Aaron Bell Portrait

Aaron Bell

Conservative - Newcastle-under-Lyme


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th October 2021
16:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
09:25
Elections Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:00
Elections Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Elections Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Elections Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 210 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill

Is it not the case that now, with unemployment lower than before the pandemic, the bully-boy employers that mistreated their …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Landfill: Hydrogen Sulphide
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 9th March 2021
Landfill Sites (Odorous Emissions) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to introduce a presumption against planning applications for new landfill sites liable to cause odorous emissions in built-up …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 26th July 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Gamesys Group plc
Address of donor: 10 Piccadilly, London W1J 0DD
Amount of donation or nature and …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Aaron Bell has voted in 350 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Aaron Bell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Aaron Bell voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Aaron Bell voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Aaron Bell Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(34 debate interactions)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
Minister for Women and Equalities
(13 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(36 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(31 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Aaron Bell's debates

Newcastle-under-Lyme Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with most Newcastle-under-Lyme signatures
Aaron Bell has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Aaron Bell

Aaron Bell has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Aaron Bell, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

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


Aaron Bell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Aaron Bell has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Aaron Bell


A Bill to introduce a presumption against planning applications for new landfill sites liable to cause odorous emissions in built-up areas; to set limits for odorous emissions from landfill sites; to make provision for the payment of compensation by site operators to local residents when emissions exceed those limits; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 9th March 2021
(Read Debate)

Aaron Bell has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


35 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
19th Mar 2020
To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to ensure the maintenance of its burial grounds.

The responsibility for maintenance of Church of England churchyards that are open for burials lies with each Parochial Church Council. However, if the churchyard has been closed for burials by order of the Privy Council or other agreement, the usual practice is for responsibility to transfer to the relevant Local Authority. Maintenance of a closed churchyard is still undertaken in line with the relevant ecclesiastical legislation, which still applies. Each diocese similarly produces its own guidance and regulations.

Advice and guidance is always available for parishes and all local authorities from the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council. The Church Buildings Division is currently developing a digital Burial Grounds Management System with external partners. This will in the next few years digitally map all graveyards and burial records to allow a publicly available and searchable records and monuments map to increase access to our churchyards. Following a successful trial in the Diocese of Leeds this project will gradually roll out to the rest of the country.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
11th Mar 2020
What steps the Government Equalities Office is taking to support people in returning to work after a career break.

We fully support those looking to return to employment, particularly with caring responsibilities. However, we need more employers like Obelisk Support, who recognise the value of flexible working and can support this huge amount of untapped talent.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government will next hold discussions with (a) victims and (b) victims' families of the contaminated blood scandal on a framework for compensation.

In January 2020, the then Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Minister for Patient Safety met campaigners representing the people infected and affected, and campaigners raised a number of issues about the support that would assist them outside of the Inquiry process. Ministers have committed to looking at these issues carefully, including to consider a request to look at a framework for compensation before the Inquiry reports, and to report back on where progress can be made. The Paymaster General is the lead Minister for the Inquiry and is taking forward these actions.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2020
What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on reducing business rates for firms.

This Government will conduct a fundamental review of business rates.

My Retail Sector Council industry co-chair and I have already met the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the Council’s review of the costs retailers face, including business rates.

I will continue to engage with Treasury colleagues as we deliver this important manifesto commitment.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the World Health Organization air quality guidelines on (a) odorous annoyance and (b) health in respect of hydrogen sulphide emissions from landfill sites.

The World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines are internationally recognised guidelines. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has adopted the WHO air quality guidelines with respect to hydrogen sulphide for assessing odour and short-term exposure in their risk assessment for Walleys Quarry Landfill, available here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/west-midlands/walleys-quarry-landfill-sliverdale/user_uploads/walley-s-ea-aq-monitoring-health-risk--assessment-august-final.pdf.

The WHO guideline value of 7 µg/m3 (5 ppb) over a 30-minute averaging period is protective of odour annoyance. The WHO guideline value of 150 μg/m3 (107 ppb) as a 24-hour (average) to protect against eye irritation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to scrutinise the Environment Agency’s strategy in respect of Walley’s Quarry landfill.

Following my recent discussion with the hon. Member, I have taken a close interest in the issue of Walley’s Quarry. I am regularly updated by officials and the Environment Agency about air quality near the site, and the agency’s plans to improve it. The latest reports show a continuing reduction in hydrogen sulphide, which hopefully will improve further still as a result of the ongoing work at the site.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the cost to the Environment Agency of regulating (a) Walley’s Quarry landfill and (b) all other landfill sites regulated by the Environment Agency in 2021.

The Environment Agency charges an annual subsistence charge to landfill sites to fund their regulation. Landfill sites of the same type as Walleys Quarry are charged £18,221.00.

Poorly performing sites pay higher charges and this year Walleys Quarry was charged £22,776.25 – an additional 25%. The current performance of Walleys Quarry would lead to an additional charge of 50% in 2022.

The Environment Agency can also charge the operators for time and materials to recover the costs of additional regulation. Up to 13 August 2021, the operator of Walleys Quarry has been charged £98,622.20 for the additional costs of regulation and communications. The Environment Agency will continue to charge Walleys Quarry the recoverable costs of additional regulation and expects further recharges to be made throughout the rest of the year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Regulation of Walleys Quarry landfill site, Plan to reduce hydrogen sulphide emissions, published by the Environment Agency in October 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Environment Agency's plan to reduce hydrogen sulphide emissions arising from Walleys Quarry builds on the work it has done to require the operator to contain, capture, and destroy increasing volumes of hydrogen sulphide. This strategy has seen concentrations decrease at all monitoring stations over recent months, although I recognise there remains significant concern in the local community. In due course, the new capping material installed at the site, and the extra gas wells being dug should further improve the situation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints have been received about each site regulated by the Environment Agency in March 2021.

We provide below the number of unsubstantiated odour reports that have been received about each site regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) for March 2021. The reports have not yet been verified and therefore may not be accurately attributed. The EA seeks to quality-check attributions each month for sites which attract 20 or more reports. This has not yet been done for this data set due to the short timescale involved. To prevent inaccurate attributions, we have anonymised the names of the sites associated with the reports, specifying only the class of activity undertaken. The total number of reports of odour pollution received by the EA in March 2021 was 7516.

The table below provides the full list of the odour reports associated with each of the EA permitted sites for March 2021.

Reports In March 2021

Class

6347

Landfill

122

Landfill

87

Landfill

64

Landfill

51

Landfill

46

Landfill

45

Landfill

37

Biowaste

33

Landfill

29

Farming

26

Landfill

26

Landfill

26

Biowaste

25

Biowaste

23

Biowaste

20

Waste Treatment

19

Landfill

19

Landfill

19

Waste Treatment

17

Food Processing

16

Intensive Farming

16

Landfill

14

Food Processing

14

Food Processing

14

Biowaste

13

Biowaste

12

Other

12

Waste Treatment

11

Landfill

11

Biowaste

10

Manufacturing

9

Food Processing

9

Biowaste

9

Biowaste

8

Biowaste

8

Food Processing

8

Intensive Farming

8

Chemicals

8

Biowaste

6

Chemicals

5

Landfill

5

Intensive Farming

5

Biowaste

5

Food Processing

5

Biowaste

5

Waste Treatment

5

Waste Treatment

4

Biowaste

4

Landfill

4

Landfill

4

Biowaste

4

Intensive Farming

4

Landfill

4

Intensive Farming

4

Intensive Farming

4

Incineration

4

Incineration

4

Biowaste

4

Waste Treatment

4

Biowaste

3

Intensive Farming

3

Landfill

3

Waste Treatment

3

Food Processing

3

Intensive Farming

3

Biowaste

3

Landfill

3

Intensive Farming

3

Landfill

3

Food Processing

3

Waste Treatment

3

Waste Treatment

2

Food Processing

2

Food Processing

2

Food Processing

2

Landfill

2

Intensive Farming

2

Intensive Farming

2

Intensive Farming

2

Biowaste

2

Chemicals

2

Biowaste

2

Food Processing

2

Intensive Farming

2

Manufacturing

2

Farming

2

Other

2

Biowaste

2

Minerals

2

Food

2

Food

2

Biowaste

2

Farming

2

Biowaste

2

Treatment

2

Farming

2

Food

2

Treatment

2

Biowaste

2

Treatment

1

Landfill

1

Landfill

1

Food

1

Treatment

1

Landfill

1

Landfill

1

Landfill

1

Landfill

1

Farming

1

Farming

1

Farming

1

Biowaste

1

Biowaste

1

Food

1

Farming

1

Treatment

1

Food

1

Landfill

1

Biowaste

1

Incineration

1

Farming

1

Landfill

1

Incineration

1

Landfill

1

Chemicals

1

Treatment

1

Landfill

1

Treatment

1

Landfill

1

Treatment

1

Treatment

1

Treatment

1

Treatment

1

Biowaste

1

Treatment

1

Biowaste

1

Landfill

1

Treatment

1

Spreading

1

Unknown

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of odour complaints about Walley's Quarry landfill in the last six months; and what assessment he has made on the acceptability of the level and type of odour arising from its operations.

The Environment Agency (EA) received 6938 odour complaints relating to Walley’s Quarry Landfill in the last six months, including a significant increase since December 2020.

The EA is completing regular odour assessments within the local area and undertaking more frequent assessments at locations where it receives the most complaints. Over the last six months the EA has completed 28 amenity assessments and formally visited the site on nine occasions. It has also completed seven procedure and report reviews.

Trained EA officers have detected odour at some locations but could not substantiate reports at a level considered to be of annoyance. The EA will continue with odour assessments and visits to ensure all measures are being used to minimise odour impacting local residents.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints have been received about each site regulated by the Environment Agency in each month since November 2020.

Since November 2020, the Environment Agency (EA) has received substantiated reports of odour incidents at around 50 sites which it regulates.

Table 1 shows the total number of notifications made to the EA in relation to odour in each month since November 2020. This may include a number of notifications that following investigation may be determined not to fall within the remit of the EA. The majority will be associated with sites that the EA regulates.

Table 1. Total odour notifications made to the Environment Agency

November 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

Total odour notifications

1051

1261

2602

4556

Table 2 shows the number of odour incidents which have been substantiated and linked to sites that the EA regulates, in each month since November 2020. It also includes the number of additional notifications associated with each substantiated incident, where a single incident has received multiple notifications. Due to potential ongoing investigations into these incidents the sites have been anonymised. The data in table 2 is taken from a live system and is subject to change as additional incident information is recorded and the data is further quality assured.

Table 2. Substantiated odour incidents at sites regulated by the Environment Agency

November 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

Incidents

Duplicates (additional notifications)

Incidents

Duplicates (additional notifications)

Incidents

Duplicates (additional notifications)

Incidents

Duplicates (additional notifications)

Site 1

1

3

Site 2

1

0

Site 3

1

22

Site 4

1

0

Site 5

1

0

1

0

Site 6

1

5

Site 7

1

26

Site 8

1

2

Site 9

1

1

1

1

1

0

Site 10

1

7

1

3

Site 11

1

8

Site 12

1

0

Site 13

1

4

Site 14

1

2

1

6

Site 15

1

12

1

0

Site 16

1

0

Site 17

1

6

1

2

Site 18

1

0

Site 19

1

1

Site 20

1

0

Site 21

3

0

3

0

1

0

Site 22

1

0

Site 23

1

1

Site 24

1

1

Site 25

1

6

Site 26

1

56

Site 27

2

0

1

0

Site 28

1

34

Site 29

1

4

Site 30

1

1

Site 31

1

2

1

17

1

26

Site 32

1

0

Site 33

1

0

1

2

1

0

Site 34

1

14

Site 35

1

0

Site 36

1

0

1

0

Site 37

2

1

2

7

Site 38

1

196

2

494

6

1918

Site 39

1

0

Site 40

1

1

Site 41

1

0

1

0

Site 42

3

0

1

0

Site 43

1

8

1

2

Site 44

1

2

Site 45

1

3

Site 46

1

0

Site 47

1

1

Site 48

1

0

Site 49

1

0

Site 50

1

0

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints have been received by the Environment Agency about Walley's Quarry Landfill in Newcastle-under-Lyme, each day since 1 November 2020.

The information will be placed in the Library.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) mental and (b) physical health effects on communities residing near a landfill site of (i) the Environment Agency's report on Ambient Air Quality at Silverdale reference AAM/TR/2019/12 and (ii) other breaches of World Health Organization’s odour guidelines.

We have not made an assessment of the Environment Agency’s report (AAM/TR/2019/12) on Ambient Air Quality at Silverdale. However, the results of the monitoring that informed this report were shared with Public Health England who confirmed that the levels recorded were low and that no long-term health consequences were expected. Public Health England has no evidence of an increase in general practice (GP) consultations or calls to NHS 111 by the neighbouring population for symptoms of breathing difficulties or eye problems, and similarly for GP in-hours consultations for asthma and wheeze. If residents have health concerns, they are advised to consult their local GP. Public Health England continues to support the Environment Agency and local stakeholders with community engagement. Public Health England maintain that living close to a well-managed landfill site does not pose a significant risk to human health.

The Environment Agency regulates waste disposal sites and monitors compliance with environmental permits, and we have made legislative changes to improve Environment Agency powers to tackle problem waste sites. As of November 2018, waste management facilities must have a written management system, designed to reduce impacts on local communities and the environment, and our Resources and Waste strategy committed to further strengthening technical competence requirements for site operators.

The environmental permitting system for waste sites ensures that the Environment Agency is able to regulate against conditions in permits which aim to protect the environment and human health. The Environment Agency will continue to work with the operator and other local partners to continue to monitor the situation and take action wherever necessary.

Where issues, including odour, could be a statutory nuisance under Section 79(1)(d) the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local councils are responsible for investigating these complaints.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) social and (b) economic effects of (i) the Environment Agency's report on Ambient Air Quality at Silverdale reference AAM/TR/2019/12 and (ii) other breaches of World Health Organization’s odour guidelines on communities residing near a landfill site.

We have not made an assessment of the Environment Agency’s report (AAM/TR/2019/12) on Ambient Air Quality at Silverdale. However, the results of the monitoring that informed this report were shared with Public Health England who confirmed that the levels recorded were low and that no long-term health consequences were expected. Public Health England has no evidence of an increase in general practice (GP) consultations or calls to NHS 111 by the neighbouring population for symptoms of breathing difficulties or eye problems, and similarly for GP in-hours consultations for asthma and wheeze. If residents have health concerns, they are advised to consult their local GP. Public Health England continues to support the Environment Agency and local stakeholders with community engagement. Public Health England maintain that living close to a well-managed landfill site does not pose a significant risk to human health.

The Environment Agency regulates waste disposal sites and monitors compliance with environmental permits, and we have made legislative changes to improve Environment Agency powers to tackle problem waste sites. As of November 2018, waste management facilities must have a written management system, designed to reduce impacts on local communities and the environment, and our Resources and Waste strategy committed to further strengthening technical competence requirements for site operators.

The environmental permitting system for waste sites ensures that the Environment Agency is able to regulate against conditions in permits which aim to protect the environment and human health. The Environment Agency will continue to work with the operator and other local partners to continue to monitor the situation and take action wherever necessary.

Where issues, including odour, could be a statutory nuisance under Section 79(1)(d) the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local councils are responsible for investigating these complaints.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints have been received by the Environment Agency about Walley's Quarry Landfill in Newcastle-under-Lyme in each month since January 2019.

Walley’s Quarry landfill site holds a permit that is issued and regulated by the Environment Agency (EA), and the EA takes seriously any concerns expressed regarding the site. Although no landfill will ever be completely odour free, the level and type of odour arising from such operations should not be causing annoyance.

The table below details the number of odour complaints (reports of incidents received through the EA Incident Communication Service) about Walley’s Quarry Landfill, over the last two-year period.

Month

Number of Odour Complaints

January 2019

81

February 2019

259

March 2019

58

April 2019

49

May 2019

31

June 2019

57

July 2019

48

August 2019

95

September 2019

134

October 2019

82

November 2019

159

December 2019

102

January 2020

37

February 2020

94

March 2020

187

April 2020

74

May 2020

68

June 2020

53

July 2020

77

August 2020

92

September 2020

371

October 2020

225

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints have been received by the Environment Agency about landfill sites in the West Midlands in each month since January 2019.

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs due to time.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Environment Agency changing its methodology for estimating the prevalence and impact of odour from using a subjective 0 to 6 scale to using scientific monitoring equipment.

Scientific instrumentation used for detecting odours in the outdoors can only be used to assess a very small number of gases, and the detection limits in these instruments may not be low enough to detect all the compounds responsible for odour annoyance detected by the human nose. The Environment Agency makes use of ambient air monitoring using instruments for specific odorous gases where this will yield useful results.

The Environment Agency regularly reviews new equipment with potential for use in field odour assessments as and when it becomes available. However, so far these solutions have not been found to be as robust and versatile as the current methods used.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on air quality levels in Newcastle-under-Lyme of the environmental permit variation application to increase the annual waste inputs from 250,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes at the Walleys Quarry landfill site.

The Environment Agency (EA) conducted an emissions to air assessment of the new application and is satisfied that air quality levels will not be impacted and there will be no additional emissions from landfill gas or risk of additional odour.

The operator's Odour Management Plan complies with EA guidance and reflects the industry best practice. The EA is satisfied it will minimise the risk of odour pollution, and that they have sufficient controls within the permit conditions to enable further measures to be implemented if required. The benefit of the variation is that the Operator could complete the landfill sooner (by 2024 not 2026) accelerating the progressive capping of the site.

The operator's gas management plan complies with the relevant landfill directive and permit conditions and the EA does not consider emissions from the installation will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health. The increase in annual tonnages at the site would not change the amount of gas produced but would bring forward the peak gas production rate. The site is already permitted to operate a gas utilisation plant which has the capacity to combust the maximum volume of gas which will be produced.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the fitness for purpose of odour regulations as they relate to landfill sites.

No recent assessments have been made of odour regulations. The government considers that current provisions under the Environmental Permitting and Statutory Nuisance regimes provide adequate protection.

Landfill sites in England must be operated in accordance with an environmental permit, regulated by the Environment Agency. Where issues could be a statutory nuisance under Section 79(1)(d) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local councils are responsible for investigating these complaints.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many odour complaints the Environment Agency received about each of the sites it regulates in each month since January 2019.

The Environment Agency receives reports of odour from members of the public via the National Pollution Reporting Hotline. The numbers in the table below represent all reports received since January 2019 from members of the public across England, rather than those that have been assessed by a local Environment Agency officer and confirmed to be correctly attributed to a site that the Environment Agency regulates. The Environment Agency does not collate figures centrally for that number.

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year Totals

2019

883

1,311

755

1,122

1,223

1,265

2,267

2,219

1,571

1,034

1,093

1,867

16,610

2020

4,160

2,181

1,474

1,468

1,212

1,755

1,673

1,854

2,223

992

NA

NA

18,992

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of hydrogen sulphide in the air in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Defra's national monitoring network does not monitor hydrogen sulphide levels.

The Environment Agency (EA) monitors specific sites within the Newcastle-under-Lyme area. In particular, on the Walley's Quarry Landfill site, the EA carried out an ambient air monitoring study between January 2019 and June 2019. The EA deployed a Mobile Monitoring Facility (MMF) to the north of Walleys landfill site between 15 January 2019 and 12 February 2019. Comparison of the hydrogen sulphide data with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines showed that concentrations were below health limits but exceeded odour limits for 6% of this monitoring period. The MMF was then relocated approximately 60 metres to the east between 28 February 2019 and 25 June 2019. Comparison of the hydrogen sulphide data with the WHO guidelines showed that concentrations were below health limits but exceeded odour limits for 1% of the monitoring period.

The EA will be continuing with its regular odour assessments and site inspections and will take appropriate action as part of its regulation of the Walley's Quarry Landfill site, should it identify any areas where the Operator is not compliant with their permit conditions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department provides to local authorities to (a) monitor and (b) tackle issues relating to (i) air quality and (ii) odour caused by landfill emissions.

Landfill sites are regulated under Environmental Permitting Regulations by the Environment Agency (EA). The EA operates a national network of air quality monitoring sites on behalf of Defra. These are designed to provide a representative sample of air quality across the UK, and will not be specific to individual regulated sites. In addition to its statutory air quality activities, the EA can use air quality monitoring equipment in some circumstances to monitor for certain trace gases that form odorous compounds. This is carried out using the EA’s mobile monitoring facilities.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle the illegal dumping of waste.

The illegal dumping of waste, including fly-tipping, is an unacceptable blight on local communities and the environment. The government is committed to cracking down on the waste and carelessness that destroys our natural environment and kills marine life. We are also committed to increasing the penalties for fly-tipping.

Over the last five years we have strengthened and expanded the powers available to tackle the illegal dumping of waste. Local authorities have the power to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 to those caught fly-tipping or to householders who pass their waste to a fly-tipper. Vehicles of those suspected of committing a waste crime, including illegal dumping, can be searched and seized.

Those accused of illegal dumping can be prosecuted and, on conviction, can face a fine, up to 12 months imprisonment, or both in a Magistrates Court; or a fine, up to 5 years imprisonment, or both, in a Crown Court. Local authorities carried out a total of 2,397 prosecutions for fly-tipping offences in England in 2018/19, an increase of 7% on 2017/18. The value of total fines increased by 29% to £1,090,000 compared to 2017/18.

We have invested £60 million in the Environment Agency’s waste crime enforcement work since 2014. This year’s Budget committed the government to investing £7.2 million in the development of electronic waste tracking, as well as £0.5 million in 2020/21 to support innovative approaches to tackling fly-tipping.

In the Resources and Waste Strategy we committed to reforming the regulation of waste carriers, tightening up the regulation of the waste exemptions regime and improving intelligence sharing and joint working between enforcement agencies. The Joint Unit for Waste Crime, led by the Environment Agency and including the National Crime Agency, HMRC, the Police and others, was established earlier this year and has already had a number of operational successes.

The Environment Bill includes a number of measures to help tackle waste crime. It will enable Government to mandate the use of electronic waste tracking; simplify the process for enforcement authorities to enter premises under a warrant; introduce a new power to search for and seize evidence of waste crime; and reduce the cost and bureaucracy when the police seize vehicles involved in waste crime on behalf of the Environment Agency.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the feasibility of restarting face-to-face work capability assessments; and what plans her Department has to expedite the backlog of cases waiting for assessment.

The health and safety of our claimants and staff is our key priority. We suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in March. This temporary suspension, brought in to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, remains in place, and is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance. Any re-introduction of face-to-face assessments would involve additional Covid-related safety measures, and guidance for claimants and assessment providers to ensure compliance with the relevant public health guidance.

Throughout the pandemic our immediate focus has been on supporting people impacted by COVID-19 by putting claims into payment as quickly as possible, as well as paying any additional benefit where claimants may be entitled to a higher award. We continue to complete paper based assessments where possible and have introduced telephone assessments.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has plans to investigate a potential link between the properties of polypropylene mesh and foreign body reaction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune disorders.

There are no plans to investigate the link between the properties of polypropylene mesh and foreign body reaction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune disorders.

The Department has commissioned NHS Digital to undertake a retrospective audit of complications from pelvic mesh from a defined cohort of women. This was announced in the Government’s response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Review.

Planning is at an early stage and the requirements for this audit are currently being gathered from a range of stakeholders and patient representatives.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have had ventral mesh rectopexy surgery; and how many are experiencing complications as a result of that surgery.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, why rectopexy mesh injured patients are not entitled to access care in the new specialist mesh centres.

The eight specialist mesh services, currently in operation, have been commissioned to treat women who have experienced complications due to vaginal or abdominal mesh procedures for urinary incontinence or prolapse, including removal of mesh.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are considering the commissioning of care and support for people with complications in the use of mesh inserted for colorectal indications, known as rectopexy mesh. This work includes exploring whether the remit of the existing specialist mesh services can be expanded. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect to make a decision by the autumn.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Oct 2021
What steps her Department is taking to help ensure the effective implementation of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to interpreters and other staff who risked their lives working alongside UK forces in Afghanistan.

It is why we have introduced a generous funding package, covering healthcare, accommodation, education, and integration. We are committed to working with local authorities and NGOs to ensure Afghans who are resettled in the UK are fully supported.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the armed forces have been deployed in each (a) local authority area and (b) parliamentary constituency part of the Government's covid-19 response.

The information is not held in the format requested. As of 15 June, our Armed Forces are deployed to support the work of 10 Joint Military Commands (JMCs) and three other teams across the UK, broken down as follows:

Region

Total

JMC East

447

JMC London

500

JMC North East

414

JMC North West

145

JMC Northern Ireland

98

JMC Scotland

361

JMC South East

437

JMC South West

323

JMC Wales

467

JMC West Midlands

274

Logistics Support Team

42

Standing Joint Command Reserve

20

Works Group (Engineers)

10

Total

3,538

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what economic assessment he has made of the effect of transferring closed burial grounds from the Church of England to local authorities.

Historically, the Church of England has made burial provision for local communities, and continues to do so. The transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities returns the accountability for their maintenance to the community as a whole. Local authority spending priorities are a matter for local discretion.

Data on the transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities is not held centrally.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider streamlining and modernising the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding is available for local authorities to maintain burial grounds.

Historically, the Church of England has made burial provision for local communities, and continues to do so. The transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities returns the accountability for their maintenance to the community as a whole. Local authority spending priorities are a matter for local discretion.

Data on the transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities is not held centrally.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider streamlining and modernising the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many closed churchyards have been transferred from the Church of England to local authorities in Staffordshire since 2010.

Historically, the Church of England has made burial provision for local communities, and continues to do so. The transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities returns the accountability for their maintenance to the community as a whole. Local authority spending priorities are a matter for local discretion.

Data on the transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities is not held centrally.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider streamlining and modernising the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the Burial Act 1854 and the financial effect of its provision on local authorities.

Historically, the Church of England has made burial provision for local communities, and continues to do so. The transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities returns the accountability for their maintenance to the community as a whole. Local authority spending priorities are a matter for local discretion.

Data on the transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities is not held centrally.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider streamlining and modernising the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Apr 2020
What financial support the Government has allocated to the Welsh Government in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided over £2.1 billion in financial support to the Welsh Government to respond to the covid-19 outbreak. This is made up of Barnett consequential funding to the allocations in England for public services, business support and support to individuals.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)