Lord Kennedy of Southwark Written Questions

177 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark


Date Title Questioner
20 Oct 2020, 11:42 a.m. Credit Unions Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the resilience of the credit union sector.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

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.

16 Oct 2020, 2:38 p.m. Football: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

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.

15 Oct 2020, 4:08 p.m. Cricket: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of first class cricket clubs to remain in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

This government’s multi-billion-pound package of business support has enabled many of our sports clubs to survive, but we know that the decision not to reopen stadia to spectators has had economic consequences for sports and clubs across the country who relied on those fans for income, including first class cricket clubs. We have asked sporting organisations, including the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), for detailed financial returns to see what support they need, and we will work at pace with them to understand the issues that organisations in the most challenging circumstances are facing and what support they may require.

The ECB has been a valued partner in both the creation and application of the guidance that has enabled the return of elite sporting competition.They successfully delivered a programme of behind closed doors sport to the highest standards of safety for competitors and support staff, securing broadcast revenue which will benefit the whole game at this challenging time.

I am grateful also to those clubs who have piloted the return of spectators so far. The Government will continue to work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. Ministers and officials will continue to engage with the ECB as part of this process.

13 Oct 2020, 4:01 p.m. Social Enterprises: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

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.


7 Oct 2020, 1:15 p.m. Coronavirus: Screening Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

7 Oct 2020, 1:10 p.m. Nagorno-karabakh: Armed Conflict Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

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 Erdoğan 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.

1 Sep 2020, 4:51 p.m. Pharmacy: Industrial Health and Safety Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

10 Aug 2020, 11:09 a.m. Coronavirus: Genetics Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

7 Aug 2020, 11:52 a.m. Pesticides: Trade Agreements Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park)

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.

6 Aug 2020, 4:40 p.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

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.

6 Aug 2020, 3:11 p.m. Mobile Phones: Sales Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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

6 Aug 2020, 12:26 p.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) plans, and (2) preparations, they are making for any second wave of COVID-19.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

6 Aug 2020, 12:17 p.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

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.

5 Aug 2020, 2:35 p.m. Mobile Phones Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

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.

5 Aug 2020, 2:21 p.m. Pharmacy: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

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.

5 Aug 2020, 10:57 a.m. Vaccination: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

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.

4 Aug 2020, 4 p.m. Beer: Excise Duties Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

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.

4 Aug 2020, 10:34 a.m. Developing Countries: Health Services Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

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.

3 Aug 2020, 4:11 p.m. Viagogo Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

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.

3 Aug 2020, 3:14 p.m. Fuels: Prices Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

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).

3 Aug 2020, 1:58 p.m. Nitrous Oxide: Young People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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.

3 Aug 2020, 1:13 p.m. Electronic Commerce Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Berridge)

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/.

31 Jul 2020, 2:21 p.m. Coronavirus: Clinical Trials Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

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.

31 Jul 2020, 12:57 p.m. Aviation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many commercial flights have (1) taken off, and (2) landed, in the UK each day from 23 March to 16 July.

Answer (Baroness Vere of Norbiton)

The Department for Transport does not currently hold complete official statistics on commercial flight operations for the period requested. Data on the operation of commercial flights in the UK is collected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and received from UK airports typically up to two months after the end of each month in adherence to statistical regulation (EC) 437/2003 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air. As indicated on the CAA’s website, some airports have not yet reported data, which prevents the full UK picture being established.

Monitoring of flight traffic conducted by Eurocontrol, which publicly reports on daily flight traffic levels across its member states on their website, can be used to identify the overall number of flights operated in the UK each day since 1 March 2020, and includes both commercial and non-commercial operations for international arrival, departure and domestic flights.

28 Jul 2020, 3:45 p.m. Asylum: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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

27 Jul 2020, 11:46 a.m. Nitrous Oxide: Death Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have died from inhaling nitrous oxide.

Answer (Lord True)

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.

6 Jul 2020, 12:19 p.m. Surgery: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reschedule any NHS operations postponed in England following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

29 Jun 2020, 12:51 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

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.

29 Jun 2020, 12:39 p.m. Department for International Trade: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

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.

24 Jun 2020, 11:34 a.m. Coronavirus: Ethnic Groups Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that BAME people are adequately represented in COVID-19 clinical trials.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

22 Jun 2020, 2:08 p.m. Public Finance: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

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.

22 Jun 2020, 11:59 a.m. Coronavirus: Disease control Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

22 Jun 2020, 11:50 a.m. Coronavirus: Radiation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of low dose radiation in the treatment of COVID-19.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

22 Jun 2020, 11:50 a.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government how many antibodies have been identified which have had a neutralising effect on the COVID-19 virus.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

15 Jun 2020, 1:49 p.m. Accident and Emergency Departments: Admissions Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

8 Jun 2020, 5:14 p.m. Hospitals: Admissions Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

3 Jun 2020, 4:37 p.m. Homelessness: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

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.

2 Jun 2020, 12:35 p.m. Cybercrime: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the prevalence of online crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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

1 Jun 2020, 11:48 a.m. Accident and Emergency Departments: Admissions Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

The information is not held in the format requested.

28 May 2020, 12:53 p.m. Coronavirus: Drugs Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

28 May 2020, 12:53 p.m. Coronavirus: Medical Treatments Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

28 May 2020, 12:26 p.m. Ventilators Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

13 May 2020, 1:25 p.m. Arts: Government Assistance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

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.

13 May 2020, 12:27 p.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

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.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

28 Apr 2020, 5:19 p.m. Coronavirus: Clinical Trials Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK is participating in the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Trial.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

28 Apr 2020, 5 p.m. Coronavirus: Clinical Trials Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway presently in the UK.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

14 Apr 2020, 4:45 p.m. Coronavirus: Clinical Trials Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients in the UK are taking part in clinical trials of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

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.

7 Apr 2020, 12:29 p.m. Professional Organisations: Government Assistance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to professional membership companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

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.

9 May 2019, 11:41 a.m. Public Libraries Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving to sustaining libraries in England.

Answer (Viscount Younger of Leckie)

Local authorities in England have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. It is for individual local authorities to decide how best to provide a public library service that meets local needs within their available resources. DCMS works across central and local government to encourage investment in libraries to ensure they can continue to support the delivery of local and national priorities and needs.

The DCMS funded Libraries Taskforce was established, by DCMS and the Local Government Association, to devise and implement the “Libraries Deliver” strategy which helps support and reinvigorate the public library service in England. It works with sector partners to advocate for libraries and to share and promote good practice to help libraries better serve their communities.

Arts Council England, the development agency for libraries, funded by DCMS, is providing total financial support of £1.6 million per annum to seven libraries’ organisations through its National Portfolio 2018 to 2022. DCMS has also provided direct funding support to library services in England, including a £2.6 million programme to support the installation or upgrade of wifi in public libraries in England, as well as £3.9m for the Libraries: Opportunities for Everyone fund, to support innovative library service activity to benefit disadvantaged people and places in England.

9 May 2019, 11:30 a.m. Sports: Females Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving to women’s and girl’s (1) football, and (2) cricket.

Answer (Viscount Younger of Leckie)

We are determined to get more girls and women playing sport, something we set out in our sport strategy, Sporting Future. There are excellent initiatives that already exist to encourage women to take up sport and physical activity. For example Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign has been developed to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.

Sport England are investing in a series of programmes and initiatives to increase participation amongst women and girls in football and cricket. This includes £10m between 2017/21 in the Football Association to help support their aspiration to double the number of women and girls’ affiliated teams to 12,000 by 2020. Sport England are also investing £9m in the England and Wales Cricket Board over between 2017 and 2021, much of which will be used to promote greater participation of women and girls in cricket. This includes a suite of flexible cricket formats to strengthen the pathway from beginner through to performance level, linked to the This Girl Can campaign.

The broadcasting of sporting events such as this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup will continue to showcase women’s sport and inspire the next generation.

9 May 2019, 10:37 a.m. Bank Services Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people who have no form of bank account in the UK and the additional costs such people incur to access certain goods and services.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

The Government takes financial inclusion very seriously and is working to ensure everyone can have access to useful and affordable financial services, including a bank account.

The Treasury does not make assessments of the number of people who do not have a bank account or the additional costs that may be incurred. However, in 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority published the results of the Financial Lives Survey which found that 1.3 million UK adults were unbanked, i.e. have no current account or alternative e-money account.

The Financial Lives Survey report contains further information on the characteristics of the unbanked. The report analyses survey results across the four nations of the UK, the nine regions of England, and by rural and urban areas. The FCA intend to repeat the Financial Lives Survey on a regular basis in future.

However, the nine 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 or who are ineligible for a bank’s standard current account. Accounts have all the standard payment features such as Direct Debits and Standing Orders, though no overdraft or cheque book facilities. The Treasury’s December 2018 publication shows that in total there are nearly 7.5 million basic bank accounts open in the UK.

7 May 2019, 3:49 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Social Security Benefits Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking, or plan to take, to stop landlords and lettings agents from not offering properties to people who are on benefits.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government recently announced its intention to tackle the issue of private letting advertisements that specify ‘no DSS’ tenants. Over the coming months, the Government will meet industry representatives to discuss what action can be taken to end this practice. We will also be working with colleagues in other government departments, including the Department for Work & Pensions, to explore how we can drive this change across government.

7 May 2019, 10:45 a.m. Food Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support schemes that aim to make use of fresh food as it reaches its best before date rather than have it destroyed.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

The Government continues to work with key stakeholders across the food chain, including redistribution organisations, in exploring the barriers to increasing surplus food redistribution and developing solutions.

The Secretary of State announced in October 2018 a £15 million pilot fund for 2019/20 to support the further redistribution of surplus food and reduce food waste. We are looking to make announcements on the successful applicants to the first tranche of funding shortly and announce new opportunities for funding in the next few months.

The projects supported by the £500k fund announced in January 2018 are already bearing fruit, with His Church officially opening their new walk in freezer in March.

In November 2017, the Government with the Waste and Resources Action Programme and the Food Standards Agency published step by step best practice guidance on date labels to get the right information and advice put on packaging conveyed clearly and consistently to help consumers reduce waste and ensure food is safe and fit to eat.

7 Jan 2019, 4 p.m. Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 18 December (HL12036), why they have not commenced those parts of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 not yet in force.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In relation to the Planning provisions in Part 1 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, Section 7 (Engagement by examiners with qualified bodies, etc) has not been commenced as the Department wishes to first see how effective recently produced sector led guidance by the Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service is. Guidance required under Section 8(2) (Content of development plan documents) will be published shortly. The provisions under Section 14 (Planning conditions) restricting the power to impose planning conditions have not commenced as they require affirmative regulations and further public consultation.

In relation to the Compulsory Purchase provisions in Part 2 of the Act, Sections 18-28 and 31 (Temporary possession of land) are yet to be commenced as they are subject to the making of other regulations and further public consultation. Sections 39 and 40 (Interest on late payments) cannot be commenced until other regulations relating to rates of interest are made. The Government continues to keep the commencement of these remaining provisions under active review alongside further planning reforms.

7 Jan 2019, 4 p.m. Owner Occupation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reform residential leasehold and commonhold law.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government wants to ensure the leasehold system in England is fair and transparent to the consumer. Unfair practices in the leasehold market have no place in a modern housing market. Neither do excessive ground rents, which exploit consumers who get nothing in return.

Our technical consultation on how to improve the leasehold market and make it fairer for consumers closed on 26 November. It sought views on:

  • how to ban the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances;
  • how to restrict ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a nominal, peppercorn value; and
  • how to address loopholes in the law to improve transparency and fairness for leaseholders and freeholders.

The Government is carefully analysing the responses and will introduce legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows


The Secretary of State has asked the Law Commission to take forward further work to reform residential and commonhold law. The Law Commission is currently consulting on how to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, faster, fairer and cheaper, and how to reinvigorate commonhold to provide greater choice for consumers. The Law Commission is due to report to ministers on these issues in 2019. In addition, the Secretary of State has asked the Law Commission to look at improving the laws which allow leaseholders to manage their own buildings.

20 Dec 2018, 2:37 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, whether they are considering an alternative to business rates.

Answer (Lord Bates)

The government keeps all taxes under review.

The government completed a fundamental review of business rates in 2016. Respondents were in favour of retaining a property based tax, and agreed that business rates are easy to collect, difficult to avoid, stable, and clearly linked to local government spending.

Alternative taxes were proposed, but there was no consensus on these options and respondents were clear that they each presented their own significant challenges. At Budget 2018 the government announced Our Plan for the High Street, which includes a new retail discount cutting eligible retailers’ business rates bills by a third for two years from April 2019.

20 Dec 2018, 12:50 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between the delivery of statutory services by local authorities and the financial sustainability of local authorities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

As part of Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) responsibility for the overall sustainability of the local government finance system, the Department assesses the total amount of funding available to local government to deliver statutory responsibilities. The Department assesses this both top-down, looking at a macro level to see how much funding is in the system as a whole when set against cost drivers, demographics and opportunities for efficiencies; and bottom-up looking at financial indicators, overall capacity, leadership and governance for individual authorities. The Department’s overall judgement also considers whether there is flexibility in the system to respond to events, emergencies and to be able to provide the broader local leadership expected by communities.

Each department is then responsible for establishing its own arrangements to ensure that services for which it has policy responsibility remain sustainable and that statutory responsibilities are being met. Local authorities are also independent of central Government, and are responsible for managing their financial budgets and for making spending decisions in line with their priority needs.

20 Dec 2018, 12:41 p.m. Local Government: Kent Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to Kent County Council’s preparations for a no deal Brexit.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The preparedness of Kent County Council and all of local government will be of fundamental importance in securing the country’s successful transition as we exit the EU.

My department and its Resilience and Emergencies Division, Kent’s Local Resilience Forum, the Home Office and Border Force, the Department for Transport and Highways England, are all working together with Kent County Council to help make sure that the county is fully prepared.

The Department for Transport and Highways England are key partners in the Kent Resilience Forum’s Fennel Group on transport management, providing support, resource and funding to ensure plans are appropriate for the possible scenarios that are faced. The Borders Delivery Group is working closely with the Kent Resilience Forum and local stakeholders to help ensure that actions being undertaken are coordinated.

My department provides a range of support to all Local Authorities to help them prepare for Brexit under both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios. This includes the EU Exit Local Government Delivery Board where MHCLG’s Secretary of State and other ministers from across government engage with sector leaders.

19 Dec 2018, 5:38 p.m. Regional Planning and Development: North of England Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review the effectiveness of the Northern Powerhouse strategy following the resignation of the mayor of Liverpool from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership is a non-political organisation, and independent of government. Mayor Joe Anderson’s decision to resign from the partnership is a private matter between him and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

19 Dec 2018, 4:05 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many families left homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire are still not in permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

There are 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk requiring rehousing following the Grenfell Tower fire. As of 17 December, the latest data from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shows that of the 201 households, 193 households have accepted an offer of permanent accommodation and 161 of these have moved in. There are 40 remaining households yet to move into permanent accommodation. 22 of these households are living in high quality temporary accommodation and 18 households are living in emergency accommodation (9 in hotels, 8 in serviced apartments and 1 household is living with family). Every household has a suitable property reserved for them. I expect the Council to continue to support households to move into permanent accommodation as quickly as possible.

19 Dec 2018, 1:04 p.m. Local Government: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the briefing paper by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis Decline and fall: understanding how and why local government fails, what leads to central Government intervention, and what comes after, published on 10 December.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We have read the interim report by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis, and welcome the approach that they have outlined in their paper. We note that the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis are planning further research in 2019, and look forward to reading their final report.

9 Oct 2018, 4:33 p.m. Capital Punishment Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the UK has not sought death penalty assurances for British nationals or former British nationals when agreeing to their trial in another country.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Her Majesty’s Government does not have a role in agreeing to the trial of British or former British nationals in another country.

However, a review of available records (dating back to 2001) has been undertaken and I can confirm that we have identified one occasion where we provided mutual legal assistance without a death penalty assurance where the death penalty was an available sentence which involved a British or former British national.

Due to the potential to harm on-going criminal investigations or future prosecutions, and the confidentiality attached to mutual legal assistance, it would not be appropriate to share further information.

I reiterate the statement by the Minister of State for Security on 23 July who sought to reassure the House that our long-standing position on the use of the death penalty has not changed. The UK has a long-standing policy of opposing the death penalty as a matter of principle regardless of nationality. Requests for Mutual Legal Assistance must be considered in accordance with the Government’s Overseas, Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance, which requires an assessment of both human rights and death penalty risks.

The OSJA guidance, which has been in existence since 2011, permits the provision of assistance, without obtaining assurances, where there are strong reasons for doing so:

“Ministers should be consulted to determine whether, given the specific circumstances of the case, we should nevertheless provide assistance.”

9 Oct 2018, 3:50 p.m. Cooperatives Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of Brexit on co-operative institutions and companies that have members in a number of EU member states including the UK; and whether this issue is being considered as part of the Brexit negotiations.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

The Government is negotiating for a future relationship with the European Union that works for all types of business in the UK and ministers from across the Government have carried out extensive engagement with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy regarding our exit from the EU.

As noted in the Government’s recent White Paper on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the UK is an outward-facing, trading nation.

As such, there are no nationality restrictions on who can be a member of a co-operative institution or company under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 or any other UK legislation, and there are no plans for this to change after we leave the EU.


27 Sep 2018, 2:17 p.m. Harassment: Public Service Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether measures to protect the partners and children of people in public life from harassment outside their homes by demonstrators are adequate.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society. However, rights to peaceful protest do not extend to violent or threatening behaviour, harassment or intimidation.

The police have a range of powers to deal with such acts in line with their duties to keep the peace, to protect communities, and to prevent the commission of offences.

Decisions on how these powers are deployed are an operational matter for the independent judgement of chief officers of police.

27 Sep 2018, 2:12 p.m. Cooperative Trust Schools Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role played by co-operative schools in England; and whether they plan to support further expansion of the sector.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

The government has not undertaken a review of the role played by co-operative schools. It is for schools themselves to consider whether they should adopt co-operative status.

The department only collects information on categories of schools as set out in legislation. Co-operative schools are not a separate category but form a sub-set of foundation schools and academies, therefore information is only collected on foundation schools and academies.

27 Sep 2018, 1:39 p.m. Schools: Cricket Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to encourage the playing of cricket in schools by both boys and girls.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

The government is clear that physical education and extra-curricular sport is important for all pupils. This government seeks to foster a lifelong love of physical activity and healthy habits in young people from an early age. Sport can help all pupils to develop skills such as confidence, team work and resilience that can be carried through to adulthood. It is up to schools to decide which sports to offer to pupils.

Through the primary PE and sport premium, the government has invested over £920 million of ring-fenced funding to primary schools to improve PE and sport since 2013. The government has doubled the premium to £320 million a year from September 2017 using revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Schools can use the premium to engage external coaches to best meet the needs of their pupils. We know that some schools engage external cricket coaches to provide specialist lessons for all pupils, which includes boys, girls and pupils with disabilities.

Through the Essential Life Skills fund, the department has recently funded the national cricket charity, Chance to Shine. The funds will be used to provide extra-curricular sport to young people in Stoke-on-Trent, one of the department’s twelve Opportunity Areas. In addition, Sport England supports children and young people in England by ensuring that there is a good sports and activity offer before and after the school day. This includes investing £28 million into Satellite Clubs between the period 2017 to 2021.

21 Sep 2018, 1:21 p.m. Homelessness Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Housing First model developed in Finland in the context of tackling homelessness in the UK.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The former Secretary of State and Officials from this Department have visited Finland in order to see first hand the Housing First approach, which has been implemented.

As a result of this, Peter Fredrikson, a former senior advisor to the Finnish Government on Housing First and homelessness, was invited to sit on the Rough Sleeping Advisory panel which helped Government produce the Rough Sleeping Strategy, published on 13 August.

In order to test the approach at scale in this country we are investing £28 million in 3 regional Housing First pilots in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

The first tranche of funding was paid to the regions in June. The Department is working closely, through the recently established Rough Sleeping Initiative, with the combined authorities, who are leading the implementation of the pilots in the regions. The aim of this close working will be to establish an ambitious model of support.

21 Sep 2018, 1:20 p.m. Combined Authorities: Public Appointments Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the processes in place to make appointments in combined authorities are sufficiently robust to ensure a rigorous appointment process and the selection of the best candidates for the positions advertised.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

It is for each combined authority to decide the appointment processes that it adopts within the applicable statutory framework which also applies to local authorities, including the requirement that all appointments of officers are to be made on merit. Should an appointment be proposed or made contrary to the statutory framework, the combined authority's monitoring officer is under a duty to make a public report.

20 Sep 2018, 2:28 p.m. Bakerloo Line Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Mayor of London about the proposed extension of the Bakerloo line.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

Ministers and officials at the Department for Transport hold regular meetings with the Mayor of London, officials in his office and Transport for London (TfL). A range of topics are discussed at these meetings, including proposals to extend the Bakerloo Line.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many social housing tower blocks that have failed Building Research Establishment tests have had their cladding fully removed, or rectified.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

121 buildings have started the process of remediation, and of these freeholders have reported that 14 buildings have finished remediation – including receiving sign-off from building control where necessary. Government is fully funding the removal and replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material cladding on residential social housing buildings over 18 metres owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400 million. The latest remediation figures are found in the Building Safety Programme’s monthly data release: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-august-2018.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the concerns raised by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers about proposals from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to devise a simplified approach to assess councils' financial resilience.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The production of the resilience index is a matter for Charted Institute of Public Finance Accountancy (CIPFA). We are aware CIPFA have recently concluded a consultation of their proposed resilience index. I understand that CIPFA are considering the outcome of the consultation, including representations from sector organisations and senior managers within local government.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. UK Municipal Bonds Agency: Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial viability of the UK Municipal Bonds Agency.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

UK Municipal Bonds Agency is owned by the Local Government Association and Local Councils. It is for the sector to form a view on the financial viability of such an agency.

19 Sep 2018, 2:16 p.m. Local Government Finance: Coastal Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to local authorities that serve coastal communities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Since 2012 we have invested over £173 million across the UK in 295 Coastal Community Fund (CCF) projects. Over 70 per cent of this funding has gone to coastal local authorities that have been awarded grants directly for their own projects or to manage funds on behalf of voluntary or community sector projects in their area. I will shortly be announcing the first tranche of winners in CCF Round 5 in England

We have also provided £1.46 million to help establish 146 Coastal Community Teams (CCTs) in England which bring together local councils, businesses, and local stakeholders to agree priorities for economic development in their area. The £10,000 grant each CCT has received was paid to the participating local authority, all of whom are involved in the development of the CCT economic plan.

The Coastal Revival Fund (CRF) has provided £3.7 million to support 92 projects in coastal areas in England to help kick start the regeneration of “at risk” coastal heritage with potential to create opportunities for new economic uses. All CRF grants are paid through local authorities to support approved projects. A new CRF round opened in May 2018 with £1 million available to help bring more coastal heritage assets back into use.

Central government also pays Revenue Support Grant to all local authorities, including those serving coastal communities, to finance revenue expenditure on any service they provide.

19 Sep 2018, 2:16 p.m. Building Regulations and Fire Safety Independent Review Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on fire safety since the publication of the Hackitt Review in May.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State's written statement on 19 July (HCWS890) provided a comprehensive update on the critical work that the Government has done thus far to improve building safety and ensure that people are safe, and feel safe in their homes. The Government also produces monthly data releases on progress with identifying and remediating buildings with unsafe cladding combinations, the most recent of which was on 23 August and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-august-2018

19 Sep 2018, 11:24 a.m. Cooperatives Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of co-operative companies and institutes in the UK.

Answer (Lord Bates)

This Government recognises the value of co-operatives and other mutually owned businesses. The Government’s policy is to maintain a level playing field between co-operatives and other legal forms.

In 2014, the coalition government introduced a number of measures to support the co-operative sector, including consolidating all the existing laws, to make it easier for societies to understand and apply the legislative framework and the rules governing them. The coalition government also simplified the electronic registration process to help new societies start up.

In February 2018 the Government brought forward a measure to bring audit requirements for small co-operatives into line with those for small companies. This measure came into force on 6 April, and will save growing societies thousands of pounds in auditors’ fees that companies of the same size do not have to pay.

17 Sep 2018, 1:14 p.m. Wandle: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at Wandle Housing, following the decision by the Regulator of Social Housing to downgrade its governance rating.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance of housing associations lies with the Regulator of Social Housing. Wandle Housing and Wirral Partnership Homes have both been downgraded from G1 gradings to G2. G2 is a compliant grade, which means that the Regulator still considers them to comply with its regulatory standards for governance.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices-a-to-z-list

17 Sep 2018, 1:14 p.m. Wirral Partnership Homes: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at Wirral Partnership Homes, following the decision by the Regulator of Social Housing to downgrade its governance rating.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance of housing associations lies with the Regulator of Social Housing. Wandle Housing and Wirral Partnership Homes have both been downgraded from G1 gradings to G2. G2 is a compliant grade, which means that the Regulator still considers them to comply with its regulatory standards for governance.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices-a-to-z-list

17 Sep 2018, 1:13 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks associated with installing combustible window panels on social housing tower blocks.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Infill panels (including window panels and spandrel panels) are part of the building envelope and subject to the Building Regulations requirement that external walls adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls. The Government has recently consulted on banning combustible materials in external wall systems and asked in that consultation if spandrel panels should be included in any such ban. The Government is currently considering the responses to the consultation. In December 2017 the Government issued an advice note for building owners with non-ACM cladding and considers the principles of the advice note to also be relevant to infill panels. The Government has also referred the matter to the Expert Panel for further advice.

17 Sep 2018, 1:13 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they take to ensure that funding is distributed between local authorities in a fair and equitable manner.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is currently conducting a review of the relative needs and resources of local authorities in England, with a view to setting fresh baseline funding levels in 2020-21. We are working closely with local government representatives and others to consider the drivers of local authorities’ costs, the resources available locally to fund services, and how we should account for these in a way that draws a more transparent and understandable link between local circumstances and resource allocations.

17 Sep 2018, 1:11 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what changes, if any, they have made to the advice that they give to local authorities and other social housing providers following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government has worked with the Industry Response Group and Expert Panel to publish an information note to assist building owners who are undertaking remediation work. The information note can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-note-for-landlords-and-building-owners-of-tall-residential-buildings-with-acm-cladding

If a local authority building owner considers any of their buildings to be unsafe, they will need to determine what measures are essential to make each building fire safe, taking into account expert advice, and any directions or advice from the local fire and rescue service.

The Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material cladding on residential social housing buildings over 18m owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400m.

8 Aug 2018, 3:20 p.m. EU External Trade: USA Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects on the British economy of a trade war between the EU and the United States.

Answer (Baroness Fairhead)

Increased tariffs can have damaging impacts on our domestic industries as well as on consumers. Further escalation of trade tensions between the EU and US would be damaging to both the EU and US economies.

The Government has been engaging directly with the US administration, including through 5 Ministerial visits to the US, meetings with senior administration figures and the recent visit of President Trump to the UK.

We welcome the agreement between President Juncker and President Trump to open negotiations to avoid further escalation that would harm businesses and consumers.

6 Aug 2018, 2:30 p.m. Takeovers: Foreign Companies Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the scrutiny of foreign takeovers in industries which are important to the resilience and security of the UK.

Answer (Lord Henley)

The Government published the ‘National Security and Investment’ White Paper consultation on 24 July 2018. The White Paper sets out how the Government will reform its powers to protect national security from hostile actors using ownership of, or significant influence or control over, businesses and assets in a way that may harm the country.

The Government is consulting for 12 weeks and will legislate when Parliamentary time allows.

2 Aug 2018, 12:06 p.m. Music Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extra steps to be taken to support the live music industry.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

The live music industry is a vital part of the UK’s music ecosystem, contributing £1bn to the economy in 2016. We have undertaken a number of measures to support live music. Most recently, we announced that the Agent of Change principle will be included in the National Planning Policy Framework, helping to protect music venues when new housing is built. We will continue working with industry on a range of issues affecting the live sector.
1 Aug 2018, 12:26 p.m. Armed Forces: Technology Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for unmanned transport systems to supply troops on the front line.

Answer (Earl Howe)

The Defence Scientific and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is leading the Ministry of Defence's research in this area, working with the US Department of Defense to accelerate and demonstrate the effective use of new robotic and autonomous systems technologies.

This includes the 'Last Mile Challenge' innovation initiative which has challenged industry and academia to look at how delivery drones and resupply robots can provide vital reinforcements to frontline troops. The challenge is worth a total of £3.8 million over the next 12 months with prototypes being built for demonstration later this year. Four of the five successful organisations are British-led with a wide range of sub-contractors from small and medium sized enterprises, industry and academia.

These capabilities and other emerging military technologies will be tested and evaluated at the Autonomous Warrior, Army Warfighting Exercise in November 2018. The exercise, which involves all three Services, DSTL, the US Army and around 50 industry participants, will test a range of research projects including in surveillance, long-range and precision targeting, enhancing mobility and the re-supply of forces, urban warfare and enhanced situational awareness. The lessons identified will support decision making for future investment in ground-breaking technology and innovation to ensure the Army and British industry remain at the cutting edge of technology and combat tactics.

31 Jul 2018, 12:16 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current health of the UK car industry.

Answer (Lord Henley)

The UK’s automotive industry is world leading and global demand for UK designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicles is strong. We are determined to ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive and other advanced manufacturing. Ministers regularly meet senior automotive executives, both through the Automotive Council and individually, to discuss a wide range of matters.

31 Jul 2018, 12:07 p.m. Government Securities Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what UK Treasury Bills are available for purchase on any given day.

Answer (Lord Bates)

Treasury bills are typically sold by the UK Debt Management Office (DMO) via regular tenders each Friday morning. Maturities currently offered for sale are one-month, three-month and six-month bills. Alongside the results of each Friday morning’s tender, the DMO also announces the amounts for sale via tender for the following Friday.

In addition, on any business day, the DMO can sell either new or existing Treasury bills (which match those previously sold at a tender) bilaterally on request from its counterparties, provided that such issuance is consistent with the DMO’s cash management operational requirements.

Finally, Treasury Bill Primary Participants (banks) may also offer a market-making service in all Treasury bills to their own counterparties on any business day.

30 Jul 2018, 2:05 p.m. Coastal Areas: Regeneration Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of the arts in revitalising seaside towns.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Promoting the arts is an important element in ensuring that our seaside towns continue to grow and prosper. We have helped establish 146 Coastal Community Teams around the English coastline, which have produced Economic Plans setting out both the short and longer term priorities to enable their area to promote jobs and economic growth. The arts will play a particular role in the tourism offer in many of the Economic Plans the Coastal Community Teams have developed. In addition, through the Coastal Communities Fund and the Coastal Revival Fund, we are supporting many regeneration and heritage projects involving the arts in coastal towns.

30 Jul 2018, 12:39 p.m. Social Rented Housing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their Green Paper on social housing.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. Shortly we will publish a Green Paper that sets out a new deal for social housing tenants.

30 Jul 2018, 12:39 p.m. Social Rented Housing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the Green Paper on Social Housing announced on 19 September 2017.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. Shortly we will publish a Green Paper that sets out a new deal for social housing tenants.

30 Jul 2018, 12:21 p.m. Election Offences: Referendums Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the offences which may be committed in respect of the conduct of referendums; and what are the penalties that may be imposed by the courts on persons found guilty of each of those offences.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

The Electoral Commission has a duty under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) to regulate political funding and spending at elections and referendums. The ‘Offences and proposed sanctions’ document on their website sets out the offences and contraventions in PPERA, including the offences and actions which can be taken in respect of the conduct of referendums.

In addition, the Electoral Commission can refer serious offences to the prosecuting authorities

The penalties that courts can impose are set in Schedule 20 of PPERA. If a person is found guilty, penalties may vary from an unlimited fine to a prison sentence of up to a year.

The table of offences and sanctions is attached.

30 Jul 2018, 12:20 p.m. Government Departments: Telephone Services Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many departments provide 0845 numbers for use by the public; and what action, if any, they are they taking to provide cheaper alternatives.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

This information is not held centrally. Departments are responsible for their number prefix choices.

Third party telecommunications providers are an integral part of the Government supply chain to ensure that citizens can communicate with Government easily.


The Government published guidance setting out clear principles for departments to use and a copy attached.

30 Jul 2018, 12:17 p.m. UK Membership of EU: Referendums Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of when the investigations and inquiries into various aspects of the 2016 referendum campaign are likely to conclude and what consideration they have given to updating the relevant legislation in the light of any of findings.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

The timescales of ongoing investigations and inquiries, including their likely conclusions, is a matter for the independent organisations conducting them, rather than the Government.

The Government will carefully consider the findings and recommendations that are made when they have concluded.

27 Jul 2018, 1:29 p.m. Broadband: Urban Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the poor broadband speeds in some areas of the UK's conurbations, cities, and towns.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

In those areas where decent broadband is not available, we are introducing a broadband Universal Service Obligation so that by 2020 everyone across the UK will have a clear, enforceable right to request high speed broadband of at least 10 Megabits per second. We will keep the speed and quality parameters under review to make sure that it keeps pace with consumers' evolving needs.

In addition, the Government’s ambition is for full fibre to 15 million premises by 2025 and nationwide coverage by 2033. On 23 July, the Government published its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, setting out approach to achieving our targets by promoting competition and commercial investment.

The Government is also investing in full fibre connectivity through our £280 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme. In March 2018, funding was allocated to 13 successful bidders, with projects in several UK cities, including London, Manchester, Cambridge, Cardiff, and Belfast.

27 Jul 2018, 12:38 p.m. Football: World Cup Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility of a joint bid to host the 2030 Football World Cup comprising the Football Associations of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; and what support they would give to any such bid.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

The matter of hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup is a question for the home nations’ football associations to first consider. FIFA has yet to publish details of the bidding process and no assessment has been made but the government is very much willing to sit down with the relevant partners and discuss any proposal to bid for the World Cup in 2030.

26 Jul 2018, 1:05 p.m. Cycling Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking, if any, to increase the level of cycling in England.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The Government’s statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), published in April 2017, sets out a number of actions to increase the level of cycling, alongside £1.2 billion of funding that may be invested in cycling and walking in England over the period to 2021.

Since the publication of the Strategy, the Department has identified additional funding for cycling and walking schemes, including around £77 million of support for schemes via the National Productivity Investment Fund. The Government also announced a new £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund in the Autumn Budget which will allow a number of cities to support projects aimed at improving local connectivity by boosting cycling and walking. The Department has commenced a major programme of technical support to help 44 local authorities in England develop their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs).

The Government launched a call for evidence on how to improve safety for cycling and walking in March 2018 as part of the CWIS Safety Review. The Department for Transport is currently assessing over 13,000 responses and will publish its response in due course.

25 Jul 2018, 3:52 p.m. Music: Education Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to enable children to play a musical instrument at school.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

Music is a statutory subject in the National Curriculum for 5-14 year olds in state maintained schools. The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. To support that, between 2016-2020 we are spending £300 million on a network of music education hubs. The hubs ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; provide opportunities to play in ensembles; ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable for all; and ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to sing regularly. In 2015/16, 662,871 pupils learned to play a musical instrument through whole class ensemble teaching that was provided or supported by music education hubs.

25 Jul 2018, 9:10 a.m. Local Government: Telephone Services Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local authorities using 0845 numbers to deliver services; and what action, if any, they plan to take to encourage them to use cheaper alternatives.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The use of 0845 numbers for customer services was made illegal in 2014. The Department expects that local authorities are fully compliant with the law and has therefore made no assessment of local authorities using 0845 numbers in the delivery of services.

13 Jul 2018, 1:41 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fairness of business rates in England.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government undertook a fundamental review of business rates in 2016 and decided to retain business rates as a property tax. Recognising the pressures on business the Government has since introduced a range of business rates reforms and measures to support businesses worth over £10 billion by 2023, including permanently doubling Small Business Rate Relief and raising the threshold for relief, meaning that 600,000 small businesses now pay no rates, and helping all businesses by switching the measure of inflation from Retail Price Index to Consumer Price Index.

13 Jul 2018, 1:39 p.m. Urban Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of the high street in England for communities; and of the future of the high street.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

High streets are a crucial part of our communities. The Government is determined to see our Great British high streets thriving now, and in the future. We want to see vibrant hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time, and that includes a welcoming and safe night-time economy.

This is why I have announced that my Department will launch a call for evidence over the summer looking at the future of our high street. I intend to establish an expert panel of industry leaders to draw on their experience and expertise to diagnose the issues currently affecting the health of our high streets and advise on the best approach for their revival.

In addition, during Great British High Street Week in July, Ministers from my Department and across government are currently visiting high streets to discuss the issues they face.

12 Jul 2018, 3:51 p.m. Cash Dispensing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of ATMs available in the UK; and of the impact on communities of any reduction in the number of ATMs.

Answer (Lord Bates)

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained. At Spring Statement, Government also launched a public Call for Evidence on cash and digital payments which, amongst other things, seeks to find out how cash usage and need varies by region.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users. As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR has undertaken work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have and a summary of the findings can be found on their website. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.

The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

Regarding the number of ATMs available in the UK, this data is publicly available on the LINK website. It shows that, as of 2017, there were around 69,600 ATMs on the LINK network.

12 Jul 2018, 3:49 p.m. Utilities: Managers Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the bonuses paid to senior managers of utility companies.

Answer (Lord Bates)

Her Majesty’s Government has conducted no formal assessment of the remuneration packages of senior staff in privately owned utility companies. However, the Government has set out a range of legislative and business-led measures which will improve corporate governance and give workers and investors a stronger voice, including at utility companies.

The Government published last month a draft statutory requirement that introduces a number of new corporate governance reforms. These include a new requirement on UK quoted companies to disclose and explain each year the ratio of their CEO’s total remuneration to the average remuneration of their UK employees. The statutory instrument also obliges very large private companies, including utility companies where they are unquoted, to report each year on how they are ensuring good corporate governance. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the relevant secondary legislation will come into force from the start of 2019.

This will sit alongside steps already being taken by the independent regulators of the utilities sectors to encourage these companies to adopt strong corporate governance arrangements. For example, Ofwat have recently consulted on new measures to improve corporate governance in the water sector, including measures to assess the link between executive remuneration, dividend payments and performance delivery for customers. Although these regulators operate independently of government, government engages with them closely to ensure they are able to carry out their functions effectively.

Additionally, the Government has invited James Wates to lead a business and wider society coalition group to develop corporate governance principles suitable for use by large private companies. These principles are currently being consulted on with a view to finalising them by the end of the year.

11 Jul 2018, 11:13 a.m. Council Tax Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the rates of council taxes paid by properties in bands A and B compared to properties in the highest bands, and (2) the revaluation of council tax bands.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Council tax levels are a matter for individual local authorities, although the Government maintains a referendum threshold to allow voters in England the final say over any excessive increases. The amount charged for properties in different bands is determined by the application of ratios to the authority’s band D council tax level. These ratios are set out in Section 5 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The Government has no plans to undertake a council tax revaluation.

2 Jul 2018, 4:29 p.m. High Rise Flats: Insulation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Welsh Government to ban the use of combustible cladding on high rise residential buildings.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

On 18 June my Department published a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. This is available (attached) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-the-use-of-combustible-materials-in-the-external-walls-of-high-rise-residential-buildings

As a Devolved Administration the decisions of the Welsh Assembly Government are an issue devolved for their own consideration.

2 Jul 2018, 4:28 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the funding arrangements are for the Right to Buy pilot for tenants of housing associations in the Midlands this summer; and how long the pilot will last.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In the Autumn Budget 2017 the Chancellor announced funding of £200 million for the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot, which will be launched this summer. The Government will fund the cost of the discounts, and all sales under the pilot are expected to be completed by March 2020.

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Housing Associations: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future for specialist housing associations which offer properties for older people.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is clear that specialist housing associations offering housing for older people play an important role in providing safe, affordable homes that keep people independent for longer. That’s why our Affordable Homes Programme has committed £400 million to build 8,000 new supported homes by 2020, and the Department of Health and Social Care's Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) fund is investing £200 million to build over 6,000 supported homes.

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Newlon Housing Trust Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial viability of Newlon Housing Trust.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. One Housing Group Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at One Housing Group.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Howard Cottage Housing Association Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk management processes at Howard Cottage housing association.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

8 Jun 2018, 12:29 p.m. Immigration: Personal Records Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what data are collected through landing cards; and how such data are used.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Passengers are required to complete fourteen pieces of data on landing cards. These are first name(s); date of birth; sex; nationality; town and country of birth; occupation; contact address in the UK; passport number; place of issue; length of stay in the UK; port of last departure; arrival flight/train number/ship name; and signature.

Landing cards are predominantly used to produce National Statistics on purpose of journey by category and nationality.

8 Jun 2018, 12:29 p.m. Immigration: Personal Records Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government from which countries citizens are required to complete landing cards on arrival in the UK.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Nationals of all non-EEA countries are required to fill out a landing card on arrival to the UK.

1 Jun 2018, 1:12 p.m. Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in appointing an independent mediator to seek a way forward in the dispute involving Southwark Council, Meadow Partners and Dulwich Hamlet FC.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

The Minister for Sport and Civil Society is continuing to monitor the situation with Dulwich Hamlet FC. Should negotiations with Southwark Council and Meadows Park around the sale of the Champion Hill stadium fail then she will take appropriate action, including considering appointing an independent mediator who can help try to find a solution that works and, importantly, has the football club as its primary consideration.

30 May 2018, 2:56 p.m. Local Government: Sales Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the use of conditional sale agreements by local authorities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The terms under which local authorities dispose of their assets is a matter for local authorities. The government has made no assessment of their use of conditional sale agreements.

30 May 2018, 2:45 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last met Councillors and officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to discuss matters related to the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, chairs a regular Ministerial Recovery Group, which Councillors and officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) attend, to coordinate cross Government activity and to monitor, challenge and support RBKC in delivering services to those affected. The most recent meeting was on 22 May 2018.

30 May 2018, 1:11 p.m. Railways: Franchises Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government which companies operate rail services in the UK; on which routes each company operates; and for each route, when the contract comes to an end.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The information requested is in the table below:

DfT-managed Franchise

Official Expiry Date

Train Operating Company

Wales and Borders

14-Oct-18

Arriva Trains Wales (see note 1)

East Coast

24-Jun-18

Virgin Trains East Coast

East Midlands

03-Mar-19

East Midlands Trains (see note 2)

South Eastern

01-Apr-19

Southeastern

Cross Country

13-Oct-19

Arriva Cross Country (see note 3)

West Coast

01-Apr-19

Virgin Trains West Coast (see note 4)

Great Western

01-Apr-20

Great Western Railway (see note 5)

TSGN

19-Sep-21

Govia Thameslink Railway

Chiltern

12-Dec-21

Chiltern Railways

TPE

01-Apr-23

First Trans Pennine Express

South Western

18-Aug-24

South Western Railways

Northern

01-Apr-25

Northern Rail

East Anglia

12-Oct-25

Greater Anglia

West Midlands

01-Apr-26

West Midlands Trains

Essex Thameside

11-Nov-29

C2C

Notes

1 The UK Government has agreed in principle to transfer franchising powers to the Welsh Government who are leading and undertaking the procurement of the next Wales and Borders Franchise.

2 Anticipated direct award until 18 Aug 19. As shown on the Rail Franchise Schedule (Jul 17)

3 Assumed that at least 2 additional rail periods (Dec 19) will be utilised. As shown on the Rail Franchise Schedule (Jul 17)

4 Assumed that additional rail periods will be utilised to align with the West Coast Partnership start date (15 Sep 19)

5 Anticipated direct award until Apr 22 as announced in the Strategic Vision for Rail

29 May 2018, 11:27 a.m. Police: Firearms Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of proposals for police officers in rural areas to be routinely issued with firearms.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The policy in this country has long been that the police should not generally be armed. This gives character to our policing that we should not readily give up and is vital in promoting good relations with the public and the community they serve.

Any proposal to change this longstanding position would have to be considered very carefully.

It is for chief officers to determine the number of armed officers in their areas. This is based on a thorough assessment of threat and risk, and capability is kept under constant review by the National Armed Policing Lead and the National Police Coordination Centre.

24 May 2018, 3:43 p.m. Leasehold Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of protection in place for people and organisations that have leasehold interests in land from freeholds being sold by local authorities to third parties.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We are constantly working to ensure that protection for leaseholders is adequate. That is why on 21 December 2017, the Government set out a package of measures to tackle abuses and unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes introducing legislation to prohibit the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, restricting ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a peppercorn (zero financial value) and working with the Law Commission to support existing leaseholders - including making buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, faster, fairer and cheaper. As part of the reform, we will consider extending the existing Right of First Refusal for flat lessees (Part 1 of the Landlord Act 1987) to house lessees. In general, the provision states that where a landlord is proposing to sell his interest in a building containing flats in relation to which the Right of First Refusal exists, they must, by law, first offer it to the tenants before offering it on the open market.

30 Apr 2018, 4:21 p.m. Housing: Broadband Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with housing developers about ensuring high speed broadband connectivity to new housing developments, in particular rural housing developments.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

The Department regularly discusses with housing developers how high speed broadband connectivity can be delivered to new housing developments.

In early 2016, DCMS brokered an agreement between Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) so that all new build developments would be offered with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for free, or as part of a co-funded initiative. This agreement - between the largest home builders organisation, whose members contribute approximately 80% of all private new homes in England and Wales, and the largest network provider - continues to be refined and improved, with input from DCMS. Originally, the threshold was for developments of 250 units or above, then lowered to 100, and is 30 today. Virgin Media and GTC - another infrastructure provider - have similar agreements with the HBF.

Rural connectivity is a priority and my officials are working with Defra, MHCLG and industry stakeholders to ensure that high quality digital connectivity reaches all areas of the UK.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force continue to engage with the HBF and other house builders and further to this are exploring policy options that will make provisions for ultrafast broadband to be standard in all new homes, ensuring that residents receive the connectivity they deserve.

30 Apr 2018, 3:47 p.m. Slavery: Children Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tackle modern slavery involving children; and what financial support they are giving to local authorities, in the context of the level of funding available for children’s services by 2020.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Tackling human trafficking and modern slavery remains a top priority for this Government and we are committed to stamping out this abhorrent crime.

The Government recognises the particular vulnerabilities of child victims of modern slavery, including trafficking, and acknowledges the tailored support these children require in order to addresses their specific needs and vulnerabilities. To achieve this, the Government will continue with the implimentation of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates nationally; has committed £2.2m from the Child Trafficking Protection Fund to seven organisations to support victims of child trafficking, with a number of these projects working directly with local authorities to support trafficked children in their care; commissioned training for existing Independent Advocates which are a statutory provision available to all looked after children; and, working alongside our NGO partners, have trained thousands of foster carers, so that they are more aware of the specific needs of children who have been trafficked.

Funding for children’s services is an un-ring-fenced part of the wider local government finance settlement, to give local authorities the flexibility to focus on locally determined priorities, including tackling modern slavery. In addition, where a victim of modern slavery or potential victim of modern slavery is also an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, the Home Office provide separate funding to the local authority. These funding arrangements are currently under review.

30 Apr 2018, 1:03 p.m. Roads: Repairs and Maintenance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support councils to repair road damage caused by the increased use of roads by heavy goods vehicles.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

Potholes are a menace to all road users and the Government is taking the steps to help local highway authorities improve the condition of the roads for which they are responsible, including tackling potholes.

Accordingly, the Government is providing £296 million between 2016 and 2021 to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help repair potholes and stop them forming.

This funding is in addition to just under £6 billion which the Government is providing to local highway authorities for local highway maintenance in England, outside London between 2015 and 2021.

The Department for Transport announced in January 2017 that it is undertaking an innovative trial on the way potholes are identified and managed, working in partnership with Thurrock, York and Wiltshire councils and two private sector SMEs, Soenecs and Gaist. This trial allows high-definition cameras to be mounted to refuse collection vehicles and by deploying innovative intelligent software will identify road surface problems before they become potholes. The trial recently won an award for the best use of new technology in the highways sector.

The Government also announced in March 2018 that it is investing more than £900,000 in innovations using connected vehicles to help councils more efficiently manage and plan maintenance works.

These trials will ultimately help provide councils with data to enable them to repair potholes before they occur as well as maintain their other assets more effectively as part of their asset management plans. This will help prevent further potholes and other road defects occurring over time.

The Department for Transport is also providing funding to the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) to work on technological and innovative improvements to future-proof the local road network.

30 Apr 2018, 11:34 a.m. Plastics: Recycling Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from industry groups and local authorities regarding proposals to increase plastic recycling.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

In January this year, the Government published its 25 Year Environment Plan. It sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by taking action at each stage of the product lifecycle – production, consumption and end of life. At the production stage, we will encourage producers to take more responsibility for the environmental impact of their products and make sure plastic items are more carefully designed. At the consumer stage, we want to reduce demand for single use plastic. At the end of life stage, we will make it easier for people to recycle and increase the amount of plastic being recycled.

We have actively engaged with a wide range of industry groups and local authorities on measures to increase plastic recycling as part of developing our 25 Year Environment Plan, including seeking their ideas on improving current policies. We will continue to work with industry groups and local authorities in taking forward the actions needed to deliver the Plan.

25 Apr 2018, 2:57 p.m. Rented Housing: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of housing for older people in the private rented, social and council housing sectors.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In our Housing White Paper, the Government set out proposals to do more to provide the homes we need for all in our society, including older people. We are strengthening the National Planning Policy Framework, so that local planning authorities are expected to have clear policies for addressing the housing needs of older people. Planning authorities should also include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting Build to Rent. We will be publishing further guidance on housing for older people this summer. We have also been clear that housing will form a part of our considerations as we set out proposals in our forthcoming Green Paper to reform care and support for older people which will be published in summer 2018.

Since 2012, this Government has supported growth of the Build to Rent sector with a Build to Rent Fund (£630m) and debt guarantees to increase delivery. Over 20,000 homes have been completed since 2012 and a further 97,000 are in the pipeline (British Property Federation, Quarter 1, 2018). We would also note that greater institutional investment in the Private Rented Sector will improve standards, give tenants greater security and increase choice for all tenants.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their provision of social housing meets local need, including for older people. This Government is providing a stable investment environment for councils to support the delivery of new homes, by allowing local authorities to increase rents by up to CPI +1% for 5 years from 2020. This will give councils the security and certainty they need to plan investment, and provide greater confidence about their future rental income to underpin their future house building plans. Furthermore, we will raise the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of up to £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure, for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes. Local authorities will be able to bid for increases in their caps between 2019-20 and 2021/22.

In addition, since 2011, we have delivered almost 30,000 supported housing units for disabled, vulnerable and older people. At Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million for new specialist affordable homes for vulnerable, older or disabled people.

25 Apr 2018, 2:57 p.m. Rented Housing: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) housing associations, (2) private rented sector bodies, and (3) local authorities, about the availability of suitable housing for older people.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In our Housing White Paper, the Government set out proposals to do more to provide the homes we need for all in our society, including older people. We are strengthening the National Planning Policy Framework, so that local planning authorities are expected to have clear policies for addressing the housing needs of older people. Planning authorities should also include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting Build to Rent. We will be publishing further guidance on housing for older people this summer. We have also been clear that housing will form a part of our considerations as we set out proposals in our forthcoming Green Paper to reform care and support for older people which will be published in summer 2018.

Since 2012, this Government has supported growth of the Build to Rent sector with a Build to Rent Fund (£630m) and debt guarantees to increase delivery. Over 20,000 homes have been completed since 2012 and a further 97,000 are in the pipeline (British Property Federation, Quarter 1, 2018). We would also note that greater institutional investment in the Private Rented Sector will improve standards, give tenants greater security and increase choice for all tenants.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their provision of social housing meets local need, including for older people. This Government is providing a stable investment environment for councils to support the delivery of new homes, by allowing local authorities to increase rents by up to CPI +1% for 5 years from 2020. This will give councils the security and certainty they need to plan investment, and provide greater confidence about their future rental income to underpin their future house building plans. Furthermore, we will raise the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of up to £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure, for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes. Local authorities will be able to bid for increases in their caps between 2019-20 and 2021/22.

In addition, since 2011, we have delivered almost 30,000 supported housing units for disabled, vulnerable and older people. At Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million for new specialist affordable homes for vulnerable, older or disabled people.

16 Apr 2018, 3:25 p.m. Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the loss of social rented homes as housing associations convert them to affordable rented homes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Since 2010 we have delivered over 357,000 new affordable homes, including almost 128,000 at social rent.

We are providing over £9 billion funding for the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2021. This includes an additional £2 billion, and the ability for local authorities and Housing Associations to bid for funding for social rent homes.

16 Apr 2018, 3:24 p.m. Client Money Protection Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to issue regulations for Client Money Protection schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is committed to making membership of a client money protection scheme mandatory for property agents in the private rented sector. Our response to the recent consultation was published on 1 April 2018, which sets out our implementation approach. We will bring forward secondary legislation to implement our commitment after Easter recess. We intend to give sufficient notice and a transition period for agents to comply with the requirement to join a client money protection scheme.

16 Apr 2018, 3:24 p.m. Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 28 March (HL Deb, col 830), what steps they have taken to find a mediator to bring the various parties together to seek a solution to the present impasse concerning Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Southwark Council has asked its Director of Regeneration to start negotiations with a view to purchasing the site. During a debate on this issue in Parliament on 16 March the Sports Minister confirmed that should the negotiations fail, she will look to find and appoint an independent mediator who can facilitate the constructive talks needed between all parties and, in the process, help to secure a future for this well-supported community club for many years to come.

16 Apr 2018, 2:56 p.m. Football: Clubs Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the adequacy of protections for community football clubs.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

Football clubs face many challenges in maintaining their facilities, supporting participation and fulfilling many other important community roles.

Through the Football Foundation, jointly funded by the DCMS, The Football Association and the Premier League over £595 million in grants have been provided for community clubs to help create new changing rooms, playing surfaces and stadia improvements since its inception in 2000.

Football clubs and their supporters can also take advantage of the powers contained within the Localism Act 2011 to list their stadiums as Assets of Community Value. Nearly 40 stadiums are currently listed.

Clubs remain an important part of local communities and DCMS will continue to work with the football authorities and influential fan groups like Supporters Direct to help provide support to community clubs. As the Minister for Sport set out most recently during an adjournment debate on the 16 March, she will be asking the Football Association to carry out a review into what further protection might be offered to football clubs at all levels of the game.

16 Apr 2018, 11:40 a.m. Social Media: Harassment Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the Network Enforcement Act passed by the German parliament as an effective tool to deal with abuse on social media.

Answer (Lord Ashton of Hyde)

We are monitoring the effectiveness of the German Network Enforcement Act, which only came into force in January 2018.

11 Apr 2018, 3:49 p.m. Zimbabwe: Politics and Government Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We welcome the statements from President Mnangagwa on his intention to implement a wide range of economic and political reforms, including his commitment to holding free and fair elections this year. Implementation of these reforms will be critical for Zimbabwe to realise its desire for international re-engagement.

9 Apr 2018, 1:44 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest estimate of when all the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire will be rehoused in permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

As of 22 March, 189 (almost 90 per cent of households) from Grenfell Tower or Walk have accepted an offer of either temporary or permanent accommodation, and 62 households have moved into permanent accommodation.

Furthermore, the Council has now made over 300 properties available to those who lost their homes, so each household can now choose a good quality property that meets their needs, with the option of staying in the area if that is what they wish.

We expect all households, regardless of their level of engagement, to be given whatever support they require to be rehoused as quickly as possible. The Government will continue to play their part, providing support and challenge to the Council, and financial support currently worth more than £72 million.

9 Apr 2018, 1:43 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when Ministers last met Councillors or officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to discuss issues surrounding Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State spoke to the Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) on 21 March to discuss issues relating to their Grenfell Tower recovery programme. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, chairs a regular Ministerial Recovery Group, which Councillors and officials from RBKC attend, to coordinate cross Government activity and to monitor, challenge and support RBKC in delivering services to those affected. The most recent meeting was on 14 March 2018.

9 Apr 2018, 1:42 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many survivors from the Grenfell Tower fire have moved into permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Data provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shows that, as of 22 March, 147 out of the 212 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk that need to be rehoused have accepted an offer of permanent accommodation. Of that number, 62 households have now moved into permanent accommodation.

The Council reports that it has made over 300 permanent homes available for survivors from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk. It is critical that these properties meet the highest safety standards, and contractors have been appointed to ensure that necessary repairs and safety checks are carried out as a priority so that households will be able to move into their new homes.

I expect all households - regardless of their level of engagement - to be given whatever support they require to be rehoused as quickly as possible.

9 Jan 2018, 12:28 p.m. Vehicle Number Plates Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many trade licence plates have been approved by the DVLA; and how many are currently in use.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The trade licensing scheme allows motor traders to use vehicles that are temporarily in their possession without the need to register and license each vehicle. A trade plate must be displayed on the vehicle, and each trade plate must be supported by a valid trade licence.

Between January and November 2017, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency approved 11,051 new applications for trade licences and trade plates. During the same period, 54,483 trade licences were renewed for use with existing trade plates.

9 Jan 2018, 12:26 p.m. Vehicle Number Plates Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much income they received from the sale of private number plates in each year since 2010.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The table below shows the income, exclusive of VAT, which the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has passed to HM Treasury as Consolidated Fund Extra Receipts from the sale of private registration numbers since April 2010:

Financial Year

Net Income Passed to HM Treasury from Sale of Personalised Registrations

2010/11

70,405,000

2011/12

58,209,000

2012/13

57,084,000

2013/14

64,322,000

2014/15

79,591,000

2015/16

96,657,000

2016/17

110,059,000

9 Jan 2018, 12:26 p.m. Large Goods Vehicles: Taxation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the total amount raised by the heavy goods vehicle road user levy since April 2014.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The HGV Levy has raised £744 million between April 2014, when it began, and November 2017, which is the most recent month we have figures for.

9 Jan 2018, 12:25 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Registration Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Statutory Off Road Notifications were received by the DVLA in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, and (3) 2017.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The table below shows the number of Statutory Off-Road Notifications received by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency over the last three calendar years. Figures for 2017 are only available from January to November.

2015

2016

Jan-Nov 2017

Number of Statutory off Road Notifications

3,410,483

3,625,901

3,519,333

9 Jan 2018, 12:25 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Inspections Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many vehicles have been inspected using the Operator Compliance Risk Score since 2015.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

In 2015, there were 48,726 vehicles inspected (40,725 lorries and 8,001 buses/coaches).

In 2016, there were 43,082 vehicles inspected (33,422 lorries and 9,660 buses/coaches).

In 2017, (to 22 December) there have been 42,885 vehicles inspected (31,920 lorries and 10,965 buses/coaches).

9 Jan 2018, 12:24 p.m. Axle Weights: Weighing Equipment Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many weighbridges there are in the UK.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

There are 51 weighbridges at Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency sites in Great Britain used for enforcement purposes.

5 Jan 2018, 1:07 p.m. Leasehold Advisory Service Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people the leasehold advisory service has advised in the last two years.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The number of people served by LEASE in 2016-17 and 2015-16 is as follows:

2016-17

2015-16

Total

Total website Visits

1,429,446

1,166,695

2,596,141

Advice enquiry contacts by traditional channels, i.e. telephone, writing and in person*

16,819

20,844

37,663

Total enquiries

23,679

30,588

54,267

*This is actual customers. Total enquiries reflect total contacts i.e. a customer may come to us through more than one channel.

29 Dec 2017, 2:33 p.m. Smoke Control Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the regulations that prevent the burning of unauthorised fuel in smoke control areas.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

Our assessment of regulations for smoke control areas is that the powers for councils are sufficient but in some areas, awareness is low. We have recently distributed an advice leaflet on open fires and wood burning stoves to all local authorities for dissemination to householders which includes relevant information on smoke control area requirements.

22 Dec 2017, 2:36 p.m. Homes and Communities Agency Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many actions the Homes and Communities Agency has taken against social housing providers in the last five years.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Registered Social housing providers are regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Regulator of Social Housing has a number of tools available allowing it to take action where there is evidence that a registered provider is not meeting the requirements of the Regulators Standards.

Details of all judgements made by the regulator (attached)may be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices.

22 Dec 2017, 12:18 p.m. Hedges and Ditches Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the procedures in place regarding high hedges, high hedge remedial notices, and appeals.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Local Authorities are best placed to consider unresolved disputes regarding high hedges. These procedures are set out in Planning Practice Guidance. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 enables local authorities to intervene and gives people who are unhappy with a council’s decision a right of appeal to the Secretary of State.

22 Dec 2017, 12:18 p.m. Housing: Construction Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schemes have received funding through the Homes Building Fund to date.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

To date the Home Building Fund has contracted 153 schemes, worth over £1.4 billion in loan funding, which will deliver over 88,000 homes. At budget the Chancellor announced an additional £1.5 billion funding for the fund to support small and medium sized builders, custom builders and innovation.

21 Dec 2017, 1:31 p.m. Private Roads Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of unadopted roads in England.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The Department for Transport does not hold data on the number of unadopted roads in England.

Decisions on whether to adopt individual streets are a matter for local highway authorities.

27 Nov 2017, 12:46 p.m. Health Services: Immigrants Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the distribution of funding received through the Immigration Health Surcharge; and whether the distribution of that funding is linked to specific migration-related impacts for each NHS authority in England.

Answer (Lord O'Shaughnessy)

The Department does not collect this information centrally. NHS England advises that funding allocation formulae include no specific assessment of migration-related impacts, although they do take account of the overall size of the local population.

27 Nov 2017, 12:19 p.m. Health Services: Immigrants Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the cost impact of migration on each NHS authority in England, in each of the last five years.

Answer (Lord O'Shaughnessy)

The Department does not hold this information.

However, an independent analysis report commissioned by the Department to better understand the use and cost of treating overseas visitors and migrants was published on 22 October 2013. This report shows that the cost of treating all visitors and migrants is estimated to be around £2 billion per year. This includes some groups who were entitled to free National Health Service treatment either by being ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, or exempt from charges under Regulations. However, of the £2 billion it is estimated that around £500 million is recoverable under the current charging regulations and the current application of the regulations.

17 Nov 2017, 11:29 a.m. Dublin Regulations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for a replacement for the Dublin III Agreement on refugees when the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The Dublin III Regulation concerns asylum seekers, not refugees. It is the mechanism by which the Member State responsible for considering an asylum claim is identified.

The Government has been clear that it is in both the UK and the EU’s best interests to continue to cooperate on asylum and illegal migration issues when we leave the EU. We are ready to discuss the exact nature of this cooperation with our European partners.

As a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, we will continue to honour our international obligations when we leave the EU.

17 Nov 2017, 11:13 a.m. Deportation: EU Nationals Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their enforcement of Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which permits member states to remove EU citizens after three months if they are not exercising a treaty right to freedom of movement; whether they plan to change their enforcement of that article; and whether they have made any estimate of the impact that a stricter enforcement of that article would have on the number of EU citizens in the UK.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union guarantees the free movement rights of workers. The conditions a worker, or any other EU citizen or their family member, must satisfy in order to enjoy their rights of entry and residence in a host member state are set out in the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC). If an EU citizen does not meet the requirements for residence as set out in the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, the UK’s implementing legislation, then they will not have a right to reside in the UK, and may be liable to removal. Removal is considered on a case by case basis.

17 Nov 2017, 11:10 a.m. Entry Clearances: Overseas Students Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 10 October (HL Deb, col 106), what assessment they have made of the compatibility of their commitments (1) not to limit the number of genuine international students who come to the UK to study, and (2) to reduce net migration whilst including international students in their net migration target.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

There is no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK and there are no plans to change this. So long as students are compliant with immigration rules they should make a very limited contribution to net migration numbers.

The independent Office for National Statistics is responsible for the production of the net migration statistics. In line with the internationally agreed UN definition these statistics define a migrant as someone changing their normal place of residence for more than a year. Students are therefore included in the same way as other migrants. International students who stay for longer than 12 months, like other migrants, have an impact on communities, infrastructure and services while they are here so it is right that they are included in the net migration count.

17 Nov 2017, 11:10 a.m. Entry Clearances: Overseas Students Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to excluding international students from their net migration target.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

There is no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK and there are no plans to change this. So long as students are compliant with immigration rules they should make a very limited contribution to net migration numbers.

The independent Office for National Statistics is responsible for the production of the net migration statistics. In line with the internationally agreed UN definition these statistics define a migrant as someone changing their normal place of residence for more than a year. Students are therefore included in the same way as other migrants. International students who stay for longer than 12 months, like other migrants, have an impact on communities, infrastructure and services while they are here so it is right that they are included in the net migration count.

1 Nov 2017, 5:42 p.m. Housing and Planning Act 2016 Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures provided for in or under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 have been formally dropped.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Provisions 80-91 on rents for high income social tenants have formally been dropped.

1 Nov 2017, 5:03 p.m. Migration Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the change in the net migration figures for UK citizens in each of the last two quarters.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply, and will place a copy of their letter in the House library.

1 Nov 2017, 2:16 p.m. Housing: Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of new funding announced for housing in each year since June 2010 has been targeted towards (1) social housing,  (2) affordable housing, and (3) Help to Buy, Rent to Buy and other similar schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Department for Communities and Local Government Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 sets out the activities of the department across the financial year. This was published on 30 June 2017 and includes budget information about Help to Buy and Affordable Homes against total departmental budget. This is available (attached) online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dclg-annual-report-and-accounts-2016-to-2017

For Help to Buy, the total budget for each financial year 2011/12 – 2015/16 is as follows:

Budget for each financial year

2011-12 (£m)

2012-13 (£m)

2013-14 (£m)

2014-15 (£m)

2015-16 (£m)

Help to Buy (including First Buy)

70

142

908

1,469

1,505

For affordable housing, including social housing, the government funds this through the Affordable Homes programme with bidding for funding being made at beginning of the process. It does not announce funding on a yearly basis.

The expanded programme is fully flexible allowing a wider range of products that will help meet the housing needs of a wider range of people in different circumstances, including Help to Buy, Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy as well as affordable rent and social rent.

1 Nov 2017, 1:41 p.m. Deportation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any projection of the number of deportations of (1) EU, and (2) non-EU, nationals from the UK after Brexit; and if so, what.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

After the UK leaves the EU, as now, we will seek to deport EU and non-EU nationals who commit serious crimes or otherwise pose a threat to the UK. We have not made any projections of numbers.

1 Nov 2017, 1:40 p.m. British Nationality: Ceremonies Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is given to local councils on the costs of gifts presented to new British citizens at citizenship ceremonies.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

There is no specific guidance on the costs of gifts presented to new citizens at citizenship ceremonies. The cost of the gift is covered within the £80 ceremony fee.

1 Nov 2017, 1:39 p.m. Deportation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many intended deportations have been overturned by a discretionary decision to naturalise non-UK citizens by nationality, annually since 2010.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

All grants of naturalisation as a British citizen are at the discretion of the Home Secretary. She may, if she sees fit, naturalise a person who meets the provisions set out at section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981. These include a requirement to have been lawfully resident in the UK for a continuous period, be free of immigration time restrictions, be of good character and have sufficient knowledge of English and of life in the United Kingdom. The Home Secretary has some discretion over certain residence requirements, but there is no power in law to grant citizenship outside of the statutory requirements of the 1981 Act.

One of the statutory requirements for naturalisation is that a person should not have been in breach of the immigration laws in the residential qualifying period before applying. Another is that he or she is of good character. As such, a person who is subject to a deportation order would not normally qualify for naturalisation.

Information of persons naturalised as a British citizen by previous nationality is published annually and given in the table attached.

Statistics on grants of British citizenship by category and previous nationality is published in the Home Office ‘Immigration Statistics’ Citizenship table cz_07, available on the .GOV.UK website.

1 Nov 2017, 1:39 p.m. Naturalisation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the number of naturalisations by discretion (1) by nationality, (2) by gender, (3) by age, and (4) by ethnicity, annually since 2010.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

All grants of naturalisation as a British citizen are at the discretion of the Home Secretary. She may, if she sees fit, naturalise a person who meets the provisions set out at section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981. These include a requirement to have been lawfully resident in the UK for a continuous period, be free of immigration time restrictions, be of good character and have sufficient knowledge of English and of life in the United Kingdom. The Home Secretary has some discretion over certain residence requirements, but there is no power in law to grant citizenship outside of the statutory requirements of the 1981 Act.

One of the statutory requirements for naturalisation is that a person should not have been in breach of the immigration laws in the residential qualifying period before applying. Another is that he or she is of good character. As such, a person who is subject to a deportation order would not normally qualify for naturalisation.

Information of persons naturalised as a British citizen by previous nationality is published annually and given in the table attached.

Statistics on grants of British citizenship by category and previous nationality is published in the Home Office ‘Immigration Statistics’ Citizenship table cz_07, available on the .GOV.UK website.

30 Oct 2017, 5:27 p.m. Letting Agents: Fees and Charges Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to legislate to ban letting agents fees.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We sought views on how the ban should be implemented and enforced during an eight week public consultation, which closed on 2 June. We received more than 4,700 responses, which we have been analysing carefully.

We will be publishing our response to the consultation and the Tenant Fees Bill shortly. We will provide more information on the implementation timetable following scrutiny of the draft bill.

30 Oct 2017, 5:27 p.m. Landlords: Licensing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local authority private sector landlord licensing schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Licensing is an effective targeted tool delivering improved standards and safety in the private rented sector in specific areas that are suffering from serious problems. The Department will shortly undertake a review of selective licensing.

30 Oct 2017, 2:57 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they are making on extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We are taking stock of the extension of Right to Buy discounts to housing association tenants, and will announce more details in due course.

30 Oct 2017, 2:56 p.m. Client Money Protection Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 28 March (HL Deb, col 466), when they expect to legislate to introduce compulsory client money protection for landlords and tenants.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

It is essential that measures on Client Money Protection are considered in the round and implemented in a sensible and coherent way with other changes to the sector, notably the ban on letting agent fees paid by tenants, and regulation of letting agents.

We will provide more information on legislation and implementation shortly.

16 Oct 2017, 1:15 p.m. Food Poverty Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 14 September (HL1284), what assessment they have made of the finding by the Food and Agriculture Organisation showing that 4.2 per cent of households in the UK have experienced severe food insecurity, the second highest rate in Europe, and in particular, the extent to which this is an accurate representation of levels of household food insecurity in the UK.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

The UK has a high degree of food security, as demonstrated by the 2010 UK Food Security Assessment. It is a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of food security, including household food security. We have just commenced a review of the assessment.

The Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), developed by the ‘Voices of the Hungry’ (VoH) project of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), uses the Gallup World Poll to collect data on household food security in up to 150 countries including the UK. The 2017 publication showed that 4.2% of those households surveyed in the UK reported having experienced severe food insecurity compared with 4.5% in the previous data published in 2015. This is self-reported by participants based on their own experience. The measure provides a partial picture of a broader issue.

The ONS Living Costs and Food Survey (LCFS) contains questions about household spend on food, including that of the lowest 20% income households, which has remained stable between 16% and 16.5% for a number of years.

This Government is committed to tackling poverty and disadvantage and delivering real social reform, and we believe that economic growth and employment offer the best route to give people a better future. There are now 954,000 fewer workless households; and 608,000 fewer children in workless households compared with 2010. The employment rate is also at a record high of 75.3%. The number of people in work has risen 379,000 over the last year bringing the total employment level to a record high of 32.14 million. We also provide a strong safety net through the welfare system for those who need extra support.

25 Sep 2017, 1:16 p.m. Energy Performance Certificates: Conservation Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is a legal requirement to provide a prospective (1) buyer, and (2) tenant, with an Energy Performance Certificate whenever a dwelling in a conservation area is sold or let.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

An Energy Performance Certificate is required when either selling or renting a property in a conservation area unless a valid exemption applies. For example, listed buildings or buildings in a designated environment where compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.

19 Sep 2017, 1:57 p.m. Farms: Theft Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions they are planning to take to address the theft of equipment, vehicles and livestock from farms.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

It is for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, as operational leaders and elected local representatives, to decide how best to deploy resources to manage and respond to crime and local priorities, in rural and urban areas alike.

19 Sep 2017, 1:09 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 21 July (HL370), what does "followed up on all of them" mean in the context of the Coroner's report into the Lakanal House fire in 2009; and what were the recommendations of the Coroner that were (1) agreed, and (2) not agreed, by them.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Department considered and has acted on the recommendations of the Coroner's report into the Lakanal house fire in 2009. A note setting out the action the then Government took in response to the recommendations has been placed in the Library of the House.

18 Sep 2017, 3:08 p.m. House of Lords: Catering Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by the Senior Deputy Speaker on 31 July (HL1160), what steps he is taking to increase the number of British products on sale in all outlets in the House of Lords, including British wine.

Answer (Lord Laming)

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chairman of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.

The vast majority of fresh products purchased by House of Lords Catering and Retail Services (CRS) are British, and CRS has an ongoing policy to continue to increase its use of British products, taking account of procurement and value for money tests. British produce is always preferred when in season, and menus are designed to incorporate British sustainable products and showcase British seasonal produce where possible. The majority of the main ingredients in CRS dishes, such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy produce, are British.

In House of Lords bars, CRS aims to supply a range of beverages including British options; CRS has recently changed supplier to increase its offering of British craft ales and lagers.

CRS aims to increase the selection of British wines available in House of Lords restaurants and bars. Additional British wines will appear on the wine lists after the conference recess.

For the House of Lords retail shop, CRS aims to increase its ranges of British products; work is underway to develop with its suppliers products that would enhance the British selection on offer.

18 Sep 2017, 1:43 p.m. Acids: Sales Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to control the sale of dangerous acids.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

We are developing a set of voluntary commitments for retailers to restrict access to the most harmful corrosive products. We are currently discussing the commitments with the British Retail Consortium. We are also undertaking work to review the Poisons Act 1972 and how it controls the sale of particular acids and corrosive substances.

18 Sep 2017, 11:46 a.m. EP Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 28 July (HL997), whether they received a request for ministers to meet the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion; and if so, what was their response.

Answer (Lord Bates)

The European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion requested a meeting with ministers during the Committee’s two-day visit to London during February 2017. Ministers were unavailable on the days requested and the Committee met with senior officials from the UK’s cross-agency Panama Papers Taskforce.

14 Sep 2017, 3:22 p.m. Agriculture: Accidents Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) deaths, and (2) serious injuries, (a) on farms, and (b) in the agricultural sector, have occurred in each year since 1990 until the last year for which records are available.

Answer (Baroness Buscombe)

The available information is given in the following tables.

Table 1: Number of fatal injuries to both workers (employees and the self-employed) and members of the public (a) on farms and (b) in the agricultural sector each year (where data is available) from 1990/91-2016/17.

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

Farms (a)

Agriculture Sector (b)

Year

Workers

Members of the public

Workers

Members of the public

1990/91

-

-

52

15

1991/92

-

-

50

5

1992/93

-

-

40

12

1993/94

-

-

38

3

1994/95

-

-

46

5

1995/96

-

-

40

5

1996/97

-

-

55

9

1997/98

-

-

40

11

1998/99

-

-

46

9

1999/00

-

-

36

8

2000/01

-

-

46

7

2001/02

37

2

39

2

2002/03

29

3

35

3

2003/04

19

6

44

6

2004/05

30

3

37

3

2005/06

32

8

33

8

2006/07

28

7

33

7

2007/08

41

1

46

2

2008/09

22

5

25

5

2009/10

35

5

39

5

2010/11

30

7

34

8

2011/12

27

6

35

6

2012/13

29

5

31

5

2013/14

26

4

27

4

2014/15

30

3

32

4

2015/16r

26

2

27

2

2016/17p

26

3

27

3

Table 2: Number of reported non-fatal injuries to employees (a) on farms and (b) in the agricultural sector each year (where data is available) from 1990/91 to 2015/16

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

Year

Farms (a)

Agriculture sector (b)

1990/91

-

1,761

1991/92

-

1,827

1992/93

-

1,844

1993/94

-

1,760

1994/95

-

1,721

1995/96

-

1,687

1996/97

-

2,135

1997/98

-

2,005

1998/99

-

1,863

1999/00

-

2,067

2000/01

-

1,967

2001/02

1,852

2,066

2002/03

1,488

1,680

2003/04

985

1,175

2004/05

951

1,147

2005/06

892

1,058

2006/07

806

986

2007/08

908

1,117

2008/09

967

1,143

2009/10

996

1,183

2010/11

800

948

2011/12

881

1,110

2012/13 (c)

681

861

2013/14 (c)

688

861

2014/15r (c)

785

936

2015/16p (c)

727

883

Footnotes

Non-fatal injury data for 2016/17 will be published in November 2017

(a) Farms defined as Division 02, Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities, of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification.

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

(c) 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.

- Due to changes in the Standard Industrial Classification, data only available for Farming from 2001/02

r- revised; p- provisional

14 Sep 2017, 1:25 p.m. Food Poverty Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 3 August (HL1163), and on the basis of the data sources in that response, what is their assessment of the levels of household food insecurity in the UK.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

The UK has a high degree of food security, as shown by the 2010 UK Food Security Assessment. It is a comprehensive piece of work, covering all aspects of food security, including household food security. Defra has just commenced a review of the assessment.

The Office for National Statistics Living Costs and Food Survey includes questions on household spend on food, including that of the lowest 20 per cent income households, which has remained constant between 16 per cent and 16.5 per cent for many years.

The Food Insecurity Experience Scale, developed by the ‘Voices of the Hungry’ project of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, is used to collect data on household food security in up to 150 countries worldwide, including the UK. The latest survey results will be available shortly.

13 Sep 2017, 11:56 a.m. Parking Offences: Fines Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are planning to take against private parking companies that have access to the DVLA database and impose large fines for minor traffic infringements.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

My Department is currently considering reforms to the private parking sector and we are determined to ensure motorists get fair treatment from private parking companies.

Private parking companies must be a member of a parking trade association if they wish to access DVLA data and issue parking charges. If they do not follow the trade association’s code of practice their access to DVLA data can be suspended.

We welcome the Rt Hon Sir Greg Knight’s Private Member’s Bill that seeks to create an independent code of practice for private parking companies. We look forward to reading Sir Greg’s recommendations.

4 Aug 2017, 12:34 p.m. EURATOM Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government why they propose to withdraw from membership of Euratom.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Euratom is a separate treaty-based community, it shares a common institutional framework with the EU, including a role for the Commission, the Courts of Justice of the European Union and the Council of Ministers. This makes Euratom and the EU uniquely legally joined. Therefore, on withdrawal from the EU, the UK will also be withdrawing from the Euratom Community. Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty makes Article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union applicable to the Euratom Community in identical terms.

Moving forward, the UK has enjoyed a successful relationship with Euratom for over 40 years and we want that relationship to continue. The shape of the UK’s future relationship with Euratom is subject to negotiations with the EU and our aim, throughout these negotiations, will be to maintain our mutually successful civil nuclear cooperation with Euratom and the rest of the world.

3 Aug 2017, 1:56 p.m. Food: Labelling Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support the food industry through better food labelling (1) before, and (2) after, the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

The Government is fully committed to promoting UK food and drink. The UK led calls for mandatory country of origin labelling on fresh meats and has also argued, within the EU, for country of origin labelling on lightly processed foods, such as some dairy products.

We are considering how to build on existing approaches to help consumers better identify high-quality British food as we leave the EU.

3 Aug 2017, 1:55 p.m. Food Poverty Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to hold discussions with the governments of (1) the Republic of Ireland, (2) Canada, and (3) the United States, with a view to (a) learning lessons for, and (b) seeking improvements in, the UK's processes for monitoring levels of food insecurity.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

We have no immediate plans to discuss processes for monitoring levels of food insecurity with Republic of Ireland, Canada and the United States. However, the UK Government through the Department for International Development contributes to and supports financially the work of The Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). FIES was developed by the ‘Voices of the Hungry’ project of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and is used to collect data on household food security in up to 150 countries, including the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada and the United States.

The UK is also an active participant in the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) platform established by the G20. AMIS focuses on enhancing global market transparency and improving policy coordination to help prevent unexpected price spikes and thereby strengthen global food security.

The Living Costs and Food Survey, which informs the UK Family Food publication, includes questions on household spend on food, including that of the lowest 20 per cent income households.

2 Aug 2017, 10:09 a.m. India: Visas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of India concerning the decision to refuse entry on 17 July to pupils and staff from Poynton High School who had intended to visit projects supported by the charity India Direct.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We were made aware of this case only after the pupils and staff from Poynton High School had returned to the UK. It would appear that the group had the wrong category of visa for their trip. This is therefore a matter for the Indian authorities.

We have, however, attempted to make contact with the Head Teacher from Poynton High School, and the Member for Macclesfield (David Rutley). We have also lodged an enquiry with the Indian High Commission in London to try and help the school establish what category of visa they should re-apply for.

31 Jul 2017, 2:27 p.m. Microplastics: Food Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk to humans of microbeads and other plastics entering the human food chain.

Answer (Lord O'Shaughnessy)

On the basis of current information, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) considers it is unlikely that the presence of the low levels of microplastic particles that have been reported to occur in certain types of seafood would cause harm to consumers. The FSA will continue to monitor and assess emerging information concerning microplastics in seafood.

31 Jul 2017, 1:20 p.m. House of Lords: Wines Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

The Senior Deputy Speaker how many English (1) still, and (2) sparkling, wines are on sale in (a) retail, and (b) catering, outlets in the House of Lords.

Answer (Lord Laming)

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chairman of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.

One English still wine is offered on the menu in the Peers’ Dining Room. One English sparkling wine is offered on the same menu. Both are also available on request in the Barry Room and for events booked through the House of Lords Banqueting Office. No English wines are currently on sale through any other catering outlet or through the House of Lords gift shop.

13 Jul 2017, 3:48 p.m. Retail Trade: Urban Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the role of business in reviving high streets.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government recognises the crucial role that business plays in reviving high streets. We established the Future High Street Forum in March 2013, consisting of retailers, investors and developers. The Forum provides joint business and Government leadership to enable our high streets to adapt and compete in the face of changing consumer and social trends. The Forum will advise the government in the formation and delivery of policies to support high streets and town centres, in the short and longer term.