Lord Kennedy of Southwark Portrait

Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Labour - Life peer

Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

(since January 2018)

Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

(since January 2018)

Shadow Chief Whip (Lords)

(since June 2021)
Opposition Whip (Lords)
18th Sep 2015 - 31st May 2021
Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2021 - 31st May 2021
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
18th Sep 2015 - 17th May 2021
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
18th Sep 2015 - 8th Jan 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)
18th Sep 2015 - 8th Jan 2018
Refreshment Committee (Lords)
16th May 2013 - 31st Aug 2016
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
15th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Opposition Whip (Lords)
17th Oct 2011 - 6th Sep 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 122 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 260 Noes - 229
Speeches
Thursday 16th September 2021
Leasehold: Building and Fire Safety

My Lords, the action taken by the Government to date is just not good enough. Leaseholders feel abandoned by the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 27th July 2021
Investment Income: Property
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals in each local authority declared income from property, excluding furnished holiday lettings, …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 9th June 2015
Polling Day (Saturday) Bill [HL] 2015-16
First reading took place on 9 June. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Kennedy of Southwark has voted in 133 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(118 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(114 debate interactions)
Baroness Pinnock (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
(27 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(285 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(24 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(6 debate contributions)
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View all Lord Kennedy of Southwark's debates

Commons initiatives

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

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


Lord Kennedy of Southwark has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Kennedy of Southwark has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Lord Kennedy of Southwark


First reading took place on 9 June. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled. A bill to make provision to move the polling day of all elections to a Saturday.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 9th June 2015

Lord Kennedy of Southwark has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


288 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
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of which local authorities have the lowest proportion of individuals with acceptable identification as required by their proposals for mandatory voter ID.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.


Further information on photographic identification ownership for voting can be found here.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how many individuals do not possess acceptable identification as required by their proposals for mandatory voter ID.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.


Further information on photographic identification ownership for voting can be found here.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to increase funding to local authorities as part of their proposals for mandatory voter ID.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.


Further information on photographic identification ownership for voting can be found here.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to estimate the cost to local authorities of their proposals for mandatory voter ID.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.


Further information on photographic identification ownership for voting can be found here.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to raise the spending limits for candidates standing for (1) local authority, (2) mayoral, and (3) Parliamentary, elections in the UK.

The Government uprated spending limits for candidates standing for local authority elections in England in December 2020.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statements laid on 3 December 2020 from the Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution, and Lord True, it is the Government’s intention to review party and candidate spending limits for all other polls (within the legislative competence of the UK Government) this year.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for deferring the elections due to take place on 6 May until later in the year.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

To support the smooth running of the Police and Crime Commissioner and local elections, there will be an estimated £92 million of government funding that will be provided to Returning Officers and local authorities for the elections. Of this, £31 million is an uplift to address costs associated with making the polls covid-secure.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for using postal votes only for the elections due to take place on 6 May.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

To support the smooth running of the Police and Crime Commissioner and local elections, there will be an estimated £92 million of government funding that will be provided to Returning Officers and local authorities for the elections. Of this, £31 million is an uplift to address costs associated with making the polls covid-secure.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to postpone the elections scheduled for 6 May.

Primary legislation states that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.

We continue to work closely with the electoral and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely - and in a way of their choosing.

The Government is also bringing forward additional measures to extend the ability to appoint a proxy, so that those that are affected by Covid-19 in the days before the poll are still able to make their voice heard.

Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review. The House will be kept updated.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of raising the recordable and reportable donation thresholds for registered political parties in the UK.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given to PQ HL9043 on 26 October 2020.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the effectiveness of the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission is independent of Government and accountable to Parliament via the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission.

The Government is committed to making sure that elections are secure and fit for the modern age. As part of this, we keep the Electoral Commission’s role and powers under review to ensure it is able to discharge its responsibilities effectively.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the levels at which donations to political parties are recordable and reportable.

UK electoral law sets out a stringent regime of donations controls to ensure that only those with a genuine interest in UK electoral events can donate to political parties and to ensure transparency of those donations.

All donations over £500 need to be recorded by political parties and checked for permissibility. Certain donations need to be reported to the Electoral Commission, including all donations from impermissible donors, all donations over £7,500 and donations that are over £1,500 and come from a source that parties have already reported in the same calendar year. To ensure transparency about party funding, donation reports are published by the Electoral Commission on its website.

The Government is committed to upholding the integrity of our electoral system. As part of that, we are taking forward a programme of work that will strengthen and update the UK’s electoral regulation to ensure it is fit for the modern age; provides a robust framework for campaign finance; and supports public confidence in our processes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the mechanisms used to ensure that the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are informed of actions being taken by the Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is working closely with the devolved administrations.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, holds regular calls with the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales and the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and ministers from the devolved administrations will be invited to attend the Covid-Operations Committee on a weekly basis. This supplements wider joint working by ministers and officials. The purpose is not simply to ‘ensure that the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are informed of actions being taken by the Government’ but to share best practice and data, coordinate action and work together as set out in the Joint Statement of 25 September.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have died from inhaling nitrous oxide.

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

Dear Lord Kennedy,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people have died from inhaling nitrous oxide (HL7033).

In March 2018 we published a report providing the number of deaths related to volatile substance abuse and helium in England, Wales and Scotland[1]. This report describes trends in deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016 in Great Britain. Please see table 1 below for data where types of volatile substance are mentioned on the death certificate from the March 2018 publication. We would recommend referring to the report, where possible, due to the complexity of the methodology surrounding the use of coroner’s text to identify relevant deaths.

Following the March 2018 publication, we published ad-hoc requests from members of the public, which include: the number of deaths in England and Wales involving nitrogen and nitrous oxide 2001-2016[2]; and deaths where nitrous oxide was mentioned on the death certificate 1993-2017[3]. Please note, published figures differ across these datasets due to the methodology used and the differing definitions of nitrous oxide deaths.

We intend to publish an update of the volatile substance report and accompanying datasets later this year. This is dependent on resource due to the current pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths related to volatile substance abuse, where types of volatile substance mentioned on the death certificate, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2001 to 2016[4][5][6][7][8]

Registration Year

Nitrogen related deaths

2001

1

2002

1

2003

0

2004

1

2005

1

2006

1

2007

5

2008

2

2009

3

2010

5

2011

4

2012

2

2013

5

2014

9

2015

16

2016

23


[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/deathsrelatedtovolatilesubstancesandheliumingreatbritain/latest

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/008203deathsinvolvingnitrogenandnitrousoxideinenglandandwales2001to2016

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/009096drugrelateddeathsinvolvingnitrousoxideinenglandandwales1993to2017

[4]Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth revision (ICD-10) codes.

[5]Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

[6]Figures are for deaths registered rather than occurring in each calendar year.

[7]Specific substances included in each category, details are available in the published dataset.

[8]Counts total to more than the total number of VSA deaths, because more than one substance group can be involved in a single death.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possible reasons for the excess deaths in the UK since 1 March in which the cause of death was not recorded as COVID-19.

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

Dear Lord Kennedy,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what assessment has made of the possible reasons for the excess deaths in the UK since 1 March in which the cause of death was not recorded as COVID-19 (HL6132).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has investigated deaths not recorded as due to COVID-19 for England and Wales extensively, and published their findings on the website. The analysis presents excess deaths by age, sex, region of England, place of death and cause of death. Possible explanations for trends are put forward, and the extent to which weekly deaths registrations data support or contradict each suggestion is assessed. The main points of this analysis are outlined below:

  • Between 7 March and 1 May, a total of 130,009 deaths were registered across England and Wales. This is an excess of 46,380 death registrations compared to the five-year average. 12,900 of these deaths (27.8%) did not involve COVID-19.

  • The ONS’ article is based on 98.1% of the total deaths registered and 43,903 excess deaths, because a small proportion of deaths take longer to be fully coded and validated for analysis.

  • Non-COVID-19 excess deaths occur predominantly in older age groups, to a greater extent with increasing age, and especially for the frail elderly with underlying conditions. Undiagnosed COVID-19 could help explain the rise in these deaths.

  • In the period from week ending 13 March to week ending 1 May, over 8,000 fewer deaths were registered in hospitals, which is a 20.9% decrease in comparison to the corresponding period in the five-year average. In contrast, almost 11,000 more deaths (an increase of 60.5%) were registered in care homes, and over 8,000 more deaths (an increase of 42.6%) were registered in private homes,

  • In the same period, the largest increases in non-COVID-19 deaths compared to the five-year average are seen in deaths due to ‘dementia and Alzheimer disease’ (5,404 excess deaths, an increase of 52.2%) and ‘symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions’, which indicates old age and frailty (1,567 excess deaths, an increase of 77.8%). Together, these comprise two thirds of total non-COVID-19 excess deaths in this period.

  • Deaths due to causes such as asthma and diabetes increased up to the week ending 24 April and occurred increasingly outside hospital. This could suggest that a delay in care for these conditions is leading to an increase in deaths, although it could also be related to undiagnosed COVID-19.

  • Changes to death registration processes implemented in the Coronavirus Act 2020 have led to an increased number of death registrations made by doctors, increasing registration efficiency overall. At present, it is not clear whether increased efficiency is a cause or result of an increase in weekly registrations, but some further effects may become apparent in the future for conditions where deaths have a longer registration delay.

  • The other theories investigated were reduced hospital capacity, and increases in deaths caused by stress-related conditions, but these cannot explain much of the increase in non-COVID-19 death registrations.

A full analysis of non-COVID-19 excess deaths will only be possible in several months' time when longer-term effects and additional data, both death registrations and other sources, can be considered. This analysis only investigates death registrations in England and Wales, as the ONS does not hold data on death registrations in the rest of the UK. Given the novel and exploratory nature of this analysis, this report published in early June presented findings about death registrations up to 1 May. This was a stand-alone release, rather than a regular series. We are currently designing a follow-up, however we have no provisional date for release as yet.

The latest information on excess deaths in general are available in our weekly deaths registration data, with latest available for week ending 19 July.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of deaths due to medical conditions other than COVID-19 since 5 March.

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

Dear Lord Kennedy,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what assessment has been made of the number of deaths due to medical conditions other than COVID-19 since 5 March (HL3543).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing mortality statistics for deaths registered in England and Wales. The most recent figures published are for deaths registered in 2018[1], however we do publish provisional weekly deaths registrations, which are currently published for deaths registered up to 24 April 2020[2]. We have also published an article which contains detailed analysis of all deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 1 and 31 March 2020, registered up to 6 April 2020[3]. This includes data on underlying causes of death. Detailed analysis of all deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 1 and 30 April 2020 is due to be published in mid-May.

National Records Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths caused by COVID-19 are identified by the ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2.

Table 1 below provides the number of deaths by whether the underlying cause was COVID-19 or another medical condition, for deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 1 and 31 March 2020 registered up to 6 April 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths occurring in March 2020, where the underlying cause of death was COVID-19 or other causes, England and Wales[4][5][6]

Underlying cause of death

Number of deaths

COVID-19

3,372

All other causes

43,986

Total

47,358

Source: Office for National Statistics


[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdrreferencetables

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending24april2020

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales/deathsoccurringinmarch2020

[4] Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes. Codes used for COVID-19 are U07.1 and U07.2.

[5] Figures are for deaths that occurred between 1 and 31 March 2020 in England and Wales and were registered by 6 April 2020.

[6] More detail on the number of deaths broken down by leading cause groups (other than COVID-19) can be found in Table 1 of the dataset published alongside the article on Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales: March 2020.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are recording deaths due to COVID-19 by age; if so, when they will release this information to assist in research modelling; and if not, why not.

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

Dear Lord Kennedy,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking whether deaths due to COVID-19 by age are being recorded and if so, when this information will be released to assist in research modelling; and if not why (HL3407).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes mortality data that are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. This includes information on the cause of death, such as COVID-19, and the age of the deceased.

The ONS are responsible for producing a weekly report on the provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19)[1]. As part of this report, data is published for death registrations and death occurrences where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate by five-year age bands. This weekly report gets published every Tuesday at 9.30am with the data available to be used for research purposes.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/previousReleases

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any potential conflicts of interest relating to their reported planned appointment of the head of space policy at Amazon to a government advisory position.

All prospective government advisory appointments are subject to rigorous vetting and appointment processes, to determine, amongst other things, Conflicts of Interest.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the risks to low-earth-orbit spacecraft, following the reported near miss between a OneWeb Satellite and a SpaceX satellite in April.

The UK is committed to ensure increasing level of commercial activity in space is carried out sustainably. We are working with industry to develop regulatory frameworks that promote safety and helping to facilitate international consensus on responsible behaviours in space.

Alongside our partners from the space sector, the Government are working with the UN and the European Space Agency to improve sustainability guidelines and to develop new ways of reducing the risk of collisions in space and removing space debris and have raised space sustainability as an issue for discussion at this year’s G7 meeting.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what engagement they have had with (1) the Royal Astronomical Society, (2) the European Southern Observatory, and (3) other relevant stakeholders, about the planned increases in the number of OneWeb satellites in the sky.

OneWeb has met with the Royal Astronomical Society as well as representatives from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency to discuss the potential impact of its operations on astronomy.

BEIS and the UK Space Agency will continue to support the UK science and astronomy community.

The community is working with colleagues from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the European Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union to clarify what actions could be taken to mitigate interference for the UK community and our international partners.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of energy generated from solar power each day in the UK.

On average in 2019, solar PV generated 35 GWh of electricity per day in the UK. This is calculated as the total amount of electricity generated by solar PV in 2019 divided by the number of days. The 2019 generation figure is published by BEIS in DUKES 6.4 (copy attached).

In addition, on average in 2019, 0.148 thousand tonnes of oil equivalent of solar thermal energy was produced per day in the UK. The 2019 figures is published by BEIS in DUKES 6.1 (copy attached).

Full statistics for 2020 are not yet available. Provisional statistics will be published on March 25th on the GOV.UK website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of energy generated from wind power each day in the UK.

On average in 2019, wind generated 176 GWh of electricity per day in the UK. This is calculated as the total amount of electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind in 2019 divided by the number of days. The 2019 generation figure is published by BEIS in DUKES 6.4 (copy attached).

Full statistics for 2020 are not yet available. Provisional statistics will be published on March 25th on the GOV.UK website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of annual company meetings being closed to physical attendence on the ability of small shareholders to hold companies to account.

BEIS officials have worked closely with colleagues in the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) which, on 6 October, produced a report entitled, “AGMs: An Opportunity for Change”. The report examines the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on company behaviour and shareholder experience over the course of the 2020 AGM season.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role they envisage for the cooperative model in renewable energy.

The Government recognises the role that the cooperative model can play in the UK’s renewable energy system and in helping to meet our target of net zero emission by 2050. The £10m Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) provides grant funding support to rural communities in England many of whom are co-operatives. RCEF grants cover the early development costs of local renewable energy projects that provide economic and social benefits to the community. There is also a range of support for power, heat and transport projects that are available to co-operatives who are developing net zero energy projects such as the Smart Export Guarantee, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the electric vehicle Workplace Charging Scheme.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for a comprehensive review of any changes to the legal position of (1) employers, and (2) employees, as a result of an increase in home working arrangements.

On 28th September, the Government made changes to the legal position around self-isolation making it an offence for an individual to leave their place of self-isolation (normally home) during the isolating period (either following a positive Covid test, contact by NHS Test and Trace or if they have returned from abroad and are required to quarantine). In order to support this, we have also made it an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who has been told to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. Often the best solution when someone is self-isolating is for them to work from home.

When it comes to homeworking more generally, we are aware that the period of increased homeworking has raised numerous issues which employers and employees need to consider. ACAS has produced comprehensive guidance on the key employer considerations for when people are working at home during the pandemic. This covers health and safety, data protection and insurance – the link to the relevant section of the ACAS site can be found here https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home.

It is a statutory requirement for employers to put measures in place to ensure that a workplace is safe – wherever that workplace is – and to take steps to manage the relevant risks. The new self-isolation offence does not change this legal framework.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the rollout of smart meters.

There were 21.5 million smart and advanced meters in homes and small businesses across Great Britain, as of the end of June 2020. Research has found that 80% of people with smart meters say they have a better idea of their energy costs and 88% of prepayment customers with smart meters say that topping up has become easier.

Further to the publication of guidance on safe working during coronavirus (COVID-19) in May 2020, energy suppliers have been scaling up installation volumes, while implementing additional safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of customers and staff.

In June 2020, the Government confirmed that from July 2021 a new four-year policy framework will be implemented with fixed annual installation milestones for energy suppliers that will drive roll-out momentum.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the work being undertaken to upgrade the gas supply network.

In order to ensure the gas network is secure and safe for use, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) enforcement policy for the Iron Mains Risk Reduction Programme (IMRRP) addresses the failure of ‘at risk’ iron gas mains. This involves the replacement of old, corroded iron pipes with polyethylene (plastic) pipes.

Launched in 2002 under Pipelines Safety Regulation (1996), the scheme aims to reduce the risk to consumers of gas leakage incidents from old iron mains. The Programme is also laying the groundwork for the use of the network to potentially carry decarbonised gases such as hydrogen in the future.

The proportion of iron pipes has fallen from 80% of the distribution network in the mid-1970s to around 20% today. This is forecast to fall to around 10% by the end of Ofgem’s forthcoming RIIO (Revenues Incentives Innovation Outputs) price control period (2021-2026) and fall to around 5% by the end of the Iron Mains Risk Reduction Programme in 2032.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future of nuclear power in the UK.

The Government believes that nuclear power will play a key role in our future energy mix. Alongside other technologies, such as renewables, nuclear will help us to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The forthcoming Energy White Paper will address changes to our energy system, promoting high-skilled jobs and clean, resilient economic growth as we deliver on our net zero target.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to those who have been refused refunds for cancelled events by the ticket resale site Viagogo.

Under consumer protection law where a cancellation occurs, consumers may be entitled to a refund within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Some businesses are also offering consumers alternative arrangements which individuals are able to choose should they wish. Consumers who paid by debit or credit card for an event, may also be able to secure a refund from their bank or credit card provider.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has created a Covid-19 taskforce and set up an online form to enable consumers to report any business they believe is behaving unfairly during the coronavirus pandemic. The online form can be found on the CMA’s website. The CMA also announced on 30th April that in response to complaints about refunds they would be considering enforcement action in a number of sectors.

The CMA has published guidance to help consumers understand their rights and to help businesses treat their customers fairly. The guidance, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, consumer contracts, cancellations and refunds” is available on the CMA’s website.

Consumers can also seek free advice and help from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, consumers living in Scotland should contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 800 9060 or through their website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recent decisions by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the current wholesale cost of fuel, what assessment they have made of the cost of fuel at petrol stations in the UK.

Her Majesty’s Government monitors the national average retail prices of fuels and these are published on GOV.UK.

BEIS analysis shows that changes in the price of crude oil are the main driver of movements in the national average retail prices of fuels such a petrol and diesel. Other factors include currency exchange rates and the balance of supply and demand for these fuels in the wholesale petroleum products markets. Changes in the price of crude oil feed through to the retail prices over the course of about 6 weeks.

The Government believes that a competitive market is the best way to keep prices low. Retail fuels markets are subject to UK competition law under the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for early human challenge trials to assist with the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Vaccine Taskforce fully recognises the importance of effective clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of potential vaccines. The case for early human challenge studies is under constant review and we are working at pace to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the OneWeb satellite constellation for astronomy and other space science research; and what steps they will take to mitigate interference.

OneWeb has met with the Royal Astronomical Society as well as representatives from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency to discuss the potential impact of its operations on astronomy. We will continue to support this dialogue on an ongoing basis.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compatibility of the planned OneWeb satellite constellation with the UK’s obligations to (1) the European Southern Observatory,  and (2) other intergovernmental research organisations.

The UK Space Agency is working with UK Research and Innovation and the science community - including through our membership of international bodies - to ensure mitigation options are properly considered that may be necessary for the UK to continue to meet its obligations to the European Southern Observatory and other intergovernmental research organisations. Government will be encouraging a responsible and engaged approach from One Web.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations, if any, they have undertaken with (1) the European Southern Observatory, (2) the Square Kilometre Array, (3) the Vera Rubin Observatory, and (4) other relevant research consortia, on the UK-led consortium’s acquisition of OneWeb.

As part of developing our bid and making the acquisition of OneWeb, the UK Government undertook appropriate due diligence.

OneWeb has met with the Royal Astronomical Society as well as representatives from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency to discuss the potential impact of its operations on astronomy. We will continue to support this dialogue on an ongoing basis


BEIS and the UK Space Agency will continue to support the UK science and astronomy community in addressing this issue. The community is working with colleagues from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the European Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union to clarify what actions could be taken to mitigate interference for the UK community and our international partners.

OneWeb has been engaging with the community and met with the RAS and representatives from the UK Space Agency in January. The RAS is now seeking further discussions with both Government and OneWeb to consider potential impacts on science and risk mitigations.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps UK Research and Innovation is taking to ensure that appropriate quality controls are placed on rapid-response COVID-19 research.

UKRI has been working at pace to deliver rapid response funding calls including the Joint UKRI-DHSC call launched on 4th February. Although there is a need to work faster than usual given the urgency of the current crisis, UKRI continues to follow existing processes for managing, monitoring, assuring, and reconciling applications and the delivery of funding.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to professional membership companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 3rd April, professional membership organisations that receive at least 50% of their income from trading activity and that otherwise meet the scheme eligibility criteria can access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

CBILS supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million and for up to six years. The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the (1) restoration, and (2) conservation, of war memorials.

The Government supports the restoration and conservation of war memorials through the Memorial Grant Scheme which makes grants towards the VAT incurred by charities and faith groups in the construction, repair and maintenance of public memorial structures, including war memorials. The scheme has a fixed budget of £0.5m per year for this spending period.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the levels of charitable donations.

DCMS has been working closely with the sector to build a strong understanding of the financial and operational impacts of the pandemic.

We're aware that for some charities income streams, including public fundraising and trading income, have been adversely affected by COVID-19. We will continue to work with the sector to understand these impacts and how we can best support their work during the pandemic and through recovery.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of donations made to think tanks to influence government policy and the policy of registered political parties, which are impermissible to be donated to registered political parties under the requirements of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

Think tanks which have opted for charitable status must ensure they abide by the rules that apply to all charities under charity law. Charities can undertake political activity but only in pursuit of their charitable purposes, and only to the extent that the political activity remains subsidiary to the charity’s purpose and does not become an end in itself. Charities must not participate in any party-political activity, or support a political party or candidate. The Charity Commission sets this out clearly in its guidance on campaigning and political activity which was published in 2008.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/speaking-out-guidance-on-campaigning-and-political-activity-by-charities-cc9

Most charitable think tanks carry out their charitable purpose well. There are many examples where important contributions have been made in a responsible manner and in line with the law. Where charities, including charitable think tanks, do not operate in line with the law, or where they cross the line in terms of political activity, the Charity Commission, as the independent charity regulator and as tasked by Parliament, has the legal responsibility to hold charities to account under charity law and deal with those matters proportionately on behalf of the public.

The Government encourages greater transparency as a matter of good practice, but it is not a legal requirement for charities to publicly disclose the identity of individual donors. Donor anonymity is an important consideration in ensuring people have the confidence to donate to charitable causes they care about.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require think tanks who seek to influence government policy and the policy of registered political parties to publish the (1) source, and (2) amount, of donations they receive to fund their work.

Think tanks which have opted for charitable status must ensure they abide by the rules that apply to all charities under charity law. Charities can undertake political activity but only in pursuit of their charitable purposes, and only to the extent that the political activity remains subsidiary to the charity’s purpose and does not become an end in itself. Charities must not participate in any party-political activity, or support a political party or candidate. The Charity Commission sets this out clearly in its guidance on campaigning and political activity which was published in 2008.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/speaking-out-guidance-on-campaigning-and-political-activity-by-charities-cc9

Most charitable think tanks carry out their charitable purpose well. There are many examples where important contributions have been made in a responsible manner and in line with the law. Where charities, including charitable think tanks, do not operate in line with the law, or where they cross the line in terms of political activity, the Charity Commission, as the independent charity regulator and as tasked by Parliament, has the legal responsibility to hold charities to account under charity law and deal with those matters proportionately on behalf of the public.

The Government encourages greater transparency as a matter of good practice, but it is not a legal requirement for charities to publicly disclose the identity of individual donors. Donor anonymity is an important consideration in ensuring people have the confidence to donate to charitable causes they care about.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of football clubs in the National League and the leagues below to remain in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Football clubs can be the bedrock of our local communities and it is vital they are protected

That is why we have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many football clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

Importantly, under government guidance clubs below the National League North / South are able to admit spectators, whilst adhering to COVID-19 guidance, generating crucial revenue that is vital for their survival.

Government recognises the implications for elite sports clubs of not being able to admit spectators to stadia from 1 October, and are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving to social enterprises to help with the changed circumstances and increased costs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government continues to champion social enterprises and the significant and wide ranging contributions they make to our society, and more recently in the response to the pandemic including in health, social care and community support. There is no doubt that social enterprises are facing significant challenges and many have adapted their business models and operations to adjust to the new circumstances.

Social enterprises have access to the support measures that the Government has put in place to support organisations through the pandemic, including loan schemes, business rate reliefs, flexibility around tax payments and grants. A £750m targeted funding package has been made available to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector to allow organisations to continue to provide vital services to those affected by COVID-19. This unprecedented funding is in addition to the significant package of support that has been made available across sectors, which social enterprises can access. This includes the Job Retention Scheme, the Business Loan Interruption Scheme, and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and more recent measures including the Job Support Scheme and the Kickstart scheme. A further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts has been unlocked to support urgent work tackling youth unemployment, providing emergency loans for civil society organisations and improving the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Last month the Government announced a social value procurement framework for central government contracts. This presents a real opportunity to grow social enterprises’ involvement in public sector supply chains.


Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of contract terms in the new mobile phone market, in particular (1) the fairness of such terms for consumers, and (2) company practices relating to such contracts.

The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has a statutory duty to further and protect the interests of telecoms consumers.

Ofcom recently undertook a review of the mobile handsets market. As part of that review it identified concerns that some mobile phone customers were not being treated fairly, in particular where they purchase their mobile handset and airtime together in a bundled contract but continue to pay the same price after the end of their minimum contract period (as these ‘out-of-contract’ customers can often save money by moving to a SIM-only deal).

Ofcom has put in place a range of measures to address these concerns, including end-of-contract and annual best tariff notifications which will alert customers when they are out-of-contract and advise them of the best deals available from their provider, including SIM-only deals, as well as a commitment from most of the major mobile providers to apply a discount when customers on bundled deals go out-of-contract.

Alongside these measures, last year Ofcom also secured a set of ‘Fairness for Customers’ commitments from all the major communication providers. These commitments are designed to embed a culture of fairness within the industry. Ofcom will be publishing a report on industry progress against these commitments in Q4 2020/21.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support innovation, and research and development, in the creative sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Government recognises the significant contribution that the creative industries make to innovation and research and development. That is why, as part of the Government’s Creative Industries Council, chaired by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, there is a specific working group that focuses on this issue. Ministers have been in regular contact with the Creative Industries Council during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition, on 6th May, the Government’s Arts and Humanities Research Council announced a major new campaign ‘Boundless Creativity’, backed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This campaign will pioneer new ways in which culture can thrive in a digital age by working with the UK’s leading arts organisations and creative businesses to create ambitious and ground-breaking projects to speed up the development of new and exciting ways of engaging, entertaining and educating audiences, not just in the UK, but around the globe.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Facebook's plans to introduce encrypted messages across its messaging applications.

The UK Government is in favour of strong encryption: it is critical to protect UK citizens’ data online and billions of people use it every day for a range of services including banking, commerce and communications.

Facebook’s encryption proposals as they stand would have a serious impact on the vital work Facebook currently does to tackle the most serious illegal content and activity on its platform, including child sexual exploitation and abuse and terrorism.

Under the new Online Harms legislation, a duty of care will make platforms take more responsibility for the safety of their users, and tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services.

Facebook should not implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety and without including a means for law enforcement to obtain lawful access to the content of communications. We are committed to working with Facebook to ensure it meets its responsibility to keep users safe, and those conversations are in progress.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of rugby league in England and Wales.

Data from Sport England’s Active Lives Adults and Children and Young People Surveys indicates that:

  • 62,900 adults aged 16+ in England took part in rugby league twice a month over the May 2018 to May 2019 period.
  • 684,500 children and young people in England in school years 1-11 took part in a form of rugby at least once a week over the 2018-19 academic year.

Through Sport England, since 2017, government has to date invested nearly £11m in grassroots rugby league, including investment in the Rugby Football League Ltd, together with investment in specific community rugby league projects.

Over this time period, Sport England has invested a further £9.1m in multi-sport projects where rugby league is one of the sports benefitting.

The government is investing up to £15m towards the hosting of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, and up to £10m in grassroots facilities to help drive a legacy from the event.

Sport is a devolved matter and Sport Wales has responsibility for supporting grassroots rugby league in Wales.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to require that children's temperatures be monitored during the school day.

The government’s current plans do not require that children’s temperatures be monitored during the school day. This is not a reliable method for identifying COVID-19.

The department has published comprehensive guidance to schools and nurseries on the protective measures that should be implemented to substantially reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. This can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

The guidance advises that if anyone in an education or childcare setting develops a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home to self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken to ensure the calculated grades given to students due to sit A Level exams this summer are fair.

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write to the noble Lord, and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they plan to take to ban the sale of fur products in England.

The Government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare. There are restrictions on some skin and fur products which may never be legally imported into the UK. These include fur from cats and dogs and seal skins and products from commercial hunts. Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 (2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

In addition, we do not allow imports of fur from wild animals caught using methods which are non-compliant with international humane trapping standards. Where fur is from an endangered species protected through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), its import or trade will be subject to CITES controls.

During the transition period it is not possible to introduce restrictions relating to the fur trade. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the Government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there will be no change to current pesticides protections resulting from any trade deals negotiated; and what plans they have to ensure that pesticides that are currently banned from use in the UK will remain so.

We will maintain our high human health and environmental standards when operating our own independent pesticides regulatory regime, after the Transition Period. We will ensure decisions on the use of pesticides are based on careful scientific assessment and will not authorise pesticides that may carry unacceptable risks. The statutory requirements of the EU regime on standards of protection will be carried across unchanged into domestic law. Decisions on standards are a matter for the UK and will be made separately from any Free Trade Agreement.

This Government stood on a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any future trade deals live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK. We will not lower our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk as we negotiate new trade deals.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to stop overcrowding as a result of tourism in National Parks in England.

The ‘Sandford Principle’ was enshrined in the law through the Environment Act 1995. That principle requires the National Park Authorities to attach greater weight to their statutory purpose of conserving and enhancing natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage than their other statutory purpose of promoting opportunities for public enjoyment where there appears to be a conflict between the two. For example, should tourism or recreational activities potentially lead to overcrowding that could damage the conservation and enhancement of a National Park’s natural beauty, the National Park Authority should take steps to prioritise the latter. In most cases, it is possible to avoid potential conflicts through negotiation, planning and sensitive management strategies; the Government expects the National Park Authorities to take the lead in encouraging mediation, negotiation and cooperation.

As part of our 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government commissioned an independent review of designated landscapes in England, led by Julian Glover. We welcome the independent review and are now considering its findings, including its proposal on sustainable tourism.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of progress towards the Every Woman Every Child goals.

The UK government welcomes the Independent Accountability Panel’s recently published report. The report highlights that global progress towards the Every Woman Every Child 2030 targets were already lagging by around 20%, and now with the current COVID-19 pandemic are likely to slip further, with significant impacts for pregnant women, children and adolescents.

The UK Government is committed to work with others to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children by 2030. We are working to ensure essential health services continue despite the challenges of the pandemic. Our approach covers sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and new-born health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, all of which can help prevent mothers, new-borns and children dying unnecessarily.

We are also leading internationally: the UK hosted the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June and raised $8.8 billion for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance’s, next five years (2021-2025) of work, including the UK’s pledge of £1.65 billion. Using these vital funds, GAVI will immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives against vaccine preventable diseases.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there will be an equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine among developing nations, if such a vaccine is developed in the UK.

As the world grapples with the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK has been clear that equitable global distribution of a vaccine will be the best defence, enable collective recovery and reduce the risk of repeat outbreaks.

The UK is supporting the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) which aims to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries. At the Global Vaccine Summit, which the Prime Minister hosted on 4th June, the UK repurposed £48 million to the AMC. At the Summit, AstraZeneca also announced a commitment of 300 million doses of the University of Oxford candidate vaccine to the COVAX facility.

The COVAX AMC will incentivise vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure access for the world’s poorest countries. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization are working together to ensure that the vaccines are affordable and available equitably. Through the deal with AstraZeneca, the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate have been committed towards the COVAX Facility.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ethical implications of the creation of emergency funds by multinational corporations to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a severe impact on those who work in and supply global value chains. 292 million jobs in manufacturing supply chains are at high risk globally due to the COVID-19-related drop in consumer demand. These include 73 million in textiles and garment supply chains – a critical source of labour demand for many of the poorest and most vulnerable workers globally.


Multinational corporations have significant reach and can have a positive impact on their supply chains. DFID is partnering with Unilever to deploy a Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition to combat COVID-19 where our support is matched in-kind from Unilever. DFID is also supportive of initiatives such as the ILO/IUTC Action in the Global Garment Industry that encourages good practice. We also support the efforts of organisations like the Ethical Trading Initiative and Fairtrade Foundation, who work with companies to ensure good working conditions in their supply chains. Finally, DFID has provided funding to the Business and COVID-19 Response Centre, which is working to accelerate global learning and action to support the most vulnerable people in companies’ supply chains.

18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how the international aid response to COVID-19 will be affected by the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

The Government remains fully focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian and economic risks and impact of this pandemic in the developing world.

Through aligning our efforts, we will maximise our influence and expertise and ensure we are in the best position to continue to drive the international response to the pandemic – funding the development of a vaccine and supporting the global recovery.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of electric charging points for vehicles in England.

Figures from 1 October 2020 show that there are 16,456 public charging devices in England.

The number of electric vehicle charging device grants, issued under various schemes are presented in the table below. It is possible that one grant can pay for more than one charging device. Figures are from 1 October 2020.

Number of Grants Issued in England

Private Domestic Charging Device Grants1

129,608

Workplace Charging Device Vouchers 1

3,159

On-Street Residential Scheme (ORCS)2

92

  1. Data on both private charging domestic and workplace devices comes from three Office for Zero Emission Vehicle (OZEV) grant schemes: the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) for businesses; the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and its predecessor, the Domestic Recharge Scheme (DRS) for private domestic charging devices.
  2. Local authorities can apply for funding to help with the cost of installation of on-street charging points for residential use under ORCS. This figure includes projects which are in progress and may be included in the public charging device figures.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the availability of biodiesel made from used cooking oil for vehicles in England.

In 2019 54% of total renewable fuel supplied under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) was produced from used cooking oil (UCO), this comprised seventy nine per cent of biodiesel.

Estimates of future volumes of renewable fuel supply were included in “Cost Benefit Analysis: Amendments to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order” which accompanied the Renewable Transport Fuels and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations 2018. Appendix 3 of the cost benefit analysis includes estimates of total waste based biodiesel supply.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide support for adults to take up cycling, including for commuting to work.

On 28 July the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking, with the aim that half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked by 2030. This includes a £2 billion package of funding for active travel over the next 5 years, which is the largest ever boost for cycling and walking, and will deliver transformational change. The plan includes a number of commitments which will provide support for adults to take up cycling including the roll-out of segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities and offering cycle training to everyone who wants to undertake it, whether free or at a nominal charge.

This support for adult cycling builds on the refreshed Cycle to Work Scheme Guidance published in 2019 which made it easier for employers to provide bicycles and equipment including e-bikes and adapted bikes worth over £1,000. The Department has also made funding available in the current financial year for adult cycle training, through both the Bikeability scheme and the Access Fund, and has paid £2m to Transport for London to allow cycle training to be delivered to adults in the capital.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the law in respect of drink driving.

The Government is committed to tackling drivers under the influence of alcohol and ensuring that all such drivers are caught and punished. We have a combined approach of tough penalties and rigorous enforcement along with our highly respected and effective THINK! Campaigns. This reinforces the social unacceptability of drink driving, and reminds people of the serious consequences that drinking and driving can have on themselves and others.

The UK has achieved reductions in drink driving over the last 50 years. In 1979, 26% of road deaths occurred in accidents where at least one driver/ rider was over the drink-drive limit. It has been below 15% each year since 2010. We are determined to continue to reduce this number further, through our THINK! campaign, enforcement and tough penalties.

The Government has no immediate plans to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales. We believe that our current measures as outlined above are a more effective deterrent than changing the drink driving limit.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the biofuels market in the UK, and (2) that market's potential for growth.

The Government set out a fifteen-year strategy for renewable transport fuels in September 2017 which is available in the Libraries of the House. As part of that strategy we almost doubled targets for the supply of renewable fuels under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) between 2018 and 2020, with further increases to at least 12.4 per cent set for 2032.

The Cost Benefit Analysis which accompanied that strategy set out in Appendix 3 estimated the effect on renewable fuel supply in the UK. This suggested the increases in targets could result in a UK renewable fuel market of 2.237 billion litres in 2018, 2.568 billion litres in 2019 and 3.372 billion litres in 2020. In 2018 2.01 billion litres of renewable fuel was reported as supplied under the RTFO, and provisional data suggests 2.68 billion litres of renewable fuel was supplied in 2019. The Department continues to monitor and review the support schemes it has in place for low carbon fuels across several modes of transport, to ensure these deliver cost effective carbon savings now and in future.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a backlog of applications for driving licences at the DVLA; if so, what is the size of that backlog; and when they expect any backlog to be cleared.

The DVLA’s online services have continued to work as normal throughout the pandemic. Drivers are advised to use the online services wherever possible as it is the quickest and easiest way of renewing a licence. Since 23 March the DVLA has issued just over 1.5 million driving licences.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is based predominantly in one building in Swansea. Due to the reduced number of staff on-site at any one time to maintain social distancing, there are delays in dealing with paper applications that have been posted to that office. The number of paper driving licence applications waiting to be processed fluctuates on a daily basis as licences are issued and new applications received.

The DVLA is actively working to process these applications as quickly as possible and has reconfigured its offices to accommodate more operational staff while maintaining the two metre social distancing requirements in Wales.

It is not possible to estimate how long it will take to process these applications.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for extending tram services from Birmingham to Coventry.

Extensions to the West Midlands Metro are for the West Midlands Combined Authority to consider and will be subject to future funding being secured. The West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, has already done significant work in improving connectivity across the West Midlands. For example, the Mayor has allocated a substantial portion of the West Midlands’ Transforming Cities Fund allocation to fund the Brierley Hill extension to the West Midlands Metro on which services are expected to commence in 2023.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many bypass schemes in England are awaiting funding approval.

There are 22 bypass schemes in England currently awaiting funding approval. These are schemes for which Local Authority sponsors have submitted Outline Business Cases which the Government is currently considering.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points in England.

The Government and industry have supported the installation of over 17,000 devices providing over 24,000 publicly available chargepoints. This includes over 2,500 rapid chargepoints – one of the largest networks in Europe. Our grant schemes and our £400m public-private Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) will see thousands more electric vehicle chargepoints installed across the UK with the first £70 million of the CIIF delivering another 3,000 rapid chargepoints by 2024.

Along with the private sector, the Government will invest £1 billion in charging infrastructure – making sure that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid charging station for electric vehicles. The Government consulted on proposals for chargepoints to be installed with all newly built homes in England, where appropriate. Highways England has a commitment of £15m to ensure there are chargepoints (rapid where possible) every 20 miles on 95% of the Strategic Road Network by 2020. In July 2019 work commenced to determine a vision for a core rapid charger network on England’s strategic road network. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will set out a vision in early 2020 for a core infrastructure network of rapid and high powered chargepoints along England’s key road network. In January, OLEV announced the doubling of the value of the On-street Residential Charging Scheme to £10 million to support chargepoints for motorists who do not have off-street parking.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the accessibility of trains for wheelchair users.

Mandatory accessibility standards for trains have been in force since 1999. In that time over 9,400 new vehicles that offer wheelchair spaces, wheelchair passenger call-for-aid devices, boarding ramps and accessible toilets (where there are toilets offered on board) have been brought in to service for mainline services. A further 4,167 trains have been refurbished to offer these features. Over the coming months the small number of trains without dedicated wheelchair spaces will complete the necessary upgrades, meaning all mainline trains will offer compliant spaces for the safe and comfortable carriage of wheelchair passengers.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the accessibility of taxis for wheelchair users.

The Government is committed to developing an inclusive transport system which disabled people, including wheelchair users, can use easily and confidently. It is vital that taxis and private hire vehicle services play their role in ensuring that wheelchair users have the same access to public transport as everyone else.

The previous Government’s response to the Task and Finish Group report on taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing, set out its commitment to taking action to ensure that taxi and PHV drivers receive disability awareness training. This remains the Government’s position.

In the meantime, later in the year we propose to issue for consultation revised best practice guidance for local licensing authorities, which will include strengthened recommendations on supporting an inclusive service.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that there have been no reports under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 for COVID-19 from community pharmacies.

For dispensing chemists, there have been 6 notifications of COVID-19 disease (non-fatal) made under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) to HSE and Local Authorities between 10 April and 25 July 2020.

No assessment has been made of the number of reports received.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of COVID-19 likely to have been contracted in the workplace have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for people working in (1) retail and supermarkets, (2) manufacturing, (3) food production, and (4) public transport in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland, and (d) Scotland.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) provides the national reporting framework for responsible persons (usually employers in relation to employees) to report certain cases of injury, disease and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive.

In relation to the current pandemic, where an individual has contracted COVID - 19 as a direct result of their work, those instances are reportable under RIDDOR either as a disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent (under Regulation 9 (b)) or as a death as a result of occupational exposure to a biological agent under Regulation 6 (2).

The table below outlines the number of Covid-19 disease cases reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) between 10 April and 25th July using standard industrial classification coding to identify the number of cases reported for (1) retail and supermarkets (2) manufacturing (3) food production, and (4) public transport in (a) England (b) Wales and (c) Scotland. This data is “as reported” by employers.

HSE does not hold data in respect of Northern Ireland as this is reported directly to the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and is collated by them.

Table: Worker COVID-19 Disease reports made by employers to HSE and local authorities by disease severity, specific industry sector1, and country, 10th April – 25th July 2020

(Source: RIDDOR disease reporting)

Country

Specific industry sector (as reported by employer)1

SIC2 code

Total COVID-19 notifications

England

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Division 47

18

Manufacturing

Section C

67

Manufacture of food products3

Division 10

43

Other passenger land transport

Group 49.3

6

Wales

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Division 47

0

Manufacturing

Section C

0

Manufacture of food products3

Division 10

0

Other passenger land transport

Group 49.3

0

Scotland

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Division 47

0

Manufacturing

Section C

0

Manufacture of food products3

Division 10

0

Other passenger land transport

Group 49.3

0

Footnotes

1Industry as reported by employers.

2Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): The current system used in UK official statistics for classifying businesses by type of activity they are engaged in.

3Manufacturing of food products is a division within the overall Manufacturing section.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, how many cases of COVID-19 considered to have been contracted in the workplace have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations for (1) hospitals, (2) GP practices, (3) community pharmacies, and (4) prisons.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) provides the national reporting framework for responsible persons (usually employers in relation to employees) to report certain cases of injury, disease and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Where an individual has contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of their work, those instances are reportable under RIDDOR under Regulation 9 (b) either as a disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent or under Regulation 6 (2).as a death as a result of occupational exposure to a biological agent.

The table below outlines the number of COVID-19 disease cases reported to HSE between 10 April 2020 and 30 May 2020 using standard industrial classification coding to identify the number of cases reported for (1) hospitals (2) General Practitioner practices (3) pharmacies and (4) prisons. This data is ‘as reported’ by employers.

Specific industry sector (as reported by employer)1

SIC2 code

Total Covid-19 notifications

Of which:

Fatal notification

Non-fatal notification

Hospital activities

8610

1,526

28

1498

General medical practices

8621

51

3

48

Dispensing chemists

4773

0

0

0

Justice, judicial activities

8423

4

0

4

Grand Total

1,581

31

1,550

Footnotes

1Industry as reported by employers.

2Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): The current system used in UK official statistics for classifying businesses by type of activity they are engaged in.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the duty of employers to report cases of COVID-19 to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 where the employees have tested positive in a healthcare setting.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) provides the national reporting framework for responsible persons (usually employers) to report certain cases of injury, disease and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive.

In relation to the current pandemic, where an individual has either been exposed to or contracted coronavirus (SARS- COV-2) as a direct result of their work, those instances are reportable under RIDDOR either as a Dangerous Occurrence (under Regulation 7 and Schedule 2, paragraph 10) or as a disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent (under Regulation 9 (b)) or as a death as a result of occupational exposure to a biological agent under Regulation 6 (2).

For an incident to be reportable as a Dangerous Occurrence, the incident must result (or could have resulted) in the release or escape of the coronavirus.

For an incident to be reportable as a disease due to occupational exposure to a biological agent there must be reasonable evidence suggesting that a work-related exposure was the likely cause of COVID-19.

Where any person dies as a result of occupational exposure to a biological agent, such as coronavirus (SARS- COV-2) this must also be reported by the responsible person.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were (1) killed, or (2) seriously injured, due to accidents in the agriculture sector in each year since 2000.

The available data is published at https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/history/index.htm but reproduced in the tables below.

Table 1: Number of fatal injuries to both workers (employees and the self-employed) and members of the public in the agricultural sector (a), 2000/01-2018/19.

Source: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Year

Workers

Members of the public

2000/01

46

7

2001/02

39

2

2002/03

35

3

2003/04

44

6

2004/05

37

3

2005/06

33

8

2006/07

33

7

2007/08

46

2

2008/09

25

5

2009/10

39

5

2010/11

34

8

2011/12

35

6

2012/13

31

5

2013/14

27

4

2014/15

32

4

2015/16

27

2

2016/17

26

3

2017/18r

29

4

2018/19p

32

7

Table 2: Number of reported (c) non-fatal injuries to workers (employees and the self-employed) in the agricultural sector (a), 2000/01-2018/19.

Source: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Year

Workers

2000/01

2,053

2001/02

2,195

2002/03

1,768

2003/04

1,275

2004/05

1,241

2005/06

1,145

2006/07

1,048

2007/08

1,203

2008/09

1,230

2009/10

1,287

2010/11

1,035

2011/12

1,187

2012/13 (b)

946

2013/14 (b)

957

2014/15 (b)

1,040

2015/16 (b)

994

2016/17 (b)

963

2017/18 (b)

922

2018/19p (b)

902

Footnotes

(a) Agriculture defined as Section A, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification.

(b) Due to a major change in the RIDDOR reporting requirements in April 2012, injuries reported prior to 2012/13 are not directly comparable with later years.

(c) RIDDOR requires employers to report certain workplace non-fatal injuries to workers, generally the more serious (current reporting requirements are for those injuries that result in more than 7 days absence from work or specified on a pre-defined list of injuries). It is known that employers substantially under-report these non-fatal injuries.

(d) HSE does not publish estimates of reported non-fatal injuries to members of the public. Reporting of such incidents is highly variable by industry, with some sectors over-reporting and others under-reporting. Therefore, the count does not give a robust indication of risk to members of the public by industry sector. However, such reports continue to be received by the enforcing authorities and the decision for operational intervention is decided on a case-by-case basis.

r- revised; p- provisional

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people required to self-isolate in hotels on arrival back in the UK do so.

We have designated certain airports for managed quarantine arrivals and individuals should ensure they return via one of these locations. The carrier has responsibility to deny persons boarding if they are travelling to a port which cannot receive passengers from ‘red list’ countries. On arrival, individuals are met at passport control and guided through baggage reclaim and customs to the dedicated hotel transport.

At ports, Border Force officers issue fixed penalty notices to individuals who do not comply with booking managed quarantine packages and complete a Passenger Locator Form in advance of travel. Once checked in at the designated hotels, individuals are required not leave their rooms except in exceptional circumstances or with permission from the security staff.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sanctions are available upon discovering that a hotel is not fulfilling its agreed role in self-isolating travellers arriving back in the UK.

We have contracted with Corporate Travel Management (CTM) as the Department’s travel services delivery partner. They are responsible for identifying and contracting with the individual hotels that support the Managed Quarantine Service.

Hotels have standard operating procedures (SOPs), testing processes and infection prevention control processes for staff and guests. These were put in place following consultation and advice from Public Health England and are in line with National Health Service guidance. Local on-site liaison officers ensure compliance with testing procedures and SOPs, raise any issues with the hotel general manager and escalate via the Department’s liaison officers. We work closely with hotel managers and local authorities to ensure that staff and guests are complying with these processes. Where there is a material failure to provide the required service which is not rectified in a reasonable time, CTM would ultimately terminate the contract.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to license rapid saliva-based COVID-19 test kits for public and home use.

A COVID-19 test may be placed on the market in the United Kingdom if it bears the CE mark. A CE mark is a logo that is placed on medical devices by the manufacturer to show they conform to the requirements in the regulations. It shows that the device is fit for its stated intended purpose and meets legislation relating to safety. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has a range of investigatory and enforcement powers which we use to ensure the safety and performance of medical devices.

The MHRA is supporting the Department’s National Testing Programme and manufacturers seeking to bring new tests to market by publishing target product profiles or performance criteria for new tests, providing expert review of performance and research study protocols and offering regulatory flexibilities such as Exceptional Use Authorisations which allow promising, but as yet non-CE marked tests to be put into use where there is clear clinical need.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from (1) private companies, and (2) manufacturers, about the use of rapid COVID-19 testing kits based on the analysis of saliva.

The Government has established a number of partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to deliver its testing programme - from companies supplying testing kits and supplies to logistics and processing partnerships.

This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners on innovative solutions to increase capacity where it is needed and introduce larger scale testing. To do this successfully we are securing partnerships with suppliers to pursue new testing technologies and we are acquiring significant numbers of test kits and equipment.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to incorporate the results of rapid saliva-based COVID-19 test kits into the NHS COVID-19 app

The app will continue to evolve and we will explore opportunities to incorporate results from these tests in due course.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of compliance by community pharmacies with health and safety rules and regulations, in particular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Standards to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public are set by the General Pharmaceutical Council. In addition, pharmacy businesses, like all others, are subject to health and safety legislation that aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff and the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies would need to comply with the guidelines published by Public Health England for the relevant business and healthcare setting.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that a nomenclature system for the genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 is in place.

Public Health England is not the body that defines the nomenclature system for the genetic diversity of viruses. This is undertaken by the international scientific community.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the World Health Organisation in their work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom continues to have a strong and committed relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), which has an important role to play in leading the global health response to COVID-19, and works closely with them at country, regional and global levels. The UK is the second largest member state donor to the WHO and has already contributed £75 million to help the WHO lead the international efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) plans, and (2) preparations, they are making for any second wave of COVID-19.

The Government has now developed testing capacity to around 300,000 tests per day across in preparation for any second wave. We will constantly monitor demand, including anticipating winter pressures, and scale up the contact tracing workforce if needed.

We are also planning for the next phase of testing: ensuring our testing is as effective as possible in containing the virus, and building resilience for the long-term, especially ahead of winter. We plan further increases through the summer and into the autumn through a combination of improvements to existing labs and new partnerships. Increasing our testing capacity will further support the NHS Test and Trace system by allowing widespread testing of those suspected to be infected with COVID-19 and their contacts and enable the deployment of additional testing capacity to respond to local outbreaks.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to governments of other countries on the subject of drug hoarding by countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom Government has discussed, and engaged on this issue, with other states. We are working closely with our international partners, both bilaterally and via multilateral fora, to deliver a robust global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reinforce the resilience of vulnerable countries; ensure access to vaccines and therapeutics; keep international supply chains open; and support the global economy.

Furthermore, as part of our concerted national efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing everything we can in this country to ensure patients continue to access safe and effective medicines. We are working closely with the pharmaceutical industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Portsmouth on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Brighton and Hove on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Derby on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Wolverhampton on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Sunderland on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Liverpool on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Manchester on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Southampton on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in the City of Leeds on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Birmingham on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in (a) each London Borough, and (b) the City of London, on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in the City of Bradford on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Nottingham on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded under (1) pillar 1, and (2) pillar 2, testing in Coventry on each day since records began.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available in an online only format through the NHS Digital website.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reschedule any NHS operations postponed in England following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst routine hospital treatments were suspended to provide capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, we are now working closely with the National Health Service and other partners to restart these in a safe way. Guidance has already been issued on this, and approaches are being tailored at local level according to local capacity and local demand, with the most urgent services being restarted first. Guidance also outlines that contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity should also be used in the restarting of routine elective procedures.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the latest studies about seroprevalence on antibodies and the implications of these results for future immunity from COVID-19.

Control of COVID-19 requires the ability to detect asymptomatic and mild infections, that would not present to healthcare and would otherwise remain undetected through existing surveillance systems. This is important to determine the number of infections within the general population to understand transmission and to allow estimations of infection fatality and infection hospitalisation ratios.

Public Health England (PHE) is undertaking several studies on sero-prevalence in England, using samples from a range of sources, including the PHE seroepidemiology unit, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the ‘What’s the STORY’ study and NHS Blood and Transplant. PHE seroprevalence results are published weekly in the PHE surveillance report. A copy of the latest Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Surveillance Report: Summary of COVID-19 surveillance systems (published 19 June 2020) is attached.

There is good evidence that most people infected develop an antibody response. Work is continuing in PHE to understand whether the immune response to infection prevents reinfection, and if so how long any protection may last.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of Tocilizumab in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that treatment given for COVID-19 other than general supportive care, treatment for underlying conditions, and antibiotics for secondary bacterial complications, should currently be as part of a trial, where that is possible.

The Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working closely with the Department and others in the global response to COVID-19 and is prioritising review of applications relating to COVID-19 in response to this public health emergency.

There have been three United Kingdom clinical trials authorised that include investigation of Tocilizumab for treatment of COVID-19. The UK clinical trials are currently underway but have not been completed, and no conclusions have been reached on the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat COVID-19.

The Commission on Human Medicines has convened a COVID-19 Expert Working Group that meets on a regular basis to review the latest developments and advise the MHRA on its regulatory implications.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of Remdesivir in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

On 26 May 2020, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a positive Scientific Opinion through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme for the use of remdesivir in United Kingdom patients. This informs prescribers on the use of remdesivir across the UK in the treatment of adults and adolescents hospitalised with severe COVID-19 infection who meet additional clinical criteria.

Several clinical trials to evaluate remdesivir and its possible effects on patients with COVID-19 have already been approved by the MHRA and are ongoing in the UK. Currently the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use is considering an application for a conditional marketing authorisation for remdesivir through the European Centralised procedure, and the UK has contributed to the discussions.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following reports that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective in treating COVID-19, what plans they have to review their methods for assessing scientific evidence.

There are no plans to review the methods for assessing scientific evidence following the outcome of the hydroxychloroquine arm of the RECOVERY trial.

Results from trials, even if the treatment proves ineffective, are still very useful in understanding COVID-19 and which other treatments could be more effective. This includes dexamethasone, which was also identified by the RECOVERY trial as having a significant benefit for hospitalised patients with COVID-19 who require oxygen or ventilation.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to respond to concerns raised by the UK Statistics Authority about how the Department for Health and Social Care reports COVID-19 testing data.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that BAME people are adequately represented in COVID-19 clinical trials.

The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is working in partnership with the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health in Leicester to ensure that black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have the information they need to take part and stay informed about COVID-19 research. The NIHR also requires a limited amount of demographic data on participants in all prioritized urgent COVID-19 studies to be collected to ensure recruitment is representative of the population. It is also actively supporting researchers to tackle the barriers that might stop some communities participating.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long it will take, under the test and trace service, to trace people's contacts following a COVID-19 test; and what assessment they have made of whether this is quick enough to isolate people before infection spreads.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020.

If someone experiences symptoms of COVID-19 and gets tested, systems are in place to ensure that the NHS Test and Trace service automatically receives information if their test result is positive. Providing NHS Test and Trace have contact details, such as email, text or landline, they will aim to contact people within 24 hours of receiving the test result.

The more rapidly we can identify people who may have been at risk of infection and, if necessary, tell them to self-isolate, the more effectively we can reduce the R rate and the spread of the virus and maintain transmission at low levels.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to establish a permanent body to (1) seek to avert future pandemics, and (2) ensure affordable, widespread availability of vaccines and therapies to treat COVID-19 as they become available.

The United Kingdom believes that the World Health Organization (WHO) has an important role to play in leading the health response to COVID-19 and in longer term leadership in global health including preparedness. We also want to see WHO continue to learn lessons on how to improve its response to global health emergencies and as such would expect a full review of all elements of their response once they are out of response mode, as has occurred after previous Public Health Emergencies of International Concern. The UK intends to engage constructively with a future review, including working with other governments.

Since 2017, we have, through the Department’s Global Health Security Programme, used our public health expertise to provide technical support to countries. This technical support and knowledge sharing helps build resilient public health care systems to prevent, detect and respond to disease and to better manage future public health emergencies including pandemics.

The UK supports strong mechanisms to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. At the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June 2020, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, launched a new Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for COVID-19 vaccines aimed at incentivising vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines, and to ensure access for developing countries with a primary focus on subsidising vaccines for the poorest countries. The UK committed £48 million to the AMC at the Summit.

In addition, the UK supported AstraZeneca’s announcement at the Summit of a $750 million agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi to support the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million vaccine doses globally this year, including for the world’s poorest countries. AstraZeneca also announced a deal with the Serum Institute of India to manufacture a further 1 billion doses for distribution to developing countries.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to communicate with those groups most likely to break social distancing guidelines.

The Government's COVID-19 public information campaign has evolved throughout the course of the pandemic. Campaign activity is informed by a solid evidence base and delivered across a range of channels and formats to maximise the reach of messaging and the adoption of critical public health actions. This includes tailored and upweighted activity for audiences who need additional motivation or support to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The campaign has included television, digital and social media, press, radio, outdoor posters, PR and partnership activity in all four nations of the United Kingdom. We have also used daily press briefings, SMS texts and a letter from the Prime Minister to all households in the UK.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many antibodies have been identified which have had a neutralising effect on the COVID-19 virus.

Characterisation of neutralising antibodies is still in its infancy. The role of neutralising antibodies in providing treatment or as a marker for protection against reinfection is not yet fully understood. Scientists at Public Health England and elsewhere are working in this area, and conclusions will be reported in scientific journals as new evidence emerges.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of low dose radiation in the treatment of COVID-19.

Chest X-rays or chest computed tomography scans are frequently performed for radiological lung assessments during which patients may be exposed to low doses of ionising radiation. Public Health England has not undertaken any specific assessment of the value of this diagnostic approach in the management of COVID-19. Medical exposure to ionising radiation is justified by the clinical team providing care on the basis that the benefit outweighs any potential risks to health.

There have been suggestions in the scientific literature that low dose radiation exposure of the lungs may be an effective treatment for COVID-19 related pneumonia, but this has yet to be proven.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what indirect public health challenges they anticipate after the COVID-19 pandemic; and what steps they are taking to alleviate them.

As set out in the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, the Government anticipates a range of indirect impacts on the nation's health, including harm caused by delays to important but non-urgent medical care and public health programmes, the mental health impact of isolation, and the health impacts of COVID-19 related economic instability.

Work is ongoing to plan for the recovery of suspended services. Public Health England has directly published or supported a range of guidance and resources, including how individuals can maintain their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. The Government is protecting jobs and the economy to mitigate economic impacts of COVID-19 and reduce their impact on population health.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to launch a campaign to address nicotine addiction to deliver a better outcome for COVID-19 patients.

Public Health England (PHE) has updated online channels such as Smokefree and One You, to make them consistent with the wider COVID-19 advice on quitting smoking. Specific guidance for smokers and vapers has been published online at Smokefree.

PHE supports smokers with a range of free quitting tools, including a Personal Quit Plan, the Smokefree app, a Smokefree Quit Smoking Support Group on Facebook, and a 28-day email and SMS programme.

PHE also provides free printed and digital resources to local authorities, local stop smoking services and National Health Service providers to integrate with national marketing activity.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 10 June (HL3869), whether R is the rate of infection, as referred to in the answer, or the reproductive ratio.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Science of COVID-19 – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 1 June (HL4699), in what format the information on the number of people reporting to accident and emergency departments with serious non-COVID-19 related conditions is held.

All systems relating to the attendance of patients at accident and emergency (A&E) commence at the point the patient is booked in. Administrative information is held in the Secondary Uses Service (SUS) and Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) datasets which includes details of any investigation, diagnosis made, and treatment carried out during the A&E attendance.

Information about the data collected during an attendance at A&E can be found in the NHS Data Model and Dictionary. Once this data is processed it is used to create the HES A&E dataset. Details of the fields and content of this asset can be found in the HES A&E data Dictionary.

The Monthly A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions collection also collects the total number of attendances in the calendar month for all A&E types, including minor injury units and walk-in centres, and of these, the number discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arrival.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the effect of an increase in temperature on the (1) environmental endurance, and (2) transmission, of COVID-19.

The relationship between meteorological factors and COVID-19 hotspots, transmission (passing from one person to another), and environmental endurance (survival of the virus in the environment) have not been clarified sufficiently in any country, or globally. Much of the information currently available on transmission and the occurrence of COVID-19 hotspots relies on understanding the differences in epidemiology between other known species of human coronaviruses and COVID-19.

Carefully designed studies take time to gather observations and currently results around how COVID-19 effects its interaction with environmental, population and societal aspects are not yet available. Therefore, the current Public Health England (PHE) infection control advice assumes that the transmission characteristics of COVID-19 are similar to those of the 2003 SARS-CoV outbreak.

PHE continues to review and consider evidence on the potential association between environmental factors, including temperature, and the health impacts of COVID-19, as it emerges.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the possibility of the UK population achieving herd immunity to COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was first identified, the United Kingdom Government has set out to mitigate against the spread of the virus in the UK population through various measures, including promotion of hand and respiratory hygiene and social distancing. This has subsequently led to a reduction in R and new daily cases identified, helping to protect the National Health Service and save lives.

The Government has made no assessment of the possibility of the UK population achieving herd immunity as it is not the Government’s policy, nor its aim for herd immunity to be achieved. Whilst it is not and has never been UK policy to stride for herd immunity, the proportion of the UK population who have had COVID-19 and recovered will gradually increase over time unless disease activity ceases entirely. As we understand the science at this juncture, it appears that most individuals who recover from COVID-19 do develop antibodies.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to change the COVID-19 social distancing guidance from two metres.

The plans to change the COVID-19 social distancing guidance from two metres is under constant review. The Government continues to encourage two metre social distancing wherever that is possible.

In easing the lockdown, the Government accepts that maintaining two metre social distancing may be difficult in certain circumstances and will be issuing updated workplace guidance to address that and, subject to legislation, is mandating the use of face coverings on public transport from 15 June.

The Government collaborates closely with Public Health England to ensure guidance on two metre social distancing is kept up to date as regulations change in light of latest medical and scientific evidence.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what updates they receive on the regional values of the reproduction index for the COVID-19 virus; and what plans they have to publish such values on a routine basis.

Transparency, including on the evidence informing the views of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), is vital in helping to maintain the public’s trust and grow our collective understanding of the disease, while also helping to explain how scientific advice to the Government is being formed. The Government is working to publish evidence documents and studies, which have formed the basis of SAGE’s discussions and advice to Ministers, regularly, and will publish more evidence in the coming weeks.

SAGE does not currently publish the R value on a regional level. SAGE publishes an updated estimate of the United Kingdom-wide R range on a weekly basis.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide finer resolution data on hospital admission statistics in England to aid understanding of optimal (1) admission, (2) treatment, and (3) resource allocation, strategies.

Data on Hospital Episodes Statistics is published online by NHS Digital and the latest available data is for 2018/19. Annual data for 2019/20 is due to be published in October 2020.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what use they have made of the stochastic version of the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered model CovidSIM v1.1.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is advised on infectious disease modelling by a working group, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M). SPI-M consists of several modelling groups, all of whom have developed their own models independently, and some have multiple models for different purposes, of which most have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. For those models that have not yet been published in peer-reviewed journals, there is an intention to do so. Some models have complex methodologies while others are simpler, with each different approach able to provide useful insights for policy-making decisions. These independent models come from a range of United Kingdom institutions and universities and the advice from them are regarded, individually and collectively, as some of the best in the world, and the UK Government is making the most of the talented UK modelling community’s expertise through SPI-M’s consensus approach.

The stochastic version of the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered model CovidSIM v1.1 has not been used by SPI-M; it is a relatively simple simulation to support policy development in countries where there is less modelling capacity and capability.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the COVID-19 'open-testing' policy in Tennessee.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase activities aimed at alleviating worry, in particular for people isolating alone, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognise the effect that social distancing and self-isolation may have on a person’s mental wellbeing. We have published official guidance on mental health and wellbeing online at GOV.UK and are promoting this through the Every Mind Matters online resource. Our guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection also includes tips on protecting mental wellbeing during isolation.

We are working with the National Health Service and Public Health England, service users, academics and the voluntary sector to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 and plan for how to support the public’s mental health and wellbeing throughout the ‘recovery’ phase.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure that semantic and geographical analysis of COVID-19 trials does not impact the (1) unity, and (2) informativeness, of the clinical research landscape.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), commissioned by the Department, conducts regular analyses of the COVID-19 and other clinical trials, including geographical analysis. This analysis enables NIHR to ensure patients and members of the public from all parts of England and in all relevant sites have access to research. In addition, it enables work to ensure a better matching of clinical trials with disease prevalence, which benefits both patients affected and researchers. The NIHR Clinical Research Network, using its 15 regional centres across the country, ensures that there is a balance between the different needs of localities based on local knowledge of disease burden and a coordinated response across England.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of those diagnosed with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation is being closely monitored by the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The National Health Service is adapting how it runs its cancer services to ensure the safety of both patients and staff – this includes establishing dedicated cancer hubs for urgent treatment and diagnosis.

Essential and urgent cancer treatments are continuing. Cancer specialists are discussing with their patients the potential risks to them, either through undergoing or to delay treatment at this time.

Medical staff will always have the safety of patients at the centre of any decisions they make.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people who are not reporting to accident and emergency departments with serious non-COVID-19 related conditions including (1) heart attacks, and (2) strokes; and what plans they have to encourage those with such conditions to continue to use accident and emergency services.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks posed by any emergence of a Kawasaki-like disease in children who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Since March 2020 surveillance of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome has been underway in the United Kingdom. The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit and Public Health England have commenced a study which aims to understand the incidence, presenting features, laboratory features, management, clinical course and the outcome of this potentially new syndrome characterised by hyperinflammation which is temporally associated with COVID-19.

The study is scheduled to run until March 2021, or until sufficient case reports have been notified to allow data analysis.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to maintain the quality of life of people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 if they are required to isolate for a considerable time into next year.

Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the new national restrictions from 5 November, which have been set out by the government and apply to the whole population. Additional guidance and support has been provided to clinically extremely vulnerable people to further protect them from COVID-19 during this time.

Support is available to individuals who are feeling anxious or distressed. ‘Every Mind Matters’ offers advice and practical steps that people can take to support their wellbeing and mental health during this time. Help can also be provided by local charities, organisations and National Health Service Volunteer Responders.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current ventilator capacity in the NHS in England; and what is the expected ventilator capacity on (1) 1 June, (2) 1 July, (3) 1 August, and (4) 1 September.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 mechanical ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom. As of 19 May, we now have around 13,000 mechanical ventilators available to the National Health Service. Over 1,800 of these have been provided by new suppliers responding to the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge and almost 1,600 by established suppliers (with another almost 1,200 available from the private healthcare sector). In addition, there are also almost 8,000 non-invasive ventilators available to the NHS across the UK which were not available before mid-March.

These figures will continue to rise as we procure further equipment and more products from the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge become available. Our expectation is that we will secure several thousands more in the coming weeks.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure the preservation of sufficient stocks of drugs that may be promising for use (1) to treat COVID-19 patients, or (2) in COVID-19 clinical trials, in addition to the illnesses they were originally developed for.

As part of our concerted national efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing everything we can to ensure patients continue to access safe and effective medicines, including those used in clinical trials. The Department is working closely with the pharmaceutical industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

We are implementing a joined-up and streamlined process across research, manufacturing and distribution that will rapidly test potential treatments for COVID-19 and prepare to increase supplies if trials show positive indications. In order to support clinical trials, there are centrally procured and managed supplies of a number of medicines.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to streamline (1) legislative, or (2) regulatory, hurdles in the approvals process for treatments for COVID-19; and what safeguards will be built into any proposed changes to this process.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is providing expedited scientific advice, and rapid reviews of clinical trials applications to support manufacturers and researchers on potential treatments for COVID-19.

The MHRA is also working closely with the Department and other healthcare partners and stakeholders to rapidly identify where flexibilities in the regulation of medicines and medical devices may be possible. This is with a view to supporting the healthcare products supply chain and wider response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United Kingdom. These flexibilities are being offered to provide flexibility in exceptional circumstances. The flexibilities are temporary and will be kept under review, except where regulatory extensions have been stated.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how confident they are that the transmission of COVID-19 occurs only through droplets spread by people (1) coughing, (2) sneezing, or (3) exhaling, and not through other bodily fluids.

Precautions to prevent respiratory virus transmission are based on long-established infection prevention and control principles and the scientific studies that inform them.

In addition, the Government continues to review evidence about COVID-19 transmission as the pandemic evolves. To date, there is no new evidence to suggest that the route of transmission has changed, or that the methods required to prevent transmission need to change.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data are collected at each stage of the process of treating cases of COVID-19 to inform the evaluation of the efficacy of such treatment (1) close to real time, and (2) in subsequent analysis.

Data is not collected centrally on the different types of treatment COVID-19 patients receive and the outcomes of such treatments.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what supplies of oxygen are currently held by the NHS in England; what is the optimum level of oxygen supplies the NHS in England should hold; if supplies are currently below the optimum level, what is their plan to increase supplies to the optimum level; and what is the timescale for this plan.

Based on data provided by those companies as of 19 May 2020, the suppliers have provided the following details of oxygen levels across hospitals in England.

Supplier

Estimated fill level (metric tonnes)

Tank capacity (metric tonnes)

Percentage of capacity

BOC Healthcare

4,740

6,196

76%

Air Products

1,024

1,390

74%

In addition to bulk oxygen supplies, there are also hundreds of thousands of medical oxygen cylinders in circulation from several different suppliers, the vast majority of which will be held by NHS trusts. These are available in a wide range of sizes and capacities to meet different uses. Optimum levels for cylinder oxygen would be determined locally by each hospital and trust. This information is not collected centrally. However, we are unaware of any instances where cylinder oxygen has not been available to treat patients.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what mechanisms they are using to keep themselves appraised of research activity taking place in universities, institutes, foundations around the world into different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19. This happens in a number of ways including academic research networks, regular conversations between United Kingdom experts and their international colleagues, and resources such as the live systematic map being updated by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre, funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use available data on individuals to develop individualised risk assessments as they lift blanket restrictions in the next phase of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government has carefully considered risks to groups as part of the process for determining what measures to include in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and at each review point, in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty requirement for public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.

There is currently no plan to use data on individuals to develop individualised risk assessments.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the actions of the authorities in New Zealand, Thailand, and Taiwan in deploying digital technologies to enforce quarantines.

We are aware of the approaches of New Zealand, Thailand, and Taiwan in deploying digital technologies to enforce quarantines. No formal assessment has been made due to differences in approach: New Zealand, for example, does not have a contact tracing app. We will, however, continue to work with others to exchange ideas and develop solutions which take into account cultural and societal difference.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any risk models used on smart phone apps to perform contact tracing use Bayesian inference to decide the best course of action given the test results of the user and those of other users.

The National Health Service COVID-19 app’s risk scoring algorithm does not currently use Bayesian inference. Instead, a user’s risk is calculated using a combination of heuristics, developed in collaboration with expert epidemiologists from the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute. We have published an explanation of how the risk scoring algorithm works on the FAQ page of the NHS COVID-19 website in an online only format. For future versions of the app, we are working on a fully probabilistic, Bayesian risk scoring algorithm.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the study “Associations with COVID-19 hospitalisation amongst 406,793 adults: the UK Biobank prospective cohort study.”

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is responsible for ensuring that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to decision-makers, to support United Kingdom cross-Government decisions. In fulfilling this role, SAGE considers a wide range scientific evidence. This paper has not been considered by SAGE, but SAGE members may consider a range of evidence in their work.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent they will be relying on machine learning and data held by large commercial organisations to prioritise people for testing or to determine limitations of movement in the next phase of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government continues to be guided by the best scientific and clinical advice to aid decision-making but is not using automatic intelligence or machine learning algorithms to prioritise the allocation of testing for COVID-19.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of time that a person who has recovered from COVID-19 is able to carry the virus; and what consideration they have given to a putting in place a mandatory quarantine period post-recovery.

In the case of COVID-19, infection is most commonly detected by using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); a test that detects viral genetic material (in this case, ribonucleic acid; RNA). The detection of viral RNA alone does not necessarily indicate an active virus infection.

Evidence shows virus can be cultured from upper respiratory tract samples for about eight days after the onset of symptoms.

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection recommends that individuals remain at home for seven days after the onset of symptoms. If a person still has a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. If the individual lives with others, all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection was first published on 12 March in an online only format on GOV.UK.

The Government is reviewing the guidance on the duration of the self-isolation period.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 home test kits have been (1) sent out, and (2) returned, to date; and how many of those were returned in a state fit for testing.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of COVID-19 related public health instructions not being adhered to; and what assessment they have made of the impact of any such non-adherence.

The positive reaction and adherence to social distancing measures from the public has meant that the reproduction number (R number) has been slowly falling. After assessment of the figures and following scientific advice, the Government will slowly start to lift some of the restrictions that have been in place since 23 March. This will be completed through a phased approach and only if the R stays below 1.

Additionally, to try to ensure that we work together to achieve this, the Government has increased the fines for the those who break the rules, starting at £100 but doubling with each infringement up to £3,600.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review data from the COVID-19 spread on the Diamond Princess cruise ship to inform decisions in regard to ending the lockdown.

The Government’s approach to the next phase of the pandemic will be guided by the scientific advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). It is SAGE’s role to ensure that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to support Government decisions.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of patients awaiting radiotherapy therapy for cancer have experienced delays in their treatment since January.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what use is being made of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), is used in many laboratories to test patient samples for the COVID-19 virus.

RT-PCR is used for detecting certain viruses to help diagnose infection. It is being used throughout the United Kingdom to detect the COVID-19 virus. RT-PCR makes millions of copies of a virus’ genetic material and these can be detected on laboratory equipment. If this equipment detects a signal, it means the test is positive (virus detected). If the equipment does not detect a signal, it means the test is negative (no virus detected).

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the families of pharmacists and their staff who have died from COVID-19 will be eligible for the death in service payments announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The Government is in the process of setting up a life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract COVID-19 during the course of their work.

The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of COVID-19 and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have recently contracted COVID-19. These arrangements cover pharmacy teams working in hospitals and general practitioner practices.

The scheme permits the Secretary of State to consider exceptional cases which may not fall within the eligibility criteria, such as cases from community pharmacy.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment was made of the effect of 'superspreaders' in the epidemiological models used to predict the spread of COVID-19.

The Government relies on modelling work undertaken by several academic groups, who report to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies through its various subgroups. A collection of modelling information, including methodologies, which has informed decision making on COVID-19 has now been published online on GOV.UK and further papers will be published online at regular intervals.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) mean, (2) mode, and (3) median, incubation period for COVID-19.

The incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from one to 14 days, with a median of five days. Data on the mean and mode are not published.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the results of the COVID-19 swab tests are reported by the date when the tests are taken; and if not, why not.

Results for COVID-19 swab tests are reported to those taking them in the order they are processed, which will be in the order of receipt by the laboratory.

Once a swab sample is taken as part of COVID-19 testing, it must be sent to a laboratory to be processed. We aim to make results for polymerase chain reaction tests available within 48 hours of the test being undertaken. In some cases results may take a little longer to arrive.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the responsibilities of pharmacies are in respect of their duties to employees and the public in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmacy employers’ responsibilities to their staff are outlined in Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 employers and business guidance, encouraging measures such as regular hand washing, frequently disinfecting surfaces/objects that are touched, not attending work if symptomatic and working side by side or face away from each other when unable to remain two metres apart. Reasonable adjustments should be made to the pharmacy layout and working pattern to enable two metres distancing between staff and patients. PHE personal protective equipment guidance states that where social distancing cannot be maintained from patients, the sessional use of a fluid-resistant surgical mask is recommended.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to reach the goal of 100,000 tests a day for COVID-19.

The Government had set a demanding objective of conducting 100,000 tests per day by the end of April 2020. This objective was met, with 122,347 tests conducted on 30 April.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK is participating in the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Trial.

The United Kingdom is not currently participating in the Solidarity Trial, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, as the same compounds are already being tested in existing UK trials. Lopinavir/ritonavir is being trialled in the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials; interferon beta-1a is being trialled in REMAP-CAP; and hydroxychloroquine is being trialled in the RECOVERY, REMAP-CAP and PRINCIPLE clinical trials. The UK trials have been designed to be compatible with the Solidarity Trial so that UK data can be shared with the WHO platform.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to evaluate different contact-tracing technologies and the possible timeframes for their implementation.

We are working with leading tech firms and experts in clinical safety and digital ethics in developing our contact-tracing app, drawing on a wide range of commercial, academic and international best practice. The technology is based on research evidence developed by epidemiologists, mathematical modellers and ethicists.

We are actively considering when the best time would be to roll-out the app. Scaled-up contact tracing is likely to have greatest value when we have achieved reductions in the incidence of the virus to ensure low levels of transmission are maintained.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to communicate healthcare messages to immigrant communities.

The COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection and COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 has been translated into 11 languages.

We are constantly evaluating what more we can do to support different groups in society that have particular needs or face particular challenges.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of COVID-19 in sampled municipal water; and what plans they have to use that data to assess the impact of COVID-19 control measures.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently engaging with the research community and Government scientific advisers to investigate whether monitoring COVID-19 in waste water could be used as a way of tracking the outbreak and assessing the impact of control measures. The World Health Organization is clear there is currently no evidence that the virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that some cases of COVID-19 are leading to cytokine storm syndrome.

COVID-19 is a new virus and we are learning more about the properties of the virus every day. The United Kingdom is carrying out research to better understand the virus and inform the actions that will lessen its effect on the UK population.

UK clinical experts recognise that most patients recover from COVID-19 without complications, but a small proportion develop a severe delayed hyper-inflammatory illness that includes a set of symptoms or complications sometimes referred to as ‘cytokine storm’. The UK is assessing in clinical trials, several drugs that may make a difference at this stage in the illness.

The Government will continue to review the evidence as it emerges and will always be ready to upgrade the guidance with new scientific evidence and on the expert advice of New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the actions taken by the government of Sweden in regard to social distancing on slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Direct comparisons between countries are difficult. Outbreak responses includes packages of control measures and the components of packages differ between countries, as do the times at which they are introduced. Real-time comparisons of impacts of COVID-19 on different countries are likely to be less accurate and less useful than the comparisons that we can expect to occur at the end of the pandemic, when complete data are likely to be available.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they recommend an isolation period of seven days after symptoms of COVID-19 have ended for those who live alone, as opposed to the recommended fourteen-day period by the World Health Organisation.

In a public statement given by the Prime Minister on 15 March, it was explained that as part of the Government’s main message on self-isolation, if someone has symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, they should not leave their home for seven days from when their symptoms started on the provision that they are no longer showing any signs of the virus.

The 14-day period is for those who have had exposure to a confirmed case but have not shown symptoms.

The 14 days represents the potential incubation period (the time it takes for symptoms to show if someone has been infected).

Most people will no longer be likely to transmit the virus seven days after the onset of symptoms.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway presently in the UK.

The Government is currently funding two United Kingdom vaccine candidates; one at the University of Oxford led by Professor Sarah Gilbert and one at Imperial College London led by Professor Robin Shattock.

Imperial’s vaccine candidate is in pre-clinical testing and the University of Oxford started Phase 1 (human safety) trials on Thursday 23 April. Oxford have recruited healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55 to take part in these trials.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made to secure personal protective equipment for health professionals from small and medium-sized businesses based in the United Kingdom.

As part of the national effort to focus the United Kingdom’s manufacturing industry on this immediate challenge, the Government has issued a ‘call to arms’ for industry partners and other manufacturers to make essential personal protective equipment (PPE) that demonstrably meets required specifications for use by the National Health Service and care sector.

Each offer from industry is being followed up with checks on the organisation making the offer and technical checks on the safety and effectiveness of the products on offer before they are purchased for use within the NHS and care sector. The large number of offers means that it has been taking some time to respond. This is because we have a rigorous process in place and are checking at every step to ensure that the offers meet our safety requirements.

Lord Deighton will lead the national effort to boost UK PPE production and also support the scaling up of engineering efforts for small companies capable of contributing to supplies.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress have they made in including in the figure of deaths due to COVID-19 announced each day those who have passed away in (1) all types care homes, (2) sheltered housing, and (3) private family homes.

The Government is committed to providing a full and transparent picture of COVID-19-related deaths, while avoiding double counting or publishing statistically misleading information. We publish daily figures on confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospital, which provide the most up-to-date data on a consistent basis as the vast majority of serious cases and fatalities of the virus will occur in hospital settings.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is also publishing data on deaths registered each week, which includes deaths outside hospital settings. From 28 April 2020, the ONS will publish counts of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes, based on reporting from care home operators to the Care Quality Commission.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients in the UK are taking part in clinical trials of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) reports that as of 27 March 2020, 57 patients have been recruited to a clinical trial of treatments for patients with COVID-19 via the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of patients with COVID-19 who have been asymptomatic; and of those, how many were subsequently treated.

On 20 March, the Government published scientific evidence supporting the United Kingdom Government response on COVID-19, including modelling on the dynamics of transmission of the virus.

The proportion of cases who are asymptomatic is difficult to estimate. Information about the scientific evidence used to support the UK Government response can be found online via GOV.UK.

Those with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic are unlikely to be treated, as they would not have health issues.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what protocols are in place to ration medical equipment if necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of our concerted national efforts to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the Department is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines and medical devices and equipment they need. Precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages, including management of demand.

The Department shares regular information about impending supply issues and management plans with the NHS via networks in primary and secondary care and will liaise with relevant patient groups about issues affecting specific medicines, medical devices and equipment.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any claim for compensation from a pharmacist that is not in relation to COVID-19 will be covered by membership of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association or other indemnity schemes.

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are regulated healthcare professionals and must ensure they have adequate indemnity insurance cover, either personally or through their employer.

Clinical pharmacists employed in National Health Service trusts are covered by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. Clinical pharmacists employed in general practitioner practices providing NHS services (either primary medical services under a Part 4 contract or other NHS services provided by the practice) are covered by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether legal costs related to any (1) inquest, (2) regulatory, (3) employment, and (4) criminal, proceedings against healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, resulting from an inadvertent error made in the workplace when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic will be covered by their professional indemnity scheme.

The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, both administered by NHS Resolution, provide indemnity for clinical negligence liabilities for healthcare workers for the majority of NHS services in England. Some staff, such as community pharmacy professionals, are indemnified by their employer or hold their own personal indemnity product. Sections 10, 11 and 12 in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enables the Secretary of State to provide indemnity for clinical negligence liabilities arising from National Health Service activities carried out for the purposes of dealing with, or in consequence of, the coronavirus outbreak, where there is no existing indemnity arrangement in place. Together these schemes cover healthcare staff for clinical negligence liabilities arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new sections in the Act are effectively a backstop where other indemnity arrangements do not apply.

NHS Resolution also meets legal representation costs at some inquests, on a discretionary basis, under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. The state schemes do not extend to the costs of legal representation at regulatory, employment or criminal proceedings and many healthcare professionals obtain their own cover for these contingencies.

We also recognise the importance for healthcare professionals of access to medico-legal advice and support, and the Medical Defence Organisations and other indemnity providers and are providing this advice and support to healthcare professionals assisting with the COVID-19 response.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the removal of NHS bursaries on the number of people studying podiatry in England.

The latest data on the number of people accepting an offer to study a podiatry course in England is presented in the following table.

Academic year

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Number of acceptances

285

305

230

215

180


Source: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service End of Cycle data, 2019

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much NHS England has spent on treating musculoskeletal disorders in each year since 2000.

This information is not held centrally. The funding and commissioning of services for musculoskeletal disorders is a local matter, over which individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have responsibility. CCGs are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and allocate funding for services to meet those needs from the overall resource allocations they receive.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much NHS England has spent on diabetic foot ulceration and amputations in each year since 2000.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the work of podiatrists in the NHS and in private practice to prevent conditions deteriorating and increasing longer term treatment costs for the NHS.

The NHS People Plan work programme is completing a review of all allied health professions, including podiatrists. This will look at capacity requirements up to 2024 considering both the current and future capacity needs for all allied health professions. The NHS People Plan is due to be published in early 2020.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the article, Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes, published in Nature on 5 February.

The article adds to the growing body of evidence that cancer genes and mechanisms are altered by mutations in non-coding DNA, this is approximately 95% of the genome which does not contain code for a protein. Analysis of whole genome sequencing data can provide information on how mutations in both coding and non-coding regions relate to cancer and other diseases.

In 2018, the Government committed to sequencing at least one million whole genome equivalents over the next five years and this will provide the data for further analysis of the contribution of both coding and non-coding DNA to disease processes.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to promote the role and value of community pharmacy services.

The Department has made no assessment of the comments made on ITV’s This Morning Programme.

Last July, the Government set out plans in a landmark five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework deal. This will see community pharmacies fully integrated in the National Health Service providing more clinical services.

This deal full recognises the valuable contribution that community pharmacies, situated in the hearts of our communities, make to the NHS. Pharmacists are fully trained, over five years, as experts in medicines. That is why we have recently commissioned the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and are currently running a mass media campaign to promote their role in supporting people to deal with minor illnesses.

We also see a role for pharmacists in supporting people to stay healthy for longer by identifying and supporting people to address key risk factors for disease, for example high blood pressure or weight, and signposting those who want support to services locally.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the comments made on ITV's This Morning programme on 17 January about the role of pharmacists.

The Department has made no assessment of the comments made on ITV’s This Morning Programme.

Last July, the Government set out plans in a landmark five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework deal. This will see community pharmacies fully integrated in the National Health Service providing more clinical services.

This deal full recognises the valuable contribution that community pharmacies, situated in the hearts of our communities, make to the NHS. Pharmacists are fully trained, over five years, as experts in medicines. That is why we have recently commissioned the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and are currently running a mass media campaign to promote their role in supporting people to deal with minor illnesses.

We also see a role for pharmacists in supporting people to stay healthy for longer by identifying and supporting people to address key risk factors for disease, for example high blood pressure or weight, and signposting those who want support to services locally.

19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 18 January (HLWS712), who are the members of the Commission of Inquiry led by the Rt Hon. Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

The Governor of the British Virgin Islands appointed the Right Honourable Sir Gary Hickinbottom as a sole commissioner on 19 January 2021. The commissioner will be supported by a Secretary and additional team members.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the situation in Afghanistan.

We continue to assess that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Only a political settlement negotiated between Afghans can bring lasting peace and stability to their country. The UK, therefore, strongly welcomes and supports the start of negotiations between the Afghan Government and the Taliban, currently taking place in Doha. We hope this historic opportunity leads to progress, and eventually to an inclusive political settlement and an end to the violence in Afghanistan.

However, we remain deeply concerned by continuing high levels of violence in Afghanistan, most notably the recent Taliban offensive in the southern province of Helmand. Thousands of families have been forced to flee their homes. The UK reiterates the urgent need for all sides to find a way to reduce violence. After decades of conflict, the people of Afghanistan want and deserve peace.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region; and what representations they are making, and to whom, in response.

The Government is deeply concerned by the recent military escalation along the Line of Contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, and increasing impact on civilians through reported shelling of cities and the resulting humanitarian situation. The Foreign Secretary and Canadian Foreign Minister have delivered two joint statements calling for urgent de-escalation and a return to dialogue on 28 September and 6 October.

The Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas spoke to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 September. She raised UK concerns over civilian casualties and fatalities, urged immediate de-escalation and reinforced the importance of engagement with the OSCE Minsk Group. The Prime Minister discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh with Turkish President Erdogan on 28 September. On 29 September the UK delivered statements at both the OSCE Permanent Council and the UN Security Council calling for immediate de-escalation and resumption of dialogue. We will continue to make representations to both the Armenian and Azerbaijani Governments and international partners.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that no one is discriminated against when booking goods and services online from companies based in the UK on the basis of their name.

Domestic anti-discrimination law is contained in the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”).

A person’s name may be indicative of their sex and/or their race, both of which are grounds for discrimination covered by the Act.

If a provider of goods or services treats someone unfairly because of their name, for instance because it indicates that they are of a certain colour, nationality or ethnic origin, that may constitute unlawful discrimination under the Act.

If someone believes that they have suffered discrimination for this reason they can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service, which provides free help and advice to the public. The service can be contacted by a range of means, including by telephone (0808 800 0082) or via its website: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of China regarding the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

The Foreign Secretary spoke to his Chinese counterpart on 28 January about the coronavirus. The British Government is liaising directly with our international partners and the Chinese authorities through our Embassy in Beijing.

To date there have been no cases of British nationals confirmed with the virus. We are liaising directly with Public Health England, who currently assess the threat to the UK to be low. Based on the emerging evidence regarding case numbers, potential sources, and human to human transmission, we have advised against all travel to Hubei Province.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Equatorial Guinea concerning the detention of Joaquin Elo Ayeto.

​The UK remains concerned by the human rights situation in Equatorial Guinea and reports of arbitrary detention. We have no diplomatic mission or resident diplomatic staff in Equatorial Guinea. We use regular visits by our non-resident Ambassador (based in Cameroon) and discussions with the Chargé in London to raise human rights concerns. The British Ambassador raised human rights during his most recent visit in January.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Rwanda concerning the detention of Jackie Umuhoza.

We are concerned by Jackie Umuhoza's continued detention without charge and urge the Government of Rwanda to abide by its international human rights obligations and international norms on arrest and detention. The Prime Minister raised human rights and the importance of adhering to Commonwealth values when he met President Kagame during the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20 January. The British High Commission in Kigali regularly raises human rights concerns with the Government of Rwanda.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Yemen regarding gender inequality in that country.

We remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Yemen and continue to raise the importance of respect for human rights with all parties to the conflict.

We also acknowledge that the conflict has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls. The incidence of gender based violence has risen by 60% since the start of the conflict. Women and girls bear the disproportionate brunt of obstacles caused by protracted displacement, including lack of access to services and civil documentation.

In the 2018 Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights report, we highlighted our concerns over women's rights including girls' education, and attacks on freedom of religion or belief and on freedom of speech and association. The UK is a global leader on the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and penholder at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). We are prioritising strengthening the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on WPS by increasing women's meaningful participation in peace processes. Through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), we support UN Women initiatives, such as the Yemeni Women Pact. We also support the work of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, who is actively engaging women in the peace process. We recognise there is more to do to support the Special Envoy and are funding advisers on gender and inclusion within his office.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals in each local authority declared income from furnished holiday lettings on their Self-Assessment tax returns in the latest year for which data is available.

The numbers of individuals in each local authority that declared income from furnished holiday lettings via their self-assessment tax returns in 2019-20, rounded to the nearest 10 are provided in the attached table.

It should also be noted that:

- Not all individuals with property income are required to declare it. For example, those with income below the £1,000 property allowance are not required to tell HMRC.

- Some individuals with property income between £1,000 to £2,500 will declare this via PAYE rather than self-assessment. These individuals are not included here.

In March, the Government announced that it will legislate to change the criteria determining whether a holiday let is valued for business rates to account for the number of days it was let. This will ensure that owners of properties cannot reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let while making little or no actual effort to do so. Further details of the change and implementation will be included in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) response to the consultation on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation which will be published shortly.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals in each local authority declared income from property, excluding furnished holiday lettings, on their Self-Assessment tax returns in the latest year for which data is available.

The numbers of individuals in each local authority that declared income from property excluding furnished holiday lettings via their Self-Assessment tax returns in 2019-20 are provided in the attached table, rounded to the nearest 10.

It should also be noted that:

  • Not all individuals with property income are required to declare it. For example, those with income below the £1,000 property allowance are not required to tell HMRC.
  • Some individuals with property income between £1,000 to £2,500 will declare this via PAYE rather than Self-Assessment. These individuals are not included in this data.

In March, the Government announced that it will legislate to change the criteria determining whether a holiday let is valued for business rates to account for the number of days it was let. This will ensure that owners of properties cannot reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let while making little or no actual effort to do so. Further details of the change and implementation will be included in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) response to the consultation on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation which will be published shortly.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to raise the issue of relief of poorer income countries’ indebtedness to banks and other private creditors (1) at the meeting of G7 finance ministers, and (2) in discussions with other international partners.

The UK secured strong commitments on international debt from its G7 partners in the G7 Finance Ministers communique[1]. G7 Finance Ministers reiterated their commitment to implement the G20 and Paris Club Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and set out their expectation that private creditors will provide at least as favourable debt treatments in line with the Common Framework. They noted the importance of debt transparency for debt sustainability and committed to publish their own creditor portfolios on a loan-by-loan basis for future direct lending by end of 2021 They also welcomed the establishment of a G7 Private Sector Working Group.

We continue to raise the importance of these issues with other international partners including at the G20, Paris Club and the Boards of the IMF and World Bank.

[1] FMCBGs_communique_-_5_June.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reform the law in respect of credit unions in the UK.

The Government recognises the vital role of credit unions in the financial wellbeing of their communities, providing an ethical home for their members’ savings, and affordable loans to those who may otherwise have to resort to high-cost lenders.

That is why at Autumn Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced a pilot of a new prize-linked savings scheme offered through credit unions. This operated with 15 credit unions and has helped support the sector through increased membership, awareness and deposits. The Chancellor also announced a new £2 million challenge fund to promote innovative solutions from the UK’s Fintech sector to address challenges faced by social and community lenders, including credit unions. The winners of the challenge, which included Capital Credit Union and Serve and Protect Credit Union, were announced at Budget 2020.

The Government has also regularly engaged with the credit union sector, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair4All Finance, the independent body set up by Government to distribute dormant assets funding to support financial inclusion, has set up a £5 million resilience fund to support credit unions and community development finance institutions in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government intends to bring forward changes to the Credit Unions Act to allow credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services. This will allow credit unions to continue to grow sustainably for the future and support them in the vital role they play in financial inclusion. The Economic Secretary recently spoke at the Association of British Credit Unions Limited and National Credit Union Forum annual conferences to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to legislative change and ongoing support for the sector.

The Government is engaging with the credit union sector and carefully assessing options before bringing forward legislation to ensure that we are delivering reforms which meet members’ needs and support the development of the credit union sector.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the credit union sector in the UK.

The Government recognises the vital role of credit unions in the financial wellbeing of their communities, providing an ethical home for their members’ savings, and affordable loans to those who may otherwise have to resort to high-cost lenders.

That is why at Autumn Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced a pilot of a new prize-linked savings scheme offered through credit unions. This operated with 15 credit unions and has helped support the sector through increased membership, awareness and deposits. The Chancellor also announced a new £2 million challenge fund to promote innovative solutions from the UK’s Fintech sector to address challenges faced by social and community lenders, including credit unions. The winners of the challenge, which included Capital Credit Union and Serve and Protect Credit Union, were announced at Budget 2020.

The Government has also regularly engaged with the credit union sector, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair4All Finance, the independent body set up by Government to distribute dormant assets funding to support financial inclusion, has set up a £5 million resilience fund to support credit unions and community development finance institutions in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government intends to bring forward changes to the Credit Unions Act to allow credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services. This will allow credit unions to continue to grow sustainably for the future and support them in the vital role they play in financial inclusion. The Economic Secretary recently spoke at the Association of British Credit Unions Limited and National Credit Union Forum annual conferences to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to legislative change and ongoing support for the sector.

The Government is engaging with the credit union sector and carefully assessing options before bringing forward legislation to ensure that we are delivering reforms which meet members’ needs and support the development of the credit union sector.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those who are unbanked.

The Government is committed to supporting all groups in society, including the most vulnerable, with the challenges caused by Covid-19. The Government has boosted the generosity of the welfare system by £7.4bn in 2020-21 including through a temporary £20 a week increase in Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, an increase in Local Housing Allowance rates and relaxation of UC minimum income floor for self-employed claimants. The Department for Work and Pensions offers HMG Payment Exception Service that allows customers access to funds via PayPoint outlets, for individuals who cannot access a bank account.

However, the Government recognises the importance of having a bank account, as it provides a way of receiving income, whether that be salary, pension, benefits or tax credit and opens up opportunities to access other financial products such as savings accounts, credit, insurance and mortgages. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, HM Treasury and the financial regulators have worked closely with banks, building societies and credit unions to maintain branch access for essential services, including for the purposes of opening a bank account.

The Treasury does not make assessments of the number of people who do not have a bank account. However, in 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the results of the Financial Lives Survey which found that 1.3 million UK adults do not hold an account they can use for day-to-day payments and transactions.

The 9 largest personal current account providers in the UK are legally required to offer fee-free basic bank accounts to customers who do not have a bank account in the UK or who are ineligible for a bank’s standard current account. The Treasury publishes data on basic bank accounts annually. The December 2019 publication shows that in total there are nearly 7.5 million basic bank accounts open in the UK. More information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/basic-bank-accounts

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the (1) use, and (2) circulation, of cash in the UK.

The Government remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19.

It is too early to predict what permanent impacts the COVID-19 pandemic will have on cash usage and payments more broadly. However, it is reasonable to expect that knock on changes in how people purchase goods and services, and social distancing measures, have accelerated the decline in the use of cash, as people have become more comfortable with other forms of transactions and payments, for example contactless card payments.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the value of notes in circulation; the Bank of England considers this may be because of banknotes being held for contingent purposes. The return of coin to banks by businesses and the public has varied from its usual pattern. As a result there has been a greater demand for new coin from the Mint than forecast prior to the pandemic.
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of financial scams to the UK economy.

The Office for National Statistics publishes estimates on the volume of fraud against adult individuals in England and Wales in the Crime Survey for England and Wales quarterly releases.[1]

The ONS estimated that in the year ending June 2020 there were approximately 4.3 m fraud offences against adults in England Wales.

The ONS also publishes, as part of its data on crime, the total number of fraud offences that are referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) by industry bodies (UK finance and CIFAS) or recorded by Action Fraud each year. In the year ending June 2020, 733,967 cases were referred to the NFIB or recorded by Action Fraud. The ONS also provide a breakdown of this data by fraud type. For example, there were 415,274 cases of banking and credit industry fraud reported and 14,616 cases of financial investment fraud.[2]

The Home Office has estimated that the total cost of fraud to individuals in England and Wales in 2015/2016 was £4.7bn[3]. They also estimated that the economic cost of organised fraud against businesses and the public sector in the UK was £5.9bn.[4]

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingjune2020

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables

[3] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/732110/the-economic-and-social-costs-of-crime-horr99.pdf

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/782656/understanding-organised-crime-mar16-horr103-2nd.pdf

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) scale, and (2) type, of financial scams targeted at people in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics publishes estimates on the volume of fraud against adult individuals in England and Wales in the Crime Survey for England and Wales quarterly releases.[1]

The ONS estimated that in the year ending June 2020 there were approximately 4.3 m fraud offences against adults in England Wales.

The ONS also publishes, as part of its data on crime, the total number of fraud offences that are referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) by industry bodies (UK finance and CIFAS) or recorded by Action Fraud each year. In the year ending June 2020, 733,967 cases were referred to the NFIB or recorded by Action Fraud. The ONS also provide a breakdown of this data by fraud type. For example, there were 415,274 cases of banking and credit industry fraud reported and 14,616 cases of financial investment fraud.[2]

The Home Office has estimated that the total cost of fraud to individuals in England and Wales in 2015/2016 was £4.7bn[3]. They also estimated that the economic cost of organised fraud against businesses and the public sector in the UK was £5.9bn.[4]

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingjune2020

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables

[3] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/732110/the-economic-and-social-costs-of-crime-horr99.pdf

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/782656/understanding-organised-crime-mar16-horr103-2nd.pdf

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the business rate holiday for (1) hospitality businesses, and (2) their suppliers, as such businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has taken the unprecedented step of providing over £10 billion in business rates relief this year for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties.

As announced at the Spending Review, to support businesses next year the Government will freeze the multiplier and will announce any decisions on future rate reliefs in the New Year.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the VAT deferral scheme to support the hospitality sector as that sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VAT payments deferral scheme ended on 30 June 2020, as planned. As part of the Winter Economy Plan, the Government announced further support for those with deferred VAT, allowing them to spread what they owe over smaller monthly payments. More information on the VAT deferral new payment scheme is available on GOV.UK, as is more information on other support for businesses.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of countries defaulting on repayments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is closely monitoring the impact of the crisis on the debt situation in developing countries, including through our membership of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Paris Club. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing extraordinary pressures on the finances of low and middle income countries. Recognising this, the G20 has taken action to support these countries, agreeing the landmark DSSI (Debt Service Suspension Initiative). The DSSI provides a suspension of debt repayments to eligible countries so they can focus resources on their coronavirus response. The UK is also pleased with the in-principle agreement by the G20 to a Common Framework for debt restructuring. This is crucial to ensuring coordinated debt relief to countries which require it on a case-by-case basis, with fair burden sharing between all official and private creditors.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the resilience of the credit union sector.

Credit unions play a vital role in the financial wellbeing of their communities, providing an ethical home for their members’ savings, and affordable loans to those who may otherwise have to resort to high-cost lenders. The Government is committed to seeing a strong and resilient credit union sector. That is why the Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government will bring forward legislation to enable credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services.

HM Treasury officials are working closely with the Prudential Regulation Authority, Financial Conduct Authority and sector representatives to monitor the impact of the disruption caused by COVID-19 on credit unions and their members.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury has also engaged regularly with representatives from the credit union sector through the Consumer Finance Forum and Financial Inclusion Policy Forum, which are bringing financial services and consumer group representatives together to discuss how to best support people through this period.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reform the business rates system in England.

On 21 July, HM Treasury published a Call for Evidence for the fundamental review of business rates. The Call for Evidence invites stakeholders to contribute their views on ideas for reform on all elements of the business rates system and on alternative taxes.

As set out in the Call for Evidence, the fundamental review will conclude in Spring 2021.

The Call for Evidence can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hm-treasury-fundamental-review-of-business-rates-call-for-evidence

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the future cost of business rates; and what plans they have to support businesses to afford any increase in those rates.

As part of its package to support businesses affected by COVID-19, the Government has provided a business rates holiday for eligible properties in retail, hospitality and leisure, worth £10 billion this year.

The Government has also postponed the next business rates revaluation until April 2023, in order to ensure that the revaluation better reflects the impact of COVID-19.

In addition, HM Treasury is conducting a fundamental review of business rates and invites stakeholders to contribute their views on all elements of the business rates system, including any future reliefs.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role credit unions have played in supporting vulnerable people during the COVID–19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the contribution credit unions have made to support vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit unions play a vital role in the financial wellbeing of their communities, providing an ethical home for their members’ savings, and affordable loans to those who may otherwise have to resort to high-cost lenders.

The Centre for Community Finance Europe (CFCFE) published research in May 2020, setting out the range of activities credit unions have undertaken to support their local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, including adapting existing services and introducing new products. The research is available on the CFCFE website.

In April 2020, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury wrote to credit union trade bodies to thank frontline credit union staff for their efforts to continue to provide essential services to their members. Furthermore, the Economic Secretary has engaged with representatives from the credit union sector through the Consumer Finance Forum and Financial Inclusion Policy Forum, which has brought financial services and consumer group representatives together, to discuss how people can be best supported.

HMT officials also hosted a meeting with credit union trade bodies in June 2020 to understand their experiences of supporting members through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the proposed changes to the Small Brewers’ Relief will not increase the tax burden for brewers who produce between 2,100 hectolitres and 5,000 hectolitres a year.

The Treasury has been reviewing the Small Brewers Relief (SBR) scheme since 2018. The SBR scheme in part aims to provide smaller brewers support with their higher production costs. Small brewers receive a 50% reduction from their beer duty bills, but currently once brewers produce more than 5,000 hectolitres this is rapidly withdrawn.

Based on evidence provided by a survey of brewers conducted in 2019, which received over 300 responses, and data provided by the Society of Independent Brewers and other brewing groups, the Treasury has concluded that production costs for brewers in the range of 2,100-5,000 hectolitres are not significantly different for those in the 5-10,000 hectolitres range.

Accordingly, the Treasury considers that the radically different tax treatment both groups currently face is not appropriate. It disincentivises growth and distorts business decisions.

Therefore, the Treasury has concluded that both groups of brewers should be brought in scope of the scheme’s taper. The Treasury will discontinue the “cliff edge” design of the current taper in favour of a new one, which tapers relief more smoothly over a broader range of production.

The details of these proposals are subject to further consultation, and the final shape of these reforms has not yet been determined. The Treasury expects that more than 80% of all brewers will be unaffected by these changes, and brewers who are affected will benefit from the improved economics of the scheme. Final changes will not take effect until at least 31 December 2021.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what investigations they are undertaking to ensure that the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic is not disproportionately borne by minority communities.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for public services, workers and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency. These measures are supporting millions of families, businesses and self-employed people from every community in the UK to get through this crisis and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united.

HM Treasury takes care to pay due regard to the equality impacts of its policy decisions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with all legal requirements and the Government’s commitment to promoting equality. There are internal procedural requirements and support in place for ensuring that such considerations inform decisions taken by Ministers.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of businesses in the creative sector with a turnover of less than £6.5 million that do not qualify for (1) a small business grant, (2) retailers, hospitality and leisure grants, and (3) the business rate holiday.

The Government does not have this information available. Local Authorities, which are operating the business grants schemes and the business rates holiday, do not have systematic access to data on the turnover of businesses in their area.

We are aware that some small businesses are finding themselves excluded from the business grants schemes because of the way in which they interact with the business rates system.

On 1st May the Government announced that it would make up to £617 million of additional funding available to Local Authorities to enable them to make discretionary payments of up to £25,000 to businesses in this situation.

The discretionary funds will be administered by Local Authorities, who will ask businesses to apply for a grant. Local Authorities will shortly receive guidance regarding which kinds of businesses should be considered a priority for these funds. It is the Government’s intention that the following businesses should be considered a priority:

  • Businesses in shared offices;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses outside of these areas, according to local economic need, so long as the grants are aimed at:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Business with fewer than 50 employees
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11th March

Businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants. Each Local Authority will need to create their own process, which may take some time. The Government encourages businesses in the creative sectors which have not been eligible for grants to look out for their Local Authority’s version of this scheme, and to contact their Local Authority for more information in due course.

Businesses in the creative sector which remain ineligible for business grants may be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills;
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide to help individuals to establish cooperative businesses.

In 2014 the Government passed the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act, to reduce legal complexity for co-operatives and community benefit societies, and increased the amount of share capital an individual member can put into a cooperative society to £100,000.

Co-operatives UK’s ’Co-op Economy’ report has found that annual turnover for co-operative and mutual businesses across the UK has grown year on year, reaching a record high of £37.7 billion in 2019.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide to the credit union sector in the UK.

At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a package of measures to support credit unions, and other social and community lenders, including:

  • A £2 million affordable credit challenge fund, harnessing the UK’s FinTech sector to address challenges faced by social and community lenders, including credit unions. Six finalists were selected in October 2019, receiving initial funding of £150,000.
  • A change in the regulatory boundary of credit broking to make it easier for registered social landlords such as housing associations to refer their tenants to social and community lenders.
  • A prize-linked savings pilot scheme, to encourage the growth of the credit union sector, and encourage consumers to build up their personal savings. This pilot launched on 17 October, International Credit Union Day, in 15 credit unions across the country. Over 6,000 accounts had been opened by the end of January 2020.
  • A feasibility study for a UK No-Interest Loans Scheme.

Regulation of the credit union sector is a matter for the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The PRA concluded a consultation on a simplified, proportional capital requirement regime for credit unions on 24 January 2020.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the regulation of credit unions.

At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a package of measures to support credit unions, and other social and community lenders, including:

  • A £2 million affordable credit challenge fund, harnessing the UK’s FinTech sector to address challenges faced by social and community lenders, including credit unions. Six finalists were selected in October 2019, receiving initial funding of £150,000.
  • A change in the regulatory boundary of credit broking to make it easier for registered social landlords such as housing associations to refer their tenants to social and community lenders.
  • A prize-linked savings pilot scheme, to encourage the growth of the credit union sector, and encourage consumers to build up their personal savings. This pilot launched on 17 October, International Credit Union Day, in 15 credit unions across the country. Over 6,000 accounts had been opened by the end of January 2020.
  • A feasibility study for a UK No-Interest Loans Scheme.

Regulation of the credit union sector is a matter for the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The PRA concluded a consultation on a simplified, proportional capital requirement regime for credit unions on 24 January 2020.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have (1) taken, and (2) are taking, to introduce a digital tax; and what representations they have received on the matter from the government of the United States.

At Budget 2018 the Government announced that the Digital Services Tax would be implemented from April 2020. Following this announcement the Government carried out consultation, and published draft legislation in July 2019. The Government is now reviewing this legislation.

Government ministers and officials maintain regular contact with the US administration on a range of issues but cannot disclose the topic of specific conversations.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Ministers or officials will be attending the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos.

The 2020 Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum took place from 21-24 January in Davos.

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was the only Minister to attend this year. The Chancellor was accompanied by two Special Advisers and two officials.

Sir Edward Lister, Prime Minister’s Chief Strategic Adviser and Antonia Romeo, the Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade, were also in attendance.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the threat posed by repurposed previously decommissioned firearms.

This country has some of the toughest firearms controls in the world to safeguard against abuse by criminals and terrorists and to preserve public safety.

There were six recorded offences involving reactivated handguns in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020, a decrease from 11 compared with the previous year. In the same period, there was one offence involving a weapon recorded as an “other reactivated weapon”, a decrease from two in the previous year.

The controls on deactivated firearms have been strengthened in recent years. New technical specifications for deactivated firearms were introduced in 2016. The aim was to set standards which would render deactivated weapons irreversibly inoperable. The specifications were updated again in 2018. To enforce these standards, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 created a specific new offence of selling or gifting a weapon that had not been deactivated to the new specifications. The current deactivation standards are published on GOV.UK.

The Firearms Regulations 2019 further strengthened the controls through the requirement for owners of deactivated firearms to notify the Home Office regarding the possession and transfer of permanently deactivated firearms.

Our firearms law is kept under constant review to safeguard against abuse by criminals and to preserve public safety and we will not hesitate to act whenever the need arises.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of writing to individuals born in the EU but naturalised as British citizens, stating that they require UK Immigration Status after 30 June in order to carry on living in the UK.

The Government is using every possible channel to encourage everyone who is eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to apply. The Home Office is currently working with HMRC and DWP to send letters to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who receive benefits, but it appears are yet to apply to the EUSS. These letters seek to encourage recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK before the deadline of 30 June 2021.

In trying to reach as many people as possible, there may be a small number of instances where these letters are sent to recipients who are naturalised as a British citizen. The letter may also be received by a small number of individuals who have already applied to the EUSS, for example because they applied after the initial exercise with DWP or HMRC was completed, but before the letter was sent out. The letter makes clear anyone who is a British citizen or already has EUSS status does not need to take any action.

As of 30 April 2021, 4.9m grants of status had been made. The Home Office urges anyone eligible for the EUSS to apply before the 30 June deadline to ensure their rights are protected following the end of the grace period.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact assessments they have conducted of their New Plan for Immigration policy paper, published on 24 March, on the protection and rights of victims of modern slavery as set out in (1) section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, (2) the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, (3) the EU Directive on Human Trafficking (Directive 2011/36/EU), and (4) the European Convention on Human Rights.

The UK is committed to ensuring victims of modern slavery are identified quickly and provided with the support they require to start to rebuild their lives.

More potential victims are being identified and protected than ever before. National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals more than doubled between 2017 and 2020 from 5,135 to 10,613. There is more information on referrals available at: Modern Slavery: National Referral Mechanism and Duty to Notify statistics UK, end of year summary 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In March 2021, the Government published a report on issues raised by people in immigration detention. This provides data on some of the concerns we are seeking to address through the New Plan for Immigration. This is available at: Issues raised by people facing return in immigration detention - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

There are concerns about the potential for a referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to be used to frustrate Immigration Enforcement processes or to gain access to support inappropriately. For example, there has been a growth in NRM referrals being made after a person enters immigration detention. In 2019, 16% of people detained within the UK following immigration offences were referred as potential victims of modern slavery. This is up from just 3% in 2017.

This raises legitimate concerns that some referrals are being made late in the process to frustrate immigration action and that legitimate referrals are not being made in a timely way. The New Plan for Immigration will address both concerns.

We are currently preparing an Impact Assessment (IA) for all elements of the Borders Bill which aims to appraise impacts of the policy changes being introduced. This appraisal is in line with HMT’s Green Book Guidance on economic appraisal and will include the modern slavery measures. Exact timings for the IA will depend on timings for the Bill itself, but the IA will be made available as early as is practicable.

We are also comprehensively assessing the equalities impacts in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many potential victims of modern slavery referred into the National Referral Mechanism who received positive reasonable grounds decisions were (1) perpetrators of serious criminality, and (2) found to have a vexatious claim.

The UK is committed to ensuring victims of modern slavery are identified quickly and provided with the support they require to start to rebuild their lives.

More potential victims are being identified and protected than ever before. National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals more than doubled between 2017 and 2020 from 5,135 to 10,613. There is more information on referrals available at: Modern Slavery: National Referral Mechanism and Duty to Notify statistics UK, end of year summary 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In March 2021, the Government published a report on issues raised by people in immigration detention. This provides data on some of the concerns we are seeking to address through the New Plan for Immigration. This is available at: Issues raised by people facing return in immigration detention - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

There are concerns about the potential for a referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to be used to frustrate Immigration Enforcement processes or to gain access to support inappropriately. For example, there has been a growth in NRM referrals being made after a person enters immigration detention. In 2019, 16% of people detained within the UK following immigration offences were referred as potential victims of modern slavery. This is up from just 3% in 2017.

This raises legitimate concerns that some referrals are being made late in the process to frustrate immigration action and that legitimate referrals are not being made in a timely way. The New Plan for Immigration will address both concerns.

We are currently preparing an Impact Assessment (IA) for all elements of the Borders Bill which aims to appraise impacts of the policy changes being introduced. This appraisal is in line with HMT’s Green Book Guidance on economic appraisal and will include the modern slavery measures. Exact timings for the IA will depend on timings for the Bill itself, but the IA will be made available as early as is practicable.

We are also comprehensively assessing the equalities impacts in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) harassment, and (2) unlawful eviction, offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 have been recorded by each of the police forces in England and Wales in each of the past three financial years.

Offences of harassment and unlawful eviction, under the Protection from Eviction act 1977, are recorded by police in England and Wales as a subset of ‘Offence code 99, Other Notifiable Offences’. The Home Office publishes data on Police Recorded Crime by offence code.

The most recently published data, up to September 2020, can be found below: (see attached table)

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in resolving the issues which caused EU member states to not be notified of criminal convictions in the UK.

The UK’s Criminal Records Office (ACRO) has worked closely with technical teams in the Home Office who manage the Police National Computer (PNC) to implement a technical fix to ensure the data is shared with affected Member States.

Each affected Member State was informed when the historic data held on the PNC became available. ACRO has now sent the majority of those notifications to Member States.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021; and what plans they have to introduce similar legislation in relation to retail workers in England.

Justice is a devolved matter in Scotland and so the introduction of any new offence in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Government and Parliament to consider and we will monitor the effects of the new Scottish legislation.

The Government is committed to keeping our retail environments safe by driving down violence and abuse towards shop staff. We are working with retail stakeholders through the National Retail Crime Steering Group to ensure the response to these crimes is as robust as it can be. A wide range of offences already exist which cover assaults against any worker, including shop workers. In all cases, the fact that an offence has been committed against a person serving the public will be considered an aggravating factor for the purpose of passing sentence.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 January (HLWS704), when their proposed reforms to the pre-charge bail process will be implemented.

The Government will be legislating to bring in pre-charge bail reforms at the earliest opportunity.

During the passage of any relevant legislation through both Houses, the Home Office will continue to work closely with the policing sector and those involved in the pre-charge bail process to ensure that any new measures can be understood and adopted, and that sufficient time is given for implementation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the safety and security of consumers, and (2) the prevalence of criminal activity, in the secondhand mobile phone market.

To help keep the public safe from crimes related to their phones, the Government works closely with the police, industry and other partners. As part of this work police forces issue advice to the public on keeping their property safe, including ensuring that the range of security features on devices are activated by consumers to prevent them being used if stolen.

The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (year ending March 2019) shows that the proportion of mobile phone owners who experienced theft of their devices in the last year continued to follow a downward trend, falling to less than 1% compared with 2.1% in March 2009 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/focusonpropertycrimeappendixtables

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of restrictions on the supply of nitrous oxide to young people; and what plans they have to strengthen those restrictions.

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (‘the 2016 Act’) provides the legislative framework for restrictions on supply of psychoactive substances, which includes nitrous oxide. The 2016 Act makes it an offence (with limited exemptions) to intentionally supply psychoactive substances , where the person knows, or is reckless as to whether, the psychoactive substance is likely to be consumed by a person for its psychoactive effects. A review of the Act was published in November 2018, concluding that it had been effective in addressing the open sale of psychoactive substances. Further action in relation to addressing online harms, including online supply of psychoactive substances for their psychoactive effect, is set out in the Online Harms White Paper which aims to make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially for children and other vulnerable groups.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fines have been issued to people arriving in the UK who have failed to provide an address to the authorities when requested as part of the measures to fight COVID-19.

No Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued as a result of failure to supply an address.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a backlog of applications for passports; if so, what is the size of the backlog; and when they expect this backlog to be cleared.

Due to COVID-19, Her Majesty’s Passport Office continues to operate at reduced staffing levels so its people can continue to socially distance. It is therefore taking longer than usual to process passport applications.

As part of its contingency arrangements, HM Passport Office is rapidly increasing its capacity for processing passport applications, in line with public health guidance, which will help to ensure it continues to meet the travel needs of its customers.

As at 7 July 2020, work in progress of approximately 126,000 passport applications is 31% higher than at the same period last year. There are a further 284,000 applications which will need to be worked through in the coming weeks once initial documentation has been received and allocated, which is an increase of 172% from last year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when was the last firearms amnesty in the UK.

The National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS) has coordinated several national firearms surrender campaigns removing thousands of potentially lethal items from getting into criminal hands.

Surrender campaigns were held in 2014 and 2017 with the last campaign running between 20 July and 4 August 2019.

The 2019 campaign had two key purposes. Firstly, to remove firearms from criminal availability, and secondly, to allow the public to safely surrender, without prosecution, firearms held illegally or without knowledge of the legislation, providing the opportunity to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by handing it in to the police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when was the last knife amnesty in the UK.

The last national knife amnesty in the UK occurred under Operation Sceptre on 23-29 March this year. Operation Sceptre is a national week of action coordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The Operation focuses on tackling knife crime and wider violence and in addition to the surrender of knives, including through amnesty bins, it involves targeted stop and searches and weapon sweeps. The next week of action is currently being planned for this September, and knife amnesties are also undertaken by forces on a local level throughout the year.

The Government is committed to tackling knife crime and making our streets safer - we encourage all police forces to participate in Operation Sceptre and run local knife amnesties.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to hold an amnesty of acids and other dangerous substances in the UK.

The Government currently has no plans to hold an amnesty of acids and other dangerous substances in the UK. We recently strengthened the law on corrosives through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 with legislative measures specifically stopping the sale and delivery of corrosive substances to under 18s and making it an offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place. The Act requires the publication of statutory guidance before a number of the measures can be commenced, including the corrosives measures, and this guidance will be published shortly.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the prevalence of online crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it is yet too early to identify any trend in online crime since the outbreak of Covid-19 the Government and law enforcement colleagues are working tirelessly to identify and disrupt those seeking to use online platforms to commit these crimes.

Criminals are looking to take advantage; Covid-19-related fraud and cybercrimes now represent 2.7% of all reported fraud to Action Fraud. Operational partners, the National Crime Agency, the National Cyber Security Centre and City of London Police, have thwarted over 2,000 scams in April alone.

The Government is committed to preventing criminals from profiting from covid-19 and ensuring that the public and business can protect themselves.

  • On 21 April the National Cyber Security Centre launched the Suspicious Email Reporting Service. This allows members of the public to report any suspicious emails. This has received over 160,000 reports, leading to over 300 previously unknown phishing campaigns being taken down.

  • On 23 April the Home Office launched a gov.uk page on coronavirus-related fraud and cybercrime, including easy-to-follow steps for people to better protect themselves as well as signposting all relevant advice and tips. This page can be at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime

  • The Home Office are working closely with partner organisations such Trading Standards, the Financial Conduct Authority and all major banks to ensure key online safety guidance and messages are communicated

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the incidence of domestic violence.

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that can shatter the lives of victims. The Government is committed to tackling and preventing domestic abuse. We reintroduced the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill in the House of Commons on 3 March 2020. The Bill will better protect and support victims of domestic abuse and their children and bring more perpetrators to justice.

In the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced a further £15 million, on top of existing funding, to tackle domestic abuse. This includes £10m for interventions to disrupt the activities of high-harm perpetrators, and £5m for the piloting of domestic abuse courts.

We are working closely with the domestic abuse sector, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and local authorities to understand the impact of coronavirus and self-isolation on victims of domestic abuse.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring all blue light services under the remit of Police and Crime Commissioners.

The locally enabling provisions within the Policing and Crime Act 2017 allow Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to take on fire and rescue governance, where a local case is made.

Four PCCs have so far taken on responsibility for fire governance.

There are currently no plans to give PCCs responsibility for further blue light services.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals released under police investigation are still under investigation (1) one month, (2) three months, (3) six months, (4) twelve months, and (5) over twelve months, since their release in each police force in England and Wales.

The Home Office collects and publishes information from police forces in England and Wales on the number of people released on pre-charge bail, broken down by bail-length. These are published as experimental statistics in Police powers and procedures England and Wales, the latest version of which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019

In the year ending March 2019, based on a subset of 41 police forces in England and Wales able to supply data, there were around 86,600 individuals released on pre-charge bail. Of these cases:

  • 57% were released on bail for 28 days or less
  • 78% were released on bail for 3 months or less
  • 22% were released on bail for more than 3 months

The Home Office is seeking to collect additional information from police forces on individuals released under investigation, without bail conditions, to provide a fuller picture than is currently available.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals arrested in England and Wales in possession of illegal substances were charged with possession with intent to supply, as opposed to the lesser offence of possession, in each year since 2010.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests made by each police force in England and Wales for drug offences in each year.

However, it is not possible to separately identify those arrested specifically for possession with intent to supply illegal substances or for possession of an illegal substance.

Arrests data are published in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, the latest of which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ban the sale of machetes and large knives with serrated or other edges that do not already come under the existing classification of zombie knives.

Keeping people safe is the Government’s top priority, including from violent crime involving the misuse of knives and other offensive weapons. This is why the law makes it an offence to carry a knife in public without good reason, makes it an offence to sell to under 18s and why a number of knives and offensive weapons, including zombie knives, are banned.

The Government does not currently have plans to ban any additional, specific types of knives, but we do keep the law under review and the Government will not hesitate to take action if needed. This is why we have strengthened the law on knives and other offensive weapons, through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. The Act will make it an offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private, it will stop knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online, unless the seller has arrangements in place with the delivery company to ensure that the product will not be delivered to an under 18. The Act will also:

  • change the legal definition for threatening with an offensive weapon to make prosecutions more straightforward;
  • ban the possession of knives on a further education premises;
  • update the definition of a flick knife to reflect changing weapon designs;

and

  • introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders to help the police target those most at risk of being drawn into serious violence.

The Government also works with retailers to encourage responsible sales of knives. We have agreed a set of commitments with eighteen major high-street and online retailers to prevent the sale of knives to under-18s, which cover staff training, displays, and packaging. We are continuing to work with retailers to stop knives getting into the hands of young people.

We have also committed to introducing a new court order to target known knife carriers and make it easier for the police to stop and search those convicted of knife crime offences, to deter them from continuing to carry knives, and to make it more likely that those who persist in doing so will be caught, brought before the courts, and sent to prison.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total value of class A drugs seized in the UK for each year since 2010.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of class A and class B drug seizures in England and Wales made by the police, including the British Transport Police, and Border Force. These are published annually as official statistics and available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/seizures-of-drugs-in-england-and-wales

However, information on the total value of such drugs seized is not held.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total value of class B drugs seized in the UK in each year since 2010.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of class A and class B drug seizures in England and Wales made by the police, including the British Transport Police, and Border Force. These are published annually as official statistics and available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/seizures-of-drugs-in-england-and-wales

However, information on the total value of such drugs seized is not held.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 15 January (HL Deb, col 707), how much they have spent on trying to fix the glitch on the Police National Computer; and how many people are working on the problem.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the UK sent over 30,000 conviction notifications to EU Member States and received over 16,000 from the EU.

This has led to many hundreds of criminals being brought to justice and ACRO are working urgently to resolve any outstanding alerts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 15 January (HL Deb, col 707), who in the Home Office decided that the historical backlog of criminal record convictions should not be passed on.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the UK sent over 30,000 conviction notifications to EU Member States and received over 16,000 from the EU.

This has led to many hundreds of criminals being brought to justice and ACRO are working urgently to resolve any outstanding alerts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 15 January (HL Deb, col 707), when partner agencies and governments in Europe were first notified of the problem with the Police National Computer.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the UK sent over 30,000 conviction notifications to EU Member States and received over 16,000 from the EU.

This has led to many hundreds of criminals being brought to justice and ACRO are working urgently to resolve any outstanding alerts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 15 January (HL Deb, col 707), when the Home Office was notified of the problems with the Police National Computer.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the UK sent over 30,000 conviction notifications to EU Member States and received over 16,000 from the EU.

This has led to many hundreds of criminals being brought to justice and ACRO are working urgently to resolve any outstanding alerts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 15 January (HL Deb, col 707), when the Association of Chief Police Officers Records Office first become aware of the problem with the Police National Computer.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the UK sent over 30,000 conviction notifications to EU Member States and received over 16,000 from the EU.

This has led to many hundreds of criminals being brought to justice and ACRO are working urgently to resolve any outstanding alerts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many units of accommodation for service personnel at Clive Barracks are not en-suite.

The information requested can be found in the table below:

Establishment

Bedspaces without en-suite

Bedspaces with en-suite

Alanbrooke Barracks

401

0

Albemarle Barracks

357

27

Brompton Barracks

568

688

Clive Barracks

412

23

Tidworth Garrison

530

2887

Notes

  1. Arnhem Garrison is not a site recognised by Ministry of Defence. There was an Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot, however this was vacated in 2008.

  1. As a Phase 2 training establishment, Brompton Barracks includes a number of multi occupancy rooms which accommodate soldiers on short term training courses.

  1. Clive Barracks has been identified for disposal by 2025 under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio.

  1. Tidworth Garrison includes Aliwal Barracks, Assaye Barracks, Bhurtpore Barracks, Candahar Barracks, Delhi Barracks, Jellalabad Barracks, Lucknow Barracks, Mooltan Barracks and Swinton Barracks.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many units of accommodation for service personnel at Brompton Barracks are not en-suite.

The information requested can be found in the table below:

Establishment

Bedspaces without en-suite

Bedspaces with en-suite

Alanbrooke Barracks

401

0

Albemarle Barracks

357

27

Brompton Barracks

568

688

Clive Barracks

412

23

Tidworth Garrison

530

2887

Notes

  1. Arnhem Garrison is not a site recognised by Ministry of Defence. There was an Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot, however this was vacated in 2008.

  1. As a Phase 2 training establishment, Brompton Barracks includes a number of multi occupancy rooms which accommodate soldiers on short term training courses.

  1. Clive Barracks has been identified for disposal by 2025 under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio.

  1. Tidworth Garrison includes Aliwal Barracks, Assaye Barracks, Bhurtpore Barracks, Candahar Barracks, Delhi Barracks, Jellalabad Barracks, Lucknow Barracks, Mooltan Barracks and Swinton Barracks.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many units of accommodation for service personnel at Arnhem Garrison are not en-suite.

The information requested can be found in the table below:

Establishment

Bedspaces without en-suite

Bedspaces with en-suite

Alanbrooke Barracks

401

0

Albemarle Barracks

357

27

Brompton Barracks

568

688

Clive Barracks

412

23

Tidworth Garrison

530

2887

Notes

  1. Arnhem Garrison is not a site recognised by Ministry of Defence. There was an Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot, however this was vacated in 2008.

  1. As a Phase 2 training establishment, Brompton Barracks includes a number of multi occupancy rooms which accommodate soldiers on short term training courses.

  1. Clive Barracks has been identified for disposal by 2025 under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio.

  1. Tidworth Garrison includes Aliwal Barracks, Assaye Barracks, Bhurtpore Barracks, Candahar Barracks, Delhi Barracks, Jellalabad Barracks, Lucknow Barracks, Mooltan Barracks and Swinton Barracks.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many units of accommodation for service personnel at Tidworth Camp are not en-suite.

The information requested can be found in the table below:

Establishment

Bedspaces without en-suite

Bedspaces with en-suite

Alanbrooke Barracks

401

0

Albemarle Barracks

357

27

Brompton Barracks

568

688

Clive Barracks

412

23

Tidworth Garrison

530

2887

Notes

  1. Arnhem Garrison is not a site recognised by Ministry of Defence. There was an Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot, however this was vacated in 2008.

  1. As a Phase 2 training establishment, Brompton Barracks includes a number of multi occupancy rooms which accommodate soldiers on short term training courses.

  1. Clive Barracks has been identified for disposal by 2025 under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio.

  1. Tidworth Garrison includes Aliwal Barracks, Assaye Barracks, Bhurtpore Barracks, Candahar Barracks, Delhi Barracks, Jellalabad Barracks, Lucknow Barracks, Mooltan Barracks and Swinton Barracks.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many units of accommodation for service personnel at Albemarle Barracks are not en-suite.

The information requested can be found in the table below:

Establishment

Bedspaces without en-suite

Bedspaces with en-suite

Alanbrooke Barracks

401

0

Albemarle Barracks

357

27

Brompton Barracks

568

688

Clive Barracks

412

23

Tidworth Garrison

530

2887

Notes

  1. Arnhem Garrison is not a site recognised by Ministry of Defence. There was an Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot, however this was vacated in 2008.

  1. As a Phase 2 training establishment, Brompton Barracks includes a number of multi occupancy rooms which accommodate soldiers on short term training courses.

  1. Clive Barracks has been identified for disposal by 2025 under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio.

  1. Tidworth Garrison includes Aliwal Barracks, Assaye Barracks, Bhurtpore Barracks, Candahar Barracks, Delhi Barracks, Jellalabad Barracks, Lucknow Barracks, Mooltan Barracks and Swinton Barracks.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the accommodation provided in the UK for members of the British Armed Forces does not have en-suite facilities.

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of landmines laid in North Africa during World War 2 that remain a danger to people in that region.

The UK currently has no programmes specifically targeting World War II ordnance in North Africa although sometimes World War II mines are encountered by HMG-funded mine action projects in that region, and the UK has provided assistance to the Egyptian authorities. We have made no estimates on the number of landmines laid in North Africa during World War II that remain a danger to people in that region.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent work they have done to remove landmines from North Africa following World War 2; and when they estimate any such work will be completed.

The UK currently has no programmes specifically targeting World War II ordnance in North Africa although sometimes World War II mines are encountered by HMG-funded mine action projects in that region, and the UK has provided assistance to the Egyptian authorities. We have made no estimates on the number of landmines laid in North Africa during World War II that remain a danger to people in that region.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the contribution of the air cadets to the UK.

The Ministry of Defence commissioned a study by Northampton University that identified that RAF Air Cadets make a significant contribution to the UK by enabling young people to improve their social skills, mental and physical wellbeing and increase social mobility. The RAF Air Cadets encourages educational and career attainment for both cadets and adult volunteers and promotes the development of transferable skills which helps to foster good citizens of the future who are able to contribute to society and the local community.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date the Commonhold Council last met; and what is the planned frequency of its meetings in the future.

The Government has established a new Commonhold Council as a partnership of industry, leaseholders and Government that will prepare homeowners and the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold. This will take time and close working with consumers and industry, and the Commonhold Council will be the critical first step of this. The Council has been convened and will continue to meet regularly over the course of this year.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timescale for changes to commonhold arrangements in order to attract unit holders.

In 2017 the Government asked the Law Commission to recommend reforms to reinvigorate commonhold as a workable alternative to leasehold, for both existing and new homes. The Law Commission published their report on commonhold, Reinvigorating commonhold: the alternative to leasehold ownership, on 21 July 2020. The Government is considering the report and will respond in due course.

The Government has established a new Commonhold Council as a partnership of industry, leaseholders and Government that will prepare homeowners and the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold. This will take time and close working with consumers and industry, and the Commonhold Council will be the critical first step of this.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to reform the law in respect of existing leasehold arrangements.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market.

Under the current system, too many existing leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

We will reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value. The Government will also introduce an online calculator, further simplifying the process for leaseholders and ensuring standardisation and fairness for all those looking to enfranchise. These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease. Our reforms to enfranchisement valuation also ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

Through our reforms, the length of a statutory lease extension will increase to 990 years, from 90 years (for flats) and 50 years (for houses). Leaseholders will be able to extend their lease with zero ground rent on payment of a premium. Leaseholders will also be able to voluntarily agree to a restriction on future development of their property to avoid paying ‘development value’.

We will translate these measures into law as soon as possible, starting with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, which was introduced into Parliament on 12 May. This Bill will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by legislating to prevent landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent. This will be the first part of major two-part legislation to implement leasehold and commonhold reforms in this Parliament.

This is a long-term reform programme; it is complex with many interdependencies and will take time to get the detail right. Once it is enacted the effect will be felt for generations and so we are determined this work considers all the implications with care.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to establish a unitary local authority in Devon.

The Government is clear that any reform of an area’s local government is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area, the very essence of localism to which the Government remains committed. The Government will not impose top-down Government solutions for restructuring and will continue to follow a locally-led approach for unitarisation.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many residents made homeless by the fire at Grenfell Tower are still in temporary accommodation.

All 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk have accepted an offer of accommodation, and over 95% (195 households) have moved into a new permanent home

Currently 6 households are not yet in permanent homes. These households are currently living in high quality temporary accommodation. The Council is working with these households at a pace that suits them.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of their proposals in the Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure consultation to allow conversion of use Class E units to residential on high street recovery plans.

In developing the proposals we are taking account of any potential impacts of the proposals on people with protected characteristics. A full Impact Assessment has also been prepared which will be published shortly.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to evidence that overcrowding disproportionately affects those with protected characteristics in their proposals in the Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure consultation to allow conversion of use Class E units to residential units.

In developing the proposals we are taking account of any potential impacts of the proposals on people with protected characteristics. A full Impact Assessment has also been prepared which will be published shortly.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of potential impacts arising from the measures proposed in the Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure consultation on those with a protected characteristic.

In developing the proposals we are taking account of any potential impacts of the proposals on people with protected characteristics. A full Impact Assessment has also been prepared which will be published shortly.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce mandatory five yearly electrical safety checks in the social rented sector.

In the Charter for Social Housing Residents – Social Housing White Paper published on 17 November 2020, we commit to consult on measures to ensure that social housing residents are protected from harm caused by poor electrical safety.

On the 9 March 2021, we announced the launch of a working group to inform the content of the consultation. The first meeting will take place on 29 March 2021, and the group will run until Summer 2021. Meetings will explore proposals to best protect social residents from electrical harm, including consideration of mandatory electrical safety checks.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of electrical safety issues in local authority housing stock.

The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It collects information annually about people’s housing circumstances and the condition of housing in England.

English Housing Survey data shows that local authority (LA) homes are in better condition in respect of electrical safety than other tenures. In 2018, 73% of LA dwellings had all 5 recommended electrical safety features installed. This has increased from 56% in 2010. This compares with 60% of owner-occupied, 62% of private rented and 74% of housing association dwellings.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to review the procedures whereby local authorities can provide loans to organisations.

Local government loans fall under the Prudential Framework, which governs how authorities borrow and invest. Loans are classed as investments in Government's Statutory Guidance on Local Authority Investments. The guidance, which councils must have regard to, sets out requirements for transparency and how authorities should assess risks before providing loans. Government is currently reviewing all elements of the Prudential Framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, and carefully considering where changes are needed to better constrain risk and support good investment decision-making. Further, recent reforms to the lending terms of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), designed to prevent authorities investing primarily for yield, also apply to where the authorities are borrowing to lend. In such cases, the authority is required to report the eventual use of the money and restrictions over investing primarily for yield apply.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by KPMG Northampton Borough Council: Report in the public interest regarding the Council’s loans to Northampton Town Football Club, published on 27 January.

We are aware of the Public Interest Report concerning Northampton Borough Council and are monitoring the situation. It is for the council to consider and respond to the issues raised in the Report. I understand that they are planning to provide a full response at their Council meeting on 22 February.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the local authority arrangements in Kent.

There is no question of any top down review or imposition of Government solutions. The Government believes that locally-led changes to the structure of local government can be an appropriate means of improving local service delivery, saving taxpayers’ money and improving local accountability, and is clear that any reform of an area’s local government, where there is strong local support for the principle of a unitary structure, is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area.

The Government is aware that there is interest in a number of areas across the country about developing proposals for unitary local government. It is clear, however, that the pandemic has rightly necessitated resources across Whitehall and in local government being re-allocated to tackling Covid-19 and on economic recovery, and this must be Whitehall’s and town halls’ number one priority at present.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the local authority arrangements in Nottinghamshire.

There is no question of any top down review or imposition of Government solutions. The Government believes that locally-led changes to the structure of local government can be an appropriate means of improving local service delivery, saving taxpayers’ money and improving local accountability, and is clear that any reform of an area’s local government, where there is strong local support for the principle of a unitary structure, is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area.

The Government is aware that there is interest in a number of areas across the country about developing proposals for unitary local government. It is clear, however, that the pandemic has rightly necessitated resources across Whitehall and in local government being re-allocated to tackling Covid-19 and on economic recovery, and this must be Whitehall’s and town halls’ number one priority at present.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the local government arrangements in Lincolnshire.

There is no question of any top down review or imposition of Government solutions. The Government believes that locally-led changes to the structure of local government can be an appropriate means of improving local service delivery, saving taxpayers’ money and improving local accountability, and is clear that any reform of an area’s local government, where there is strong local support for the principle of a unitary structure, is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area.

The Government is aware that there is interest in a number of areas across the country about developing proposals for unitary local government. It is clear, however, that the pandemic has rightly necessitated resources across Whitehall and in local government being re-allocated to tackling Covid-19 and on economic recovery, and this must be Whitehall’s and town halls’ number one priority at present.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the local government arrangements in Derbyshire.

There is no question of any top down review or imposition of Government solutions. The Government believes that locally-led changes to the structure of local government can be an appropriate means of improving local service delivery, saving taxpayers’ money and improving local accountability, and is clear that any reform of an area’s local government, where there is strong local support for the principle of a unitary structure, is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area.

The Government is aware that there is interest in a number of areas across the country about developing proposals for unitary local government. It is clear, however, that the pandemic has rightly necessitated resources across Whitehall and in local government being re-allocated to tackling Covid-19 and on economic recovery, and this must be Whitehall’s and town halls’ number one priority at present.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the local government arrangements in Oxfordshire.

There is no question of any top down review or imposition of Government solutions. The Government believes that locally-led changes to the structure of local government can be an appropriate means of improving local service delivery, saving taxpayers’ money and improving local accountability, and is clear that any reform of an area’s local government, where there is strong local support for the principle of a unitary structure, is most effectively achieved through locally-led proposals put forward by those who best know the area.

The Government is aware that there is interest in a number of areas across the country about developing proposals for unitary local government. It is clear, however, that the pandemic has rightly necessitated resources across Whitehall and in local government being re-allocated to tackling Covid-19 and on economic recovery, and this must be Whitehall’s and town halls’ number one priority at present.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people who are (1) homeless, and (2) rough sleeping.

The Government is clear that no one should be without a roof over their head. That is why we are spending over £700 million this year and will be spending over £750 million next year to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping.

The latest homelessness and rough sleeping data can be found (attached) on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all those who were displaced due to the fire at Grenfell Tower are in permanent residential accommodation.

All 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk have accepted an offer of accommodation, and over 95% (194 households) have moved into a new permanent home.


Those households not in permanent homes, are currently living in high quality temporary accommodation; these households have either already accepted a permanent home, or have a suitable permanent home reserved for them. The Council is working with these households at a pace that suits them.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the effectiveness of warranties on construction projects.

Government is clear that warranties on construction projects need to be fit for purpose and provide proper protection for consumers. It is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate new build warranties and protect consumers. If a consumer is unhappy with the warranty provider’s action, they can contact the Financial Ombudsman Services for free.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the commitment to implement the Future Homes Standard by 2023 was removed from The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, published on 18 November; and if so, why.

We committed in Planning for the Future to review the roadmap to the Future Homes Standard to ensure that implementation takes place to the shortest possible timeline. We will be publishing the Government response to the Future Homes Standard interim uplift consultation as soon as possible. This will set out a roadmap to the Future Homes Standard.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Local Government Association Fragmented Funding, published on 22 September.

The Government is grateful to the LGA for their work on behalf of local government.

Government has a long-standing policy to provide funding to local authorities on a non-ringfenced basis. This is based on recognising that the removal of ringfences supports good, efficient and innovative financial management at a local level and gives local authorities the freedom and flexibility to make spending decisions based on their local needs and priorities. However, there are occasions where Ministers collectively consider that there is a recognised need to designate specified resources for specific purposes.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Locality, Communities Work: How community organisations can lead the post-Covid jobs recovery, published on 16 September.

The Communities Work: How community organisations can lead the post-Covid jobs recovery report by Locality on local and national recovery is clearly timely. It is a reminder of the importance of working with local partners to address the challenges we will face as we recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. We remain committed to gaining a clear picture of how local economies are impacted by Covid-19 and how we can effectively enable local areas to recover. We will continue working closely with community organisations as we work through this.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all those who lost their homes in the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 are now rehoused in permanent accommodation.

According to the latest data from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC), as of 12th June 2020, of the 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk that require rehousing, 194 households have moved into permanent accommodation. Of the 7 households who have not yet moved into a permanent home, they have either accepted a permanent home or have a suitable permanent home reserved for them that meets the Council’s assessment of their housing need.

We expect RBKC to do whatever is necessary to ensure households can move into permanent homes as swiftly as possible, but to do so sensitively and taking into account individual needs, and are continuing to work closely with RBKC to ensure this occurs without unnecessary delay.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many planning applications the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has called in since 1 January.

The Secretary of State has called in nine planning applications since 1 January this year.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many planning applications were called in by the Secretary of State with responsibility for planning in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, (4) 2018, and (5) 2019.

These figures are published as part of the Planning Inspectorate’s statistical releases. For the calendar years requested, the figures were as follows:

2015 - 26

2016 - 14

2017 - 18

2018 - 7

2019 - 7

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from the Local Government Association about the financial situation of local authorities in England and Wales.

The Department regularly meets with council Leaders, Chief Executives of English councils and their representatives, including the Local Government Association, to ensure we have a collective understanding of the issues arising from the Covid-19 outbreak. Local government is a devolved matter, and therefore MHCLG do not engage directly with Welsh councils.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities in England through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the pandemic. The package recognises the additional costs and pressures on finances councils as a result of the current crisis. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making sure councils, including upper and lower tier authorities, have the resources they need to support their communities through this challenging time.

In total, the Government has committed over £27 billion to local areas to support English councils and their communities. This also includes: £300 million to support the new test and trace service, £600 million to support providers through a new Infection Control Fund and £12.3 billion of support through the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants.

We will continue to work with local government and their representatives to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that no homeless person taken off the streets during the COVID-19 returns to living on the streets.

The latest figures show that nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period. This includes people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic.?To support councils across England with these efforts, the Government provided £3.2 billion in funding. This is in addition to providing £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Building on the considerable success so far,?we?announced that Dame Louise Casey will spearhead a taskforce to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic.

The taskforce will work hand-in-hand with councils across the country on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets. It will also seek to ensure the thousands of rough sleepers now in accommodation continue to receive the physical and mental health support they need.

On 24 May, we?also announced?plans for thousands of long-term, safe homes?to support many of the?vulnerable rough sleepers who have been supported during the Covid-19 pandemic.?Here,?vulnerable rough sleepers?taken?off the streets during the pandemic can get the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives.

This?unprecedented?commitment?– the biggest of its kind since the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative?began?– will be backed by?£160?million?in 2020 to 2021 to inject 3,300 new units of accommodation?this year, part of?6,000 in total.

This means in 2020-2021, we are providing £606 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This marks a £238 million, or 65% increase, in funding from the previous year.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy aim in England for (1) unitary, and (2) two-tier, authorities.

This Government believes that local government is the bedrock of our democracy and we will ensure that councils continue to deliver essential local services. We are committed to devolving power to people and places, so that every part of the country has power to shape its own destiny, and this year we will publish an English Devolution White Paper setting out our plans.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide to individuals and communities to establish cooperative community facilities.

The Government continues to recognise the importance of community involvement in the ownership and management of local facilities and supports several approaches to achieving this outcome. The £4 million More Than a Pub programme, jointly funded with Power to Change championed the cooperative model of community ownership and has supported 42 groups to achieve ownership of their local pub in England between March 2016 and March 2019. Since 2015, the Government has also provided £6 million funding through its Pocket Parks programme to support 350 partnerships between community-led organisations and their local authority to create useable green space community facilities. Community groups can also access the support and advice they need to take action in their neighbourhood through visiting online resources such as My Community. We are currently exploring the manifesto commitment for a £150 million Community Ownership Fund which will support people who want to protect and bring local assets into community ownership.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide to the cooperative housing sector in England, outside of London.

The Government supports the community-led housebuilding sector – of which housing co-operatives are an important part – through the Community Housing Fund. The Fund is delivered outside of London by Homes England. Capital and revenue grants are available to community-based groups wishing to take forward schemes to build locally affordable housing.

The Government has also provided a £6 million grant from the Community Housing Fund to support Community Led Homes: a consortium of the major stakeholder groups (including the Confederation of Co-operative Housing). Community Led Homes is able to award secondary “seedcorn” grants of up to £4000 to community-based groups to enable those groups to establish an appropriately constituted body corporate, such as a housing co-operative. Community Led Homes is also using its grant to develop a network of technical advisors to support community-based groups though the process of taking forward their local housebuilding schemes.

The Community Housing Fund is currently scheduled to close in March 2020. Ministers are considering all budgets in the round and allocations for 2020/21 will be confirmed through a business planning exercise. Allocations for future years will be considered at the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide to communities to establish community land trusts.

The Government supports the community-led housebuilding sector – of which community land trusts are an important part – through the Community Housing Fund. The Fund is delivered outside of London by Homes England and within London by the Greater London Authority. Capital and revenue grants are available to community-based groups wishing to take forward schemes to build locally affordable housing.

The Government has also provided a £6 million grant from the Community Housing Fund to support Community Led Homes: a consortium of the major stakeholder groups (including the National Community Land Trust Network). Community Led Homes is able to award secondary “seedcorn” grants of up to £4000 to community-based groups to enable those groups to establish an appropriately constituted body corporate, such as a community land trust. Community Led Homes is also using its grant to develop a network of technical advisors to support community-based groups though the process of taking forward their local housebuilding schemes.

The Community Housing Fund is currently scheduled to close in March 2020. Ministers are considering all budgets in the round and allocations for 2020/21 will be confirmed through a business planning exercise. Allocations for future years will be considered at the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by four local authorities in Kent to dismiss the board of East Kent Housing.

No such assessment has been made as this is a matter for the local authorities concerned. It is for local authorities to decide whether to engage an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) to manage their housing. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their housing complies with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, regardless of whether the homes are managed by an ALMO.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish the full results of fire safety tests on non-Aluminum Composite Material types of cladding; and if so, when.

The Government is committed to publish the results of all the tests on non-Aluminium Composite Material cladding. Further tests are being undertaken on additional cladding materials including timber cladding and Class D High Pressure Laminates of various thicknesses and manufacturers. The report will be published shortly.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of reserves held by local authorities in England.

Local authorities are free to determine the level of reserves they hold and are accountable to their electorate for the decisions they make.

The financial framework is designed to ensure that adequate reserve levels are held by local authorities. This is done through legislation which requires local authorities to make an assessment annually on the adequacy of the financial reserves which are held. This aspect of the framework is crucial in ensuring that all local authorities hold sufficient unallocated reserves to meet unforeseeable financial risks.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many successful prosecutions there were under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 for (1) harassment, and (2) unlawful eviction, offences broken down by each police force in England and Wales in each of the past three financial years.

The Ministry of Justice holds data on prosecutions and outcomes for offences regarding harassment and unlawful eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in England and Wales, up to the year ending December 2019.

The following are the offences that were considered:

  • Unlawful eviction of occupier
  • Unlawful harassment of occupier

Figures can be found on the tables below.

Table 1a: Prosecutions and convictions for unlawful eviction of occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, by financial year(1)(2)(3)

Prosecutions

Convictions

Police Force Area

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Avon and Somerset

0

0

1

0

0

0

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cambridgeshire

0

4

2

0

2

0

Cheshire

4

0

0

4

0

0

City of London

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cleveland

0

1

0

0

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

1

0

0

1

0

0

Dorset

0

0

0

0

0

0

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

1

2

0

1

2

0

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

0

0

1

0

0

0

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hampshire

0

1

0

0

1

0

Hertfordshire

1

0

0

0

1

0

Humberside

1

2

2

1

2

0

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

0

0

1

0

0

1

Merseyside

0

0

0

0

0

0

Metropolitan Police

2

5

8

2

3

2

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Northamptonshire

2

0

0

0

1

0

Northumbria

0

0

3

0

0

1

Nottinghamshire

0

0

1

0

0

1

South Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Yorkshire

4

2

5

3

2

4

Special/miscellaneous and unknown police forces

0

0

0

0

0

0

Staffordshire

0

0

0

1

0

0

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surrey

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sussex

0

1

0

0

1

0

Thames Valley

2

0

2

2

0

2

Warwickshire

0

0

1

0

0

0

West Mercia

3

0

0

3

0

0

West Midlands

2

0

2

1

0

1

West Yorkshire

0

1

1

0

0

1

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

23

19

30

19

15

13

Table 1b: Prosecutions and convictions for unlawful harassment of occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, by financial year(1)(2)(3)

Prosecutions

Convictions

Police Force Area

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Avon and Somerset

0

0

1

1

0

0

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cambridgeshire

3

1

0

1

1

0

Cheshire

1

0

0

0

0

0

City of London

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cleveland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dorset

0

0

0

0

0

0

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

0

0

1

0

0

0

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

3

0

0

0

0

0

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hampshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Humberside

5

2

4

4

0

1

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

0

0

1

0

0

0

Merseyside

0

0

2

0

0

1

Metropolitan Police

7

2

7

7

2

2

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Northamptonshire

0

1

0

0

1

0

Northumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nottinghamshire

0

0

2

0

0

0

South Wales

0

0

3

0

0

0

South Yorkshire

10

1

0

5

2

0

Special/miscellaneous and unknown police forces

0

0

0

0

0

0

Staffordshire

0

4

2

0

3

1

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surrey

1

0

0

1

0

0

Sussex

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thames Valley

0

0

3

0

0

0

Warwickshire

1

0

0

1

0

0

West Mercia

0

0

0

0

0

0

West Midlands

2

0

1

2

0

0

West Yorkshire

1

0

0

1

0

0

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

34

11

27

23

9

5

PQ HL13982; PQ HL13983

Source: MoJ Court Proceedings Database

(1) The figures presented relate to defendants for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(3) A defendant who is sent from magistrates’ courts to the Crown Court may not have both courts' processes complete within the same year. Defendants who appear before both courts may also be convicted at the Crown Court for a different offence to that for which they are counted as having been originally proceeded against at magistrates’ court, where the offence is changed after committal. This means that for a given year convictions may exceed prosecutions or sentences may not equal convictions

Lord Wolfson of Tredegar
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prosecutions have been brought under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 for (1) harassment, and (2) unlawful eviction, offences by each police force in England and Wales in each of the past three financial years.

The Ministry of Justice holds data on prosecutions and outcomes for offences regarding harassment and unlawful eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in England and Wales, up to the year ending December 2019.

The following are the offences that were considered:

  • Unlawful eviction of occupier
  • Unlawful harassment of occupier

Figures can be found on the tables below.

Table 1a: Prosecutions and convictions for unlawful eviction of occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, by financial year(1)(2)(3)

Prosecutions

Convictions

Police Force Area

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Avon and Somerset

0

0

1

0

0

0

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cambridgeshire

0

4

2

0

2

0

Cheshire

4

0

0

4

0

0

City of London

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cleveland

0

1

0

0

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

1

0

0

1

0

0

Dorset

0

0

0

0

0

0

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

1

2

0

1

2

0

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

0

0

1

0

0

0

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hampshire

0

1

0

0

1

0

Hertfordshire

1

0

0

0

1

0

Humberside

1

2

2

1

2

0

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

0

0

1

0

0

1

Merseyside

0

0

0

0

0

0

Metropolitan Police

2

5

8

2

3

2

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Northamptonshire

2

0

0

0

1

0

Northumbria

0

0

3

0

0

1

Nottinghamshire

0

0

1

0

0

1

South Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Yorkshire

4

2

5

3

2

4

Special/miscellaneous and unknown police forces

0

0

0

0

0

0

Staffordshire

0

0

0

1

0

0

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surrey

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sussex

0

1

0

0

1

0

Thames Valley

2

0

2

2

0

2

Warwickshire

0

0

1

0

0

0

West Mercia

3

0

0

3

0

0

West Midlands

2

0

2

1

0

1

West Yorkshire

0

1

1

0

0

1

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

23

19

30

19

15

13

Table 1b: Prosecutions and convictions for unlawful harassment of occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, by financial year(1)(2)(3)

Prosecutions

Convictions

Police Force Area

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Avon and Somerset

0

0

1

1

0

0

Bedfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cambridgeshire

3

1

0

1

1

0

Cheshire

1

0

0

0

0

0

City of London

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cleveland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dorset

0

0

0

0

0

0

Durham

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

0

0

1

0

0

0

Gloucestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

3

0

0

0

0

0

Gwent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hampshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Humberside

5

2

4

4

0

1

Kent

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leicestershire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

0

0

1

0

0

0

Merseyside

0

0

2

0

0

1

Metropolitan Police

7

2

7

7

2

2

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Wales

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Northamptonshire

0

1

0

0

1

0

Northumbria

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nottinghamshire

0

0

2

0

0

0

South Wales

0

0

3

0

0

0

South Yorkshire

10

1

0

5

2

0

Special/miscellaneous and unknown police forces

0

0

0

0

0

0

Staffordshire

0

4

2

0

3

1

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surrey

1

0

0

1

0

0

Sussex

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thames Valley

0

0

3

0

0

0

Warwickshire

1

0

0

1

0

0

West Mercia

0

0

0

0

0

0

West Midlands

2

0

1

2

0

0

West Yorkshire

1

0

0

1

0

0

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

34

11

27

23

9

5

PQ HL13982; PQ HL13983

Source: MoJ Court Proceedings Database

(1) The figures presented relate to defendants for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(3) A defendant who is sent from magistrates’ courts to the Crown Court may not have both courts' processes complete within the same year. Defendants who appear before both courts may also be convicted at the Crown Court for a different offence to that for which they are counted as having been originally proceeded against at magistrates’ court, where the offence is changed after committal. This means that for a given year convictions may exceed prosecutions or sentences may not equal convictions

Lord Wolfson of Tredegar
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many interim management orders were made by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in each of the last three financial years.

HM Courts & Tribunal Services understands the reference to “interim management orders” to be interim Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs).

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) does not make interim EDMOs. Local authorities make interim EDMOs and seek authorisation by the Tribunal.

The Tribunal has a number of EDMO-related jurisdictions. The table below shows the total number of EDMO-related decisions issued for the three full financial years.

Full financial years

Number of Decisions*

2017/2018

10

2018/2019

5

2019/2020

5

*All EDMO cases types and all outcomes

Data source: Operationally Sourced Case Management Data

The above data was generated on a different date to the information contained in quarterly published statistics and was produced specifically for this enquiry.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system and is the best data that is available at the time of this publication

Lord Wolfson of Tredegar
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards preventing those needing letters from GPs to access legal aid being charged for such letters.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to identify what more we can do to help victims of domestic abuse access the help they need.

The Government has committed to reviewing Cross-Government Bureaucracy in General Practice, and will assess as part of this work, amongst other things, who the correct clinicians are to complete such documentation and what charge, if any, should be imposed. The British Medical Association have written to GPs to recommend that they do not charge victims of domestic abuse for the completion and signing of legal aid letters whilst this work is ongoing.

Earlier this year the Ministry of Justice widened the evidence requirements for domestic abuse victims, making it easier for victims to obtain and provide the evidence they need to access legal aid.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prisoners have been released under the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme; and what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the scheme.

On 4 April, we announced the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme. This scheme enables risk-assessed prisoners, who are within two months of their release date, to be temporarily released from custody, as part of the national approach to managing public services during this challenging period. As of Friday 12 June, 113 offenders have been released under this scheme.

Alongside the careful release of low-risk offenders, we are also implementing our compartmentalisation strategy to manage different cohorts of the prison population, working to expedite remand cases and temporarily expanding the estate through the installation of single occupancy units. This is to strike a balance between limiting the spread of COVID-19 in prisons while ensuring the public is protected. We are providing ongoing monitoring of the scheme to assess its effectiveness as one of a number of measures in place to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in prisons.