) launched the UK’s Product Safety Database. The database allows authorities to access and exchange data securely and effectively to ensure swift and appropriate action can be taken to protect consumers. If consumers have a concern about the safety of a product, or other consumer concerns relating to quality or faults, they can contact Citizens Advice in England and Wales, Advice Direct Scotland or Consumer Advice Service. They will refer suspected breaches of consumer law on to Trading Standards for enforcement action where appropriate.

In order to further support consumers, OPSS publishes alerts on GOV.UK about unsafe products and recalls using information from the database. This includes regular Product Safety Reports. These contain information about individual products, including electrical products, that have been investigated and found to present a risk to the health and safety of consumers. Reports include details about the product, photos of the product, the risks it presents (such as electrical shock), the details of distributor and/or manufacturer, whether it was sold on an online marketplace, details of non-compliance, and the corrective actions taken by businesses.

OPSS does not currently record information regarding electric shocks, or other injuries such as burns, caused by electrical items purchased online. However, OPSS is currently trialling information sharing with some NHS hospitals and continues to examine how we can make the best use of available data.

In relation to counterfeit goods, the Government works with industry and enforcement agencies on a range of initiatives. The Intellectual Property Office collects intelligence on counterfeit items and works in partnership with Trading Standards, law enforcement, and industry groups to reduce the sale of counterfeit goods on e-commerce stores and via links from social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of households that are supplied by district heating systems; what assessment they have made of the geographic distribution of those households; and what estimate they have made of the (1) number, and (2) proportion, of those households that experience fuel poverty.

The Experimental Statistics on Heat Networks published by the Government in 2018 showed that approximately 440,000 of all UK heat network customers are residential. The specific geographical distribution in terms of number of residential customers can be found in Figure 1 below.

Government Office Region

Number of customers

East Midlands

15,769

East of England

25,147

London

195,851

North East

16,418

North West

35,212

South East

39,107

South West

23,800

West Midlands

29,436

Yorkshire and The Humber

25,824

England

406,566

Wales

7,680

Scotland

23,779

Northern Ireland

1,524

UK

439,549

The latest 2020 Fuel Poverty Statistics published shows that only 3% (i.e. 92,000) of all fuel poor households in England has central heating systems that use ‘other’ fuels, which consist of propane, bulk LPG and community heating or heat networks. Therefore, the proportion of fuel poor households served by district heating systems are likely to be much smaller than 3%.

The Government’s Heat Network Consumer Survey published in 2017 estimated that the proportion of heat network customers living in more energy efficient buildings such as flats or social housing are significantly higher than the general England and Wales population. Given most flats or social housing tend to have energy efficiency ratings higher than EPC Band D, it therefore indicates heat network customers are much less likely to experience fuel poverty in comparison to the wider population.

The Government is aware of the steep increases that some consumers on communal networks are facing. For this reason, the government is taking action worth more than £9.1bn supporting households through initiatives such as the Energy Bills Rebate, the Household Support Fund, Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. These measures are intended to cover heat network consumers and the government is engaging closely with industry and consumer groups to understand the specific impacts in the heat network sector and continue to assess whether further options are needed to help households through this challenging period.

I refer the noble Lord to the answers given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth to the Hon. Member for Battersea on 28 February to Questions 125466 and 125467. We need to ensure heat network consumers receive a fair price for their heating and that is why we are committed to legislating within this parliament to regulate the heat networks sector and in December 2021 we announced that Ofgem will take on the role of regulator. We will be giving Ofgem new powers to regulate prices in this sector as a matter of priority. This will enable equivalent protection for domestic heat network customers as well as ensuring heat network operators are securing good purchasing deals for their consumers. This will mean that consumers are charged a fair rate for heating whilst encouraging investment in heat networks.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the financial impact of rising energy prices on households with district heat systems that are not covered by the energy price cap; and what is their timetable for implementing those plans.

The Experimental Statistics on Heat Networks published by the Government in 2018 showed that approximately 440,000 of all UK heat network customers are residential. The specific geographical distribution in terms of number of residential customers can be found in Figure 1 below.

Government Office Region

Number of customers

East Midlands

15,769

East of England

25,147

London

195,851

North East

16,418

North West

35,212

South East

39,107

South West

23,800

West Midlands

29,436

Yorkshire and The Humber

25,824

England

406,566

Wales

7,680

Scotland

23,779

Northern Ireland

1,524

UK

439,549

The latest 2020 Fuel Poverty Statistics published shows that only 3% (i.e. 92,000) of all fuel poor households in England has central heating systems that use ‘other’ fuels, which consist of propane, bulk LPG and community heating or heat networks. Therefore, the proportion of fuel poor households served by district heating systems are likely to be much smaller than 3%.

The Government’s Heat Network Consumer Survey published in 2017 estimated that the proportion of heat network customers living in more energy efficient buildings such as flats or social housing are significantly higher than the general England and Wales population. Given most flats or social housing tend to have energy efficiency ratings higher than EPC Band D, it therefore indicates heat network customers are much less likely to experience fuel poverty in comparison to the wider population.

The Government is aware of the steep increases that some consumers on communal networks are facing. For this reason, the government is taking action worth more than £9.1bn supporting households through initiatives such as the Energy Bills Rebate, the Household Support Fund, Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. These measures are intended to cover heat network consumers and the government is engaging closely with industry and consumer groups to understand the specific impacts in the heat network sector and continue to assess whether further options are needed to help households through this challenging period.

I refer the noble Lord to the answers given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth to the Hon. Member for Battersea on 28 February to Questions 125466 and 125467. We need to ensure heat network consumers receive a fair price for their heating and that is why we are committed to legislating within this parliament to regulate the heat networks sector and in December 2021 we announced that Ofgem will take on the role of regulator. We will be giving Ofgem new powers to regulate prices in this sector as a matter of priority. This will enable equivalent protection for domestic heat network customers as well as ensuring heat network operators are securing good purchasing deals for their consumers. This will mean that consumers are charged a fair rate for heating whilst encouraging investment in heat networks.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 1 November (HL3196), when they will make an announcement regarding the UK's future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime.

The Government is currently assessing the options for the UK’s future exhaustion regime and will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of an international copyright exhaustion regime on author incomes; and what plans they have, if any, to publish this assessment.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The potential impact of an international exhaustion regime on author incomes is likely to form part of the overall assessment, alongside the potential effect on other sectors of the economy. The Government will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) retail, and (2) industrial energy, consumers will contribute via a Regulated Asset Base model to the building of a new nuclear power station in the UK; and if so, how this will be calculated.

The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill will require all GB-licenced suppliers to make contributions to a revenue collection counterparty under a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model. We expect that suppliers’ contributions will be calculated based on their expected share of the energy market.

The Government will consult on draft regulations implementing the detailed requirements of RAB revenue arrangements before they are introduced.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) lowest, and (2) highest, expected cost of power per kWh from Sizewell C, based on the assumptions in their impact assessment.

The Impact Assessment published alongside the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill sets out the illustrative costs of building and financing a generic new nuclear power plant using a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model.

Negotiations on the Sizewell C project are ongoing. These will determine its overall cost and value for money. No decisions have yet been made, but discussions to date have been constructive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of an international copyright exhaustion regime on the UK's book exports; and what plans they have, if any, to publish this assessment.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The potential impact of an international exhaustion regime on the UK’s book exports is likely to form part of the overall assessment, alongside the potential effect on other sectors of the economy. The Government will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in relation to the building of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, (1) what is the basis for the claim that using a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) financing model for its construction “will add at most a few pounds a year to typical household energy bills during the early stages of construction and on average less than £1 per month during the full construction phase of the project” as stated in the BEIS press release of 26 October, (2) what capital sum would be subject to RAB, (3) how many households would pay, and (4) what rate of return investors would receive.

The Government remains in active and constructive negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project. No decisions have yet been taken and the negotiations will be subject to reaching a deal that is value-for-money and achieving all relevant Government approvals.

BEIS has published an Impact Assessment (IA) to support the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill which illustrates the cost savings of funding a generic nuclear plant through a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model versus a Contract for Difference. The IA contains estimates of the capital costs and a range of rates of return.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in relation to the building of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, what plans they have, if any, to publish (1) details of the (a) process, and (b) outcomes, of the value for money assessments conducted to date, and (2) a schedule of future assessments.

The Government remains in active and constructive negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project. No decisions have yet been taken and the negotiations will be subject to reaching a value for money deal and relevant Government approvals. Value for money assessments will be carried out in line with guidance set out in the HM Treasury Green Book.

The Government is fully committed to transparency and is including measures in the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill to support this.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Final Investment Decision in relation to the building of Sizewell C nuclear power station to be taken.

In the 2020 Energy White Paper, the Government set out its objective to bring at least one large-scale nuclear project to a final investment decision (FID) by the end of this Parliament, subject to clear value for money and all relevant approvals. The Government announced £1.7 billion funding in the Spending Review to enable a final investment decision this Parliament. The Government remains in active and constructive negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of any cost overruns in the construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk would be passed on to (1) consumers, and (2) taxpayers, under the Regulated Asset Base financing model.

The Government remains in active and constructive negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project. No decisions have yet been taken and the negotiations will be subject to reaching a value for money deal and relevant Government approvals.

A nuclear project would be subject to detailed value for money assessments before being approved for a Regulated Asset Base (RAB), or awarded a Government Support Package (GSP).

Under a RAB model, risks are shared between investors and consumers. This will facilitate private investment into new nuclear projects, thereby reducing the cost of capital, and ultimately costs to consumers. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State would take costs to consumers into account when modifying a licence for a nuclear company to insert a RAB, as well as considering our decarbonisation targets and the need to ensure future energy security. An economic regulatory regime will incentivise the project and its investors to manage costs and delivery effectively, to ensure the project is on time and to budget. The GSP would offer Government protection for investors and consumers from low probability but high impact events.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the latest cost assessments for the building of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk.

Constructive negotiations between the Government and EDF over the Sizewell C project are ongoing and subject to commercial sensitivities. As part of the negotiations, detailed assessment and diligence activities are underway to substantiate the basis of the project cost estimates. No decisions have been taken. The negotiations will be subject to Government approval and securing a deal that ensures value for money.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 13 October (HL Deb, col. 1830) on intellectual property reform, (1) what representations they have made to the Intellectual Property Office regarding the impact on the creative industries and design sectors that a shift to an International Exhaustion Regime would have, and (2) what changes they are considering to the UK's design systems to address the lack of reciprocal recognition by the EU for unregistered design rights.

The Government has recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The Intellectual Property Office held constructive discussions with stakeholders across multiple business sectors, including representatives from the creative industries and design sectors. The Government is currently assessing the options and will make a decision in due course.

The UK sought an agreement with the EU on reciprocal disclosure for unregistered designs. This would have been beneficial to UK design businesses. However, the EU decided to pass up the opportunity to conclude such mutually beneficial text, which is disappointing. The Government recognises that this an important issue for UK designers and will consider it in future work on the UK designs system.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when their proposed Heat and Buildings Strategy will be published.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out in the BEIS Select Committee on 20/07/21, the Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course. The strategy will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, as well as our approach to the key strategic decisions needed to achieve a mass transition to low-carbon heat.

In order to ensure that we remain on a credible path to net zero while retaining the option to pursue the optimal mix of technologies, we will grow the heat pump market to 600,000 per year by 2028; and undertake large-scale trials for hydrogen, to prove their safety case and build the market.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the Energy Company Obligation to other measures in addition to space heating.

The targets for the current iteration of ECO are based on the Home Heating and Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) powers set out in the Electricity Act 1989, Section 41B, and Gas Act 1986, Section 33BD. This allows Government to set a target for the promotion of measures for reducing the cost to individuals of heating their homes. Therefore, measures which do not result in space heating savings are not eligible.

Under the current scheme, ECO3, 44% of measures delivered were a form of insulation with the remainder being heating measures, such as replacement boilers, as of January 2021. ECO3 will end in March 2022, however, it was announced in February’s Sustainable Warmth Strategy that ECO4 will run from April 2022 through to 2026. The value of the scheme will also increase to £1bn per annum for ECO4. Further details about ECO4, including the scope of eligible measures, will be consulted on later this year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funds (1) have been, and (2) will be, allocated to local authorities to enable them to retrofit domestic premises to increase their energy efficiency.

The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme, which supports energy efficiency and low carbon heat projects for low-income households, is being delivered in three phases:

  • Phase 1A; around £74 million was allocated to 55 projects in over 100 Local Authorities in October 2020, to be delivered by June 2021.
  • Phase 1B:  around £126 million has been allocated to 81 projects in over 200 Local Authorities, for delivery by September 2021.
  • Phase 2:  funding of £300 million has been allocated to the five Local Energy Hubs, who will work with Local Authorities in their region to deliver projects by December 2021.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) over a 10-year period, to improve the energy performance of social rented homes.

The Summer Economic Update announced the SHDF Demonstrator project, launched in 2020, which has awarded £62m of funding to social landlords across England and Scotland to test innovative approaches to retrofitting at scale, seeing over 2300 social homes improved to at least EPC band C.

The Autumn 2020 Spending Review committed £60m of funding for the first wave of the £3.8bn manifesto commitment in financial year 21/22.

The Government has since committed an additional £300 million on green home upgrades through Local Authorities. This extension will be through an increase in funding to Local Authorities via LAD and the SHDF wave one, and whilst the schemes are currently being designed, the focus remains on upgrading the worst-performing homes with energy efficiency installations and low-carbon heating.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement in the Energy White Paper Powering our Net Zero Future, published in December 2020, that “all rented non-domestic buildings will be EPC Band B by 2030, where cost-effective”, whether they plan to introduce a similar requirement for domestic premises; and if not, why not.

In the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government set the aspiration that as many homes as possible to reach EPC C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable.

We recently consulted on raising the energy performance standards in the domestic private rented sector to EPC band C for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies by 2028. We are currently analysing the responses and will be publishing the Government response in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 18 March (HL13898), what assessment they have made of (1) clause 2(1), and (2) clause 2(2), of the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill [HL].

As set out in the answer I gave the noble Lord on 18 March to Question HL13898, our plan for supporting fuel poor households is set out in the recently published strategy, Sustainable Warmth – supporting vulnerable households in England. Our forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out how we intend to meet our wider energy efficiency commitments and set us on a path to decarbonising homes and buildings by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 18 March (HL13898), on what grounds they consider that the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill [HL] “would reduce flexibility in the way we approach greenhouse gas emission savings”.

The Government remains fully committed to the aspiration set out in the Clean Growth Strategy for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, affordable and cost-effective. This is reiterated in 2020 Energy White Paper and we are taking action to achieve this, as evidenced in recent consultations on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales, and on improving home energy performance through lenders.

However, new innovative approaches, including technologies and processes, may be developed over the next 14 years. The Bill’s proposal to introduce this aspiration onto statute could reduce flexibility in the way we approach greenhouse gas emission savings and potentially mean that more cost-effective savings receive less attention or support.

Our forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out how we intend to meet our wider commitments and set us on a path to decarbonising homes and buildings by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 26 January (HL12049), how they define the word 'ensure' in the context of their stated commitment "to ensure that as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030".

In the context of this target, we use the word ‘ensure’ to mean that we will take steps to make sure that this target is delivered. We will make sure that as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 10 February (HL12638), what assessment they have made of clauses 2(1) and 2(2) of the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill [HL].

The Government believes supporting the Private Members Bill in question generally would reduce flexibility in the way we approach greenhouse gas emission savings and could potentially mean that more cost-effective approaches receive less attention or support. In addition, Government is committed to supporting low income and vulnerable households by meeting our statutory fuel poverty target, to improve as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable to a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030. The Government has recently published a strategy, Sustainable Warmth – supporting vulnerable households in England, which sets out our plans to support fuel poor households in detail.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 9 February (HL12590), whether they will clarify what is meant by “as many homes as possible”.

The Government remains committed to the Clean Growth Strategy aim for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable.

The updated Fuel Poverty Strategy, published February 2021, set out the road map to meeting our statutory fuel poverty target of improving as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to energy efficiency rating Band C by the end of 2030, as well as our interim target of Band D by 2025.

There is no set number of homes to be achieved within those targets. However, the Heat & Buildings Strategy, which we plan to publish in due course, will set out how we intend to meet our commitments and set us on a path to decarbonising homes and buildings by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 2 February (HL12282), what year they estimate net zero could be achieved by spending one per cent of the UK’s GDP.

In June 2019, following advice from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK Government became the first major economy to set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. When publishing their recommendation for the level of the Sixth Carbon Budget in December 2020, the CCC made clear that Net Zero in 2050 remains the right target for the UK.

Ahead of COP26, we will set out ambitious plans across key sectors of the economy to meet our carbon budgets and net zero. We have already published the Energy White Paper and the first phase of our Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and will publish the Heat and Building Strategy in due course. We will also publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK. These will raise ambition as we outline our path to hit our 2050 target.

We will build on the strong foundations we have established through our leading progress in decarbonising our economy; our ambitious manifesto commitments; and announcements from my Rt. Hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer of measures to cut emissions as we build back better in our economic recovery from COVID-19.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 28 January (HL12149), whether they will reconsider the recommendation made by the Policy Exchange in their report Efficient Energy Policy: How to encourage improvements in domestic energy efficiency, published on 2 March 2016, to link Stamp Duty Land Tax to the energy performance of a dwelling, in the light of their finding that it would result in 2,700,000 homes being upgraded over a ten year period and be revenue neutral.

As with all tax policy, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is kept under review, but the Government does not currently have any plans to link SDLT on properties with their relative energy efficiency. As set out in the Energy White Paper, we will be consulting on regulatory options to improve the energy performance of owner occupier homes this year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 26 January (HL12049), how they define “as far as is reasonably practicable”; and what is their estimate of the number of homes that may be excluded from the fuel poverty target.

We see improving the energy efficiency of homes to be the best long term solution to tackling fuel poverty. However, there are limitations as to the energy efficiency measures that can be put in place, including the physical characteristics of the property and the preferences of the householders. For example, some listed buildings cannot make use of certain energy efficiency measures like solid wall insulation. There will also be cases where householders simply do not want energy efficiency measures carried out in their home. These circumstances may mean that it is not reasonably practicable to improve the energy efficiency of the home.

Over time, innovative new energy efficiency measures may help to overcome some of these challenges while also reducing the cost of insulating homes. BEIS is encouraging innovation through funding ‘Innovations in the Built Environment’, a collection of competitions and projects, many of which encompass energy efficiency. We remain committed to encouraging the wide take up of energy efficiency measures.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their target “of reaching as many existing homes as possible at EPC band C or above by 2035” in the Energy White Paper, published on 14 December 2020, what “as many existing homes as possible” means; and what estimate they have made of the number of homes that will not be included in that target.

The Government remains committed to the Clean Growth Strategy aim for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable.

In addition, for homes in fuel poverty, we remain committed to our statutory fuel poverty target of improving as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to energy efficiency rating Band C by the end of 2030, as well as our interim target of Band D by 2025.

There is no set number of homes to be achieved within those targets. However, the Heat & Building Strategy and the updated Fuel Poverty Strategy, which we plan to publish in due course, will set out how we intend to meet our commitments and set us on a path to decarbonising homes and buildings by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer given by Lord Callanan on 25 January (HL11978), what estimate they have made of (1) the number of social houses that will be upgraded to EPC band C by the various schemes listed in that Answer, and (2) how many social houses will remain below EPC band C.

There are approximately 4.1 million social homes in England, with around 1.6 million homes currently rated below the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund over a 10-year period, to improve the energy performance of social rented homes. The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will support the ambition set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, that as many homes as possible are improved to EPC band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable, and for all fuel poor homes to reach this target by 2030. The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will bring a significant amount of the social housing stock that is currently below EPC C up to that standard.

The following schemes are also targeting energy performance improvement in social housing:

The £500m Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of around 50,000 homes rated EPC level D to G, where Social Housing Providers may work with Local Authorities to upgrade their housing stock;

The £50 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator, which has awarded funding to social landlords across England and Scotland to test innovative approaches to retrofitting at scale, seeing around 2300 social homes improved to at least EPC band C.

The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, which provides grants to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes, is open to social, as well as private, landlords.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Climate Change Committee Sixth Carbon Budget, published on 9 December 2020, what estimate they have made of the potential amount of greenhouse gas emissions which could be reduced by spending up to two per cent of GDP.

The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) latest estimate puts the incremental costs of action to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 at below 1% of UK GDP throughout the next 30 years. The Government is considering the CCC’s advice on Carbon Budget 6, and our Impact Assessment on setting the level of Carbon Budget 6 will set out more detail on the costs and benefits associated with reducing emissions.

HM Treasury is conducting a review on how to achieve the net zero transition in a way that works for households, businesses and public finances, as well as ensuring that this is compatible with our plans for a thriving and competitive economy. Their interim report, published on 17 December 2020, set out the overall approach to the Review and analysis which will inform the final report due this Spring.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Committee on Climate Change Net Zero: The UK's contribution to stopping global warming, published on 19 May 2019, what steps they are taking to ensure that their commitment for net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050 is "comprehensive, achieved without use of international credits" and covers international aviation and shipping.

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. International aviation and shipping emissions are included within the scope of the 2050 net zero target, which was set on a whole economy basis. We fully intend to meet our net zero target through cutting our domestic carbon emissions.

International credits can play an important role in cost-effective global emissions reduction, while creating development co-benefits. We retain our ability to use international credits if necessary, to achieve our commitments as we have said previously when setting Carbon Budgets and legislating for net zero. However, our intention is to meet our Nationally Determined Contribution and net zero commitment through domestic action.

Ahead of COP26, we will set out ambitious plans across key sectors of the economy to meet our carbon budgets and net zero. We have already published the Energy White Paper and the first phase of our Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and will publish the Heat and Building Strategy in due course. We will also publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Committee on Climate Change The Sixth Carbon Budget: The UK’s path to Net Zero, published on 9 December 2020, what plans they have to ensure that all social homes achieve EPC band C by 2028.

The Government remains committed to the ambition set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, that as many homes as possible are improved to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable.

At the Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer provided up to £50m for a UK-wide Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator, to support jobs, improve energy efficiency and reduce bills for social tenants whilst demonstrating the benefits of the Whole House Retrofit approach to reduce costs overall. At the recent spending review the chancellor announced £60 million in 2021/22 for the SHDF in England.

The Government has also recently published the Social Housing White Paper where we committed to review the Decent Homes Standard to consider how it can better support the decarbonisation and energy efficiency of social homes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Committee on Climate Change The Sixth Carbon Budget: The UK’s path to Net Zero, published on 9 December 2020, what plans they have to set a legally binding target to upgrade all buildings to EPC Band C by 2035.

The Government remains committed to the ambition set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, that as many homes as possible are improved to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable.


We believe this still represents good value for money, and we are focussed on introducing a range of policies and proposals that deliver it. In 2020, alongside a significant package of public funding for building retrofit, we have:

  • Consulted on strengthening minimum energy performance standards for the domestic Private Rented Sector to at least EPC C by 2028;
  • Consulted on setting requirements for mortgage lenders to help homeowners improve the energy performance of the homes they lend to;
  • Committed to consult on energy performance requirements under the Decent Homes Standard for social housing;
  • Committed to consult in 2021 on regulatory measures for owner occupier homes.

The Heat and Building Strategy will set out further details on the actions we will take to reduce emissions from buildings.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what consideration they have given to the recommendations of the report by Policy Exchange Efficient Energy Policy: How to encourage improvements in domestic energy efficiency, published on 2 March 2016, and in particular the recommendation that Stamp Duty Land Tax should be linked to the energy performance of a dwelling.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is kept under review, but the Government does not currently have any plans to link SDLT on properties with their relative energy efficiency, as suggested in the report by Policy Exchange.

The Government acknowledges that more needs to be done to improve the energy performance of owner-occupied homes. As such, we are currently consulting on how mortgage lenders can help householders in England and Wales to improve the energy performance of their homes. We have committed to consult in 2021 on regulatory measures for owner occupiers and will consider a range of options as part of that consultation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to eradicate fuel poverty; and if so, how.

We see improving the energy efficiency of homes as the best long term solution to tackling fuel poverty, enabling warmer homes with reduced energy bills. The fuel poverty target is therefore to ensure that as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030. There are interim milestones for the target of a minimum Band E rating by 2020 and Band D by 2025. Good progress is being made and in 2018, our most recent statistics indicated there were around 900,000 fewer fuel poor households living in an E, F or G rated property compared to 2010. An updated Fuel Poverty Strategy for England will be published in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial levers or incentives they are considering, if any, to persuade people to insulate their homes to Energy Performance Certificate band C levels.

Several government-funded schemes are in place to improve the energy efficiency of homes by installing insulation, most of which focus on homes with low-energy performance, and fuel poor homes.

The £1.5 billion Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme aims to deliver upgrades to 600,000 homes across England, with insulation forming one of the groups of primary measures available. Support is available for low-energy performing (rated EPC D or below) and fuel poor homes through the £500 million Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Green Homes Grant Scheme, and low-income and vulnerable households through the GB wide Energy Company Obligation (ECO) worth £640m per year until March 2022.

Lastly, the £50 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDF(D)) aims to help Local Authorities retrofit social housing at scale and upgrade the energy performance of poorer-performing homes. We have committed a further £60 million for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) to continue upgrading the least efficient social housing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish an Energy Bill or a draft Energy Bill this year.

The Government intends to bring forward an Energy Bill as soon as parliamentary time allows. The Energy Bill will aim to enable progress to be made on commitments made by the Prime Minister in his Ten Point Plan as well as deliver policy commitments set out in the Energy White Paper.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to Figure 2.3. on page 16 of the Updated energy and emissions projection 2019, published on 30 October, what steps (1) they have taken, and (2) they plan to take, to address any increase in CO2 emissions by the residential sector; whether they have a target for the reduction of emissions of CO2 in that sector; and if so, what that target is.

Between 1990 and 2018 UK greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 43%. Over the same period, emissions from domestic homes have decreased by around 17%, or 18 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in the coming months, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings. These actions include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat and set us on a path towards our net zero targets.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their target for upgrading domestic properties to Energy Performance Certificate band C by 2030 is 1.5 million homes, as set out in The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, published on 18 November, or all fuel poor homes, as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, published on 12 October 2017.

We remain committed to the aspiration set out in the Clean Growth Strategy for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable. We are also committed to ensuring that as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030.

There are a number of Government schemes available to support households in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, including the Green Homes Grant and Energy Company Obligation, with some funding specifically targeted towards households in fuel poverty.

In the Ten Point Plan, we specify that our green home finance initiatives could help to improve the energy performance of around 2.8 million homes, improving around 1.5 million to EPC C standard by 2030. These figures refer specifically to the proposals laid out in the consultation, ‘Improving home energy performance through lenders’, which is focused on mortgaged homes in England and Wales.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they have (1) allocated, and (2) propose to allocate to upgrade (a) fuel poor homes, and (b) all homes to achieve Energy Performance Certificate band C.

Our manifesto committed £6.3 billion to improving people’s homes, to accelerate our progress towards net zero emissions by 2050 and to help households reduce their energy bills.

The Summer Economic Update announced more than £2 billion of funding for upgrading the energy efficiency of homes. The Green Homes Grant is a £2 billion programme which will help improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Low income and vulnerable homeowners in receipt of certain benefits may be eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of installation, up to £10,000.

The £50 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will contribute to fuel poverty alleviation and energy efficiency improvements of social housing stock. The Prime Minister announced that the scheme will carry on for an additional year, with £60 million additional funding announced for social housing at Spending Review 2020

The Energy Company Obligation scheme requires energy companies to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures to low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. The current scheme is worth £640m per year and ends in March 2022. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced an extension to this scheme until 2026 in his Ten Point Plan. Further details about ECO will be consulted on in the first half of next year.

We will publish the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Fuel Poverty Strategy in the coming months. These strategies will set out further details on how we will work towards alleviating fuel poverty and improving homes’ energy performance ratings.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of local renewable energy supply in (1) achieving net zero carbon emission targets, and (2) reducing emissions of CO2.

Renewable electricity generation has more than quadrupled since 2010 and low carbon electricity now gives us over 50 percent of our total. We have the world’s largest offshore wind capacity (a third of the global total) and auction prices for future offshore wind projects fell by two-thirds between the 2015 and 2019 Contracts for Difference auctions.

We are working to deliver an ambitious Energy White Paper that addresses the transformation of the energy system consistent with delivering our net zero target.

Small-scale low-carbon electricity generation is supported by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which came into force on 1 January 2020. The SEG gives small generators, such as homes with solar panels, the right to be paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. It reflects our continued commitment to ensuring that low carbon electricity is?central to the?transition to?the?smart?and flexible?energy systems of the future.

We are continuing to offer support to communities who want to generate energy locally through the Rural Community Energy Fund.?RCEF provides funding to rural communities for feasibility studies and pre-development of renewable energy projects.

In addition, the Government supports the deployment of low carbon heat through a number of different mechanisms, including through local heat networks which will play an important part in meeting our net zero targets.

Provisional BEIS estimates suggest that overall emissions fell by 14.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) (3.9 per cent) to 351.5 MtCO2 between 2018 and 2019, driven mainly by the changes in the fuel mix used for electricity generation (as published in March 2020).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of local renewable energy supply in (1) enabling all homes to achieve Energy Performance Certificate band C, and (2) alleviating fuel poverty.

On site renewable energy generation, such as solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, can improve the energy performance of homes, and tackle fuel poverty where it reduces energy bills. Other upgrades can also play an important role in increasing the energy performance of homes and tackling fuel poverty, such as improvements to fabric efficiency of homes, upgrading lighting, or replacing heating and hot water systems.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 3 August (HL7278), why passive flue gas heat recovery systems with thermal storage are not mandated for (1) all replacement boilers in the UK, and (2) installation in all new buildings; and whether those systems deliver an average five per cent efficiency improvement and significant carbon savings.

Building Regulations set minimum energy performance standards for heating systems in new homes and when they are replaced or fitted into existing homes.

Under these regulations, when a gas combination boiler is installed in an existing dwelling, an additional energy efficiency measure must also be installed, with passive flue gas heat recovery systems being one of four options. The English housing stock is diverse, so the requirement is flexible to allow a suitable choice to be made that reflects the nature of the building, and the needs of the individual household.

When these regulations were introduced, many system and most regular boilers on the market were considered incompatible with passive flue gas heat recovery systems and compensation controls, or required an additional component, and therefore were exempt from the additional energy efficiency measures.

For new builds, buildings regulations around energy efficiency and space and water heating are deliberately couched in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, or fuels to be used, allowing manufacturers and builders the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions in particular circumstances.

The extent to which a passive flue gas heat recovery system can increase the efficiency of a dwelling and reduce natural gas consumption is dependent on many factors. Analysis undertaken on behalf of BEIS showed that the typical household could increase boiler efficiency between 1% to 5% by adding a passive flue gas heat recovery system.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist (HL2159), when they expect to publish the outcome of their consultation Energy Performance Certificates in Buildings, which closed on 26 July 2018.

The Government will publish a summary of responses to the Call for Evidence later this year. Alongside this, we intend to publish an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Action Plan which will build on the views expressed as part of the Call for Evidence, to set out a series of actions which the Government will take forward, and inform future policy thinking in order to maximise the effectiveness of EPCs in the future.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 July (HL6670), what estimate they have made of how much less carbon dioxide would be emitted if boilers in all large houses were fitted with stored passive flue gas heat recovery technology (1) when such houses are built, or (2) when boilers in such houses are replaced.

Passive Flue Gas Heat Recovery System’s (PFGHR) with thermal storage can deliver total annual gas savings for heating hot water of around 30% for a typical domestic building. This is equivalent to a boiler efficiency improvement of around 5% versus a system without. These savings can vary significantly depending on the volume of the thermal store, space heating demand, usage patterns and property type.

Domestic hot water gas savings will typically be close to 20% for a new-build dwelling, and up to 35% for a larger existing property.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 7 July (HL6124), whether they can answer the question put with regard to stored passive flue gas heat recovery technology rather than passive flue gas heat recovery technology.

The response I gave to the noble Lord on 7 July 2020 to Question HL6124 applies to passive flue gas heat recovery systems with and without thermal storage.

Analysis undertaken on behalf of BEIS showed that the typical household could increase boiler efficiency between 1% to 5% by adding a passive flue gas heat recovery system. The 1-5% boiler efficiency level includes both product types with the 5% being an upper maximum for a passive flue gas heat recovery device with thermal storage (typically a 5 to 10 litre store) in a large house.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Stored-Flue Gas Heat Recovery technology will be included within their grant scheme for energy saving projects for homeowners.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the range of measures will be announced in due course, before the full launch.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 June (HL4962), what assessment they have made, if any, of the impact on carbon dioxide emissions of fitting all (1) new social housing developments, (2) replacement boilers in social housing, (3) new houses, and (4) replacement boilers in all houses, with stored passive flue gas heat recovery technology in each year to 2025.

Introduced in 2018, Boiler Plus regulations raised standards for all domestic boiler installations, supporting efforts to reduce carbon emissions while making it easier and cheaper to heat homes. In addition to raising the minimum efficiency standards for boilers, the regulations required an additional energy efficiency measure to be installed alongside combination gas boilers that accounted for 78% of the market. The measures include flue gas heat recovery.

Many system boilers and most regular boilers on the market were incompatible with flue gas heat recovery systems and compensation controls when boiler plus regulations were introduced and therefore were exempt from the requirement.

The extent to which a passive flue gas heat recovery system can increase the efficiency of a dwelling and reduce natural gas consumption is dependent on many factors including the annual space heating and domestic hot water demand of the specific building and importantly whether the system installed has built-in thermal storage. However, analysis showed that the typical household could increase boiler efficiency between 1% to 5% by adding a passive flue gas heat recovery system.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 4 June (HL4822), what legally binding targets they have set for (1) renewable energy as a whole, and (2) for each type of renewable energy; and in each case, why any such targets were set.

The Government is committed to the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector and as part of this commitment set a legally binding new target to cut emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050.This came into force on 26th June 2019 under The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019.

Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), the UK has a target of 20% renewable energy by 2020. The Renewable Energy Directive does not include targets for individual renewable energy technologies. The Government has not set legally binding targets for renewable energy as a whole or for individual renewable energy technologies beyond 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many domestic boilers they anticipate will be sold every year for the next 10 years; and what they estimate the carbon emissions for those boilers will be.

There are close to 2 million heating appliances sold in the UK each year, over 80% of which are domestic gas boilers. Gas boiler sales are likely to remain at a similar level in the immediate future. However, industry projections for heating appliance sales in 2020 are being revised due to the impact of covid-19.

Emissions from individual homes depend on the size and energy efficiency of the property. As a result of minimum energy efficiency requirements for new gas boilers, introduced in 2018, the average household that switches from an average gas boiler can save 200kgCo2 per year.

The Government is committed to reducing the emissions produced from heating our homes by increasing energy efficiency and utilising clean heating technologies to meet our net zero commitments. The immediate steps to tackle these emissions will be set out as part of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, which we aim to publish later in the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what statutory targets have been set for (1) renewable energy, and (2) carbon dioxide reduction; and why any such targets were set.

Climate change is a threat that requires an urgent global response. The Government is clear, we must act now.

The Climate Change Act 2008 was the first of its kind in the world and made the UK the first country to introduce a legally binding, long-term emissions reduction target.

The Act set a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. In June 2019, the Government passed legislation to increase that target to a reduction of at least 100% (net zero).

It also introduced our innovative framework of carbon budgets to ensure continued progress towards that target, capping emissions in successive five-year blocks. The carbon budgets currently set in legislation (carbon budgets 1 to 5 covering the period between 2008 to 2032) are amongst the most stringent in the world, requiring the equivalent of a 57% cut in emissions by 2030 from a 1990 baseline.

We have committed to end the use of unabated coal by 2025. Meeting our net zero target will require us to build on this progress by transforming our economy – our homes, our transport, our industries, how we generate and use energy, and how we use our land.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to monitor gambling within video games.

His Majesty’s Government and the Gambling Commission continue to pay close attention to novel and emergent forms of gambling and gambling-like products, including within video games, to ensure that appropriate regulation is in place.

HM Government has welcomed new, industry-led guidance which aims to address concerns about the use of loot boxes in video games.

Measures to protect players should ensure that the purchase of loot boxes is unavailable to all children and young people unless enabled by a parent or guardian, and that all players have access to, and are aware of, spending controls and transparent information to support safe and responsible gameplay.

The Government has agreed a 12-month implementation period for the new guidance on loot boxes and has asked the industry, co-ordinated by Ukie, to report back to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the extent to which it has been implemented.

We will continue to keep our position on possible future legislative options under review, informed by academic scrutiny of the industry-led measures. We will provide a further update in due course, following the 12-month implementation period.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the growing market for peer-to-peer trading on platforms such as Steam, which allow for games to be uploaded to people that are located nearby, and what steps they are taking to regulate that market.

Platforms including Steam allow users to trade games from one personal computer to another over a local area network. Default settings on Steam are for transfers only to be enabled in and out of personal computers where a user’s own account is logged in. In order to be in receipt of a game file transfer, users must opt in to share with other users.

As a trader operating an online platform which facilitates the sale and supply of gaming products to consumers, Steam has legal responsibilities under consumer law.

The transfer of data over any network needs to be done securely. HM Government is working with software vendors to set minimum standards which should be expected when delivering secure software. All technology should be built in line with the Secure by Design principles available on the National Cyber Security Centre’s website.

All online platforms likely to be accessed by children must conform with the children’s code and apply measures to protect the data rights of children. For example, children’s geolocation data should not be shared by default and children’s accounts should have the highest privacy settings enabled by default.

The Government continues to monitor this market and will consider any emerging evidence on this issue.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish the results of the Digital Rights Review 2022.

We are undertaking a review to look at whether, in the face of technological change, the objectives of the existing regime are still being met and whether digital rights should now be included in the regime.

In considering this issue, it is important that we maintain the right balance between access for audiences, and the commercial freedoms that allow rights holders to reinvest in their sport at all levels. This is a complex issue and it's important we get it right.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they plan to take, if any, against gaming companies that generate transferable loot boxes, or loot box content that can be transferred.

His Majesty’s Government and the Gambling Commission continue to monitor the convergence of video games and gambling closely. The majority of loot box rewards do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed out, and are of value only in the context of a given game. They do not therefore meet the definition of gambling as set out in the Gambling Act 2005. All operators providing gambling services to consumers in Britain require a licence from the Gambling Commission. Offering any gambling activity without a licence is an offence. The Gambling Commission has demonstrated that it will take strong regulatory action where video game products do amount to unlicensed gambling, including in instances when the trading of items obtained from loot boxes brings loot box mechanics within the statutory definitions of gambling.

In July 2023, UK Interactive Entertainment published new, industry-led guidance on loot boxes. HM Government welcomes this guidance, which, if fully implemented, has the potential to meet the objectives set out in the Government’s response to our call for evidence on loot boxes, published in July 2022. We have agreed a 12-month implementation period during which we expect the industry to work with players, parents, academics, consumer groups and Government bodies to implement this guidance in full.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they plan to take, if any, to tackle the ability of computer games players to ‘cash out’ loot box prizes through online platforms such as the Steam Community Market.

His Majesty’s Government and the Gambling Commission continue to monitor the convergence of video games and gambling closely. The majority of loot box rewards do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed out, and are of value only in the context of a given game. They do not therefore meet the definition of gambling as set out in the Gambling Act 2005. All operators providing gambling services to consumers in Britain require a licence from the Gambling Commission. Offering any gambling activity without a licence is an offence. The Gambling Commission has demonstrated that it will take strong regulatory action where video game products do amount to unlicensed gambling, including in instances when the trading of items obtained from loot boxes brings loot box mechanics within the statutory definitions of gambling.

In July 2023, UK Interactive Entertainment published new, industry-led guidance on loot boxes. HM Government welcomes this guidance, which, if fully implemented, has the potential to meet the objectives set out in the Government’s response to our call for evidence on loot boxes, published in July 2022. We have agreed a 12-month implementation period during which we expect the industry to work with players, parents, academics, consumer groups and Government bodies to implement this guidance in full.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their response to their review of the Gambling Act 2005, which ran from 8 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.

The Gambling Act Review was launched with the publication of a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, which closed in March 2021 and received over 16,000 responses. We will publish a white paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming weeks.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to involve community groups in the delivery of Project Gigabit in East Sussex.

As part of Project Gigabit, His Majesty’s Government is investing up to £210 million in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme provides a micro-grant of up to £1,500 for residents and up to £3,500 for businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. It enables households and businesses to club together to increase the total subsidy of a project to cover most or all of the costs for installation to eligible areas.

Vouchers are a key tool in incentivising and encouraging suppliers to connect some of the hardest-to-reach premises in the UK. Community groups across East Sussex have played a vital role in the delivery of voucher projects to date, and will continue to do so.

So far, more than 500 premises in the county have claimed and received payment for a voucher, with more than 700 additional premises awaiting connection for a combined value of over £2.3 million.

We have also sought information from communities as part of our Public Review process in preparation for the Project Gigabit regional supplier procurement for East Sussex. Alongside the Open Market Reviews, these processes enable us to determine where build is likely and where Government subsidy through Project Gigabit is required.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the rollout of Project Gigabit in East Sussex.

In March 2021 we launched Project Gigabit, our £5 billion mission to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband across the UK. Project Gigabit’s objective is to level up the UK by giving hard-to-reach areas access to gigabit-capable internet speeds and, coupled with commercial gigabit delivery, ensuring almost all of the UK has access to gigabit-capable internet as soon as possible.

Our Project Gigabit procurements are prioritising delivery to rural, hard-to-reach premises and to those with the lowest broadband speeds and we have made excellent progress in preparation for the regional supplier procurement covering East Sussex. Following early market engagement in the region, BDUK has recently taken the decision to accelerate the delivery of the Project Gigabit procurement covering East Sussex to align with the procurements in West Sussex and Kent.

This decision was taken following early market engagement activity, where suppliers indicated a strong interest in combining a cross-boundary project across the three counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Kent.

This is good news for constituents in East Sussex and further details on the revised procurement timetable for East Sussex will be announced in due course.

Alongside our Project Gigabit procurements, we are investing up to £210 million in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. East Sussex has made excellent use of the scheme so far, with more than 500 premises in the region having claimed and received payment for a voucher, with more than 700 additional premises awaiting connection for a combined value of over £2.3 million.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the next operator of the National Lottery will be permitted to offer online instant win games.

The Fourth National Lottery Licence is due to come into operation in February 2024. Online Instant Win Games will remain permitted under the Fourth Licence subject to the Gambling Commission receiving and approving one or more applications for Section 6 Game Licences pertaining to Online Instant Win Games.

Under the National Lottery Etc. Act 1993, the Commission may only grant such approval where this is consistent with its statutory duties, including with respect to participant protection and due propriety. Section 6 Game Licences will also only be granted to games that comply with the legal and regulatory framework, including National Lottery directions and regulations.

Where the Licensee fails to meet its obligations related to a game licensed under a Section 6 Licence, the Commission may suspend the game licence.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a requirement that age ratings and content advice for film and TV content must be prominent on Video-on-Demand Services, to ensure parents and families have the benefit of this guidance.

HM Government launched a consultation in August 2021 to level the playing field between traditional broadcasters and video-on-demand streaming services; to provide a fair competitive framework; and ensure UK viewers are better protected from harmful material.

That consultation, which closed in October, examined the role of audience protection measures such as age ratings and content advice. We are now considering the response to the consultation and will publish next steps in due course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a requirement for Video-on-Demand Services (1) to display British Board of Film Classification age ratings for film and TV content, and (2) to prohibit the use of age ratings from other jurisdictions which do not align with UK cultural values.

HM Government launched a consultation in August 2021 to level the playing field between traditional broadcasters and video-on-demand streaming services; to provide a fair competitive framework; and ensure UK viewers are better protected from harmful material.

That consultation, which closed in October, examined the role of audience protection measures such as age ratings and content advice. We are now considering the response to the consultation and will publish next steps in due course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish their response to their consultation on Audience Protection Standards on Video-on-Demand Services, which closed on 26 October 2021.

HM Government launched a consultation in August 2021 to level the playing field between traditional broadcasters and video-on-demand streaming services; to provide a fair competitive framework; and ensure UK viewers are better protected from harmful material.

That consultation, which closed in October, examined the role of audience protection measures such as age ratings and content advice. We are now considering the response to the consultation and will publish next steps in due course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of television advertising slots there have been on UK free to view television in the most recent year for which data is available, and (2) of the trend in the number of such advertisements over the previous 10 years.

Ofcom is the independent regulatory body responsible for overseeing the amount and scheduling of adverts on UK licensed broadcast television. It is the responsibility of Ofcom to make any assessment in relation to the number of television advertising slots on UK free to view television or any related trends over the years.

Under section 322 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom requires licensed television broadcasters to observe a set limit on the amount of advertising they show. The number of internal advertising slots permitted on public service channels depends on the genre and scheduled duration of the specific programme. The total amount of advertising on ITV 1, Channel 4, Channel 5, S4C and STV must not exceed an average of seven minutes per hour of broadcasting in any one day, or an average of 8 minutes per hour between 6.00 and 11.00 p.m. For other broadcasters, the total amount of advertising in any one day must not exceed an average of nine minutes per hour of broadcasting. This may be increased by a further three minutes per hour devoted to teleshopping spots.

Ofcom’s Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA) sets out the rules with which licensed television broadcasters must comply when displaying adverts. If a broadcaster does not comply with these requirements, they can be found in breach of their licence.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the data underpinning their Review of the Gambling Act 2005; and what additional data, if any, will be needed in order to effectively review that Act.

The government announced the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December 2020, starting with a wide ranging Call for Evidence. The Call for Evidence closed on 31 March 2021 and we received c.16,000 submissions which we are carefully considering. Part of this work will include considering where additional evidence may be required. We aim to publish a white paper outlining our conclusions and policy proposals by the end of the year.

The Commission requires all operators to monitor gambling activity across a range of indicators and to intervene where a customer may be at risk of harm. As part of our Review of the Gambling Act, we are looking at whether the data collected by operators, particularly remote operators, could be better deployed to support the government's objectives including the prevention of harm to children and vulnerable people.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the amount of consumer data held by gambling operators, and (2) whether this data could be used to prevent gambling-related harm.

The government announced the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December 2020, starting with a wide ranging Call for Evidence. The Call for Evidence closed on 31 March 2021 and we received c.16,000 submissions which we are carefully considering. Part of this work will include considering where additional evidence may be required. We aim to publish a white paper outlining our conclusions and policy proposals by the end of the year.

The Commission requires all operators to monitor gambling activity across a range of indicators and to intervene where a customer may be at risk of harm. As part of our Review of the Gambling Act, we are looking at whether the data collected by operators, particularly remote operators, could be better deployed to support the government's objectives including the prevention of harm to children and vulnerable people.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of advertisements by gambling operators that will be aired before 9pm during the 2021 UEFA European Championship.

The Government has not made an estimate of the number of advertisements by gambling operators that will be aired before 9pm during the 2021 UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. In addition, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising includes a whistle to whistle ban that also prohibits adverts for betting being shown during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed. Subject to these rules, the volume of adverts depends on the commercial arrangements put in place between the gambling operators and the broadcasters. All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of suspending advertisements by gambling operators during the 2021 UEFA European Championship.

The Government has not made an estimate of the number of advertisements by gambling operators that will be aired before 9pm during the 2021 UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. In addition, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising includes a whistle to whistle ban that also prohibits adverts for betting being shown during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed. Subject to these rules, the volume of adverts depends on the commercial arrangements put in place between the gambling operators and the broadcasters. All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their fan-led review of football governance will include an assessment of the financial sustainability of banning gambling sponsorship.

The Terms of Reference for the fan-led review of football governance have been published and amongst other matters, the review will explore ways of improving the governance, ownership and financial sustainability of clubs in English football, building on the strengths of the football pyramid.

While the role of gambling sponsorship currently sits outside the scope of the fan-led review, we launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December 2020, with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March 2021 and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of gambling sponsorship arrangements in sports and other areas, and we are considering the evidence carefully.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 17 May (HL33), when they expect to make a decision about whether or not to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Whilst we are not able to give any specific timings, we are exploring the merits of ratifying the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as a potential addition to the broad range of support measures which already exist for this vital aspect of our nation’s life. The Government keeps all such matters under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in advance of any steps they intend to take following their review of the Gambling Act 2005, they will encourage the Gambling Commission to amend the social responsibility codes of practice to prohibit licensees from offering bet to view inducements

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, including on issues around advertising, marketing and the relationship between sport and gambling. The department received c.16,000 submissions in response, which are currently being carefully considered. We aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction (including on issues to do with affordability) closed on 9 February and received over 13,000 responses. The Commission is reviewing that evidence and intends to publish an interim update on progress and to set out next steps in due course. The Commission’s consultation findings may inform its advice to the government for the Act Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in advance of any steps they intend to take following their review of the Gambling Act 2005, they will encourage the Gambling Commission to make it a licence condition that gambling operators should not contract with affiliates unless the affiliates themselves are licensed.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, including on issues around advertising, marketing and the relationship between sport and gambling. The department received c.16,000 submissions in response, which are currently being carefully considered. We aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction (including on issues to do with affordability) closed on 9 February and received over 13,000 responses. The Commission is reviewing that evidence and intends to publish an interim update on progress and to set out next steps in due course. The Commission’s consultation findings may inform its advice to the government for the Act Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in advance of any steps they intend to take following their review of the Gambling Act 2005, they will encourage the Gambling Commission to pursue urgently the development of new licence conditions which will require operators to conduct strict affordability checks before accepting bets.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, including on issues around advertising, marketing and the relationship between sport and gambling. The department received c.16,000 submissions in response, which are currently being carefully considered. We aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction (including on issues to do with affordability) closed on 9 February and received over 13,000 responses. The Commission is reviewing that evidence and intends to publish an interim update on progress and to set out next steps in due course. The Commission’s consultation findings may inform its advice to the government for the Act Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in advance of any steps they intend to take following their review of the Gambling Act 2005, they will use their existing statutory powers to prohibit advertising by gambling companies in or near sports venues.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, including on issues around advertising, marketing and the relationship between sport and gambling. The department received c.16,000 submissions in response, which are currently being carefully considered. We aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction (including on issues to do with affordability) closed on 9 February and received over 13,000 responses. The Commission is reviewing that evidence and intends to publish an interim update on progress and to set out next steps in due course. The Commission’s consultation findings may inform its advice to the government for the Act Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to announce the result of their review of the Gambling Act 2005; and what plans they have to introduce primary legislation in this parliament in response to that review.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, including on issues around advertising, marketing and the relationship between sport and gambling. The department received c.16,000 submissions in response, which are currently being carefully considered. We aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction (including on issues to do with affordability) closed on 9 February and received over 13,000 responses. The Commission is reviewing that evidence and intends to publish an interim update on progress and to set out next steps in due course. The Commission’s consultation findings may inform its advice to the government for the Act Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Government values the profound contribution of the UK’s craft workers, artisans and artists to the preservation of our unique intangible heritage. We are exploring the merits of ratifying the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as a potential addition to the broad range of support measures which already exist for this vital aspect of our nation’s life.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the owners and management of Football Index, and (2) individuals affected by the collapse of Football Index.

The government is taking the collapse of BetIndex Ltd (the operators of Football Index) and the concerns of those affected by this very seriously. We have heard from hundreds of individuals affected by these events in recent weeks, and on 20 April we announced an independent review of the regulation of the Football Index product. This review is intended to take an objective look at the decisions and actions of the Gambling Commission and any other relevant regulators, to provide a clear account of how the company’s activities were regulated, identify if there are potential areas for improvement and inform our Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Gambling Commission licensed BetIndex Ltd in 2015 and is responsible for ensuring that gambling operators comply with the gambling legislation and the conditions and codes of practice attached to their operating licences. The activities regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority are primarily set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order (the RAO). The RAO contains the financial services activities, known as ‘regulated activities’, that require FCA authorisation before firms or individuals can carry them out. BetIndex was not authorised by the FCA.

The Commission is continuing its regulatory investigation into BetIndex Ltd and administration proceedings are ongoing. Our independent review is separate to those processes, and will be carried out and report in a way which will not compromise them. The government has not had discussions with BetIndex’s owners and management.

A Written Ministerial Statement on Regulation of Football Index was published on Tuesday 20 April 2021. It is publicly available here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-04-20/hcws929

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the responsibilities of the (1) Financial Conduct Authority, and (2) Gambling Commission, in regulating Football Index.

The government is taking the collapse of BetIndex Ltd (the operators of Football Index) and the concerns of those affected by this very seriously. We have heard from hundreds of individuals affected by these events in recent weeks, and on 20 April we announced an independent review of the regulation of the Football Index product. This review is intended to take an objective look at the decisions and actions of the Gambling Commission and any other relevant regulators, to provide a clear account of how the company’s activities were regulated, identify if there are potential areas for improvement and inform our Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Gambling Commission licensed BetIndex Ltd in 2015 and is responsible for ensuring that gambling operators comply with the gambling legislation and the conditions and codes of practice attached to their operating licences. The activities regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority are primarily set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order (the RAO). The RAO contains the financial services activities, known as ‘regulated activities’, that require FCA authorisation before firms or individuals can carry them out. BetIndex was not authorised by the FCA.

The Commission is continuing its regulatory investigation into BetIndex Ltd and administration proceedings are ongoing. Our independent review is separate to those processes, and will be carried out and report in a way which will not compromise them. The government has not had discussions with BetIndex’s owners and management.

A Written Ministerial Statement on Regulation of Football Index was published on Tuesday 20 April 2021. It is publicly available here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-04-20/hcws929

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for a product licensing regime for online gambling products.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the case for greater controls on the design of online gambling products, including pre-release testing.

We welcome steps taken by technology companies to support people who are experiencing problem gambling. This includes Google’s recently announced plans to allow its users to opt out of gambling advertising.

According to the 2016 Combined Health Survey, the rate of problem gambling among those who had gambled online during the past year was 3.5%. The 2018 Health Survey for England found a problem gambling rate of 4.2% among past-year online gamblers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the Gambling Commission’s decision to grant an operating licence to Football Index, and (2) whether the level of oversight of that company's activities was adequate.

The government is monitoring the situation with Football Index closely and Ministers [the Secretary of State and Minister for Media and Data] have met the Gambling Commission twice to receive urgent reports. A live investigation by the Commission is ongoing. The Commission has been in close contact with the Jersey Gambling Commission throughout this case and continues to work closely with them. Further information can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2021/BetIndex-update.aspx

The Gambling Commission does not carry out capital adequacy and stress tests, which would normally apply to banks, or routinely monitor the financial viability of operators. It looks at suitability when licensing an operator, including their financial circumstances, and may review these aspects in the course of its compliance activity. The Commission will investigate where there is evidence that operators have breached licence conditions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the collapse of Football Index.

The government is monitoring the situation with Football Index closely and Ministers [the Secretary of State and Minister for Media and Data] have met the Gambling Commission twice to receive urgent reports. A live investigation by the Commission is ongoing. The Commission has been in close contact with the Jersey Gambling Commission throughout this case and continues to work closely with them. Further information can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2021/BetIndex-update.aspx

The Gambling Commission does not carry out capital adequacy and stress tests, which would normally apply to banks, or routinely monitor the financial viability of operators. It looks at suitability when licensing an operator, including their financial circumstances, and may review these aspects in the course of its compliance activity. The Commission will investigate where there is evidence that operators have breached licence conditions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the rates of problem gambling among the professional football community.

The Government is aware of research that has suggested professional sports people may be at increased risk of experiencing gambling harm. Employers across all sectors have a duty to look after the welfare of their employees. Footballers can also access support from The Professional Footballers’ Association, which provides a 24/7 counselling helpline for past and present members, and Sporting Chance.

The Government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. The Review will be wide-ranging and evidence led and aims to make sure we have the right protections in place to make gambling safer for all.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of children exposed to gambling advertising through professional sports.

The government does not hold data on the number of children exposed to gambling advertising through professional sports. However, the Gambling Commission’s annual survey of children and young people includes figures on the proportion of children who have seen gambling adverts in a number of settings. In 2019, that survey found that 50% of 11-16 year olds had seen or heard a gambling advertisement linked to a sports event. In 2020, the survey found that 41% of 11-16 year olds had seen or heard gambling adverts linked to a sports event but the outbreak of Covid-19 halted fieldwork for the 2020 survey before it was finished. The 2020 survey is therefore not directly comparable to previous years.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. In 2019, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising was amended to include a whistle-to-whistle ban on betting adverts being shown during live sport before the 9pm watershed.

We launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of gambling by women.

The Gambling Commission is continuing to monitor gambling behaviour during the Covid-19 period. Survey data published by the Commission in January indicated that 87% of women gamblers have gambled the same amount or less during the pandemic than they had previously. The Commission recently wrote to operators to remind them of its guidance issued in May 2020, which requires them to increase protections for those who may be at heightened risk of gambling harm. That guidance directed operators to monitor customer behaviour more closely to identify signs of potential harm, and banned mechanisms by which customers could cancel requests to withdraw money from their account.

The Gambling Commission also conducts a quarterly telephone survey of gambling behaviours which collects data about problem gambling prevalence. The most recent wave of that survey was carried out in September, and aggregated results for the year to September 2020 estimated the problem gambling rate amongst women to be 0.3%. This is higher than the rate estimated for the year to September 2019 (0.1%), but lower than the rate estimated for the year to March 2020 (0.4%). Caution should be used when interpreting these figures due to the low numbers of respondents involved. Much of the data for the year to September 2020 was collected prior to the Covid-19 period, and problem gambling is measured using questions which ask about past year experiences and behaviours, so it is not possible to accurately assess the relative impact of the pandemic on fluctuations in currently available data. The Commission will publish the next wave of telephone survey data later this month, which will give figures for the year to December 2020.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a call for evidence. The Review will be wide-ranging and evidence-led, and aims to make sure we have the right balance for regulation and appropriate protections for all vulnerable people.



Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the average amount of weekly disposable income; and what assessment they have made of the average amount of weekly gambling expenditure.

According to ONS data, the mean household disposable income in 2020 was £36,900, equating to approximately £710 per week. This data can be accessed at:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householddisposableincomeandinequality/financialyear2020.

Further consideration of how assessments might be made of disposable and discretionary income is included in the Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction which is available at:

https://consult.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/author/remote-customer-interaction-consultation-and-call/supporting_documents/CI%20consultation%20call%20for%20evidence.pdf#page=19

In the same consultation and call for evidence, the Commission estimates that online gamblers spend an average (mean) of £57 per month on online gambling. However, this is only an indicative estimate based on Gross Gambling Yield for the remote sector and remote gambling participation rates from survey data, as the Commission does not track weekly or monthly gambling spend as an official statistic. The government is also aware of a recent study of Lloyds Banking Group customers in 2018 which estimates electronic transactions by gamblers to gambling operators across all sectors to average £112 (mean) per month. Note that unlike the Commission’s calculation, this figure is outgoing transactions only and is not adjusted for any winnings. Caution should be applied in considering data based on averages as both discretionary income and gambling spend vary significantly between individuals.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 22 January (HL11976), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, whether (1) secondary, or (2) primary, legislation would be required to bring loot boxes within scope of gambling regulation by defining their contents as money or money’s worth.

For the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005 gaming is defined in section 6(1) as playing a game of chance for a prize, which is defined in section 6(5) as being money or money’s worth. Section 6(6) of the Act allows the Secretary of State to make regulations clarifying what constitutes a game of chance for the purposes of the Act, but it does not include a provision for the Secretary of State to amend section 6(5).

The government is reviewing the evidence received through our bespoke Call for Evidence on whether loot boxes present a risk of harm to consumers, and if so, the extent and nature of those harms. The evidence we received will help us both identify the issues at play and ensure that any policy changes effectively address them. As we are still considering the evidence submitted, it is too early to know whether any changes might be needed and therefore we cannot specify how we could implement any changes should they be required. The government will set out its next steps on loot boxes, including whether or not primary or secondary legislation is needed, in the coming months.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further (1) to the report by the Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry Gambling Harm—Time for Action, published on 2 July 2020 (HL Paper 79), and (2) to the letter to that Committee from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage on 21 December, whether (a) secondary, or (b) primary, legislation would be required to bring loot boxes within scope of gambling regulation by defining their contents as money or money’s worth.

The government remains committed to delivering on its manifesto pledges and ensuring young and vulnerable people are protected from harm. Our bespoke call for evidence on whether loot boxes cause harm and, if so, the nature of the harm, closed in November and received more than 30,000 responses (including individual responses to the survey of players’ experiences). We will publish a government response and next steps in the coming months, including implementation details for any changes proposed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Prime Minister on 9 December (HC Deb, col 840), what plans they have to set up a working party to take forward the Turn on the Subtitles campaign that includes representatives of (1) that campaign, (2) Government departments, and (3) children's programming broadcasters.

The government is engaging with the Turn On The Subtitles campaign and other stakeholders, including broadcasters, to consider the evidence on the costs and benefits of switching on subtitles by default. A decision on next steps will be made in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential merits of establishing a gambling ombudsman.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry recommended that a statutory ombudsman be created for the gambling sector. The government is carefully considering this and other recommendations made by the committee and will respond in due course.

In addition, the Public Accounts Committee has recommended that the government and the Gambling Commission should make an assessment of gaps in the existing arrangements for redress open to consumers, and set out a plan to resolve any gaps identified. The government has agreed with this recommendation and has indicated that it will write to the committee in the coming months to provide an update on progress in this area.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers Ofcom has to require television broadcasters to put subtitles on all children’s programmes.

Under the Communications Act 2003, broadcast television channels are required to make a certain proportion of their programmes, including children’s programmes, accessible.

Statutory targets are set by Ofcom which include five and ten year targets on subtitling, sign language and audio description for licensed television services. Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services sets out these obligations and provides guidance and best practice on subtitling for broadcasters. This includes guidance in relation to subtitles aimed at young children which states that:

care should be taken to ensure that these are accurate and grammatical, as children and parents use subtitles in developing literacy skills”.

Television content on demand should be accessible for all UK audiences. That is why, under the Digital Economy Act 2017, the Government included measures to facilitate accessibility requirements for on-demand services. Officials are working closely with Ofcom to implement this legislation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made (1) of the difficulties in obtaining insurance cover faced by people working in the creative industries, and (2) of the effect that such difficulties may have on those people’s creative output; and what plans they have to support such people.

The Government has announced a £500m compensation scheme to assist the film and TV production sectors who are ready to return to work, but are precluded from doing so by the difficulties they face obtaining insurance cover for Covid-19.

The new UK-wide £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will get TV and film productions across the country that have been halted or delayed specifically by a lack of insurance back up and running by giving productions the confidence they need that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to Covid-19.

It will fill the gap left by the lack of available insurance and cover coronavirus-related losses for cast member and crew illnesses and filming delays or disruptions caused by the Covid-19. The scheme will directly support up to 40,000 - 50,000 jobs in the film and TV production industry.

A targeted intervention in the TV and film sector was considered necessary for its restart. The government will continue to monitor what further action is needed to support the re-opening of the economy and any potential further interventions would be assessed on a case by case basis. With regard to other creative industries, we are regularly in touch with a range of stakeholders from across the Creative Industries, including via ministerially-chaired roundtables, to ensure that we fully understand the range of issues affecting them during the Covid crisis and recovery period.

In terms of supporting the creative workforce, other recently announced sector-specific schemes include the £1.57bn funding package for the arts, culture and heritage industries, which comes on top of the multi-billion pound support already made available to the cultural and creative sectors, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow casinos to reopen.

DCMS officials are in regular contact with Public Health England and the casino sector to discuss the protections that are needed to allow casinos to reopen safely. This includes arranging a visit for senior public health representatives to assess the measures which are in place. The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage has spoken with representatives of the sector about the impacts of closure, and the government is working to ensure casinos can open as soon as the medical and scientific advice is that it is safe to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Baroness Barran on 3 June (HL Deb, col 1360), why they believe that a reciprocal two-year EU-wide multi-entry touring visa for musicians and others is not legally possible.

In my response to The Earl of Clancarty in Parliament on 3 June, I said that a touring visa as he proposed was not “legally possible”.

I am afraid that this could have been phrased more accurately. While a visa of the kind he proposed is not legally impossible, the legal arrangements of the EU make it less negotiable, and each individual EU member state retains the right to caveat the third-party mobility arrangements negotiated at an EU-wide level. We are not asking for a special, bespoke, or unique deal. We are looking for a deal like the free trade agreements the EU has previously struck with other friendly countries such as Canada.

We recognise that music and the performing arts are culturally and economically crucial industries. Through negotiations with the EU on Mobility and Mode IV we are exploring how we can provide greater certainty to these industries in the future through reciprocal provisions based on best precedent.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 24 April (HL7121), what assessment they have made of the emission of (1) greenhouse gasses, and (2) other pollutants, as a result of fires and explosions caused by lithium-ion batteries.

The Environment Agency regulates larger industrial installations in England and are not aware of any assessment being made of the emissions from fires of caused by lithium-ion batteries for their regulatory, permitting or incident functions. Currently, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are not considered an ‘Installation’ under the ‘Regulatory Guidance Note No. 2 Understanding the meaning of regulated facility’. Therefore, BESS do not require a permit, Risk Management Strategy, or Plan. The Environment Agency is in discussions with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the issue.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 24 April (HL7121), what assessment they have made of the cost of fires in waste processing plants resulting from lithium-ion batteries.

Defra has not made an assessment of the costs of fires arising in waste processing plants. Research conducted by Eunomia and the Environmental Services Association which was published in 2021 estimated the annual cost of lithium-ion battery fires to be £158 million. A copy is attached to this answer.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the withdrawal of waste or recycling services as a result of lithium-ion batteries fires in waste processing plants.

Defra has not made an assessment of the withdrawal of waste or recycling services as a result of lithium-ion batteries in waste processing plants. Waste diversion to other authorised facilities routinely happens when a plant is down for maintenance, refurbishment or closed.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) reduce risk, and (2) mitigate the impact of lithium-ion battery fires in waste processing plants.

Sites storing and processing waste are required to have a fire prevention plan (FPP) to mitigate and manage the fire risk on site. A critical part of the FPP is to have robust waste acceptance procedures in place to ensure that lithium-ion batteries and other ignition sources are separated, stored and treated appropriately to prevent fires occurring. Defra is reviewing the existing UK Batteries Regulations with a view to consulting by end 2023. As part of this review, work is ongoing to understand the potential safety risks of lithium-ion batteries.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of fires in waste processing plants resulting from lithium-ion batteries.

Through desk-based research and conversations with the Fire Service, Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum and other members of the Steering Group, the Environment Agency has been able to acquire data and gain an understanding of the number of waste fires and costs that can be attributed to waste fires caused by lithium-ion batteries in the UK.

The Environment Agency estimates that around 48% of waste fires can be attributed to lithium-ion batteries; this equates to approximately 201 waste fires in the UK each year.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Office for Environmental Protection's Progress in improving the natural environment in England: 2021 to 2022, published on 19 January, which concluded on the 25 Year Improvement Plan that "of 23 environmental targets assessed, none were found where Government’s progress was demonstrably on track", what steps they are taking to improve progress against those targets.

On 31st January 2023 we completed our first statutory review of the 25 Year Environment Plan and published the revised Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23). EIP23 sets out a delivery plan for how we will deliver our goals and targets to achieve our long-term ambition to leave the environment in a better state for future generations.

To monitor the delivery of EIP23, the Government will report annually on implementation. To do this, we will continue to publish an Annual Progress Report setting out the progress we have made towards the targets and wider commitments, over the previous 12 months.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in response to the report by the Office for National Statistics Habitat extent and condition, natural capital, UK: 2022, published on 3 May 2022; in particular, what steps they are taking in respect of the changes in the number of protected sites on semi-natural grassland (1) in favourable condition from 2020–22, (2) in unfavourable condition from 2020–22, and (3) in recovering condition from 2020–22.

Biodiversity policy is devolved. The Office for National Statistics report indicates that most of the England grassland priority habitats both in lowland and upland protected sites were broadly maintained in either favourable or recovering condition between 2018 and May 2022. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions, including lowland neutral grassland and upland calcareous grassland, showing significant change to unfavourable declining condition. In Natural England’s view, this is due to a range of factors including the reluctance of some land managers to renew or take up Agri-Environment Schemes during the period of transition to new schemes. In addition, the halting of site condition reporting during the Covid lockdown may have impact these figures.

Natural England is taking several steps to address this, including working with land managers to maximise the take up of existing and new land management schemes including Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier and Higher Tier management options.

In the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 the Government has set an interim target that by 2028 all Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) will have an up-to-date condition assessment and that 50% of SSSIs will have actions on-track to bring them into favourable condition.

Since 2018, 13 new SSSIs have been designated where grassland and those species dependent on grassland habitats is the main interest feature Natural England’s SSSI pipeline includes 7 more grassland sites for notification.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their target in their Environmental Impact Plan to "restore or create more than 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat", whether they have considered the advice of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) that "habitat destruction and degradation could therefore continue in other areas, with negligible positive change overall"; and if so, what estimate they have made of the amount of destruction and degradation that may occur in other areas.

Due to data limitations, we are not currently able to fully account for habitat lost and so we have not been able to set a target for net habitat restoration and creation. In order to ensure as far as possible that new habitat counted under our target is additional, we will only use reporting from live agri-environment scheme agreements, not count ‘compensatory habitat’ such as new habitat created to replace lost habitat as part of Biodiversity Net Gain, and only count ‘wildlife-rich’ habitats. Furthermore, as the target states that we will create ‘in excess of’ 500,000 hectares, this figure does not limit our ambition for action.

To address the data limitations, we are developing an indicator for quantity, quality and connectivity of habitats as part of the Outcome Indicator Framework under the 25 Year Environment Plan. Work to finalise the methodology to allow the assessment of change in habitat quantity over time, at a national scale, is in development.

The Environmental Improvement Plan set out the actions we are taking that will allow us to meet this ambitious target: we are investing more than £750 million in the environment through our Nature for Climate Fund, we have announced a new Species Survival Fund and we have set a target to raise at least £500 million in private finance to support nature’s recovery every year by 2027, rising to more than £1 billion by 2030.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the (1) loss annually since 2010, and (2) expected loss by 2030, of (a) woodland, and (b) ancient woodland.

The loss of woodland is published in Government statistics. These cover the period 2012-2020 and are available in Table 5 of Components of the net change in woodland area in England, 2012-13 to 2019-20 (Experimental Statistics).

The Government is committed to protecting ancient woodlands. In 2016, the National Forest Inventory report “Preliminary estimates of the changes in canopy cover between 2006 and 2015” found that overall, in England the level of permanent ancient woodland loss to other land uses was 57 hectares or 0.02% between 2006-2015. PDFs are attached.

The England Trees Action Plan (ETAP) published on 18 May 2021, sets out the Government’s future vision for England’s treescape. The Plan committed to updating the ancient woodland inventory to cover the whole of England. This project is now underway and includes mapping smaller ancient woodland sites of 0.25 hectares.

In 2018, the protection of ancient woodlands, ancient trees and veteran trees was strengthened through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), recognising them as irreplaceable habitats. The NPPF also outlines that any development resulting in the loss or deterioration of such irreplaceable habitats should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and only if a suitable compensation strategy exists. In 2021, the Government committed to reviewing the NPPF with respect to ancient woodlands, consulting on strengthening the wording in the NPPF and introducing a new duty on planning authorities to consult the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities before granting permission for development affecting ancient woodlands.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of raw sewage discharged into rivers (1) annually between 2010 and 2022, and (2) annually up to and including 2030.

Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) provides information on when and for how long sewage discharges have occurred. All EDM data is published online. More information on EDM is available here (copy attached to this answer). The Environment Agency will be publishing the annual EDM dataset for 2022 in March 2023.

We have increased the number of storm overflows monitored across the network from 5% in 2016 to almost 90% now monitored, and we will reach 100% cover by end of this year. Therefore, it is not an accurate reflection to compare the number of discharges across 2010 to 2021 given monitoring was not installed at all sites at the same point in time.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of woodland that will be lost by (1) 2030, and (2) 2050, in terms of (a) hectares, and (b) percentage.

A small amount of woodland is lost each year to development and for the restoration of priority habitat from woodland. We have taken this into account in estimating the area of new tree canopy and woodland cover that will need to be planted to meet the statutory target. The tree and woodland cover target is a net target and our pathway assumes that new planting will need to account for around 9,000 hectares of woodland loss by 2030 and a total of around 20,000 hectares by 2050, based on trends over recent years. This is equivalent to 0.7% and 1.5% of current woodland cover in England.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Benyon on 16 December 2022 (HLWS449) regarding the target to "increase total tree and woodland cover from 14.5% of land area now to 16.5% by 2050", how many hectares that two per cent increase will involve; and how much of that increase will be completed by 2030.

Increasing tree and woodland canopy cover from 14.5% to 16.5% of land area would mean increasing cover by around quarter of a million hectares, an area the size of Derbyshire, although the precise figure will be dependent on the revised baseline which will be published later this year. We will publish an interim woodland cover target, to be achieved in 2028, in the Environmental Improvement Plan.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the rate of biodiversity decline in England in each year between 2010 and 2022; and what estimate they have made of the rate of biodiversity decline by 2030.

There is no single way to measure the health of our biodiversity, so we use a number of indicators to pick up changes in the status of species and habitats. Taken together, they provide a more holistic picture of the state of nature. A summary of these indicators is available at https://oifdata.defra.gov.uk/, specifically in the wildlife section D. A wider range of biodiversity related indicators is available in the England Biodiversity Indicators publication.

Defra’s range of species indicators track changes in relative distribution and abundance. One of the indicators, which is still in development, measures change in relative abundance of widespread species in England. Analysis of this indicator was presented in Defra’s Biodiversity Targets Evidence Report. Based on data for 670 terrestrial animal species in England, analysis indicated a decline in species abundance of 2.8% per year on average between 2012 and 2018.

Whilst we expect some continued decline in species abundance we cannot reliably predict the rate of decline as species will be impacted by changing conditions which we cannot anticipate with any certainty. However, through the Environment Act 2021 we have set world-leading legally binding targets to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030 and then to increase species abundance by at least 10% by 2042, ensuring levels are greater than in 2022.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 13 December (HL4004), whether they have data for those regions that have suffered a decline of (1) plants, and (2) mammals.

Data held by the Government does not contain sufficient levels of detail to allow for a regional assessment an assessment of species decline.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Environment Agency report Working with nature, published in July, which stated that "a quarter of mammals in England and almost a fifth of UK plants" are "threatened with extinction", whether they will list those counties that have suffered the worst declines of those species.

Data held by Government does not contain sufficient levels of detail to allow for an assessment of species decline at county level.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, what was the annual rate of species decline in England in each year between 2010 and 2022.

Defra’s indicator of species abundance tracks changes in the relative abundance of widespread and priority species in England, using data for 670 terrestrial animal species in England. Based on available data, the trend in the indicator shows a decline in species abundance of 2.8% per year on average between 2012 and 2018.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Environment Agency report Working with nature, published in July, which stated that "99.7% of fens, 97% of species-rich grasslands, 80% of lowland heathlands, up to 70% of ancient woodlands, and up to 85% of saltmarshes" have been "destroyed or degraded", whether they will list by county where those degraded areas are.

The Environment Agency only holds the headline national data, as presented in the Working with Nature report.

Data on fens, species rich grasslands, and lowland heathlands came from the Lawton report, Making Space for Nature (which itself cites other reports and papers). The author should be contacted for further information, including a county breakdown. Data on ancient woodlands data came from the Woodland Trust, who should be contacted for a county breakdown.

Although the Environment Agency holds the data on saltmarsh quality, these are not readily available with a county breakdown.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any health problems created by urban gulls as a result of an increase in numbers and spread inland; and what discussions they have had with Natural England about re-instating rooftop-nesting Herring gulls and Lesser black-back gulls on the General Licence to allow local councils to address any such problems.

Defra recognises that there are instances where herring gull and lesser black-backed gull may cause public health and public safety issues, particularly in urban areas. It has been assessed that these species are not appropriate for control through General Licence, due to their red and amber conservation status. However, to address some of the public health and safety concerns in urban areas, last year Natural England piloted an Organisational Licence with Worcester and Bath and North East Somerset Council. These licences allow councils to address specific public health and safety risks caused by these species.

Organisational Licences are more suitable for Local Authorities experiencing a higher-than-average number of public health and safety incidents on a wide scale and its therefore likely these towns or cities have higher gull populations. Natural England will make use of local gull survey information and population viability analysis to calculate a sustainable number of gulls that can be controlled at these Organisational Licence-wide scales. Where local authorities can provide evidence that their gull populations are growing, Natural England will allow an increased number of eggs and nest removals.

These licences aim to help authorities deal with the most severe public health risks posed to residents by nesting gulls, whilst ensuring that any lethal control by the destruction of eggs and nests remains lawful, justified, and proportionate. Local authorities possessing an organisational licence will no longer need to seek advance approval from Natural England to address certain specific public health and safety risks. This approach will be made available across England this year for areas that are suitable for these licences.

For other specific circumstances, individual Licences are also available to control gulls for the purpose of preserving public health and safety where necessary.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 12 July (UIN28169), what plans they have to consult (1) consumer bodies, (2) the industry, and (3) MPs and Peers, as part of their review of the legislation covering hydrofluorocarbons.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are the most common type of gas in the group known as fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) and their use is being phased down under F-gas legislation.

We are currently reviewing the F-gas legislation and plan to publish an Assessment Report based on the review by spring 2022. We are engaging with industry stakeholders to gather information and technical evidence to inform the Assessment Report. This includes engagement with key trade bodies, such as the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board. .

Following publication of the Assessment Report, we intend to publish a legislative proposal and run a formal public consultation during 2022. Any new legislation will be introduced to Parliament in the normal way, including consultation with hon. Members and Peers.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when a replacement scheme for the Tradeshow Access Programme will be announced.

HM Government will announce further details on plans for a revised trade show support programme when discussions with HM Treasury are concluded.

The £38m Internationalisation Fund, launched last year, provides matching grants for export support including attendance at trade shows.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the return on investment for exporting businesses created by the Tradeshow Access Funding Programme, prior to its cancellation.

We have not carried out economic analysis of the impact of the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) as a standalone service. However, we know that the businesses we support in attending trade shows view it very highly, which suggests a positive return on their investment. When surveyed, 89% of businesses stated they were satisfied with their experience of TAP (DIT Export Client Quality Survey, published July 2020).

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Tradeshow Access Programme funding is available to UK companies to take part in digital trade shows.

I am pleased to say that Her Majesty’s Government is currently operating a pilot programme to assess the benefits of providing support, through the Tradeshow Access Programme, to UK companies participating in digital tradeshows. The pilot runs until 31 March 2021.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what allocations have been made from the 2020/21 Tradeshow Access Programme.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) entered this financial year with a full calendar of agreed events to be supported by the Tradeshow Access Programme with a budget of £6.5 million.

Regrettably, most of the events have since been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 4 August (HL7349), who attended the most recent meetings of each of the 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs) listed; whether the communication of the outcome of the review of the ETAGs will include the publication of (1) their membership during the meetings listed, and (2) their new membership, if different; and when that review is expected to conclude.

The attendance information that the Department holds for the most recent meetings in July and August is detailed in the attached table.

On 25th August, nine sectoral Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs) were stood down. 11 Trade Advisory Groups, which are sector-focused, have been created. Their membership can be found online (see here).

The following advisory groups will continue to exist: Continuity; Customs; Financial Services; Intellectual Property; Procurement; Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; Sustainability; and Trade for Development. The review of how these groups operate is ongoing and will conclude in due course, together with a decision on whether membership will be published.

There is no plan to publish historic membership.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many meetings there have been of each of the 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups, either in person or virtually; on what dates these meetings were held; and what plans there are for further meetings of each group.

Our Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs) have met 84 times to date. The table below shows how many meetings there have been for each of the 17 ETAGs and the dates on which they were held.

ETAG name

Total number of meetings held to date

Date of each meeting held

Agri-food

9

04/07/2019, 21/08/2019, 25/09/2019, 24/10/2019, 14/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 05/03/2020, 27/05/2020, 06/07/2020

Automotive

8

13/07/2019, 14/08/2019, 26/09/2019, 21/10/2019, 30/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 27/05/2020, 20/07/2020

Chemicals

2

22/08/2019, 10/02/2020

Creative

3

14/01/2020, 14/02/2020, 03/06/2020

Continuity

9

14/08/2019, 11/09/2019, 09/10/2019, 30/10/2019, 17/12/2019, 24/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 29/04/2020, 08/07/2020

Customs

3

08/07/2019, 14/02/2020, 21/07/2020

Digital

4

04.11.2019, 09/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 01/06/2020

Financial Services

7

16/09/2019, 28/10/2019, 10/01/2020, 31/01/2020, 02/03/2020, 29/05/2020, 03/07/2020

IP

4

30/09/2019, 20/01/2020, 08/06/2020, 21/07/2020

Investment

3

05/09/2019, 24/01/2020, 05/06/2020

Life Sciences

4

27/09/2019, 05/02/2020, 04/06/2020, 09/07/2020

PBS

4

03/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 28/04/2020, 03/06/2020

Procurement

4

17/02/2020, 20/03/2020, 12/06/2020, 02/07/2020

SMEs

3

16/08/2019, 13/02/2020, 15/05/2020

Sustainability

5

18/09/2018, 11/12/2018, 18/06/2019, 20/02/2020, 06/07/2020

TfD

7

02/02/2018, 24/10/2018, 21/03/2019, 15/07/2019, 09/10/2019, 28/02/2020, 19/05/2020

Transport Services

5

16/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 27/01/2020, 02/06/2020, 12/06/2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, HMG’s publication priorities shifted and the planned publication of ETAG membership was delayed in the Spring. The Department is now undertaking a review of the ETAGs, the outcome of which will be communicated in due course.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which Expert Trade Advisory Groups have been created by the Department for International Trade; and who are the members of those groups.

There are currently 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs), covering a range of sector and thematic policy areas. Over 250 organisations are members of the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups. The Department intends to publish the names of these organisations in due course.

We have established engagement mechanisms, such as the ETAGs, to ensure a broad range of stakeholders have the opportunity to inform the UK’s trade policy. Any further opportunities for engagement during negotiations will be set out in due course.

The membership of ETAGs varies according to the needs of the Group, and may include a range of stakeholders from industry, consumer groups, business associations, trade unions or NGOs. Members were selected based on experience and?expertise in the relevant sectoral or thematic area.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the role of the Department for International Trade’s Expert Trade Advisory Groups will be as negotiations on trade agreements progress.

There are currently 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs), covering a range of sector and thematic policy areas. Over 250 organisations are members of the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups. The Department intends to publish the names of these organisations in due course.

We have established engagement mechanisms, such as the ETAGs, to ensure a broad range of stakeholders have the opportunity to inform the UK’s trade policy. Any further opportunities for engagement during negotiations will be set out in due course.

The membership of ETAGs varies according to the needs of the Group, and may include a range of stakeholders from industry, consumer groups, business associations, trade unions or NGOs. Members were selected based on experience and?expertise in the relevant sectoral or thematic area.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the Department for International Trade selected the membership of its Expert Trade Advisory Groups.

There are currently 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs), covering a range of sector and thematic policy areas. Over 250 organisations are members of the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups. The Department intends to publish the names of these organisations in due course.

We have established engagement mechanisms, such as the ETAGs, to ensure a broad range of stakeholders have the opportunity to inform the UK’s trade policy. Any further opportunities for engagement during negotiations will be set out in due course.

The membership of ETAGs varies according to the needs of the Group, and may include a range of stakeholders from industry, consumer groups, business associations, trade unions or NGOs. Members were selected based on experience and?expertise in the relevant sectoral or thematic area.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK’s ability to introduce online harms legislation if safe harbour provisions form part of any future free trade agreement with the government of the US.

This Government is committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online and the best place to start and grow a digital business. We will carefully consider any interaction between trade policy and online harms policy in future trade agreements.

The UK Government has engaged with US Trade Representative on a range of areas including digital trade. Inevitably there is speculation as to what each side will want to achieve in a future UK-US deal, but it is too soon to say exactly what would be covered.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had any discussions with trade representatives from the government of the US in relation to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act 1996.

This Government is committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online and the best place to start and grow a digital business. We will carefully consider any interaction between trade policy and online harms policy in future trade agreements.

The UK Government has engaged with US Trade Representative on a range of areas including digital trade. Inevitably there is speculation as to what each side will want to achieve in a future UK-US deal, but it is too soon to say exactly what would be covered.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with trade representatives from the government of the US in relation to intermediary liability.

This Government is committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online and the best place to start and grow a digital business. We will carefully consider any interaction between trade policy and online harms policy in future trade agreements.

The UK Government has engaged with US Trade Representative on a range of areas including digital trade. Inevitably there is speculation as to what each side will want to achieve in a future UK-US deal, but it is too soon to say exactly what would be covered.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the new cabotage rules for touring performers and orchestras introduced by the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; and whether they will provide details of all official meetings held between the UK government and the EU at which those rules have been discussed.

The Department for Transport’s assessment is that the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) allows for the majority of haulage operations that were being undertaken by UK hauliers before the end of the transition period.  However, UK operators will not be allowed to undertake more than 2 movements within the EU before returning to the UK. These rules will also apply to specialist hauliers, such as hauliers who carry equipment for touring performers and orchestras.

Alternative arrangements for specialist hauliers were discussed in detail as part of negotiations, including specific proposals for liberalised access, but the EU was unwilling to agree more flexible arrangements. Unfortunately, the Department is not able to release the content of correspondence and records pertaining to the negotiation; these texts are confidential, and it is therefore not appropriate for them to be published.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what health and safety measures fast food delivery companies are required to put in place to ensure employees carrying out deliveries on their behalf are charging their e-scooters and bikes safely.

E-bikes provided by employers for use at work are classed as work equipment and employers should provide a charging unit recommended by the manufacturer; They should assess and manage the risks from e-bikes and chargers. Employers should make sure workers have the knowledge they need to use and maintain e-bikes safely, including giving them the information they need, e.g. manufacturer’s instructions, operating manuals and training courses. They should also check workers’ understanding of the information provided.

Where an employer is providing charging facilities at their workplace to charge any e-bikes then they have a duty to ensure the chargers appear safe to use, facilities are suitably designed and situated, and instructions provided.

In addition, the Health and Safety Executive have published guidance on the safe use of batteries, available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg139.pdf. The guidance includes advice to follow the battery manufacturer’s instructions on charging and to always use a dedicated, well-ventilated charging area.

21st Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take in response to the recommendations set out in the ‘Prevention of Future Deaths Report’ issued after the inquest of Jack Ritchie, published on 7 March.

In May 2022, the Government published its response to the Coroner's Prevention of Future Deaths report following the inquest into the death of Jack Ritchie. A copy of the Government’s response is attached.

This confirmed the Government’s commitment to addressing gambling-related harms and prioritising gambling as a public health issue. We will improve the awareness and understanding of gambling-related harms amongst healthcare professions as well as expanding and improving specialist treatment services available for people with a gambling addiction. We have also committed to assess current gambling regulation through the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of including support related to (1) gambling related harms, and (2) gambling addiction, in Liaison and Diversion schemes to divert individuals from the criminal justice system.

While no formal assessment has been made, NHS England and NHS Improvement have held national workshops for all liaison and diversion service providers on the vulnerabilities caused by gambling addiction.

13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to the NHS of resolving problems which have occurred during treatment in the private health sector; and what plans they have to ensure that such costs are recovered by the NHS.

No assessment has been made. There is no general provision which allows the National Health Service to recover the costs of problems which have occurred during treatment in the private health sector. Where a private sector hospital or surgeon has been negligent and that negligence results in a damages claim against the party concerned, there is provision for the NHS hospital which subsequently treated the patient to recover specified monetary amounts from the compensator up to a specific maximum, which is currently £54,682 for care and treatment.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they will give to gambling-related harm as part of their forthcoming cross-government Addiction Strategy.

Due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on the cross-Government addictions strategy has been delayed. While the scope of the strategy is yet to be determined, it is likely to include gambling-related harms.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research, if any, they have conducted into the pathways to gambling disorder by women.

Public Health England is currently carrying out an evidence review on the prevalence, determinants and harms associated with gambling, and the social and economic burden of gambling-related harms. This includes reviewing the evidence on young people, men and women. The review is expected to be completed in March 2021.

Alongside this, the National Institute of Health Research commissioned a research unit in Sheffield University to undertake a mapping review of the effectiveness of national and international policies and interventions to reduce gambling-related harms.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Self Harm and Suicide in Adults, published in July, what steps they are taking to address any shortcomings in the way suicide risk assessments are conducted.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health has issued extensive guidance on the correct use of risk assessment tools. This guidance makes it clear to trusts that patient management plans should be based on a wider assessment of the individual and their circumstances.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently reviewing its guidance on the management of self-harm with the intention to publish updated guidance in May 2022. This will ensure that guidance for trusts on risk assessment and safety planning is based on the most up-to-date evidence.

Funding has also been provided through the NHS Long-Term Plan specifically to support suicide prevention planning and ensure that every local authority has in place a multi-agency suicide prevention plan.

1st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of putting the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on a statutory footing.

The CPA (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) is a valued partner of the FCDO and we greatly appreciate the important work being done by the organisation and its regional branches across the Commonwealth.

The FCDO is delighted to support the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and International Committee of the Red Cross (Status) Bill which would enable the Government to treat these organisations in a manner comparable to that of an international organisation of which the UK is a member.

The Bill was read a second time on 19 January and will now progress to Committee stage.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the government of Israel regarding reports of the forced displacement of Palestinian families in Silwan.

The UK regularly raises the issue of forced evictions from their homes with the Government of Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace. We monitor the situation in Silwan closely, and officials regularly visited and attend related court hearings. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions.

13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the VAT exemptions for energy savings materials to replacement windows and doors.

At Spring Budget 2023, the Government published a call for evidence seeking views on potential areas of reform to the current VAT relief on the installation of energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential accommodation and buildings used solely for a relevant charitable purpose. The response to this call for evidence was published on 11 December and can be found on the Government website.[1]

As set out in that response, in order to qualify for this VAT relief, an ESM must meet a number of criteria, including having a primary purpose of improving energy efficiency and saving carbon emissions. As doors and windows do not meet this criteria, the Government has no plans to extend this VAT relief to these items.

[1] VAT energy-saving materials relief – improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish the results of the VAT energy saving materials relief – improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions consultation, which ran from 15 March to 31 May 2023.

At Spring Budget 2023, the Government published a call for evidence seeking views on potential areas of reform to the current VAT relief on the installation of energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential accommodation and buildings used solely for a relevant charitable purpose. The response to this call for evidence was published on 11 December and can be found on the Government website.[1]

As set out in that response, in order to qualify for this VAT relief, an ESM must meet a number of criteria, including having a primary purpose of improving energy efficiency and saving carbon emissions. As doors and windows do not meet this criteria, the Government has no plans to extend this VAT relief to these items.

[1] VAT energy-saving materials relief – improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their consultation VAT energy saving materials relief – improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, which closed on 31 May, what assessment they have made of the benefit of (1) replacement windows, (2) doors, (3) roof lights, and (4) roof windows, being eligible for such relief.

Following the VAT on energy saving materials call for evidence, HMRC has received a large volume of responses. HMRC and HM Treasury are in the process of analysing the responses and will publish a summary of responses and announce next steps in due course.

It is worth highlighting that, as set out in the call for evidence, this VAT relief is targeted at materials that are installed in residential accommodation primarily for the purposes of improving energy efficiency, and should be a cost effective and practical lever for encouraging installation of any qualifying materials.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to undertake the five-year review of remote gaming duty set out in the 2014 HMRC draft note on Remote Gambling Taxation Reform.

The Government has no current plans to publish a review or evaluation document on remote gaming duty.

The reference in the 2014 HMRC draft note relates to the internal monitoring and evaluation process, which is standard practice across all taxes. The benefits, revenue effects and administration of remote gambling taxation are subject to constant evaluation.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of corporation tax that has been avoided by online gambling companies which operate in the UK since the introduction of the Remote Gaming Duty in 2014.

Remote Gaming Duty is a point of consumption tax on gaming providers’ profits from remote gaming. There will be a liability if there is a UK person playing, regardless of where in the world the gaming provider is located. This is not linked to the Corporation Tax position.

A company is liable for UK Corporation Tax on its worldwide income and gains if it is resident in the UK for tax purposes. A non-UK tax resident company may still be liable for UK Corporation Tax if it is trading in the UK through a UK permanent establishment, such as a branch or agency. In this case the non-UK resident company would be liable for UK tax on the worldwide income and gains related to that permanent establishment.

HMRC does not generally estimate speculative amounts that could be payable if offshore companies decided to become UK tax resident.

15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to review the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for cases involving crime associated with gambling-related harms.

We have no plans to review the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for cases involving crime associated with gambling-related harms.

The Gambling Commission will continue to advise on the practical application of primary and secondary legislation to prevent gambling harm, and will continue to work with the Home Office and the rest of government to implement the Economic Crime Plan, the National Strategic Assessment and the Suspicious Activity Reports Transformation programme.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the recommendations in the report by the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms Police awareness and practice regarding gambling related harms, published in June, what steps they will take to ensure police officers are able to identify crimes and harms beyond traditional high-level fraud and theft.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has acknowledged the importance for police and others to be able to recognise the signs early when dealing with somebody with a gambling addiction who is going through criminal justice process so that the best support is offered.

The NPCC is currently gathering best practice from forces on early screening of gambling addicts, ensuring the right offer of support is in place, and signposting where people can seek further help.

The Government will continue to work closely with them to understand and consider their findings.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report from the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms Police awareness and practice regarding gambling related harms, published in June; and in particular, the finding that there is a lack of awareness among police forces about the links between crime and gambling harms.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has acknowledged the importance for police and others to be able to recognise the signs early when dealing with somebody with a gambling addiction who is going through the criminal justice process, to ensure the best support is offered. Policing is collaborating with both the public and private sectors to improve the understanding of officers and staff of the signs to look out for.

In September 2021, a Level 2 Ofqual course, funded by the Gambling Commission, was developed and launched in collaboration with a number of experts from Gambling Health Alliance, Beacon Gambling Trust, Unite the Union and Addiction Recovery Agency. This course provides better knowledge for those working in the criminal justice system as well as those within the gambling industry, on understanding and spotting early signs of gambling addictions. This course is the first step in improving the understanding of those working within the criminal justice system, who will come across addicts in their role, using a First Aid approach to addressing and supporting those experiencing gambling-related harms.

The NPCC is currently gathering best practice from police forces on early screening of gambling addicts, ensuring the right offer of support is in place, and signposting where people can seek further help. The Government will continue to work closely with them to understand their findings and consider next steps.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the recording of fires caused by electrical appliance purchased online.

The Home Office collect the number of fires caused by electrical appliances however we do not collect information on where items that were responsible for fire ignition were bought or acquired.

20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of development on semi-natural grassland that took place each year from 2015 to 2022.

Government does not record planning decisions nationally, this is recorded locally by local planning authorities. However, the National Planning Policy Framework affords strong protection to important habitats, and is explicit that development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland and ancient or veteran trees) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable compensation strategy exists. Local planning authorities will need to take this into account when making their local plans and in decision making.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of development on grassland habitats that could be considered irreplaceable habitats under the National Planning Policy Framework that took place each year from 2015 to 2022.

Government does not record planning decisions nationally, this is recorded locally by local planning authorities. However, the National Planning Policy Framework affords strong protection to important habitats, and is explicit that development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland and ancient or veteran trees) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable compensation strategy exists. Local planning authorities will need to take this into account when making their local plans and in decision making.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage innovation in building safety technologies.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that all higher-risk buildings are safe. It is important that industry takes advantage of innovative technologies that can support better building safety. The Construction Playbook sets out the Government’s support for innovation including digital technologies and modern methods of construction. New technology and innovation have improved productivity, quality and choice across a range of sectors and the Government wants to see the same happen in housing. We are committed to creating a dynamic market for innovative technologies in the UK to enable the development and use of effective new technologies.

29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took, if any, to ensure that guidance for rural proofing as set out in the Annual Rural Proofing Report 2020, published on 26 March 2021, was followed in the preparation and publication of the Levelling Up White Paper.

Chapter One of the Levelling Up White Paper sets out UK-wide analysis of a range of economic measures. This includes recognising the particular challenges and strengths of rural communities, such as high local belonging and connectedness, but lower connectivity, skills and productive capital. The Government is committed to ensuring that places across the UK, including rural communities, benefit from increased opportunity and investment as set out in the Levelling Up White Paper. The forthcoming Annual Report on Rural Proofing will focus more specifically on levelling up in rural areas.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to prevent new homes from being built with a lower standard than Energy Performance Certificate band B.

Improving the energy efficiency of all our buildings to reduce carbon emissions is a key part of reaching our net zero target and new build is an area where we can and must maintain momentum.

From 2025, the Future Homes Standard will ensure that new homes are future-proofed with low carbon heating and high levels of energy efficiency to produce at least 75 per cent lower CO2 emissions compared to those built to current standards, which represents a considerable improvement in energy efficiency standards of new homes.

This year we will introduce an interim uplift to the energy efficiency standards that delivers a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions and provides a stepping-stone to the Future Homes Standard in 2025. This uplift will be expected to produce 31 per cent less CO2 emissions compared to current standards. This will deliver high-quality homes that are in line with our broader housing commitments and encourage homes that are future-proofed for the longer-term.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Clean Growth Strategy, published on 12 October 2017, what plans they have to ensure that social housing is brought up to the same energy standards, over a similar timetable, to that proposed for the private rented sector.

In the Charter for Social Housing Residents – Social Housing White Paper published on 17 November 2020, we committed to review the Decent Homes Standard. We will ensure that the Decent Homes review considers how it can work to support better energy efficiency and the decarbonisation of social homes.

At the Chancellor’s summer economic update, the Government announced a £50 million demonstrator project to start the decarbonisation of social housing during 2020/21. This will encourage innovation and help inform the design of the future Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

At the Spending Review 2020, The Chancellor announced £60 million of further funding for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, to continue upgrading the least efficient social housing.

The Prime Minister announced an extension to the Green Homes Grant which social landlords are eligible to bid for. This will fund up to two thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of homes.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 16 September (HL7638), what assessment they have made of the letter sent by the Rural Services Network to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 18 August which stated that the definition of “designated rural areas” in section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 and subsequently used in their consultation Changes to the current planning system, published on 6 August, does not apply to 70 per cent of smaller rural communities.

The Government is currently consulting on this matter and will take all responses to the consultation into consideration.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the percentage of small rural communities that do not meet the “designated rural areas” definition in section 157 of the 1985 Housing Act used in the consultation Changes to the current planning system, published on 6 August.

National planning policy makes it clear that in rural areas, housing development that reflects local needs should be supported, and that affordable housing can be sought for residential developments that are not major developments in designated rural areas. Our consultation on changes to the current planning system does not propose to change this overall approach. To aid small and medium-sized (SME) builders through economic recovery, we are consulting on a proposal to increase the current threshold at which affordable housing contributions can be collected on new developments. The higher threshold will only be in place for a time limited period, and will not apply to designated rural areas. By raising the threshold, we are ensuring that sites that may not have been developed due to viability issues will now go ahead creating the homes our country needs. The Government has not set out a definition of small rural communities in national planning policy, but is keen to work with rural stakeholders as part of the consultation.

29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish details (1) of all consultations relating to, and (2) in regard to the operation of, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government has committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as the successor to EU structural funds. The fund will bind together the whole of the United Kingdom, tackling inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations. The Government recognises the importance of providing clarity on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Government officials have held 25 engagement events across the UK, attended by over 500 representatives from a breadth of sectors, which has helped inform progress on policy design. The Government looks forward to continuing to work closely with partners as we develop the fund. Final decisions on the allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be taken after a cross-government Spending Review.

13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Review of the methodology for FGHRS in SAP Final Report, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 9 June, what plans they have to mandate a minimum domestic hot water seasonal efficiency of at least 100 per cent when measured against EN 13203 Gas fired domestic appliances producing hot water for boilers installed in the UK for (1) new build social housing, (2) other new build housing, (3) as replacement boilers in social housing, and (4) as replacement boilers in all housing.

The Government recognises that the energy efficiency of buildings has an important role to play in meeting our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and that generating hot water efficiently is a necessary part of this. The Standard Assessment Procedure accounts for the benefits of installing energy saving measures in hot water systems including flue gas heat recovery systems.

As part of the Future Homes Standard consultation, launched in October 2019, we consulted on energy efficiency standards for new homes, including minimum building services efficiencies. This consultation closed on 7 February. We are analysing the consultation responses, and will publish a Government response in due course. A further consultation will follow, proposing changes to the energy efficiency standards for new non-domestic buildings; for building work to existing homes and non-domestic buildings; and on mitigating overheating in new dwellings.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 29 June (HL5657), whether the Future Homes Standard consultation meets the requirements of section J of the Cabinet Office's Consultation Principles, as updated on 19 March 2018.

The Government remains committed to meeting its target of net zero emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it. In October 2019, we launched the first stage of a two-part consultation on Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. We proposed an ambitious uplift in the energy efficiency of new homes through the introduction of a Future Homes Standard from 2025. We expect that homes built to the Future Homes Standard will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80 per cent lower than those built to current Building Regulations standards, which means they will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards.

The Government's Consultation Principles, promoted by Cabinet Office, provide departments with guidance on conducting consultations. Section J of that guidance states that an explanation should be provided where it is not possible to publish a response within 12 weeks of the consultation.

The Future Homes Standard consultation closed on 7 February and received over 3300 responses from organisations and individuals, many of which were detailed or provided supporting evidence that requires further consideration. This level of response exceeded expectations and is over ten times the amount of responses that were received for our previous 2012 consultation about changes to the building regulations that relate to the energy efficiency of buildings (part L).

Since the Future Homes Standard consultation closed, the department has been faced with the biggest public health emergency in living memory: a pandemic which has forced action across all of Government, resulting in unprecedented response, from shielding the most vulnerable, to keeping business running, preventing the loss of jobs, and supporting our public services. Every part of this Department has been rapidly mobilised to support those in need, from saving lives, protecting the vulnerable to supporting our NHS.

Our analysis of the Future Homes Standard consultation is ongoing and the Government remains committed to publishing a response in as timely a manner as possible, in line with principle J of the Cabinet Office principles.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 7 February (HL Deb, col 2001), what steps they are taking to ensure the Future Homes Standard will apply to (1) houses under construction in 2025, and (2) sites where planning permission has been granted but construction has not yet started.

The Government remains committed to meeting its target of net zero emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it. In October 2019, we launched the first stage of a two-part consultation on Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. We proposed an ambitious uplift in the energy efficiency of new homes through the introduction of a Future Homes Standard from 2025. We expect that homes built to the Future Homes Standard will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80 per cent lower than those built to current Building Regulations standards, which means they will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards.

Transitional arrangements apply when changes to the Building Regulations or approved standards take place. They provide developers with assurance about the standards to which they must build, and ensure that they should not have to make material amendments to work which is already underway when new Regulations came into force. However, the Government is aware of cases of housing developments being built out to energy efficiency requirements that have been superseded more than twice with changes to Part L of the Building Regulations. While we appreciate that many housebuilding sites are built out over a number of years, it cannot be right that new homes are being built to old standards introduced in 2010 or even 2006. That in turn means that occupiers do not benefit from the levels of energy efficiency and the bill savings they would expect from a brand-new home. It also means that new homes are contributing more carbon dioxide emissions than should be expected, which has an impact on climate change.

To mitigate this, the Future Homes Standard consultation proposed a more stringent set of transitional requirements in 2020 to ensure that developers do not continue to build to older energy efficiency standards for longer than is appropriate. The consultation also sought views on the possible transitional arrangements that may apply from 2025 when the Future Homes Standard is introduced.

The Future Homes Standard consultation closed on 7 February. The responses we have received will be considered carefully, and the Government response will be issued in due course.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the outcome of their consultation Energy Performance Certificates in buildings, which closed on 26 July 2018.

BEIS and MHCLG will publish a summary of responses and plan to improve Energy Performance Certificates in due course.

27th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish an analysis of the responses to their consultation which closed on 15 January 2019 on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation.

The Department is considering what further steps might be appropriate in the light of points made in responses to the consultation and will publish its analysis of those responses in due course.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to (1) increase awareness, and (2) introduce training, for (a) police, (b) probation, and (c) prison, staff on the issues faced by individuals who commit crime due to gambling-related harms.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is committed to increasing awareness of the hidden harms of problem gambling and training our prison and probation officers. This equips them with the skills and confidence to help identify, support and signpost individuals into the most appropriate interventions both in custody and on release.

The activities and training services available to improve staff awareness regarding gambling related harms are detailed below.

Within the Probation Service, practitioners have access to an evidence based effective practice resource which was published in 2021. This provides a summary of key evidence, including the harms caused by gambling, signs that gambling is causing a problem, ideas on how to work with individuals who gamble and reflective questions to support practice discussions.

To increase awareness, the launch of this guidance was supported by an online event in November 2021 to understand more about the prevalence and effects of gambling in criminal justice and look at how prison and probation services can respond. The recording of the event remains available for staff to access. The event involved speakers from the Prisoner Education tTrust, the Howard League for Penal Reform, Epic Restart Foundation and Gam Care along with colleagues from within HMPPS.

Further work is currently underway to create a package of materials for probation staff to use with this specific cohort. This is expected to be available from October 2022. I refer the noble Lord to the answer given to HL1110 for further information.

HMPPS has an online learning platform which hosts a variety of training that all prison and probation staff can access. On this platform there is a package called ‘Problem Gambling: Prevalence and Practice’ where the aim is for the learner to gain an understanding about the occurrence and effects of gambling in the criminal justice system.

The police also offer a six-hour training course "on understanding and spotting early signs of gambling addictions", which was launched in September 2021 and is available to all police officers.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)