Alexander Stafford Portrait

Alexander Stafford

Conservative - Rother Valley


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 13th May 2021
09:45
Scheduled Event
Thursday 13th May 2021
17:00
Adjournment - Main Chamber
13 May 2021, 5 p.m.
Levelling Up Fund and regeneration of Rother Valley’s high streets
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Oral Question
Wednesday 19th May 2021
11:30
Wales Office
Oral Question No. 26
What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union?
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Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Levelling Up Fund

I rise to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Rother Valley calling for a powerful bid to …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th April 2021
Kickstart Scheme: Employment
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been offered full-time equivalent employment through …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 12th January 2021
Scaling the UK hydrogen economy
That this House welcomes the Government’s commitment to green hydrogen to help the UK achieve net zero emissions by 2030 …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th May 2020
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from YouGov plc, 50 Featherstone St, London EC1Y 8RT, for opinion surveys:
EDM signed
Tuesday 11th May 2021
Aid to the Church in Need's Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021
That this Houses welcomes the release of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)’s Religious Freedom in the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Alexander Stafford has voted in 259 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Alexander Stafford voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Alexander Stafford voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Alexander Stafford 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(12 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
Home Office
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Alexander Stafford's debates

Rother Valley 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 Rother Valley signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.


Latest EDMs signed by Alexander Stafford

27th April 2021
Alexander Stafford signed this EDM on Tuesday 11th May 2021

Aid to the Church in Need's Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021

Tabled by: Brendan O'Hara (Scottish National Party - Argyll and Bute)
That this Houses welcomes the release of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)’s Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021 which unfortunately shows that persecution and discrimination against people of faith is commonplace in 62 countries worldwide, often in the most populated nations such as China, India …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Independent: 1
12th January 2021
Alexander Stafford signed this EDM on Monday 15th February 2021

Fetal pain

Tabled by: Carla Lockhart (Democratic Unionist Party - Upper Bann)
That this House welcomes the report on Foetal Sentience and Pain commissioned by the all-party Parliamentary pro-life group; recognises that recent research by Dr Stuart WG Derbyshire and John C Bockmann PA in the Journal of Medical Ethics supports the view that babies in the womb may feel pain from …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
Scottish National Party: 7
Liberal Democrat: 2
Alba Party: 1
View All Alexander Stafford's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Alexander Stafford, 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.


Alexander Stafford has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Alexander Stafford has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Alexander Stafford has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Alexander Stafford has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


664 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
3 Other Department Questions
10th Feb 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he plans to take to promote the North Sea Transition Deal to international partners in the run-up to the COP26 summit.

The offshore oil and gas sector has a key role to play as we move to a net zero economy and the UK Government has committed to supporting this energy transition through the North Sea Transition Deal.

The Deal will focus on the decarbonisation of domestic oil and gas production while using the capabilities of the sector to deliver carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production. This will support and sustain new high-quality jobs and anchor the supply chain in the UK.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is accelerating work on this Deal now and aims to have it completed early this year.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to promote the UK’s Net Zero transition model to international partners in the run-up to the COP26 summit.

The Government is determined to use the UK’s presidency of COP26 and as host of the G7 to promote ambitious action to deliver the transformational change required by the Paris Agreement.

We are urging all countries to submit ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, transformational Long-Term Strategies, and to come forward with new net zero and adaptation commitments. Through our COP26 campaigns, we are bringing together governments, business and civil society to work together to accelerate the global transition to net zero.

As demonstrated at the Climate Ambition Summit last December, the UK’s own success has shown how countries can grow their economies while at the same time reducing emissions. Ahead of COP26, we are setting out ambitious plans across key sectors of the economy to continue to meet our carbon budgets and our net zero target.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the extent of global persecution of Christians during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Church of England is in regular communication with the Government and the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief on the issue of persecution of Christians worldwide.

The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating the challenges facing Christians in places of conflict or persecution. The leaders of the Anglican Communion are in close contact to support each other in practical and prayerful ways.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people under the age of 39 died from sudden cardiac death in England in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to encourage the purchase of UK produced steel in relevant Government contracts.

The Government is committed to supporting the steel sector. Guidance published in December 2016 (PPN 11/16) has helped to create a level playing field by ensuring the full value offered by UK steel suppliers can be considered in major projects. Guidance covering supply chain plans and advertising opportunities is already included and the Government may consider additional obligations beyond the current guidance if they are in the public interest.

The steel guidance was designed only for contracts awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015; this does not include procurements which are based on Contracts for Difference arrangements that require a different process.

Departmental compliance with the steel guidance is published annually on Gov.uk along with a steel procurement pipeline to show future steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

Departments are encouraged to sign up to aspects of the UK Steel Charter where relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant procurement regulations, and the Government’s steel policy guidelines.

The review of UK steel safeguards is being led by the Trade Investigation Directorate, an independent arm of the Department for International Trade and it would be premature for the Government to comment on this before the recommendations have been published.

A joint Industry/BEIS Taskforce has been established to consider issues reported by UK steel producers in relation to their ability to secure public sector contracts. It is expected to report in Autumn 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of the UK’s steel safeguards not being renewed.

The Government is committed to supporting the steel sector. Guidance published in December 2016 (PPN 11/16) has helped to create a level playing field by ensuring the full value offered by UK steel suppliers can be considered in major projects. Guidance covering supply chain plans and advertising opportunities is already included and the Government may consider additional obligations beyond the current guidance if they are in the public interest.

The steel guidance was designed only for contracts awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015; this does not include procurements which are based on Contracts for Difference arrangements that require a different process.

Departmental compliance with the steel guidance is published annually on Gov.uk along with a steel procurement pipeline to show future steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

Departments are encouraged to sign up to aspects of the UK Steel Charter where relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant procurement regulations, and the Government’s steel policy guidelines.

The review of UK steel safeguards is being led by the Trade Investigation Directorate, an independent arm of the Department for International Trade and it would be premature for the Government to comment on this before the recommendations have been published.

A joint Industry/BEIS Taskforce has been established to consider issues reported by UK steel producers in relation to their ability to secure public sector contracts. It is expected to report in Autumn 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will encourage Cabinet colleagues to sign their Departments up to the UK Steel Charter.

The Government is committed to supporting the steel sector. Guidance published in December 2016 (PPN 11/16) has helped to create a level playing field by ensuring the full value offered by UK steel suppliers can be considered in major projects. Guidance covering supply chain plans and advertising opportunities is already included and the Government may consider additional obligations beyond the current guidance if they are in the public interest.

The steel guidance was designed only for contracts awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015; this does not include procurements which are based on Contracts for Difference arrangements that require a different process.

Departmental compliance with the steel guidance is published annually on Gov.uk along with a steel procurement pipeline to show future steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

Departments are encouraged to sign up to aspects of the UK Steel Charter where relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant procurement regulations, and the Government’s steel policy guidelines.

The review of UK steel safeguards is being led by the Trade Investigation Directorate, an independent arm of the Department for International Trade and it would be premature for the Government to comment on this before the recommendations have been published.

A joint Industry/BEIS Taskforce has been established to consider issues reported by UK steel producers in relation to their ability to secure public sector contracts. It is expected to report in Autumn 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing Contracts for Difference energy projects within the scope of the Procurement Policy Note on Steel.

The Government is committed to supporting the steel sector. Guidance published in December 2016 (PPN 11/16) has helped to create a level playing field by ensuring the full value offered by UK steel suppliers can be considered in major projects. Guidance covering supply chain plans and advertising opportunities is already included and the Government may consider additional obligations beyond the current guidance if they are in the public interest.

The steel guidance was designed only for contracts awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015; this does not include procurements which are based on Contracts for Difference arrangements that require a different process.

Departmental compliance with the steel guidance is published annually on Gov.uk along with a steel procurement pipeline to show future steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

Departments are encouraged to sign up to aspects of the UK Steel Charter where relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant procurement regulations, and the Government’s steel policy guidelines.

The review of UK steel safeguards is being led by the Trade Investigation Directorate, an independent arm of the Department for International Trade and it would be premature for the Government to comment on this before the recommendations have been published.

A joint Industry/BEIS Taskforce has been established to consider issues reported by UK steel producers in relation to their ability to secure public sector contracts. It is expected to report in Autumn 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will require contractors on UK procurement projects to provide reasoning where UK steel has not been used.

The Government is committed to supporting the steel sector. Guidance published in December 2016 (PPN 11/16) has helped to create a level playing field by ensuring the full value offered by UK steel suppliers can be considered in major projects. Guidance covering supply chain plans and advertising opportunities is already included and the Government may consider additional obligations beyond the current guidance if they are in the public interest.

The steel guidance was designed only for contracts awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015; this does not include procurements which are based on Contracts for Difference arrangements that require a different process.

Departmental compliance with the steel guidance is published annually on Gov.uk along with a steel procurement pipeline to show future steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

Departments are encouraged to sign up to aspects of the UK Steel Charter where relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant procurement regulations, and the Government’s steel policy guidelines.

The review of UK steel safeguards is being led by the Trade Investigation Directorate, an independent arm of the Department for International Trade and it would be premature for the Government to comment on this before the recommendations have been published.

A joint Industry/BEIS Taskforce has been established to consider issues reported by UK steel producers in relation to their ability to secure public sector contracts. It is expected to report in Autumn 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether critical minerals supply will be part of the UK's G7 objectives.

Critical Minerals supply is an important global issue as we use our G7 Presidency to help drive the global economic recovery, harnessing green technologies and renewable energy generation and storage.

The security of critical supply chains - including critical minerals - is being considered as a possible area of focus for the G7 Panel on Economic Resilience, chaired by Lord Sedwill of Sherborne in his capacity as the Prime Minister's G7 Envoy on Economic Resilience. The Panel will consult widely across and beyond the G7 and report its recommendations at the Leaders’ Summit in June.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) guidance and (b) support is available to parish councils to deal with (i) vexatious and (ii) repeated freedom of information requests.

The Government recognises the substantial public interest in parish councils affairs, including those in Handforth.

The Government also recognises the difficulties that genuinely vexatious and repeated freedom of information requests can place on smaller organisations and in 2018, issued a revised Code of Practice to allow for the use of relevant provisions in the Freedom of Information Act where necessary and appropriate.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the cost to parish councils of dealing with freedom of information requests.

The Government recognises the substantial public interest in parish councils affairs, including those in Handforth.

The Government also recognises the difficulties that genuinely vexatious and repeated freedom of information requests can place on smaller organisations and in 2018, issued a revised Code of Practice to allow for the use of relevant provisions in the Freedom of Information Act where necessary and appropriate.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the removal of tariffs and quotas placed on steel movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has provided comprehensive guidance on the processes that apply for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is available on gov.uk. This includes the various means that are in place - whether through the UK Trader Scheme, the de minimis waiver arrangements, or the preferential arrangements available under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement - to ensure goods are able to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland tariff-free. We have also established the Trader Support Service, to which more than 27,000 companies are signed up, to support traders engaging in those processes. It is complemented by the Movement Assistance Scheme which provides assistance for traders moving food or agricultural products for which specific SPS controls apply.

As my Rt Hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out in the Commons on 13 January, the UK has operated arrangements since 1 January to ensure relevant UK-origin steel products do not incur tariffs when moving to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. EU origin steel will also not be subject to tariffs when moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. On 21 January the Government also set out to stakeholders how relevant quotas can be accessed when businesses in Northern Ireland import steel from the rest of the world, and we remain in intensive contact with industry as these arrangements are put in place.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made in negotiations to raise UK quotas within the EU safeguards to account for the additional steel moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has provided comprehensive guidance on the processes that apply for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is available on gov.uk. This includes the various means that are in place - whether through the UK Trader Scheme, the de minimis waiver arrangements, or the preferential arrangements available under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement - to ensure goods are able to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland tariff-free. We have also established the Trader Support Service, to which more than 27,000 companies are signed up, to support traders engaging in those processes. It is complemented by the Movement Assistance Scheme which provides assistance for traders moving food or agricultural products for which specific SPS controls apply.

As my Rt Hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out in the Commons on 13 January, the UK has operated arrangements since 1 January to ensure relevant UK-origin steel products do not incur tariffs when moving to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. EU origin steel will also not be subject to tariffs when moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. On 21 January the Government also set out to stakeholders how relevant quotas can be accessed when businesses in Northern Ireland import steel from the rest of the world, and we remain in intensive contact with industry as these arrangements are put in place.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to improve and clarify the customs process for companies moving product from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has provided comprehensive guidance on the processes that apply for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is available on gov.uk. This includes the various means that are in place - whether through the UK Trader Scheme, the de minimis waiver arrangements, or the preferential arrangements available under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement - to ensure goods are able to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland tariff-free. We have also established the Trader Support Service, to which more than 27,000 companies are signed up, to support traders engaging in those processes. It is complemented by the Movement Assistance Scheme which provides assistance for traders moving food or agricultural products for which specific SPS controls apply.

As my Rt Hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out in the Commons on 13 January, the UK has operated arrangements since 1 January to ensure relevant UK-origin steel products do not incur tariffs when moving to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. EU origin steel will also not be subject to tariffs when moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. On 21 January the Government also set out to stakeholders how relevant quotas can be accessed when businesses in Northern Ireland import steel from the rest of the world, and we remain in intensive contact with industry as these arrangements are put in place.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Department is taking to ensure that all sub-contractors working on taxpayer funded infrastructure projects are paid promptly and fairly by the main project contractors.

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (113) require government contractors to be paid within 30 days of receiving an invoice, and for these terms to be passed down the supply chain. Furthermore, the Government has introduced a measure to exclude suppliers who do not pay their whole supply chain promptly from major government work.

Businesses are encouraged to report instances of late or unfair payment in public sector contracts to the Public Procurement Review Service.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking in response to GB exports of steel to NI being subject to EU safeguards.

As my Rt Hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out in the Commons last week, the UK has put arrangements in place such that steel from Great Britain can move into Northern Ireland without being subject to tariffs.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of female engineers employed in the energy sector.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate the Government has made of the number of women employed in STEM roles in (a) Rother Valley, (b) Rotherham and (c) South Yorkshire in the latest period for which data is available.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the number of women employed in engineering roles in (a) Rother Valley, (b) Rotherham and (c) South Yorkshire in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the number of women employed in energy sector roles in (a) Rother Valley, (b) Rotherham and (c) South Yorkshire in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will make an assessment of the effect of the rules of origin provisions in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on critical mineral supply chains for downstream original equipment manufacturers based in the UK.

As we set out in our Integrated Review last month, our priority actions include, “to diversify the UK’s supply in critical goods, such as medical equipment and rare earth elements, through trade partnerships and international collaboration… Within the UK, we will continue to explore opportunities around domestic extraction and processing of critical minerals, such as lithium, as well as their recovery, recycling and reuse to establish a viable circular economy".

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU came into effect on 1 January 2021. Original equipment manufacturers across a range of sectors have welcomed the deal, and the Government worked closely with industry before and during the negotiation to develop tailored rules of origin.

For example, critical mineral supply chains are important for the electric vehicle supply chain. Provisions on rules of origin include a transitional period for electrified vehicles and batteries, which allows manufacturers flexibility to meet rules of origin requirements while local supply chains develop.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons there will be a requirement when hospitality businesses reopen as covid-19 lockdown measures are eased that food and drinks must be ordered when seated in licensed premises serving alcohol in indoor and outdoor settings whereas in premises not serving alcohol customers will be able to order at the counter.

As set out in ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, the step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England published on 22 February, customers in hospitality premises serving alcohol permitted to open at steps 1-3 will be required to order, eat and drink when seated (‘table service’). This is to reduce the risk of transmission. Social distancing restrictions, including those affecting the hospitality sector, will be reviewed ahead of step 4.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure the £200 million from the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel is used in support of steel sector innovation.

The Government recognises the importance of research and innovation in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role in developing the UK’s economy. We have taken a number of steps to facilitate innovation in steel making in the UK, including;

Firstly, providing up to £66m through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help steel and other foundation industries develop radical new technologies and establish innovation centres of excellence in these sectors.

Secondly, establishing a £250m Clean Steel Fund that will support the decarbonisation of the steel sector, supporting its transition to new low carbon technologies and processes. The Government also plans to establish a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (previously Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund): with £240m of capital co-investment out to 2024/25. This will support at-scale production from both Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) enabled (‘blue’) hydrogen and electrolytic (‘green’) hydrogen projects.

Finally, as part of the Spring 2020 Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £22m (subject to a business case) for the Materials Processing Institute in Teesside to deliver a R&D programme of transformation manufacturing - to help UK steel and metals sector improve efficiencies, slash emissions and ultimately boost global competitive edge.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on the importance of extending the UK Steel Safegaurds.

BEIS Ministers and officials have held regular discussions with counterparts in the Department for International Trade and other Government departments on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on 1st October 2020. The Government cannot pre-empt TRID’s recommendation by considering the future of the measures before such a review is complete.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits of maintaining and extending the UK Steel Safeguards.

BEIS Ministers and officials have held regular discussions with counterparts in the Department for International Trade and other Government departments on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on 1st October 2020. The Government cannot pre-empt TRID’s recommendation by considering the future of the measures before such a review is complete.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing micro businesses with fewer than five employees access to the Help to Grow programme.

The Help to Grow programmes will support UK small businesses to scale and grow as they recover from the pandemic. Help to Grow: Management will provide intensive management skills support to 30,000 small businesses. Help to Grow: Digital aims to support 100,000 small businesses, through an online platform to support businesses to adopt technology and a voucher for software costs.

The eligibility criteria ensures funding is used where it will have the greatest overall impact in saving time and money across businesses, and strikes the best possible balance between helping a large number of businesses and promoting the greatest productivity benefit per business. Firms with fewer employees can still benefit from free, impartial advice through the online platform.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what Government (a) initiatives and (b) schemes are available to micro businesses with fewer than five employees to help them grow and scale up.

The Government offers a range of support to help businesses, including micro businesses, grow and thrive.

Businesses of all sizes can access advice and support through our online support at GOV.UK, including the online Finance Finder and via the free Business Support Helpline.

The network of 38 Growth Hubs across England plays a key role in providing tailored support to businesses at a local level in England, joining up national and local business support so businesses can find the help they need.

The Start-Up Loans Company provides funding and intensive support to new entrepreneurs. Since 2012 the Start-Up Loans programme has delivered 81,608 loans overall in the UK, supporting over £707.6m of funding (as of 28 February 2021).

Businesses can also access the Government-backed British Business Bank’s online Finance Hub, which helps raise awareness of appropriate finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high-growth SMEs.

Micro businesses are also able to apply for relevant elements of the continued comprehensive package of support designed to help as many businesses as possible during this challenging period. The measures introduced include the small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. These measures have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

Further measures have been announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer that build on the significant support already available as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. This includes the extension of the CJRS until the end of September 2021, extending and amending the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes to allow businesses more time and greater flexibility to repay their loans, and the extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to a fourth and a fifth grant.

The Government continues to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect on the steel sector of the extension of the Carbon Price Support.

There have been regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

We recognise that industrial consumers currently pay higher electricity prices than elsewhere in most of Europe and we have therefore taken steps to reduce the indirect cost due to the Renewables Obligation, Contract-for-Difference and small-scale Feed-in Tariff for certain energy intensive industries, including the steel sector, and to provide compensation for the indirect emission cost due to the UK Emission Trading System and Carbon Price Support Mechanism, including to the steel sector. These steps total more than £500m in relief to the sector between 2013 and the end of 2019 to make electricity prices more competitive, including around £150 million during 2019.

We have also introduced a metallurgical exemption from the Climate Change Levy. France and Germany have taken similar steps. Additionally, at Budget 2018 we announced £315 million for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) to support industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects to bring energy costs down for these vital industries.

We are about the publish a consultation reviewing the compensation schemes for the indirect emission cost due to UK carbon pricing.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide additional support on electricity price disparity now that the UK has left the EU.

There have been regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

We recognise that industrial consumers currently pay higher electricity prices than elsewhere in most of Europe and we have therefore taken steps to reduce the indirect cost due to the Renewables Obligation, Contract-for-Difference and small-scale Feed-in Tariff for certain energy intensive industries, including the steel sector, and to provide compensation for the indirect emission cost due to the UK Emission Trading System and Carbon Price Support Mechanism, including to the steel sector. These steps total more than £500m in relief to the sector between 2013 and the end of 2019 to make electricity prices more competitive, including around £150 million during 2019.

We have also introduced a metallurgical exemption from the Climate Change Levy. France and Germany have taken similar steps. Additionally, at Budget 2018 we announced £315 million for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) to support industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects to bring energy costs down for these vital industries.

We are about the publish a consultation reviewing the compensation schemes for the indirect emission cost due to UK carbon pricing.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential disparity in electricity prices between steelmakers in the UK, France and Germany.

There have been regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

We recognise that industrial consumers currently pay higher electricity prices than elsewhere in most of Europe and we have therefore taken steps to reduce the indirect cost due to the Renewables Obligation, Contract-for-Difference and small-scale Feed-in Tariff for certain energy intensive industries, including the steel sector, and to provide compensation for the indirect emission cost due to the UK Emission Trading System and Carbon Price Support Mechanism, including to the steel sector. These steps total more than £500m in relief to the sector between 2013 and the end of 2019 to make electricity prices more competitive, including around £150 million during 2019.

We have also introduced a metallurgical exemption from the Climate Change Levy. France and Germany have taken similar steps. Additionally, at Budget 2018 we announced £315 million for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) to support industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects to bring energy costs down for these vital industries.

We are about the publish a consultation reviewing the compensation schemes for the indirect emission cost due to UK carbon pricing.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate a level playing field in electricity price cost for UK steelmakers compared to their French and German counterparts.

There have been regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of issues of importance to the steel industry.

We recognise that industrial consumers currently pay higher electricity prices than elsewhere in most of Europe and we have therefore taken steps to reduce the indirect cost due to the Renewables Obligation, Contract-for-Difference and small-scale Feed-in Tariff for certain energy intensive industries, including the steel sector, and to provide compensation for the indirect emission cost due to the UK Emission Trading System and Carbon Price Support Mechanism, including to the steel sector. These steps total more than £500m in relief to the sector between 2013 and the end of 2019 to make electricity prices more competitive, including around £150 million during 2019.

We have also introduced a metallurgical exemption from the Climate Change Levy. France and Germany have taken similar steps. Additionally, at Budget 2018 we announced £315 million for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) to support industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects to bring energy costs down for these vital industries.

We are about the publish a consultation reviewing the compensation schemes for the indirect emission cost due to UK carbon pricing.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made on the preparation of Contracts for Difference Auction Round 4; what changes he is planning on support for wave and tidal technology deployment in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

As announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister in October 2020, the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round (Allocation Round 4) is due to open in late 2021. Preparations for the round are ongoing, and we will publish the timetable for the round and information on allocation round parameters later this year.

The Government recently ran a Call for Evidence inviting views on the scope for marine technologies across the UK. This concluded on 30th September 2020 and we are currently reviewing the responses received. Wave and tidal stream projects remain eligible to compete in pot 2 for CfD auctions and will be considered in the wider context of setting auction parameters.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to support the development of the onshore supply chain for tidal and wave technologies; and if he will make a statement.

Tidal and wave technologies could have a potentially important role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK, however, they will have to reduce their costs sufficiently, to compete with other renewable technologies. We are committed to growing a development of a competitive UK supply chain in parallel with our plans for increasing the deployment of renewable electricity generating technologies. We are continuing to consider policy related to these technologies in light of the information received from the recent Marine Energy Call for Evidence on the potential of marine energy projects.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will set out a target for wave and tidal stream energy from 2030 onwards.

Following our recent Call for Evidence which invited views on the potential of marine energy projects, we are now considering policy related to wave and tidal energy in light of the information received from the Call for Evidence. Wave and tidal stream projects remain eligible to compete in pot 2 for CfD auctions.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the economic benefits of green hydrogen development.

Low carbon hydrogen will be vital for meeting our legally binding commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, with potential to help decarbonise vital UK industry sectors and provide flexible deployment across heat, power and transport.

Working with industry, the UK is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

The UK has expertise and assets to support both electrolytic (green) and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) enabled (blue) hydrogen. Our twin track approach to enable both routes will drive cost effective supply volumes in the 2020s in line with our 2030 ambition, whilst scaling up green hydrogen.

As outlines in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, achieving our ambition could support up to 8,000 jobs and bring over £4bn of private investment by 2030, potentially unlocking up to 100,000 jobs and £12bn GVA by 2050 in a high hydrogen net zero scenario.

The Government is clear that in supporting the growth of a hydrogen economy, there should be a focus on maximising economic benefits for local and regional communities and the UK as a whole. The UK will work with the green hydrogen sector to seek opportunities and export UK expertise and technology into the global hydrogen economy as it grows.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the size of the UK's industrial base in green hydrogen.

Low carbon hydrogen will be vital for meeting our legally binding commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, with potential to help decarbonise vital UK industry sectors and provide flexible deployment across heat, power and transport.

Working with industry, the UK is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

The UK has expertise, innovation and natural assets to support both electrolytic (green) and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) blue hydrogen. Our twin track approach to enable both routes will drive cost effective supply volumes in the 2020s in line with our 2030 5GW ambition, whilst scaling up green hydrogen.

The UK has the makings of a world leading hydrogen sector, enabling us to create strong domestic supply chains with jobs and growth expected across our industrial heartlands and beyond. We are working with industry to further understand these strengths and opportunities, including a focus on green hydrogen.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to attract critical mineral processors to the UK.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has stated, the Global Supply Chain Directorate, led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), interrogates vulnerabilities in UK global supply chains for critical goods (excluding food) and develops strategies to strengthen supply chain resilience. The Global Supply Chain Directorate’s strategic framework acts as a guide for Departments to select the actions they can take to strengthen resilience, taking a market-first approach which supports the UK’s free trade stance.

DIT is actively engaging with a number of potential critical minerals processing and refining companies with a view to securing investment to the UK. Further questions related to steps to attract international actors to the UK should be addressed to DIT.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of cobalt the UK will need to meet its requirements in each year to 2030.

The Government has not published estimates for these materials. However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published an external report regarding UK materials and future resource risk in July 2020. Consultant's views regarding UK needs can be found here. Further questions regarding this research can be directed to DEFRA.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of lithium the UK will need to meet its requirements in each year to 2030.

The Government has not published estimates for these materials. However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published an external report regarding UK materials and future resource risk in July 2020. Consultant's views regarding UK needs can be found here. Further questions regarding this research can be directed to DEFRA.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of graphite the UK will need to meet its requirements in each year to 2030.

The Government has not published estimates for these materials. However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published an external report regarding UK materials and future resource risk in July 2020. Consultant's views regarding UK needs can be found here. Further questions regarding this research can be directed to DEFRA.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has an official critical minerals list.

Up until EU Exit, the UK might refer to the European Commission's latest list. A copy can be found here. Following EU Exit, the UK has not published an official critical minerals list.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many points of the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution are dependant on a secure critical mineral supply chain.

As set out in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial revolution, we will quadruple our offshore wind capacity by 2030 and end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, 10 years earlier than planned, announcing the first £500 million of investment this Parliament to drive the electrification of the UK automotive sector. This will bring investment, create high-quality jobs, and strengthen British industry. Critical minerals will be important in developing offshore wind and zero-emission vehicles to meet these targets, and coordinated work is taking place across Whitehall departments to ensure there continues to be a secure, long-term supply chain.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many UK critical mineral companies there are (a) in the UK and (b) internationally.

The Government does not have a published definition of a critical mineral company. International horizon scanning questions are a matter for the Department for International Trade.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to publish a critical minerals strategy before the next G7 meeting.

The UK Government has not made a commitment to publish a critical mineral strategy before the next G7 meeting. Questions regarding the next G7 event can be referred to the Cabinet Office.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what organisations the Government has worked with on the UK's critical mineral supply chain requirements.

The Government has engaged with a number of organisations regarding mineral supply chain requirements.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has led an analysis of several critical raw material supply chains. The analysis included input from UK Government Departments and industry sources.

The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have supported UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and their partners, including UK universities. For example, the Critical Elements and Materials (CrEAM) network, new circular economy centres, and the Government Office for Science. Finally, BEIS Ministerial meetings with external organisations are available here.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's critical mineral strategy for the UK is.

The Government has not published a discrete critical minerals strategy for the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the risk in respect of the sale of unsafe products on online marketplaces.

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe products can be sold in the UK. All distributors have a duty to act with due care to ensure products they are selling are safe, this includes online retailers.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) proactively engages with major online marketplaces to ensure that they are playing their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe products and has recently taken action to ensure that a number of non-compliant products being sold by overseas third-party sellers have been removed from sale.

Looking forward, OPSS is developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online. This will enable online marketplaces to demonstrate their commitment to the safety of their consumers in the UK by publicly promising to work with UK regulators.

To ensure that the UK’s Product Safety framework is flexible and fit for the future, OPSS is conducting a review. The review will ensure we have a framework that delivers safety for consumers while supporting businesses to innovate and grow and will consider the impact on product safety of new business models, including e-commerce and third-party marketplaces.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the proppant squeeze process is prohibited under the Government's moratorium on fracking in relation to seismic activity.

The Ministerial Statement of 4 November 2019 makes clear that the moratorium on fracking applies to operations that require Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The definition of associated hydraulic fracturing is used for the purposes of Hydraulic Fracturing Consent, as set out under section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 (inserted by Section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015).

This definition was based on the approach taken by the European Commission, which defines high-volume hydraulic fracturing as involving the injection into a well of 1000m3 or more of water per fracturing stage or 10000m3 or more of water during the entire fracturing process.

Activities outside of this definition are not included in the moratorium.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to maximise existing (a) energy infrastructure and (b) expertise to help achieve the Government's ambition of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The public and private sectors must work in partnership to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Department regularly engages with industry and advisors to maximise industry input and feedback to Government policy as we transition towards net zero by 2050.

This dialogue is maintained through a variety of forums: public consultations and calls for evidence, ongoing regular supplier and generator roundtables at both a ministerial and official level; official task forces and advisory bodies; and specific sector engagement to ensure that Government is fully informed of industry developments in key policy areas.

Last month, I led a series of roundtables with key stakeholder groups following the publication of the Energy White Paper. These were in addition to an ongoing dialogue with large, medium and small businesses to understand the unique challenges they face in relation to net zero.

Examples of more specific government-industry collaboration include the Hydrogen Advisory Council, a joint Government-Industry forum established to identify and promote concrete actions required to enable the supply of low carbon hydrogen at scale for use across the energy system. The Council will inform the development of a UK hydrogen strategy which we will bring forward in the first half of this year.

Our strategy will set out a comprehensive approach to building a UK hydrogen economy that is fit for purpose and pave the way towards achieving our ambition of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 – working with industry partners to achieve this.

Hydrogen offers potential to repurpose the gas network to a low-carbon alternative, and we are working in partnership with industry to assess the feasibility and impacts of converting parts or the whole of the existing gas network to full hydrogen. This will test and evaluate the potential of hydrogen as an option for heating our homes and workplaces. We have set out a vision for a possible ‘hydrogen town’ before the end of the decade, building on a programme of community trials in the first half of the decade which we will support the gas industry to deliver. In parallel, we will also work with industry with the aim of completing the testing and safety case necessary to enable government and the regulator to amend regulations that could allow for up to 20% blending of hydrogen into the gas distribution grid by 2023.

We have also established the CCUS Council which advises on the deployment of carbon capture and storage, a technology which will be crucial to achieving our net zero targets and where the re use of oil and gas infrastructure can be a key enabler.

In addition, we are working closely with the oil and gas industry to negotiate a North Sea Transition Deal. Not only cutting emissions, but also enabling new industries such as CCUS and Hydrogen to develop, supporting supply chain transformation and capability development in new net zero sectors, and championing the sector’s workforce and importance to the net zero skills transition in industrial heartlands.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the proposed regulatory framework to provide stakeholders greater assurance that a sale is appropriate set out in the Insolvency Service's Pre-pack sales in administration report, published on October 2020.

The Government has committed to strengthening the regulation of pre-pack sales in administration to connected persons. This was outlined in the report published 8 October 2020. The proposed regulatory framework, which was subject to stakeholder consultation, will strengthen the integrity of pre-pack sales by promoting greater transparency for creditors whilst ensuring that pre-pack sales remain a valuable rescue tool in the UK’s insolvency framework. The Government is preparing regulations to be laid as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to help increase the UK’s covid-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity to meet future needs for that vaccine.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scaleup the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic, including:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine; and
  • Funding for fill and finish capability through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales, which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire; and
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into new covid-19 variants.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into new COVID-19 variants.

The University of Liverpool is part of a new national research project to study the effects of emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2. Supported by £2.5 million of funding from UKRI, the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium will study how mutations in the virus affect key outcomes. This includes factors such as how transmissible the virus is, the severity of COVID-19 caused, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The Consortium will bring together leading virologists from 10 research institutions including the University of Liverpool. The university will work alongside the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which plays a world-leading role in virus genome sequencing, as well as Public Health England, to boost the UK's capacity to study newly identified virus variants and rapidly inform the Government’s policy.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to prepare for the potential event that the UK does not formally associate to Horizon Europe.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the prospects of the UK's negotiations with the EU on the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors in Rother Valley constituency that have not received financial support from their local authority during the covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses that did not receive grant support earlier in the covid-19 outbreak may still be eligible for grant support available now, and should check with their local authority.

If, for any reason, a business is not eligible for the grant support that has been put in place for businesses mandated to close, local authorities are able to provide discretionary support via the Additional Restrictions Grant.

A range of other measures to support businesses have been made available in response to Covid-19 including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business rates holiday and a range of business loan schemes. Details about all measures are available at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether businesses that have not been mandated to close but are only able to operate online under the national lockdown guidance are eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant - Closed.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is only available to businesses that are required by law to close. Other business that are not mandated to close but which suffer adverse impacts may be eligible for discretionary funding and should apply to their Local Authority.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether dog training businesses operating from a business rates registered premises are entitled to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant - Closed.

Local authorities are the decision makers on the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and must make decisions based on legislation and guidance that has been provided.

There are three key considerations when a Local Authority determines the eligibility of a business for a grant under the LRSG (Closed):

  • Is the business the business rate payer of a hereditament that appears on the rating list?
  • Is the main service of that business required to close due to the restrictions?
  • Is the business able to self-declare that it meets all scheme conditions, including eligibility and State aid requirements?

Where an organisation meets all of these criteria, it is considered eligible to receive a grant through the mandatory LRSG (Closed) scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discretion local authorities have to determine whether a business has been mandated to close when deciding eligibility for the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed (LSRG – Closed).

The list of businesses mandated to close is set out in legislation. Local authorities should rely on the relevant legislation and on the guidance provided to determine whether a business is eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of issuing guidance to local authorities on the eligibility of wholesale distributors for Local Restriction Support Grants.

Guidance to local authorities on the January Support Package for business was issued on 5th January. This guidance makes clear that only business premises that have been required to close due to Covid-19 restrictions will be eligible for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) where they meet the criteria set out in the guidance.

I recognise that there are some groups of businesses that are not required by law to close, but which are severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. That is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that a further £500m in discretionary grant funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant is being made available to local authorities, on top of £1.1bn already allocated in November, which will allow grant support to be provided to severely affected businesses in a way that suits local economies. It is for local authorities to determine the best use of the Additional Restrictions Grant in their area.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the eligibility of wholesale distributors for Local Restriction Support Grants.

The scope of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) has always been on those businesses required to close by law.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that a further £500m in discretionary grant funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant is being made available to local authorities, on top of £1.1bn already allocated in November, which allows local authorities to provide discretionary support to businesses not required to close but which are severely affected by the restrictions, including many wholesale distributors. It is for local authorities to determine the best use of the Additional Restrictions Grant in their area.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Local Government Association on the eligibility of wholesale distributors for Local Restriction Support Grants.

There has been close engagement with the local government sector, including the Local Government Association, throughout the design and implementation of grant support for businesses during the local and national restrictions. Local Authorities are responsible for managing grants schemes locally and determining eligibility, including for discretionary grants for businesses that are severely impacted but not eligible for grants for closed businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the 2011 amendments to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 in ensuring fair and prompt payment for small businesses and contractors in the construction industry.

The Government acknowledges that non-payment and late payment are significant problems for small businesses in the UK, and we remain fully committed to tackling them.

Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (‘the Construction Act’) creates a framework for fair and prompt payment through the construction supply chain, and a resolution procedure for disputes.

The Post-Implementation Review of the 2011 Amendments to the Construction Act will formally assess the impact on the construction sector.

The stakeholder responses to the consultation which supported the Post-Implementation Review broadly favoured the principles of the framework and dispute resolution procedure.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking following the publication of the summary of the responses to the consultation on the 2011 amendments to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, to improve the dispute resolution framework in construction industry.

The Government acknowledges that non-payment and late payment are significant problems for small businesses in the UK, and we remain fully committed to tackling them.

Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (‘the Construction Act’) creates a framework for fair and prompt payment through the construction supply chain, and a resolution procedure for disputes.

The Post-Implementation Review of the 2011 Amendments to the Construction Act will formally assess the impact on the construction sector.

The stakeholder responses to the consultation which supported the Post-Implementation Review broadly favoured the principles of the framework and dispute resolution procedure.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure prompt and fair payments for small businesses and sub-contractors in the construction industry.

The Government is committed to fulfilling its manifesto commitment to clamp down on non-payment and late payment to support small businesses in the UK.

We have introduced a number of measures to tackle late payment. These include the Payment Practices Reporting Duty which creates transparency in payment behaviour, and the Prompt Payment Code which sets standards and best practice in payment culture. Both measures are applicable in the construction sector.

Since September 2019, suppliers also risk being excluded from winning large Government contracts if they cannot demonstrate prompt payment. This policy applies to Central Government contracts valued above £5m per annum, subject to the Public Contracts Regulations.

In addition, in May 2020 the Government issued a Guidance Note on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government will continue to review behaviours in contracting, including public sector procurement, prompt payment and contract management arrangements.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to align the UK emissions trading scheme with the Government's net zero target.

The UK ETS will be the world’s first net zero carbon cap and trade market, and a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Reaching our net zero target will provide crucial benefits such as reducing the risks of catastrophic climate change, reduced air pollution, economic growth, and green collar jobs.

By placing a cap on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions and issuing tradable emissions allowances under the cap, the UK ETS creates a market to ensure the most economically efficient distribution of emissions allowances and to incentivise emissions reductions where these are most cost-effective. The transparent downward cap trajectory provides a clear signal mobilising the participants in the covered sectors to invest in emissions reduction technologies and measures, which will be needed as supply of allowances tightens over time.

The UK ETS is more ambitious than the EU system it replaces - from day one the cap has been reduced by 5% below the UK’s expected notional share of the EU ETS cap for Phase IV. We received the Climate Change Committee’s advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget on the 9 December 2020, including their recommendation on the level of traded sector emissions from 2023 to 2030. We are considering this advice carefully and will consult on a net zero consistent trajectory for the cap in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to establish a link between the UK Emissions Trading Scheme and other emissions trading schemes.

The Government recognises the importance of international co-operation on carbon pricing and the important role international carbon markets can play.

In that spirit, the UK is open to linking the UK ETS internationally in principle. There are more than 20 emissions trading systems globally.

This includes the EU ETS and the UK-EU Free Trade and Cooperation Agreement makes clear both parties will have their own effective systems of carbon pricing in place to help fulfil our respective climate goals. Both Parties have agreed to cooperate on carbon pricing in future and consider linking our respective systems, although we are not under any obligation to do so.

International collaboration is a key part of the UK’s global leadership on climate change and I look forward to working closely with my overseas counterparts on all aspects of tackling this global challenge, including carbon pricing.

Details of emissions trading systems around the world are available in the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) Status Report 2020, available at: https://icapcarbonaction.com/en/icap-status-report-2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of which countries' emissions trading schemes are suitable for linkage with the UK Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Government recognises the importance of international co-operation on carbon pricing and the important role international carbon markets can play.

In that spirit, the UK is open to linking the UK ETS internationally in principle. There are more than 20 emissions trading systems globally.

This includes the EU ETS and the UK-EU Free Trade and Cooperation Agreement makes clear both parties will have their own effective systems of carbon pricing in place to help fulfil our respective climate goals. Both Parties have agreed to cooperate on carbon pricing in future and consider linking our respective systems, although we are not under any obligation to do so.

International collaboration is a key part of the UK’s global leadership on climate change and I look forward to working closely with my overseas counterparts on all aspects of tackling this global challenge, including carbon pricing.

Details of emissions trading systems around the world are available in the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) Status Report 2020, available at: https://icapcarbonaction.com/en/icap-status-report-2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits of a net zero aligned UK ETS.

The UK ETS will be the world’s first net zero carbon cap and trade market, and a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Reaching our net zero target will provide crucial benefits such as reducing the risks of catastrophic climate change, reduced air pollution, economic growth, and green collar jobs.

By placing a cap on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions and issuing tradable emissions allowances under the cap, the UK ETS creates a market to ensure the most economically efficient distribution of emissions allowances and to incentivise emissions reductions where these are most cost-effective. The transparent downward cap trajectory provides a clear signal mobilising the participants in the covered sectors to invest in emissions reduction technologies and measures, which will be needed as supply of allowances tightens over time.

The UK ETS is more ambitious than the EU system it replaces - from day one the cap has been reduced by 5% below the UK’s expected notional share of the EU ETS cap for Phase IV. We received the Climate Change Committee’s advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget on the 9 December 2020, including their recommendation on the level of traded sector emissions from 2023 to 2030. We are considering this advice carefully and will consult on a net zero consistent trajectory for the cap in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits of a linked UK ETS.

Carbon pricing policies that work using the cap-and-trade principle, such as the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), can deliver cost-effective decarbonisation, as they incentivise abatement to occur where and when it is cheapest. In principle, larger carbon markets lead to more cost-effective emission reductions, since emission allowances are tradable across a larger and more diverse pool of participants.

Linking carbon markets would also lead towards an alignment of carbon prices across the linked schemes. This can minimise the risk of any competitive distortions that may have resulted from unevenly applied carbon prices.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits of a linked UK ETS for industry and international trade.

Carbon pricing policies that work using the cap-and-trade principle, such as the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), can deliver cost-effective decarbonisation, as they incentivise abatement to occur where and when it is cheapest. In principle, larger carbon markets lead to more cost-effective emission reductions, since emission allowances are tradable across a larger and more diverse pool of participants.

Linking carbon markets would also lead towards an alignment of carbon prices across the linked schemes. This can minimise the risk of any competitive distortions that may have resulted from unevenly applied carbon prices.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with his overseas counterparts on a linked UK ETS.

The Government recognises the importance of international co-operation on carbon pricing and the important role international carbon markets can play.

In that spirit, the UK is open to linking the UK ETS internationally in principle. There are more than 20 emissions trading systems globally.

This includes the EU ETS and the UK-EU Free Trade and Cooperation Agreement makes clear both parties will have their own effective systems of carbon pricing in place to help fulfil our respective climate goals. Both Parties have agreed to cooperate on carbon pricing in future and consider linking our respective systems, although we are not under any obligation to do so.

International collaboration is a key part of the UK’s global leadership on climate change and I look forward to working closely with my overseas counterparts on all aspects of tackling this global challenge, including carbon pricing.

Details of emissions trading systems around the world are available in the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) Status Report 2020, available at: https://icapcarbonaction.com/en/icap-status-report-2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to restrict the public sale of 1.3G effect fireworks.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks and disturbances to people and animals. Existing legislation controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit. Current legislation limits noise from fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

The Government remains committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through an effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards is also carrying out research on the varying levels of noise associated with different types of firework and I will consider the outcome once available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the change of the level of sales of louder 1.3g-effect fireworks.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks and disturbances to people and animals. Existing legislation controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit. Current legislation limits noise from fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

The Government remains committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through an effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards is also carrying out research on the varying levels of noise associated with different types of firework and I will consider the outcome once available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to ensure that unsafe fireworks are (a) not imported into and (b) not sold to the public in the UK.

The Government is committed to ensuring consumers are kept safe. There is a comprehensive legislative framework regulating the manufacture, storage, supply, possession and use of fireworks.

Local Authority Trading Standards work at the border and with retailers to ensure fireworks imported and sold are safe, and they have powers to enforce against those who place unsafe or non-compliant fireworks on the market, including those imported illegally or via the internet.

Local Trading Standards (and local fire and rescue authorities in metropolitan counties) can also take action against those selling fireworks without an appropriate licence.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to direct funds within the £11.1 billion in R&D funding announced in the Spending Review 2020 to programmes that support (a) health research and (b) life sciences R&D and deliver high-value jobs and investment to towns and cities in the North of England.

The Department’s Research and Development (R&D) Spending Review 2020 settlement supports our Departmental commitments as set out in the R&D Roadmap and helps to consolidate the UK’s position as a science superpower.

Indeed, the UK has one of the strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world, generating turnover of around?£80.7 billion?per annum in 2019.

Funding is subject to the departmental allocations process which is now underway. Further details of how funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make an assessment of the merits of the UK Miners Pension Scheme provision that 50 per cent of any surplus made after 1994 will be paid to the Government.

The Government has reconsidered the surplus sharing arrangements of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) and concluded that they remain appropriate.

We have agreed to scheme changes proposed by the MPS Trustees which guarantee that bonus pensions already accrued will not be lost in the event of a future deficit. These changes have been implemented.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the installation of hydrogen refuelling points on garage forecourts in the UK.

The Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is increasing the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and growing the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations. The programme is delivering new refuelling stations, upgrading some existing stations as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles. Government has also been supporting public and private sector fleets to become early adopters through the £2m FCEV Fleet Support Scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the number of green jobs.

The Government has set out its ambitious Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution – an innovative and ambitious programme of job creation that will support levelling up and up to 250,000 jobs across the country.

Spanning clean energy, buildings, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

It presents a vision for the UK that is greener, more prosperous and at the forefront of industries for the future, taking advantage of export opportunities in new, global emerging markets in low carbon technologies and services, while reinvigorating our industrial heartlands, including in the North East, North West, the Midlands, Scotland and Wales.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much (a) green and (b) blue hydrogen will be included in his Department's target of 5GW low carbon hydrogen production capacity.

The Government is committed to developing hydrogen as a decarbonised energy carrier, as confirmed in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution announced by the Prime Minister on 18th November.

The Plan set out that the Government, working with industry, is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity in the UK by 2030, to set us on the right pathway to net zero by 2050.

The Ten Point Plan package aims to bring forward a combination of commercial-scale CCUS-enabled ‘blue’ hydrogen and smaller scale electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen projects. Both these production methods – and other innovative techniques – will be needed to deliver UK hydrogen demand expected by 2050.

This twin-track approach to policy development will enable production to be brought forward at the necessary scale during the 2020s, to grow the supply chain and build confidence in the sector, whilst scaling up green hydrogen which is likely to dominate the global market in the long term. The levels of green and blue hydrogen production that make up the 5GW will depend on market developments in the 2020s.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will introduce a net zero test for all infrastructure policy and spending decisions made by his Department.

The UK’s climate change framework enables the Government to determine how best to balance emissions reductions across the economy. Any net emissions increase from infrastructure projects are managed within the Government’s overall strategy for meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 net zero target, as part of an economy-wide transition.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to implement (a) standardised climate reporting metrics and (b) carbon taxation while supporting UK net zero emissions research and development in sectors that will be subject to carbon penalties.

Meeting net zero and delivering the global transition to a low carbon economy will require unprecedented levels of investment in green technologies, services and infrastructure. The Government launched an ambitious 10 Point Plant this month, which will mobilise £12 billion of Government investment to unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030. This sets out a strong framework for investment, with a clear signals to investors of our commitment to net zero by 2050. As set out by the Chancellor in November 2020, the UK will become the first G20 country to make TCFD-aligned disclosures fully mandatory across the economy, with most requirements introduced in the next three years. This will provide decision-useful information to investors on the exposure of companies, asset managers and asset owners to climate risks.

The UK remains committed to carbon pricing as a key policy in decarbonising its economy and reducing industrial emissions, and will introduce an effective new system from 1 January 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to allocate funding to the development of future employment roles for workers in the (a) oil and gas and (b) other sectors to ensure that the economy is prepared for the transition towards net zero emissions.

The oil and gas sector, and particularly its supply chain, has a key role to play as we move to a net zero economy and we have committed to supporting this energy transition with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchoring the supply chain across the UK. Key features include a focus on new low carbon technologies, emissions reduction, skills supporting high-quality jobs, and innovation that will decarbonise our economy.

Our Ten Point Plan is our blueprint for a green industrial revolution. It combines ambitious policies with significant new public investment to deliver a vision for the UK that is greener, more prosperous and at the forefront of industries for the future. Spanning clean energy, buildings, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the Plan will mobilise £12 billion of Government investment and will support up to 250,000 green jobs.

This included the announcement to make the UK the world leader in clean wind energy, creating jobs, slashing carbon emissions and boosting exports. This includes £160 million that will be made available to upgrade ports and manufacturing infrastructure across communities in the UK. This new investment will see around 2,000 construction jobs created and these new plans will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and the supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK.

The Green Jobs Taskforce, which I and the Skills Minister, my hon Friend the Member for Chichester (Gillian Keegan) will chair, forms part of the Government’s ambitious plan to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Its aim will be to focus on the immediate and longer-term challenges of delivering skilled workers for the UK’s transition to net zero including supporting workers in high carbon transitioning sectors, like oil and gas, to retrain in new green technologies. This will also be a key aim for the upcoming North Sea Transition Deal.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to include changes to bereavement leave in the employment Bill.

We recognise that the death of a close family member, friend, or colleague can be deeply upsetting. The Government believes that individuals are best placed to understand their own specific needs and we encourage their employers to respond in an appropriate and sensitive way.

In April?this year we?introduced a new statutory entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay for parents who lose a child under the age of 18. Whilst this entitlement is not available to employees who suffer a bereavement in other circumstances, all employees have a?‘day 1’ right to take unpaid time off work for an emergency involving a dependant. Time off for Dependants can?also?be used to deal with practical issues, including registering the death and making funeral arrangements.

We will bring forward details of the Employment Bill in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK industries reduce the release carbon through extraction techniques.

The Government is committed to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. A key part of this is closing all unabated coal-fired power stations in Great Britain by 2024. The reduction of demand for coal in the UK will mean a reduction in domestic mining activity and therefore of the emissions associated with extraction.

The National Policy Statement is clear that planning permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless the proposal is environmentally acceptable or the national, local or community benefits outweigh its likely impacts. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government leads on planning policy for coal mines in England.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support (a) skills and (b) research and development in (i) low emission oil and gas extraction and (ii) hydrogen production; and what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of those technologies to export industry.

We will support the offshore oil and gas sector with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which we have committed to deliver within this Parliament. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchor the supply chain to the UK.

The oil and gas sector has an important part to play in sustaining our energy security of supply, and in the energy transition to support net zero, having many of the essential skills and capabilities in its world class supply chain to support emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production, and infrastructure to reduce its production emissions. Developing this capability will help provide significant export opportunities as the world moves towards clean energy.

In 2016, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established with £180 million funding, supported by the UK and Scottish Governments. The Centre aims to encourage, accelerate, and deliver innovation and innovative technologies in the North Sea as we transition to net zero.

We are committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. In line with this we are currently investing up to £121 million in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the production and potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain.

In November 2019, we published the Energy Innovation Needs Assessment for hydrogen and fuel cells. This identified that the future market for all hydrogen technologies could yield around £5.3bn of gross value added and create nearly 50,000 jobs by 2050 to meet demand in export and domestic markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to set up a new green investment bank to finance clean and resilient infrastructure projects throughout the UK.

Our (2019) Green Finance Strategy sets out how we intend to support progress towards Net Zero by 2050 by combining a focus on mobilising and accelerating flows of private finance into key clean growth sectors, using public funds to leverage private capital, whilst providing good value for taxpayers.

Infrastructure is central to our economic strategy, and the Government will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy setting out further details on its long-term ambitions in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on ensuring that the roll-out of hydrogen vehicles keeps pace with the rapid growth in hydrogen fuel production.

Low carbon hydrogen is one of a handful of critical options needed to deliver net zero, given its potential to help decarbonise heavy industry and flexible deployment across heat, power, and transport. We will be setting out our approach to growing the UK hydrogen economy early next year in the UK Hydrogen Strategy.

The Department regularly engages with the Department for Transport on tackling climate change and delivering our net zero commitments.

On 30 September, it was announced that Tees Valley will be the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub, bringing together industry, academia, and the Government to accelerate the UK’s take-up of green hydrogen. This aligns with wider plans to drive forward transport innovation by funding 19 new hydrogen-powered refuse trucks in Glasgow and starting trials for Britain’s first hydrogen-powered train. We are committed to exploring all options for low carbon hydrogen across freight, buses, trains, maritime, and aviation to ensure that the UK can lead the world in its deployment and use across the economy.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Transport to co-ordinate policy on a UK hydrogen strategy.

We have committed to publish a UK hydrogen strategy in early 2021 and development is well under way.

BEIS ministers and officials work across government departments, including the Department for Transport, to coordinate on hydrogen, both bilaterally and through governance arrangements at various levels.

This includes the Climate Action Implementation Cabinet Committee (CAI), chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which covers issues relating to net zero and hydrogen; the Climate National Strategy Implementation Group, reporting to the Cabinet Secretary involving Directors General across Whitehall, chaired by the DG Energy Transformation & Clean Growth; and the Hydrogen Advisory Council, co-chaired by myself as Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, and Sinead Lynch, UK Country Chair of Shell launched in July 2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to energy providers facing penalties for non-delivery of Capacity Market commitments that were terminated as a result of the closure of the Capacity Market in 2018-19.

The Capacity Market is the Government’s main tool for ensuring security of electricity supply. Capacity agreements impose a range of obligations and milestones on capacity providers both in the lead up to the delivery year and in the delivery year itself. This provides assurance that agreements will be met.

In light of the uncertainty created by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judgment and subsequent standstill period, the Government recognised that in some instances capacity providers might find it difficult to achieve compliance with these obligations by the set deadline. A range of these obligations and milestones were modified where there was a high provider cost associated with the obligation and its modification would not create risks to security of supply.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of investing funds from the public purse in electrolyser deployment.

The Government is committed to developing hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier.

We are investing in hydrogen innovation across the value chain. This includes the £33 million Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply competition aimed to accelerate the development of low carbon bulk hydrogen supply solutions and the Storage at Scale Competition, which looked for innovative, replicable large scale energy storage solutions that could provide a market competitive alternative to conventional commercial large-scale energy storage technologies. These included projects supporting electrolysis.

We are considering revenue support delivered by business models to support the deployment of, and investment in, low carbon hydrogen production and developing a £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund, announced in August 2019 to stimulate capital investment. Again, electrolysis is included in the scope of this work.

The Government intends to publish a hydrogen strategy early in 2021, which will include discussion around the costs associated with expansion of the UK hydrogen economy, including scale up of production, and how these might be met.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure UK mining industries undertake low carbon extraction techniques.

There are a number of R&D programmes that currently support innovative projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes, such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Transforming Foundation Industries, and the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, both of which are currently open for applications.

Mineral planning authorities are responsible for controlling the use of land for mining activities through the policies and proposals in their local plans and through the granting of planning permission. In granting planning permission mineral planning authorities should ensure that operations do not have unacceptable adverse impacts on the natural and historic environment or human health. Other regulators (such as the Environment Agency) are responsible the control of processes or emissions (where these are subject to separate pollution control regimes).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how he plans to support businesses that are using low environmental impact mining techniques.

There are a number of R&D programmes that currently support innovative projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes, such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Transforming Foundation Industries, and the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, both of which are currently open for applications.

Mineral planning authorities are responsible for controlling the use of land for mining activities through the policies and proposals in their local plans and through the granting of planning permission. In granting planning permission mineral planning authorities should ensure that operations do not have unacceptable adverse impacts on the natural and historic environment or human health. Other regulators (such as the Environment Agency) are responsible the control of processes or emissions (where these are subject to separate pollution control regimes).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of whether the Radioactive Waste Management Strategy has ensured that radioactive by-products from the extractive industry are always processed in a safe manner.

Waste from the extractive industry is covered by the 2009 Radioactive Discharges Strategy (2009 Discharges Strategy) and the 2014 Strategy for the management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) waste in the UK. These strategies aim to limit the exposure of the public and the environment to radiation and require the safe processing of waste as part of those intended outcomes.

In England, the safe management of radioactive wastes is regulated by the Environment Agency in accordance with The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016.

A 2018 review of the 2009 Discharges Strategy found that the UK was making good progress towards the Strategy’s intended outcomes and was contributing to the dose reduction aims of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic. Overall progress on the Strategy’s implementation is monitored through close liaison with our partners in the Devolved Administrations and UK environmental regulators.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to create a new ministerial responsibility within his Department to support the mining sector.

The Government recognises and values the importance of mining as a foundation industry serving a number of other vital industrial activities, and therefore this sector is covered by the responsibilities of my Hon. Friend the Minister for Business and Industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to encourage young people to study courses relating to mining and the procurement of energy at higher education.

The Government, through UK Research and Innovation, fund informal learning programmes to inspire young people to take up STEM subjects and careers and provide a future generation passionate about STEM, including geological science. For example, we support the STEM Ambassador programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 volunteers from a wide range of employers, who engage with young people to provide stimulating and inspirational activities to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding for (a) projects for deploying hydrogen in shipping and (b) a roll-out of electric charging points in ports.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not held any discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in relation to these specific issues.

There are however regular discussions between BEIS, the Department for Transport and HM Treasury officials in relation green shipping, including the deployment of alternative fuels such as hydrogen, and the provision of shore power in UK Ports.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the energy sector on the potential role a hydrogen hub can play in supporting the wider growth of the UK hydrogen economy.

We are aware of the value in co-locating low carbon hydrogen supply and demand in the early stages of expansion in any hydrogen economy; an approach sometimes referred to as a hydrogen hub. Ministers and officials are engaging extensively with hydrogen and wider energy stakeholders as we develop a UK Hydrogen Strategy for publication in early 2021. Discussions include ways in which to coordinate supply and demand and attract early investment as the hydrogen market develops, including place based approaches.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports that the French and German governments plan to work together on hydrogen development.

We are following international hydrogen developments and participate in a range of international fora, including the Clean Energy Ministerial, the International Partnership for Hydrogen for Fuel Cells in the Economy and Mission Innovation. These offer opportunities to discuss other countries’ domestic hydrogen strategies in detail and explore opportunities for collaboration. We plan to publish a UK Hydrogen Strategy in early 2021. This will be informed in part by assessment of international activity and the opportunities and challenges that presents for the UK.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has with his counterparts in European countries on co-operating with other international partners on hydrogen.

We are closely monitoring international hydrogen developments and participate in a range of international forums, including the International Partnership for Hydrogen for Fuel Cells in the Economy, Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial, and ad hoc meetings. These offer opportunities to discuss other countries’ domestic hydrogen strategies in detail and explore opportunities for collaboration. Since the UK has left the European Union, we are seeking to engage and cooperate with the EU and with EU Member States on hydrogen through normal diplomatic channels.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his appearance before the Environmental Audit Committee on 10 September, whether the Government plans to publish a funded UK hydrogen strategy in the first quarter of 2021.

The Government is committed to the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier for the UK. As set out at the Environmental Audit Committee on 10 September 2020, we plan to publish a Hydrogen Strategy in early 2021. The Strategy will include discussion around the costs associated with expansion of the UK hydrogen economy, and how these might be met.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on their role in the (a) development and (b) implementation of hydrogen technology.

The Government is committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier and works closely with local partnerships across the country. In the course of work to understand the potential role of hydrogen in the wider energy system, my officials and I have met with a range of national, regional and local stakeholders.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support staff who are being forced to renegotiate contracts when the furlough scheme ends.

The terms and conditions of employment are for negotiation and agreement between employers and employees (or their representatives). Provided they do not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability, employers are free to offer the terms and conditions of employment which best suit their business needs.

Once agreed, they form a legally binding contract of employment. While it is always open to either party to seek to renegotiate the terms of the contract, if the employer changes any of the terms without the employee's agreement, the employee may be entitled to seek legal redress. We expect all employers, to treat employees fairly. Depending on the extent and likely impact of the proposed changes, employers should meet with affected employees or their trade union representatives, and explain their case for making the proposed change.

A guidance document which contains more information on the law in this area is available at www.gov.uk/browse/working. Employees may wish to seek independent legal advice, perhaps from their local Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre, if they are unclear on their contractual position.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of compliance of large companies with redundancy and recruitment regulatory frameworks during the covid-19 outbreak.

All employers must continue to comply with the law on redundancy.

Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable, with appropriate equalities considerations. When making redundancies, employers must abide by the law which includes giving a notice period and consulting staff before a final decision is reached. If a company has failed to adequately consult its employees before making them redundant, it may be possible for employees to apply to an Employment Tribunal for a Protective Award.

When recruiting, employers should be fair and objective in their selection of successful candidates and must not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability.

The Government has also introduced new legislation which commenced on 31 July to ensure that furloughed employees who are subsequently made redundant receive statutory redundancy pay, statutory notice pay, unfair dismissal compensation and pay for short-time working based on the employee’s normal pay, rather than their furlough pay (potentially 80% of their normal wage). The Government has always urged employers to do the right thing and not seek to disadvantage furloughed employees who are facing redundancy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies that have received funding from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comply with employment law on recruitment and redundancy processes.

Our guidance to employers using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) makes clear that employees still have the same rights at work. They must continue to comply with employment and equalities laws when using the scheme, including in relation to recruitment, redundancy and dismissal.

Employers should always be fair and objective in their recruitment processes. Provided they do not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability, they are free to use the recruitment methods that they consider best suit their needs.

Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable, with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

The Government has also introduced new legislation which commenced on 31 July to ensure that furloughed employees who are subsequently made redundant receive statutory redundancy pay, statutory notice pay, unfair dismissal compensation and pay for short-time working based on the employee’s normal pay, rather than their furlough pay (potentially 80% of their normal wage). The Government has always urged employers to do the right thing and not seek to disadvantage furloughed employees who are facing redundancy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) offshore wind, (b) onshore wind and (c) solar sites which could bid into Contract for Difference Auction Round 4.

The Government considers a range of matters when setting the parameters for Contracts for Difference auctions, including the anticipated pipeline of eligible projects. We will publish allocation round parameters in advance of the next auction in 2021, when assessments of the potential volume of participants can be informed by the most current information on project pipelines.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the average prospective bidding price of (a) solar, (b) onshore wind and (c) offshore wind sites into Contracts for Difference auction round 4; and what assessment he has made of the implications of those prices for UK electricity costs.

BEIS sets an administrative strike price for each technology, presented on a price per megawatt hour (MWh) basis, that is the maximum price the Government is willing to offer developers. The bid price is a commercial decision for the developer. The administrative strike prices and allocation round parameters will be published in advance of the next auction in 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the UK's hydrogen strategy; and what steps he is taking to formalise cross-departmental working on the Government's hydrogen strategy.

The Government is committed to the development of hydrogen as a decarbonised energy carrier for the UK and we are currently developing our strategic approach to hydrogen. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is Chair of the Climate Action Implementation Cabinet Committee (CAI) which covers topics including hydrogen. BEIS officials and I also continue to work across government departments, including an on-going review of governance arrangements, to ensure we work effectively to develop new policy to help bring forward the technologies and supply chain we will need to grow the UK hydrogen economy.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish future meeting dates of the Hydrogen Advisory Council.

The inaugural meeting of the Hydrogen Advisory Council (HAC) was on 20 July 2020. It is expected to meet quarterly for at least the next two years with the next meeting scheduled on 14 October 2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the number of trials that are testing the safety of using hydrogen for domestic heat.

Hydrogen is one potential option for decarbonising heating, alongside other solutions, including heat pumps and heat networks. The Government is therefore supporting a range of research, development and testing projects involving hydrogen to help determine the feasibility of using low carbon hydrogen as an alternative to the use of natural gas for heating in homes.

The Government is working closely with industry and other stakeholders to identify further testing and trials needed to provide evidence on issues including safety, feasibility, costs and benefits and the overall consumer experience.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of global solar panel production is based in the UK.

Global solar panel production is mainly based in Asia. UK solar panel manufacture is focussed on specialised applications and the total volume of production is not globally significant.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the country of origin is for the majority of solar panels used in the UK.

Global solar panel production is mainly based in Asia, particularly China. The Department does not maintain detailed data on the country of origin of solar panels installed in UK.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of global wind turbine production is based in the UK.

The Department does not hold this information for the global proportion of turbine production.

Currently, the UK has capability in the production of wind turbine blades, foundations, and cables, most notably the Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas blade factories in Hull and the Isle of Wight respectively, employing over 1,500 highly skilled workers.

The industry has committed in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, to increase UK content to 60% from 50%, but more crucially to increase UK content in the capital expenditure phase. I am determined that the industry delivers on this commitment.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies (a) produce (i) Paris climate change agreement-aligned and (ii) net-zero business plans and (b) manage other forward-looking climate risks.

The UK has led the way in delivering clean growth -growing by 75% while emissions have decreased by 43% between 1990 and 2018 - faster than any other G7 nation. Meeting our net zero target will require us to build on this progress by transforming our economy – our homes, our transport, our industries, how we generate and use energy, and how we use our land. This has to be a shared endeavour between Government, devolved nations, local authorities, business, civil society and the British people – as well as the rest of the world.

We expect all publicly-listed companies and large asset owners to disclose in line with the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations by 2022. Businesses implementing the TCFD recommendations will disclose information on the procedures they have in place for Board oversight of climate change and how it is factored into their risk management processes.

We have also established a joint taskforce with the UK regulators to monitor the incorporation of climate financial risk into decision making. This will ensure a coordinated approach on climate-related issues and examine the most effective way to approach disclosure.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of electric vehicles produced in the UK have fuel cells that are produced in the UK.

The UK has world leading expertise in hydrogen fuel cells. However, this is a nascent market and the Department does not routinely collect specific figures. The number of fuel cell vehicles currently being produced in the UK is low, being predominantly commercial vehicles.

The UK is well-placed to be a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell powered transportation, which can support our ambitions for greener transport. The Government is supporting fuel cell manufacturers as part of the £1 billion industry-Government Advanced Propulsion Centre programme and the Automotive Transformation Fund. In addition, we are supporting the wider market through our £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, which is increasing the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as deploying hundreds of vehicles.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of electric vehicles that will be produced in the UK in each year up to 2030.

The Faraday Institution, which supports UK battery development, estimates that the UK will be producing nearly 1.6 million electric vehicles (EVs) per year by 2040. The report ‘UK electric vehicle and battery production potential to 2040’ can be downloaded from the Faraday Institution’s website at: https://faraday.ac.uk/publications/.

The Government continues to create the right environment to support an increase in the production of EVsin the UK. We have announced up to £1 billion through the Automotive Transformation Fund to develop UK supply chains for the large-scale production of EVs and for further research and development (R&D). £10 million of funding will enable the first wave of innovative R&D projects to scale-up manufacturing of the latest technology in batteries, motors, electronics, and fuel cells. The Government is also encouraging industry to put forward investment proposals for the UK’s first ‘gigafactory’ and to support supply chains to mass manufacture cutting-edge batteries for the next generation of EVs, as well as for other strategic electric vehicle technologies.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) FTSE 100, (b) FTSE 250 and (c) AIM listed mining companies are producing critical minerals as defined by the British Geological Survey.

This information is not collected or published by central Government.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the UK has a critical mineral strategy.

The Government’s strategy for securing access to critical minerals, or any other key materials and components, is to work at a global level to secure free, fair, and open international trade of these materials.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with this Canadian counterpart on critical minerals.

The Department continuously monitors the supply of critical minerals, working closely with the Department for International Trade and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Details of meetings held by Ministers in the Department are recorded in our transparency data, which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with his Australian counterpart on critical minerals.

The Department continuously monitors the supply of critical minerals, working closely with the Department for International Trade and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Details of meetings held by Ministers in the Department are recorded in our transparency data, which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what comparative estimate he has made of the number of rare earth separation plants in (a) the UK, (b) the People’s Republic of China, (c) the EU, (d) the United States, (e) Australia and (f) Canada.

The Government has made no such estimate. However, we fully recognise the importance of rare earth materials to industry, particularly those industries that underpin the clean, green economy to which we are committed such as wind turbines and low-emission vehicles.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many British companies mine rare earth minerals; and what proportion of total global output do they produce.

The Government is not aware of any current rare earth minerals mining activity in this country.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what critical minerals are needed for the production of a standard fuel cell for an electric vehicle.

As set out in ‘The future impact of materials security on the UK manufacturing industry’ paper for the Government Office for Science in 2013, hydrogen fuel cells require catalysts made of platinum group metals.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) types and (b) quantity in kilograms of critical minerals required produce a standard solar panel.

The Government has not undertaken such an assessment. However, officials’ regular engagement with industry on the deliverability and sustainability of their deployment plans has elicited no concerns regarding the sourcing of critical materials.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) types and (b) quantity in kilograms of critical minerals required to produce a wind turbine.

BEIS has not made an assessment of the types and quantities of materials that go into producing a wind turbine.

BEIS is providing innovation support to Greenspur, a company based in Hertfordshire, to trial a new type of magnet – which does not use rare earth minerals - at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many industrial magnet manufacturers are located in the UK; and what their combined annual production of industrial magnets is.

The official statistics do not separately identify businesses engaging specifically in industrial magnet manufacturing. However, according to the Office for National Statistics survey on UK manufacturers sales by product, in 2018 just over 1,500 tonnes of “permanent magnets or articles intended to become permanent magnets” were estimated to be sold by UK manufacturers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many electric vehicle fuel cells are produced in the UK annually.

The UK has world-leading expertise in hydrogen fuel cells. The scale of UK manufacturing for electric vehicles is understood to be approximately 0.5 MW annually, enough for around 100 fuel cell stacks.

The UK is well placed to be a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell powered transportation, which can support our ambitions for greener transport. The Government is supporting fuel cell manufacturers as part of the £1 billion industry-Government Advanced Propulsion Centre programme. We are also supporting the wider market through the Office for Low Emission Vehicle's £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, which is increasing the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations and deploying hundreds of vehicles.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many kilograms of nickel are refined in the UK annually.

The information requested is not reported by the Office for National Statistics.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the UK manufacturing economy is dependent on critical minerals.

The Government does not carry any publicly available data on critical minerals and no assessment of UK manufacturing’s dependency on such minerals has been made.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a community energy contract for difference.

Community projects are already entitled to apply for a contract for difference to build and operate a renewable electricity generating station, provided they satisfy the eligibility requirements of the scheme.

The Government keeps all aspects of the Contracts for Difference scheme under review on an ongoing basis, and the next allocation round is scheduled to take place in 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to grow the UK's hydrogen economy.

The Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity and other decarbonised gases. In line with this we are investing up to £121m in hydrogen innovation, supporting the application of new low carbon hydrogen technologies across the value chain. This includes:

  • £23m Hydrogen for the Transport Programme - to increase the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles and grow the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations;
  • £25m for the Hy4Heat programme - to explore the safety and feasibility of using 100% hydrogen for heat in the home, including product development and core safety assessment;
  • Up to £20m for the Industrial Fuel Switching Competition - to test the potential for switching to hydrogen (and other low carbon fuels) in industrial sectors like cement and glass manufacture; and
  • £33m for the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply Competition – to support the development of bulk low carbon hydrogen production technologies.

Alongside our innovation activity, we are developing our strategic approach to hydrogen and building sustainable policy frameworks to support investment in low carbon hydrogen production. This includes developing a sustainable business model to support low carbon hydrogen production and a new £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund, as announced in August 2019, to stimulate capital investment. We will be engaging with industry on both schemes throughout the year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional (a) support and (b) funding the Government plans to provide to the manufacturing industry sector to help that sector achieve carbon neutral status.

While we are rightly focusing on taking action to tackle the immediate Covid-19 crisis, we continue to prioritise efforts to deal with the serious challenges of climate change.

The Government remains committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We will continue backing this objective by funding programmes that accelerate the shift to electrification. For example, the Faraday Challenge is providing £274 million to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development, and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles.

The 2017 Made Smarter Review highlighted the economic and environmental opportunities for the UK’s manufacturing sector until 2027. This includes £455 billion Gross Value Added, the creation of 175,000 jobs, and a 4.5% reduction in CO2 emissions. The development of low carbon technologies will benefit the UK economy, as well as reduce carbon emissions, including through the creation of new jobs.

We will establish the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low carbon cluster by 2030. This is the second mission under the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, launched in December 2018, and is the most relevant to those manufacturing industries that often co-locate in clusters. UK Research & Innovation is delivering up to £170 million to support the deployment of low carbon technologies in one or more clusters.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what percentage of the gas used in the UK each day currently qualifies for short-haul tariffs.

As the independent energy regulator, Ofgem have responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging. Ofgem have provided a mailbox for all inquiries regarding the Gas Charging Review, including short-haul (Gas.TransmissionResponse@ofgem.gov.uk). I advise that you contact Ofgem directly regarding this matter.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Ofgem has halted work on the electricity charging reform.

There are currently two Significant Code Reviews (SCRs) that are the focus of Ofgem’s work on electricity charging reform: the Targeted Charging Review (TCR) and the Access and Forward-Looking Charges Review (Access SCR). Ofgem indicated in its forward work programme update, which was published on 16th April 2020 and is available at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/ofgem-information-energy-licensees-coronavirus-covid-19-response, that work on both the TCR and Access SCR will continue to be progressed.

In addition, National Grid Electricity System Operator has been leading a task force at Ofgem’s request to consider the future of balancing services charges. As part of its reprioritisation in April 2020 of the forward work programme, Ofgem has paused some activities including the Balancing Services Charges Task Force. This decision was taken to enable stakeholders and Ofgem to prioritise the response to coronavirus. The Task Force will resume work in July 2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to improve (a) contract terms, (b) insurance cover, (c) ABTA and ATOL arrangements and (d) other financial protections available to holidaymakers.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Packages must also be backed by insolvency protection schemes. DfT is in regular contact with the regulator, the sector and consumer groups and is working to ensure consumers are protected while recognising the pressure travel businesses are facing. The Government is also in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its contribution to handling Covid-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of developing a UK-wide hydrogen strategy similar to those being developed in (a) Germany, (b) Australia, (c) Japan and (d) other countries.

The Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity and other decarbonised gases and we have been taking a number of steps to do so. We are:

  • exploring options to develop our strategic approach on hydrogen;
  • investing in innovation, with up to £121m supporting a range of projects to explore and develop the potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain;
  • developing new policy and conducting extensive stakeholder engagement, notably around building sustainable business models to support hydrogen production;
  • working on the design of the £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund announced in August 2019.

We are also closely following international hydrogen developments and are active participants in international forums, including the Clean Energy Ministerial, the International Partnership for Hydrogen for Fuel Cells in the Economy and Mission Innovation. As part of this we are following developments as countries look to develop and implement domestic hydrogen strategies. We are considering this as part of our wider strategic approach on hydrogen.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the extent of the UK's natural resources and (b) whether those natural resources could be utilised to develop a green hydrogen industry.

The Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity and other decarbonised gases, in line with our 2050 net zero commitment. Low carbon hydrogen can be produced and stored in multiple ways and the UK has significant natural resources that – if used sustainably – can support development of a low carbon and renewable UK hydrogen supply.

The?UK is the world’s largest offshore wind market with 9.8GW installed capacity, which will rise to 19.5GW by the mid-2020s. Renewable electricity can be used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. We are supporting electrolytic hydrogen projects using renewable electricity, as part of up to £121m in innovation support across the low carbon hydrogen value chain. For example, the Dolphyn project is developing a system for clean hydrogen production through electrolysis on floating offshore wind turbines.

Low carbon hydrogen can also be produced through methane reformation with carbon capture, utlisation and storage. The UK has significant underground salt beds which could provide tens of gigawatts of cost effective storage to safely store hydrogen and other gases, and the depleted oil and gas reservoirs deep off our coastline that could potentially store more than 78 billion tonnes of CO2, meaning the UK is ideally placed to develop a thriving low carbon hydrogen industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Ofgem rejected a modification to enable daily metered sites that have reduced gas demands as a result of covid-19 to reduce their capacity charges until 1 October 2020.

Ofgem, as the independent energy regulator, has responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging and has made their decision in accordance with their statutory duties, including their principal objective which is to protect the interests of GB’s energy consumers.

When making their decision on UNC725, Ofgem sought to balance the recognition of the Covid-19 circumstances against the principles which underpin the transportation charging arrangements, and gas transporters own financial circumstances. In their assessment, Ofgem considered that the proposed modification did not promote the efficient operation of the network and could have an adverse effect on the gas transporters’ ability to discharge their licence obligations.

Please visit https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/unc725-ability-reflect-correct-customer-network-use-and-system-offtake-quantity-soq-during-covid-19 for more information on the decision.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment Ofgem has made of the risk of inefficient bypass if a replacement for shorthaul is not implement by October 2020, in light of the effect of covid-19 on the work of the Gas Shippers Panel.

Ofgem, as the independent energy regulator, has responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging and has made their decision in accordance with their statutory duties, including their principal objective which is to protect the interests of GB’s energy consumers

Ofgem have said that they will consider proposals to introduce a gas shorthaul charge that seeks to address inefficient bypass of the gas network when they are brought forward by industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Ofgem made an assessment of the potential risk of inefficient bypass as part of its decision to introduce changes to the Gas Transmission Charging Regime in October 2020.

Ofgem, as the independent energy regulator, has responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging and has made their decision in accordance with their statutory duties, including their principal objective which is to protect the interests of GB’s energy consumers.

Ofgem have considered the impact of the decision on different types of consumers and have concluded that consumers overall will benefit from the decision. Ofgem have said that they will consider proposals to introduce a gas shorthaul charge that seeks to address inefficient bypass of the gas network when they are brought forward by industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what annual benefit has Ofgem accredited to the average domestic consumer for 2020-21 as a result of the changes introduced in October 2020 to the Gas Transmission Charging Regime.

Ofgem, as the independent energy regulator, has responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging and has made their decision in accordance with their statutory duties, including their principal objective which is to protect the interests of GB’s energy consumers.

Ofgem have considered the impact of the decision on different types of consumers and have set out this analysis in their decision. Ofgem have estimated consumers will save over £3 billion over ten years from this decision, including c£1billion for gas consumers and c£2billion for electricity consumers. They expect that consumers overall will benefit from the decision.

Please visit https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/amendments-gas-transmission-charging-regime-decision-and-final-impact-assessment-unc678abcdefghij to find out more information on the decision.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average effect is per annum from 2020-21 on the 30 largest industrial consumers of gas as a result of the changes to the Gas Transmission Charging Regime which are due to come into effect in October 2020.

The Government is fully committed to minimising industrial energy costs in the UK to ensure our industries remain strong and competitive. We continue to progress a range of measures to deliver an efficient and effective gas system that benefits all consumers.

Ofgem, as the independent energy regulator, has responsibility for matters relating to gas network charging and has made their decision in accordance with their statutory duties, including their principal objective which is to protect the interests of GB’s energy consumers.

Ofgem have considered the impact of the decision on different types of consumers and have set out this analysis in their decision. They expect that consumers overall will benefit from the decision.

Please visit https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/amendments-gas-transmission-charging-regime-decision-and-final-impact-assessment-unc678abcdefghij to find out more information on the decision.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the future of the national gas network.

Natural gas has an important and on-going role to play into the future as we decarbonise our energy system. However, how we use natural gas will need to change in order to minimise the carbon dioxide emissions associated with burning it.

Whilst we do not yet have certainty on the future role and extent of the distribution or transmission networks, there are steps we can take in the near-term to enable a decarbonised gas pathway. .

The existing gas networks, systems and markets will be important in providing the knowledge and the building blocks for the transition to Net Zero through the introduction of low carbon gases and a potential role for Hydrogen.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the Royal Mail's compliance with the Universal Service Obligation as the Royal Mail has announced the temporary ending of Saturday deliveries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Universal Service Obligation is set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

Ministers have no role in temporary changes to the service level. The regulatory conditions that require Royal Mail to deliver letters 6 days a week as part of the universal postal service also provide that Royal Mail is not required to sustain these services without interruption, suspension or restriction in the event of an emergency. Ofcom has acknowledged in this context that the COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency.

There is a clear and transparent process for how longer-term changes to service standards would be considered and any changes would need to be made through secondary legislation and agreed by Parliament.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th May 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what is the average church attendance each week in (a) Rother Valley Constituency, (b) Yorkshire, and (c) England in each year of the last five years.

The most recent survey of church attendance was published in 2018, and the table below contains figures aggregated from 2014-18 using average weekly attendance figures at all age services. These figures are collected each year during four weeks in October.

The figures in the table below include adult and child attendance at Sunday and midweek church services and fresh expressions, but not attendance at services for schools. Special local services such as memorials to commemorate flooding – can lead to fluctuations in the figures.

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Rother Valley*

1,450

1,260

1,170

1,130

980

Yorkshire*

82,600

82,800

77,600

75,500

75,200

Church of England

975,300

959,900

921,700

893,900

870,900

More information can be found in the annual Statistics for Mission report: https://www.churchofengland.org/media/18763

Parish boundaries do not coincide with constituency or county boundaries. Figures in the table are based on reasonable approximations as follows:

  • The Rother Valley figure refers to the parishes in the Deanery of Laughton along with the parishes of Whiston and Wickersley.
  • The Yorkshire figure refers to the Dioceses of York, Leeds, and Sheffield.
Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he he had with representatives of Royal Mail prior to the announcement by that organisation of the temporary suspension of Saturday deliveries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Universal Service Obligation is set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

Ministers have no role in temporary changes to the service level. The regulatory conditions that require Royal Mail to deliver letters 6 days a week as part of the universal postal service also provide that Royal Mail is not required to sustain these services without interruption, suspension or restriction in the event of an emergency. Ofcom has acknowledged in this context that the COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency.

There is a clear and transparent process for how longer-term changes to service standards would be considered and any changes would need to be made through secondary legislation and agreed by Parliament. Ministers and officials have regular discussions with Ofcom and Royal Mail on matters relating to postal services.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on whether the Royal Mail's Saturday delivery service will resume after the end of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Universal Service Obligation is set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

Ministers have no role in temporary changes to the service level. The regulatory conditions that require Royal Mail to deliver letters 6 days a week as part of the universal postal service also provide that Royal Mail is not required to sustain these services without interruption, suspension or restriction in the event of an emergency. Ofcom has acknowledged in this context that the COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency.

There is a clear and transparent process for how longer-term changes to service standards would be considered and any changes would need to be made through secondary legislation and agreed by Parliament. Royal Mail has announced that its Saturday letters delivery service will resume from 13 June.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that family members of people who have underlying industrial diseases, but who die from covid-19, are allowed to put in posthumous claims to the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme.

Under the terms of the Coal Industry Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme (CIPCS), formerly the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme, there is provision for posthumous claims to be made. The criteria for a posthumous claim are:

  • Employment with British Coal (which extends to employment with contractors or in a licensed mine); and
  • 10 years or more of employment in the coal mining industry; and
  • Having been in receipt of Industrial Injuries Disablement (IIDB) for Pneumoconiosis (Prescribed Disease D1 (PD D1)) or one of the other qualifying diseases, which does not include Covid-19; or
  • Pneumoconiosis or one of the other qualifying disease, which does not include Covid-19 appearing on the Death Certificate.

Where a former miner was not in receipt of IIDB during life a request can be made, within a year of their death, to the DWP for a retrospective assessment. In instances in which there was no IIDB assessment during life or a retrospective request either is not possible or successful, a claim can be made if pneumoconiosis appears on the Death Certificate.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people have put in claims to the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire, (c) the borough of Rotherham and (d) Rother Valley constituency in the last calendar year.

A breakdown of claims received under the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme by area requested during the last full calendar year (2019) are set out below:

(a) 132 (England)

(b) 41 (Yorkshire)

(c) 16 (Borough of Rotherham)

(d) 3 (Rother Valley Constituency)

For information:

  • The address of the claimant has been used (as opposed to using the last known postcode of a deceased miner) to define the origin of each claim.
  • ‘The Borough of Rotherham’ has been taken as being postcode districts S60-S63, S65 and S66.
  • ‘Rother Valley Constituency’ was ascertained using https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies/.
Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure compliance with the guidance published by the Government and Public Health England on social distancing and safe hygiene practices at warehouses and fulfilment sites for online retailers.

Everyone must comply with the rules issued by the Government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others.

We have published guidance for employers and businesses to assist them in the safe operation of their business:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

Where the Health and Safety Executive are made aware of an employer not complying with the relevant Public Health England guidance (including enabling social distancing where it is practical to do so), HSE will consider a range of action, from providing specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to support small food retailers to (a) maintain hygiene in stores and (b) protect staff from the transmission of that disease.

We must support people at work to do the right thing during the COVID-19 outbreak so they can stay safe. We regularly speak to industry stakeholders, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket CEOs, to ensure they are well prepared and up to date with the latest guidance from Public Health England.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has plans to close (a) corner shops and (b) other small food retailers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear that food retail, including supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops, and food markets, will remain open.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to protect commercial drivers in (a) canteens, (b) break rooms and (c) other locations against covid-19.

Where there are no practical alternatives, workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff and a communal space for breaks. Where possible, staff should bring their own food to work and distributors should move to a takeaway model. Workers should try to minimise all meetings and gatherings in the workplace and measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in a canteen at any time, for example by using a rota. Further information and guidance on social distancing practices are set out at gov.uk.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of administrative tasks the Government requires of small businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced various measures to reduce burdens on businesses of all sizes during the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes an announcement on 25 March, in conjunction with Companies House, allowing companies to apply for a three-month extension to file their accounts through a simplified online system. Further measures are being developed and will be announced soon.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the COP26 summit will still be held in Glasgow in November 2020 despite the covid-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 is clearly reducing the scope for in-person international meetings, which we will seek to manage as far as possible through other means such as video and phone conferences.

Given this is an evolving situation we are keeping the situation under careful review and are in frequent contact with the UN, Chile (as current COP Presidents) and other partners."

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to encourage energy companies to promote women into engineering positions.

Her Majesty's Government (HMG) is a signatory to the “Equal by 30 Campaign”, a joint Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and International Energy Agency (IEA) initiative, which works towards equal pay, equal leadership, and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030.

HMG has additionally set a target of having 40% women working in the nuclear sector by 2030 from a baseline of 22% in 2018 as part of the Nuclear Sector Deal. Since then the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), the leading forum for nuclear skills, of which HMG is a member, together with Women in Nuclear (WiN) has published a Gender Roadmap that sets out the actions needed for the industry to hit that target. Ministers and HMG officials have also signed the Nuclear Sector Gender Commitment, which supports companies in their efforts to reach 40%.

BEIS also continues to support POWERful Women, which was launched by HMG in 2014 and seeks to promote gender diversity in the energy sector, through membership of their Board and provision of grant funding to support their POWERful Connections mentoring programme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations he has made to energy companies on increasing flexible working to encourage uptake of jobs in that sector by women.

The Government supports flexible working and is clear about the benefits for employers and their employees, including in the energy sector.

We consulted last year on proposals to require large employers to publish flexible working policies and to advertise jobs as suitable for flexible working. We will respond to that consultation in due course. Since then, we committed in our Manifesto to make flexible working the default. Subject to consultation, we will bring forward these new measures in our Employment Bill.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of women working in skilled jobs in the energy sector.

The Government is committed to working collaboratively with businesses to create inclusive workplaces and, through this, boost productivity.

Sector Deals offer an opportunity for sectors and government to make joint, long-term commitments on diversity and increase the proportion of underrepresented groups. Our agreed Nuclear, Offshore Wind and Aerospace Sector Deals include commitments to increase diversity in these sectors, including establishing the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal, set a minimum target of employing 33 per cent women across the sector by 2030 and raising this figure to 40 per cent if feasible.

The Nuclear Sector Deal published on 28 June 2018 also has a commitment to achieve 40% women in nuclear by 2030.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of board members who are women for energy companies operating in the UK.

For energy companies in the FTSE350, an average of 31.8% of board positions are now held by women up from 27.9% in 2018.

We support the work of POWERful Women, a campaigning organisation committed to advancing gender diversity across the energy sector. Data compiled by this organisation can be found at: http://powerfulwomen.org.uk/board-statistics-by-company/ .

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether she has plans to commission an inquiry into fracking in the next six months; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has no plans to commission an inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the next six months, or to review the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The Government’s position has been set out in the Written Statement of 4th November 2019 and will be maintained unless compelling new evidence is provided.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of requiring shale gas companies to put aside a bond to pay for householders’ property repairs, resultant from exploration and extraction.

As part of the Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) assessment of an application for hydraulic fracturing operations, the OGA requires the operator to have in place the necessary funds or an insurance policy (including third-party liability) that will cover unforeseen events.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what methods of fossil fuel extraction are covered by the moratorium on fracking.

The moratorium applies to operations that require Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The definition of associated hydraulic fracturing, used for the purposes of Hydraulic Fracturing Consent, is as set out under section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 (inserted by Section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015).

This definition was based on the approach taken by the European Commission, which defines high-volume hydraulic fracturing as involving the injection into a well of 1000m3 or more or water per fracturing stage or 10000m3 or more of water during the entire fracturing process.

Activities outside of this definition are not included in the moratorium.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) exploratory wells and (b) the process of acidisation are covered by the moratorium on fracking.

The moratorium applies to operations that require Hydraulic Fracturing Consent. The definition of associated hydraulic fracturing, used for the purposes of Hydraulic Fracturing Consent, is as set out under section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 (inserted by Section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015).

This definition was based on the approach taken by the European Commission, which defines high-volume hydraulic fracturing as involving the injection into a well of 1000m3 or more or water per fracturing stage or 10000m3 or more of water during the entire fracturing process.

Activities outside of this definition are not included in the moratorium.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to put into statute the traffic light system on seismicity resulting from hydraulic fracturing.

There are no plans to review the Traffic Light System or to put it into statute.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a levy on shale gas companies to pay for the cost of policing at shale gas sites.

Policing is a matter for the Home Office and the local constabulary. No such assessment has been made.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans she has to review the moratorium on fracking.

The Government has no plans to review the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The Government’s position has been set out in the Written Statement of 4th November 2019 and will be maintained unless compelling new evidence is provided which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to ensure any environmental damage caused by the development and exploitation of shale gas is mitigated.

We will not support shale gas exploration unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely. On the basis of the current scientific evidence the Government has taken a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic Fracturing Consents.

In the UK, we have been regulating gas and oil drilling, both onshore and offshore, for decades and maintain the very highest safety and environmental standards. Licensees are responsible for liabilities associated with environmental impacts of their operations throughout the duration of the licence.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to remove and prevent the selling of (a) illegal and (b) dangerous products on (i) online marketplaces and (ii) online community forums.

In December 2020 we published the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, setting out further details about the new online safety regulatory framework.

Under the new legislation, both online marketplaces and online community forums will need to take action to tackle criminal activity. This includes the sale of illegal products such as drugs and weapons. They will need to ensure that illegal content is removed expeditiously and that the risk of it appearing and spreading across their services is minimised by effective systems.

The Government is committed to tackling the sale of unsafe consumer products online. My officials engage regularly with the Office for Product Safety and Standards, which works to ensure that major online marketplaces play their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe goods.

We are working on legislation at pace and it will be ready this year.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many places of worship have been received support under the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme since 2012.

The administrator for the scheme, TopMark, took over in 2014. They have paid out 45,655 grants to approximately 16,170 places of worship. Between 2012 and 2014, the previous administrator for the grant paid out 4,035 grants to 3,425 Listed Places of Worship.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what is the total amount of funding that has been made available through the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme since 2012.

In 2012, DCMS and HM Treasury became joint funders of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme and annual funding was increased to up to £42m (to offset changes to the rate of VAT on alterations) with DCMS funding the first £17m with the further (up to) £25m coming from HMT reserves. In total, the amount available to the grant scheme amounts to £378m since 2012.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding has been made available through the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme in (a) 2016 - 2017, (b) 2017 - 2018, (c) 2018 - 2019, (d) 2019 - 2020 and (e) in the current financial year.

Between DCMS and HM Treasury, the funding available for the Listed Places of Worship Grant is up to £42m. The following figures show what was claimed for each of the financial years:

  • 2016/2017 - £31,298,390.23

  • 2017/2018 - £33,166,559.49

  • 2018/2019 - £34,517,766.03

  • 2019/2020 - £34,078,628.89

  • Current Financial Year (up to 31/1/21) - £22,566,078.26

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what future support he plans to make available to help restore confidence in the fitness and gym sector after the national covid-19 lockdown measures have been lifted.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. On 22 October 2020, the Government also announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres.

In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has provided £220 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic. On 26 January Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in what circumstances under-18s are able to train under the supervision of their sport's national governing body during the covid-19 national lockdown.

Talented under-18 athletes may be permitted to train subject to meeting the qualifying criteria set out in our guidance for elite and professional sport, and in National Governing Bodies’ own sport-specific guidance. The guidance be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Youth Investment Fund will be available within the next six months.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and on the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recent announced Spending Review £30m of this was committed as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his timeframe is for making available funding from the Youth Investment Fund.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and on the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recent announced Spending Review £30m of this was committed as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of an innovation fund for charities to help the voluntary sector to develop effective services for children which take advantage of digital technology.

Responsibility for developing services for children is held by the Department for Education, however we recognise that it is essential for charities to be part of the digital revolution. The government is committed to bringing together digital and civil society to help tackle social challenges and develop services needed.

That is why DCMS provided £1.6m of set up funding for the Catalyst, a programme which is incubated by the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST). The Catalyst brings together a network of charities, digital design agencies and major funders with the shared objective of establishing a digital support hub for the charity sector. The Catalyst programme represents the first time the charity sector has had a dedicated, high-profile coalition jointly funding and championing digital innovation in the charity sector and continues to support charities to embed digital in their strategy, services and culture.

Encouraging digital innovation has long been a priority in DCMS. For example, in 2018 DCMS launched a £400,000 Digital Inclusion Innovation Fund to help older and disabled people acquire digital skills. The aim of this fund was to help ensure that ‘what works’ on digital inclusion is identified, replicated and scaled. A full independent evaluation will be published soon to share learnings from this fund.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to ensure that voluntary and community sector organisations have access to adequate resources to adapt to distanced delivery as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The £750 million package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt service delivery to support our national effort to fight coronavirus. This funding will continue to support this work over the winter.

We have recently published new guidance on GOV.UK for organisations and groups, to help them to understand how to involve volunteers safely and effectively in their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Under the current national restrictions in England, people can leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services, where they cannot do this from home. We regularly update our guidance on volunteering on GOV.UK.

Information on the wider measures the government has made available and details on how to access the support measures can be found on GOV.UK. The Charity Commission has also published guidance on GOV.UK, which sets out how charities can get support for their staff, advice on use of reserves, and other potential issues.

Furthermore, ensuring charities can safely begin fundraising activities will be a crucial part of the sector’s recovery. DCMS has worked closely with its sectors to publish guidance relating to COVID-19. This includes practical guidance and resources from the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising supporting charities to safeguard the public, staff and volunteers as they plan to return to fundraising activities in a safe and responsible way. This is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-dcms-sectors-in-relation-to-coronavirus-covid-19. Over the coming months we will continue to work with the charity, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors to assess emerging needs and how we can best support them during the COVID-19 pandemic and through recovery.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of collective approaches by the Government, charities and community organisations to solving the complex challenges faced by vulnerable people as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Charities, community organisations and volunteers are playing a vital role to support the coronavirus effort. Government continues to work closely with the civil society sector to assess both the needs of vulnerable people and the sector itself, and how government can best support the continuation of critical work.

DCMS has provided a £4.8million grant to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership, to support its work to improve coordination in the voluntary sector, and deploy volunteers and resources where they are most needed. Examples include distributing 30 tonnes of food, the equivalent of 67,000 meals in the South West and arranging 1,000 health assessments of those experiencing homelessness. The Partnership has also supported recent initiatives such as the Department for Transport’s Journey Makers. Learning is being captured on the Partnership’s response and an evaluation is to be carried out.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish the final Government response to the consultation of Online Harms White Paper that closed in July 2019.

The Government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place to be online, and we are working at pace on our proposals. We will publish a full government response later this year.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on online harms.

The Government is committed to making the UK the safest place to be online. DCMS and the Home Office are working at pace to develop the legislation. We will publish a full government response later this year, and legislation will be ready this session.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to allow health clubs to reopen during the covid-19 outbreak.

Gyms and health club facilities play a crucial role in supporting people to be active and the Government is committed to reopening sports and physical activity facilities as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are holding regular discussions with representatives from the leisure sector and national sports organisations to develop guidance that will support them to open their facilities in a timely and safe manner once lockdown measures are eased.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance his Department has issued to outdoor activity providers on the safe reopening of instructing facilities for (a) water sports and (b) cycling after the covid-19 outbreak.

Guidance is available on the Gov.UK website and is being continually updated as progress is made toward the safe reopening of all facilities including those for watersports and cycling.

This includes guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-phased-return-of-outdoor-sport-and-recreation.

We will update the public when we deem it is safe to open up indoor facilities such as pools, leisure centres and gyms and will continue to consult the sector as our plans develop.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to allow gyms to reopen during the covid-19 outbreak.

Gyms and health club facilities play a crucial role in supporting people to be active and the Government is committed to reopening sports and physical activity facilities as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are holding regular discussions with representatives from the leisure sector and national sports organisations to develop guidance that will support them to open their facilities in a timely and safe manner once lockdown measures are eased.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to issue additional guidance on how individuals and larger organisations can support (a) isolated and (b) lonely people affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Government recently launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation. This includes a new public campaign encouraging people to talk openly about loneliness, as well as guidance on how individuals can safely support themselves and others if they are feeling lonely or isolated. This information is available on the ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ website.

In addition, Government is making £5 million available for national organisations working on tackling loneliness and applications for this new fund opened on 13 May 2020. Government has also formed a new ‘Tackling Loneliness Network’, which consists of high-profile charities, businesses and public figures who will work together to find innovative solutions which support people at risk of loneliness.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will issue guidance to miniature wargaming clubs on operating safely during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published guidance on GOV.UK allowing the phased return of recreational activities in line with the latest medical guidance. This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation

The Government does not plan to publish recreation-specific guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of what guidance can be issued to enable (a) miniature war-gaming matches and (b) other tabletop games to take place (i) safely and (ii) outdoors during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published guidance on GOV.UK allowing the phased return of recreational activities in line with the latest medical guidance. This guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation

The Government does not plan to publish recreation-specific guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, whether golf courses are allowed to reopen during the covid-19 outbreak.

Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities including golf courses can reopen, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with related public health guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 business support package on social enterprises.

The government recognises the vital work social enterprises and co-operatives are doing to support communities and ease demands on public services in light of Covid-19. In recognising this, we have put in place a number of emergency measures to support these organisations during this time.

The government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been made available to social enterprises and co-operatives. This scheme will provide lenders with a government-backed guarantee of 80% on each loan, ensuring eligible social enterprises and co-operatives gain access to crucial finance with no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. Big Society Capital has established and capitalised a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund which aims to improve access to CBILS for social enterprises. The initiative has been enabled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) accelerating the release of previously committed dormant bank accounts money.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is also available to social enterprises and co-operatives. This scheme allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employee's wages. Many organisations are already accessing this support measure.

Additionally, the government announced a £750 million support package earlier this month for charities. A number of social enterprises that are delivering vital work during the coronavirus outbreak will be eligible to apply for this support package.

Over the coming weeks and months, the government will monitor and evaluate the support that has been provided to social enterprises and co-operatives, and it continues to consider what else can be done. This includes examining further initiatives around access to finance for social enterprises and cooperatives.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to support social enterprises during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises the vital work social enterprises and co-operatives are doing to support communities and ease demands on public services in light of Covid-19. In recognising this, we have put in place a number of emergency measures to support these organisations during this time.

The government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been made available to social enterprises and co-operatives. This scheme will provide lenders with a government-backed guarantee of 80% on each loan, ensuring eligible social enterprises and co-operatives gain access to crucial finance with no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. Big Society Capital has established and capitalised a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund which aims to improve access to CBILS for social enterprises. The initiative has been enabled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) accelerating the release of previously committed dormant bank accounts money.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is also available to social enterprises and co-operatives. This scheme allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employee's wages. Many organisations are already accessing this support measure.

Additionally, the government announced a £750 million support package earlier this month for charities. A number of social enterprises that are delivering vital work during the coronavirus outbreak will be eligible to apply for this support package.

Over the coming weeks and months, the government will monitor and evaluate the support that has been provided to social enterprises and co-operatives, and it continues to consider what else can be done. This includes examining further initiatives around access to finance for social enterprises and cooperatives.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of closing schools on levels of online harms to vulnerable and isolated children during the covid-19 outbreak.

The measures required to tackle Covid-19 mean it is likely that more people will be going online in the weeks ahead, including school age children and vulnerable users. This may place some people at greater risk of experiencing harm online.

The government is committed to making the UK the safest place to be online. We are working with other government departments, technology companies, civil society and academia during this period to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle the effect of school closures on the level of online harms for vulnerable and isolated children during the covid-19 outbreak.

The measures required to tackle Covid-19 mean it is likely that more people will be going online in the weeks ahead, including school age children and vulnerable users. This may place some people at greater risk of experiencing harm online.

The government is committed to making the UK the safest place to be online. We are working with other government departments, technology companies, civil society and academia during this period to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has had discussions with charities on the effect of school closures on the level of online harms for vulnerable and isolated children during the covid-19 outbreak.

The measures required to tackle Covid-19 mean it is likely that more people will be going online in the weeks ahead, including school age children and vulnerable users. This may place some people at greater risk of experiencing harm online.

The government is committed to making the UK the safest place to be online. We are working with other government departments, technology companies, civil society and academia during this period to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the effect of school closures on the level of online harms for vulnerable and isolated children and young people during the covid-19 outbreak.

The measures required to tackle Covid-19 mean it is likely that more people will be going online in the weeks ahead, including school age children and vulnerable users. This may place some people at greater risk of experiencing harm online.

The government is committed to making the UK the safest place to be online. We are working with other government departments, technology companies, civil society and academia during this period to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the May 2019 report by Barnardo’s on youth services and knife crime.

We value Barnardo’s work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime and Violence Reduction, and welcomed their report published in March 2020 on the role of youth services.

We recognise the importance of investing in our young people, and so in September last year the Chancellor announced a five year, £500 million Youth Investment Fund. This will help build up to 60 new youth centres and refurbish hundreds of existing youth facilities across the country, as well as providing over 100 mobile facilities for harder to reach areas. The fund will also support the provision and coordination of high-quality services for young people, as well as an investment in the youth workforce.

DCMS will continue to work together closely with the Home Office, the Cabinet Office’s Serious Violence Team and across government on effective strategies to keep our young people safe.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to Budget 2020, whether he has updated his plans for the £500 million Youth Investment Fund as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS officials are rapidly assessing how the impact of Covid-19 will affect the delivery of the Youth Investment Fund in 2020 and beyond.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from what date university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools will be required to contribute to the cost of mass asymptomatic testing from their own budgets.

The Government will fund secondary schools and colleges that have remained open for costs relating to testing on site. We have published a workforce planning tool which illustrates the levels of funding available for school and colleges.

Primary schools will not receive additional funding to carry out testing. Primary school staff (including staff in schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools) will be supplied with at home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits which they will be able to use before coming into work. The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in up to an hour in a home setting. We are seeking to minimise the burden on primary schools in relation to processing testing. No further equipment or funding is therefore required for the administration of these tests. Funding is being provided for secondary schools, colleges, and special/alternative provision settings as we are asking them to establish testing sites on the school estate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to prioritise school teachers, school support staff and early years workers for covid-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19.

In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education is working with DHSC and Public Health England to ensure that the education and childcare workforce is considered for prioritisation in the roll out of the vaccine.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, is he will take steps with (a) schools and (b) local authorities to ensure that (i) physiotherapy and (ii) other additional support usually delivered in schools can continue to be delivered where it is safe to do so.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been extremely challenging for many families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). That is why we asked schools to stay open for vulnerable children, including those with an education, health and care plan, during the period of national lockdown. On 7 January 2021, we published guidance for schools on the current national lockdown, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

We want these children and young people to continue to receive high-quality teaching and specialist professional support. The system of protective measures that schools have in place means that any risks associated with attendance are well managed. If a child does not attend, we expect the school to provide remote education.

Specialists, therapists, clinicians and other support staff for pupils with SEND should provide interventions as usual where this is reasonably necessary, including where this requires them to move between settings. On occasion, special schools may encounter circumstances where they cannot provide their usual interventions and provision at adequate staffing ratios, or with staff with vital specialist training. In these circumstances they should seek to resume as close as possible to the child of young person’s specified provision as soon as possible. Pupil level risk assessments, which were used last spring, should not be used to filter children and young people in or out of attendance, but could be helpful to prioritise the provision a child or young person can get if full time provision for all is not possible.

We will issue updated guidance and as part of this we will be providing more detailed advice and support for special schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide additional support to schools to ensure equivalent quality of home learning for disabled children as in a school environment.

During the period of national lockdown, primary, secondary, alternative provision and special schools will remain open to vulnerable children and young people, including those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

We have updated the remote education guidance for schools and colleges, including guidance for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), to clarify and strengthen expectations while on-site attendance is restricted, drawing on our evolving understanding of best practice in remote education: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952443/210114_School_national_restrictions_guidance_FINAL_14012021.pdf.

For pupils with SEND, their teachers are best-placed to know how the pupil’s needs can be most effectively met to ensure they continue to make progress even if they are not able to be in school due to COVID-19

Schools should follow the age-related guidance on remote education for primary schools and secondary schools. For example, for key stage 1 children in a special school, a minimum of 3 hours should be the aim on average across the cohort, with less for younger pupils. However, we expect schools to consider these expectations in relation to the pupils’ stage of development and special educational needs, for example, where this would place significant demands on parents’ help or support.

Many pupils with disabilities will also have special educational needs. The legal duty on schools to use their best endeavours to meet the special educational needs of their pupils remains unchanged, whether they are attending school or at home for any period. In addition, where a pupil has an EHCP, it remains the legal duty of the local authority to secure the special educational provision specified in the plan.

Schools should work collaboratively with families, putting in place reasonable adjustments as necessary, so that pupils with SEND can successfully access remote education and an ambitious curriculum appropriate for their level of need alongside their peers.

To ensure pupils with SEND are supported effectively, we have provided additional funding to one of our Demonstrators National Star College to provide specialist training in assistive technologies to teachers, leaders and special educational needs coordinators in all state funded schools in England.  This training will help to secure remote education arrangements for pupils with special educational needs with advice and guidance is also available to support the development of an inclusive curriculum.

In addition, the department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to year 11. Specialist content for pupils with SEND is also available.

To support schools looking for help to improve the quality of their remote provision in line with the expectations, the department has published a sector-led good practice guide. The guide provides practical advice and suggestions for school leaders as part of the support package on Get Help with Remote Education: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-remote-education.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to protect staff at SEN schools during the January 2021 lockdown.

The department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to publish comprehensive guidance based on a system of controls which, when implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, creates an inherently safer environment for staff, pupils and students where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This provides a framework for all schools to put in place proportionate protective measures to measure risk effectively. New guidance has been published on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history.

We recognise that social distancing and other protective measures can be harder to implement in specialist settings, particularly when working with children and young people with complex needs, or those who need close contact care. The guidance for full opening: ‘Special Schools and other specialist settings’ has been developed with experts from PHE and provides advice on how special schools and other special education settings specifically can implement a system of controls to reduce the risk of transmission. Specialist settings should use their discretion and assess their own individual circumstances to achieve the greatest reduction in contacts. This should not unduly limit the quality or breadth of teaching, or access to support, specialist staff and therapists. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings#the-system-of-controls-protective-measures.

The government is delivering a programme of rapid asymptomatic testing from the start of January 2021 for staff, pupils and students in secondary schools and colleges. The DfE has provided guidance on delivering asymptomatic testing in specialist settings to support delivering testing in special schools and specialist colleges. More information can be found via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings/mass-asymptomatic-testing-in-specialist-settings. The government also announced that all primary schools, including primary special schools, will receive testing kits for staff from the 18 January 2021.

The PPE portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum.

Following the reintroduction of shielding, clinically extremely vulnerable staff are advised not to attend the workplace. Staff who are in this group will previously have received a letter from the NHS or their GP telling them this. Staff who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable should follow government guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that students in Rother Valley who have been unable to sit their BTEC and vocational exams in January 2021 due to the covid-19 outbreak are not disadvantaged compared with students who have sat those exams.

We want to ensure that no student is disadvantaged if they cannot take their exam or assessment. In consultation with Ofqual, awarding organisations and the sector we will develop an approach to ensure students receive a fair grade. If a student is unable to take their exam or assessment in January 2021, for example, if they are shielding or their provider is unable to offer the assessment, they will not be disadvantaged.

We will continue to develop our approach in consultation with Ofqual, awarding organisations and the sector, providing more detail on the way forward for vocational exams and assessments for February 2021 onwards.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that students in Rother Valley who have taken BTEC and vocational exams in January 2021 are provided with the opportunity to resit those examinations later in the 2020-21 academic year.

We are working with Ofqual, awarding organisations and other stakeholders to discuss the next steps and provide more detail on the way forward. We will put in place arrangements to ensure students are not disadvantaged.

We want to ensure that students who have worked hard to prepare for January assessments and exams have the opportunity to take them, if their school or college decides to go ahead.

In the event that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure they are treated fairly in comparison to their peers taking similar assessments and have a way to progress with as little disruption as possible.

We will continue to develop our approach in consultation with Ofqual, awarding organisations and the sector, providing more detail on the way forward for vocational exams and assessments for February 2021 onwards.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure regular covid-19 testing takes place in secondary schools for (a) students and (b) staff.

Keeping schools and colleges open is one of the Government’s highest priorities. Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been. The UK’s daily COVID-19 testing capacity passed the 500,000 mark on Saturday 31 October and testing capacity continues to expand to help meet demand over the winter period. All essential workers continue to have access to priority testing via the online booking portal. This includes all education and childcare workers, including support and teaching staff, social workers, and specialist education professionals. In addition to this, the Department is supplying COVID-19 test kits directly to schools and further education colleges for both staff and students who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test through other routes.

The Government is also committed to introducing mass asymptomatic testing using new technologies to minimise the risk of infection spread in our communities. Pilots have begun in a small number of secondary schools and colleges using new Lateral Flow Devices that deliver fast, on-site results. The pilots cover secondary school students and staff. These pilots will help us better understand how this new technology can be operationalised for further roll-out in schools and nurseries to ensure we protect those at high risk, find COVID-19 cases, and help enable us to return to as normal a way of life as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure the needs of children with special needs and learning disabilities are being met in schools.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been extremely challenging for many families, including for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Supporting pupils with SEND continues to be a priority for this government, and their wellbeing has been central to our response throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why we have supported online educational resources, including specifically for children with SEND, and why we are providing £37.3 million for the Family Fund this year to help over 75,000 families raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses, which includes £10 million specifically in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have published comprehensive guidance throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, including for the full opening of all schools in July, with separate guidance on specialist settings. This guidance is updated regularly.

We have also started a programme of visits by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, working with local areas to understand the experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to support local areas to prioritise and meet their needs.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether local authorities are adequately funded to enable short breaks for respite for disabled children and their families.

Short breaks (or ‘respite care’) are funded opportunities for disabled children and young people to be cared for away from the family homes, which local authorities have a statutory duty to provide.

Supporting the most vulnerable children and young people is a priority for us, especially at this time. We know that this period is particularly hard for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), their families and those who support them.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has made an additional £3.7 billion available to local authorities. This can support local authorities to deliver their respite offers (in line with their existing duties) and to address increased costs. This money is un-ringfenced, as local authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their area and to commission provision appropriately. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has also just announced a further £1 billion of funding for local authorities.

We have also committed this year £37.3 million (including £10 million in response to the COVID-19 outbreak) to the Family Fund, which provides grants to low income families caring for disabled children or seriously ill children, including for family breaks.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government’s SEND review is conducted (a) promptly and (b) thoroughly.

The government remains fully committed to a thorough and fundamental review of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system.

The issues that the SEND system face are complex, but we are determined to deliver real, lasting improvements, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I have met with many stakeholders across the SEND sector, to ensure that the review responds to the concerns of families and representative organisations.

The findings of the review will be published as soon as it is practicable to do so.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to establish retraining programmes in (a) renewable energy and (b) other clean technologies for people that were made unemployed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Alongside wider adult skills reforms, the government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) over the course of the Parliament, for a new National Skills Fund to help adults learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

Work is progressing to develop detailed plans for the National Skills Fund, including considering what role the fund could play in response to Covid-19. We will be consulting on the National Skills Fund in due course when those with an interest are better able to actively engage with it.

Apprenticeships will also have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities and supporting employers in all sectors to access the skilled workforce they need to recover and grow post-Covid-19. They can also help people re-train and re-enter the workforce. To help employers offer new apprenticeships at this time we’ve introduced a new payment of £2,000 for employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August to 31 January 2021.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to extend the covid-19 catch-up funding to students studying in (a) sixth form colleges, (b) 16 to 19 academies and (c) 16 to 19 free schools.

We are currently looking at how best to support young people in these institutions given the disruption to education caused by COVID-19.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the recommendations contained in the report entitled, Time for a Clean Slate; Children’s Mental Health at the Heart of Education, published by Barnado's in May 2020.

The government is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people as a central part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We welcome the reports that Barnardo’s and others have published to help inform how that can be done most effectively.

The report calls for reassurance for children and young people and parents about returning to school. We agree the return is a key part of promoting mental health and wellbeing as attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. Children in reception, year 1 and year 6 are now able to return to primary, and year 10 and year 12 pupils are able to receive face-to-face support at secondary. Primaries with capacity can bring back additional groups, in line with existing protective measures, and we have given schools the flexibility to have face-to-face ‘check-ups’ with all pupils during the summer term, which will ensure more children and young people are able to achieve this benefit. Our intention is for all children to return to school from September and guidance will be published soon.

We are clear that children, young people and parents need to know it is safe to return to school. That is why our advice sets out further information on how this can be achieved safely and effectively, and it is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The report also calls for the education system to prioritise child welfare and wellbeing as well as guidance to support schools with staff and pupil mental health and wellbeing. We have put it at the heart of our guidance both for children at home and in the guidance and planning frameworks for children returning to school. We will continue to develop this guidance to reflect the latest situation and scientific advice.

Online education resources are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The planning framework for return is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/opening-schools-for-more-children-and-young-people-initial-planning-framework-for-schools-in-england.

We have put in place further support for children and teachers on mental health and wellbeing. This includes training for teachers, such as a new module developed with clinical experts on how to teach about mental health in health education, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

We have also provided grants to the Education Support Partnership and Timewise to support teachers’ mental health and flexible working.

As the report suggests, schools need to be able to make additional provision to support pupils to make up for time lost to COVID-19. That is why the government has announced a £1 billion COVID-19 ‘catch-up’ package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support sixth form education during the covid-19 outbreak.

We want to get all children and young people back into face-to-face education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

From the week commencing 15 June, we have asked schools with sixth forms and further education colleges, which includes sixth form colleges, to offer some face-to-face support to pupils in year 12 and to 16-19 students in the first year of a two-year study programme, as they are preparing for key examinations next year. Remote education should, however, remain the predominant mode of education for these students at this time.

Whilst we are unable to welcome back more sixth form students at this time, we have recently announced that other students under 19 years old can be offered a face-to-face meeting before the end of the summer term, where it would be beneficial. As long as this happens in line with wider protective measures guidance, and guidance on the numbers of pupils permitted on-site at any one time, we would encourage this where possible.

Our priority is to ensure that year 13 sixth form students can progress as planned, including starting university, moving into apprenticeships or securing a job, and to support year 12 students to prepare for examinations next year.

We have published a planning guide for secondary schools (including those with sixth forms) to help school leaders to prepare and decide arrangements:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools;

as well as guidance for further education providers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/maintaining-education-and-skills-training-provision-further-education-providers.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on sixth form students.

We want to get all children and young people back into face-to-face education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

From the week commencing 15 June, we have asked schools with sixth forms and further education colleges, which includes sixth form colleges, to offer some face-to-face support to pupils in year 12 and to 16-19 students in the first year of a two-year study programme, as they are preparing for key examinations next year. Remote education should, however, remain the predominant mode of education for these students at this time.

Whilst we are unable to welcome back more sixth form students at this time, we have recently announced that other students under 19 years old can be offered a face-to-face meeting before the end of the summer term, where it would be beneficial. As long as this happens in line with wider protective measures guidance, and guidance on the numbers of pupils permitted on-site at any one time, we would encourage this where possible.

Our priority is to ensure that year 13 sixth form students can progress as planned, including starting university, moving into apprenticeships or securing a job, and to support year 12 students to prepare for examinations next year.

We have published a planning guide for secondary schools (including those with sixth forms) to help school leaders to prepare and decide arrangements:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools;

as well as guidance for further education providers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/maintaining-education-and-skills-training-provision-further-education-providers.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on its review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

The review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, alongside the development of T Levels, is central to building a world-class technical education system. The first stage of the qualifications review consultation ran from March to June 2019. The second stage consultation is due to be published later in 2020. The review is looking at complex questions about the range of qualifications needed at post-16 and we want to take the time to get this right. We are taking a number of steps in advance of this to drive up quality and reduce complexity in the system.

From 1 August 2020, we will withdraw funding approval for new starts on 163 older qualifications that have been superseded by newer more rigorous versions. From 1 September 2020, we will not approve new qualifications for funding for students aged 16 and above, to stabilise the publicly funded offer in advance of further reform. We have also, this year, started the process to remove public funding approval of qualifications with low or no publicly funded enrolments. Subject to the outcomes of this process, from August 2021 we will remove funding approval for qualifications with no publicly funded enrolments; and from August 2022 we will remove funding approval for qualifications with low numbers of publicly funded enrolments, unless doing so would have a significant adverse impact on a particular sector, geographical area or student group.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the findings of the report published by Barnardo's, the Children's Society, Action for Children, the NSPCC and the National Children's Bureau entitled Children and young people’s services: Funding and spending 2010-11 to 2017-18, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for children's services.

The government announced at the Local Government Finance Settlement that English councils' core spending power is rising by over £2.9 billion this financial year. This includes £1 billion of new grant funding that can be used flexibly by local authorities to deliver adult and children’s social care services.

Further to this, the government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including within children’s services. We will keep this under review over the coming weeks and months.

Longer term funding considerations are a matter for the next Spending Review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to introduce retraining programmes in (a) the renewable energy sector and (b) other clean technologies sectors for people that may be unemployed after the covid-19 outbreak.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and supporting employers in all sectors to access the skilled workforce they need to recover and grow post-Covid-19. They can also help people re-train and re-enter the workforce.

Employers are at the heart of our reforms to apprenticeships, designing high-quality standards that deliver the skills that they need. Standards developed by the renewable and clean energy sectors include: dual fuel smart meter installer, commercial energy specialist and power engineer.

Additionally, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) is undertaking work on a number of initiatives to support the energy, and wider engineering sector. This includes: scholarships that are focused on helping young people into areas of growth in the industry during the economic recovery period; connected competence to identify and facilitate transferrable skills, so that training doesn’t need to be replicated within the industry; and ‘Train to retain’ allowing existing graduates to be retained and ultimately reskill them according to emerging industry requirements.

The ECITB is also developing a programme for those at economic risk due to COVID-19 impacts on their part of the industry. This will be similar to the work ECITB and EDF collaborated on for workers at Cottam coal-fired power station, helping them transition from established parts of the energy sector into growth areas.

We continue to work with further education providers and employers to ensure they deliver the skills our workers and economy need. We are looking to support employers of all sizes, and particularly smaller businesses to take on new apprentices this year. We will set out further details in due course. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year. In addition, we have launched a new online Skills Toolkit to provide free high quality digital and numeracy courses, the skills most sought after by employers.

Alongside wider adult skills reforms, the government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) over the course of the Parliament, for a new National Skills Fund to help adults learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he had with local authorities on the adoption of school uniforms in schools across South Yorkshire.

It is for the governing body of a school (or the academy trust, in the case of academies) to decide whether there should be a school uniform, and if so, what it should be. It is also for the governing body or academy trust to decide how the school uniform should be sourced. To support them to do this the Department issues best practice guidance which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.

Our guidance is clear that the Department strongly encourages schools to have a school uniform and recognises the valuable role it can play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

The Government is pleased to support the Private Members' Bill, Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill, in order to make our guidance on the cost considerations for school uniform statutory at the earliest opportunity. This guidance will further support governing bodies in their decisions regarding school uniform policies.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children’s mental health and wellbeing will be supported when they return to school as the covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.

The government remains committed to promoting and supporting the mental health of children and young people. Access to mental health support is more important than ever during COVID-19. NHS services remain open, leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. The NHS has set up 24/7 open access telephone lines for urgent mental health support for people of all ages.

The Department for Education has established a dedicated helpline and webpages covering advice for the education sector, as well as advice for parents and carers supporting children. The GOV.UK web pages include information about how education settings, and parents and carers, can support children and young people who may be struggling with mental health during this difficult time. This includes educational provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers; safeguarding, including keeping children safe from online harms; and advice on mental health and behaviour. Within the online education resources, there are resources to support mental wellbeing, physical activity, and special educational needs and disabilities.

This guidance is available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2; and

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-online-education-resources-for-home-education.

The return to school will in itself be part of supporting mental health and wellbeing of pupils as attendance enables social interaction with peers, carers and teachers which benefits wellbeing. Pupil wellbeing is highlighted in curriculum considerations for school leaders to consider in our guidance on actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020. It is also included as specific a theme in the planning framework that the department has issued, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/opening-schools-for-more-children-and-young-people-initial-planning-framework-for-schools-in-england. We will continue to work with school and health partners on how to make further resources and support available to schools as children and young people return.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in Rother Valley constituency were rated (a) good and (b) outstanding by Ofsted at their most recent inspection.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to my hon. Friend, the Member for Rother Valley directly and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on child welfare of temporary relaxation of regulation relating to children’s social care in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

We have taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of vulnerable children, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend the education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures that the Covid-19 outbreak is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility – to be used where absolutely necessary – to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak.

Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during the Covid-19 outbreak. The department recently published updated guidance for children’s social care services that covers how the flexibilities provided in regulations should be used. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care#delivery-of-services.

Amendments have been made to provide for extra flexibility in limited circumstances, but this should only be used when absolutely necessary, with senior management oversight and must be consistent with the overarching safeguarding and welfare duties that remain in place. The amendments will remain in place only for as long as they are needed.

Where it becomes necessary to use any of these flexibilities, it is important that this is properly recorded, along with the reasons for doing so. Where it is not necessary to make use of the flexibilities due to the current circumstances, they should not be used.

The department continues working with a wide range of stakeholders and the sector to ensure that the right support is available for frontline services during the crisis. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless they are extended.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that local authorities, schools and charities work together to identify and support vulnerable children during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable children is a top priority for the government.

Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why educational establishments remain open for these children. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has written to all education settings and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children. Around 58,000 vulnerable children were attending an educational setting in the week ending 1 May, compared to about 50,000 the previous week.

The Secretary of State for Education has also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and supporting services for vulnerable children and young people throughout this period. Officials from the Department for Education (DfE) and re-deployed Ofsted inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England. DfE has issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending a nursery, school or further education setting, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

The government is providing an additional £3.2 billion for local authorities to manage pressure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including within children’s social care. The government has also announced £750 million in funding to support frontline charities during the pandemic, including those supporting vulnerable children. We are meeting regularly with the leading children’s charities to ensure they are able to continue to deliver frontline services. We are also continuing to support Childline and have provided an additional £1.6 million to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for them to expand and promote their adult helpline, so more adults will be able to raise concerns and seek advice about the safety and wellbeing of any child that they are worried about.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase the number of vulnerable children attending school while lockdown measures in response to the covid-19 outbreak are in place.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable children is a top priority for the government.

Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why educational establishments remain open for these children. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has written to all education settings and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children. Around 58,000 vulnerable children were attending an educational setting in the week ending 1 May, compared to about 50,000 the previous week.

The Secretary of State for Education has also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and supporting services for vulnerable children and young people throughout this period. Officials from the Department for Education (DfE) and re-deployed Ofsted inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England. DfE has issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending a nursery, school or further education setting, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

The government is providing an additional £3.2 billion for local authorities to manage pressure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including within children’s social care. The government has also announced £750 million in funding to support frontline charities during the pandemic, including those supporting vulnerable children. We are meeting regularly with the leading children’s charities to ensure they are able to continue to deliver frontline services. We are also continuing to support Childline and have provided an additional £1.6 million to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for them to expand and promote their adult helpline, so more adults will be able to raise concerns and seek advice about the safety and wellbeing of any child that they are worried about.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase the number of vulnerable children attending school during lockdown measures imposed in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable children is a top priority for the government.

Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why educational establishments remain open for these children. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has written to all education settings and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children. Around 58,000 vulnerable children were attending an educational setting in the week ending 1 May, compared to about 50,000 the previous week.

The Secretary of State for Education has also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and supporting services for vulnerable children and young people throughout this period. Officials from the Department for Education (DfE) and re-deployed Ofsted inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England. DfE has issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending a nursery, school or further education setting, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

The government is providing an additional £3.2 billion for local authorities to manage pressure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including within children’s social care. The government has also announced £750 million in funding to support frontline charities during the pandemic, including those supporting vulnerable children. We are meeting regularly with the leading children’s charities to ensure they are able to continue to deliver frontline services. We are also continuing to support Childline and have provided an additional £1.6 million to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for them to expand and promote their adult helpline, so more adults will be able to raise concerns and seek advice about the safety and wellbeing of any child that they are worried about.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that vulnerable children are (a) identified and (b) supported while school attendance rates are low during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable children is a top priority for the government.

Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why educational establishments remain open for these children. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has written to all education settings and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children. Around 58,000 vulnerable children were attending an educational setting in the week ending 1 May, compared to about 50,000 the previous week.

The Secretary of State for Education has also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and supporting services for vulnerable children and young people throughout this period. Officials from the Department for Education (DfE) and re-deployed Ofsted inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England. DfE has issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending a nursery, school or further education setting, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

The government is providing an additional £3.2 billion for local authorities to manage pressure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including within children’s social care. The government has also announced £750 million in funding to support frontline charities during the pandemic, including those supporting vulnerable children. We are meeting regularly with the leading children’s charities to ensure they are able to continue to deliver frontline services. We are also continuing to support Childline and have provided an additional £1.6 million to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for them to expand and promote their adult helpline, so more adults will be able to raise concerns and seek advice about the safety and wellbeing of any child that they are worried about.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils study music at A-Level in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and (c) Rother Valley constituency.

The number of pupils[1] entered[2] for music GCSE[3],[4] and GCE A Level[5],[6] in Rother Valley and Yorkshire and the Humber for the academic year 2018/19 is shown in the table below:

Region/Local Authority[7]

GCSE

GCE A Level

Rother Valley

29

6

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,334

280

The national figure for GCSE entries can be found under ‘Subject data’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2019-revised.

The national figure for GCE A Level entries can be found under ‘Underlying data: 2019 Revised’ and selecting ‘REVISED_A_Level_Results_by_LA_and_Region’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/a-level-and-other-16-to-18-results-2018-to-2019-revised

Please note that we have not provided figures for pupils studying music at primary and secondary school overall. This is because music is part of the national curriculum and is a compulsory subject between Key Stages 1 and 3. Therefore, all pupils are required to study music during these stages.

[1] Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils at the end of their year of study.

[2] Counts are for pupils who have entered exams. We do not hold data for the number of pupils who study the subject.

[3] In line with discounting rules, only one attempt is counted.

[4] Counts are for pupils with exam entries only.

[5] Represents the number of exam entries, which will differ slightly from initial registration in a subject.

[6] GCSE information is based on final data, A level data is based on revised figures.

[7] Local Authority and Region figures cover achievements in state-funded schools only. They do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas and so will not match with state-funded figures in the published data.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure music lessons in schools are affordable.

The Government believes that music is an important subject and that all pupils should receive a high quality music education, at least up to age 14. That is why the subject is compulsory in the national curriculum and why this government provided funding of over £300 million for Music Education Hubs between 2016 and 2020 and in January 2020 I announced a further £80 million investment by the Government in these hubs for 2020-21.

In 2011 the Government published ‘The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education’, available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-importance-of-music-a-national-plan-for-music-education.

The document set out a vision for how music education should look up to 2020 and introduced the plans for the music education hubs. The vision is to enable children from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, to make music with others, to learn to sing, and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence. In January 2019, the Government committed to refreshing the Plan to ensure music remains at the forefront of school life and made clear that the Plan would be refreshed.

At the same time to ensure all pupils are able to enjoy high quality lessons it was announced that schools are to receive a new model music curriculum created by an independent panel of experts. As well as ensuring all pupils can benefit from knowledge rich and diverse lessons, it is hoped that the curriculum will make it far easier for teachers to plan lessons and help to reduce workload.

In the same period the Government also funded the Music and Dance Scheme with £120 million. The aim of the scheme is to help identify, and assist, children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.

Although the Department has not commissioned any recent studies, a Call for Evidence on music education was launched on 9 February 2020, and closed on 13 March 2020, the findings from which will inform the development of proposals for the refreshed Plan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the Plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

In terms of individual music tuition, in addition to support provided through the hubs, the Government also invests in organisations that help young people learn about different styles of music and to support the next generation of musicians. These programmes are:

  • In Harmony
  • National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs)
  • Music for Youth.
Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure music is taught at every school.

The Government believes that music is an important subject and that all pupils should receive a high quality music education, at least up to age 14. That is why the subject is compulsory in the national curriculum and why this government provided funding of over £300 million for Music Education Hubs between 2016 and 2020 and in January 2020 I announced a further £80 million investment by the Government in these hubs for 2020-21.

In 2011 the Government published ‘The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education’, available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-importance-of-music-a-national-plan-for-music-education.

The document set out a vision for how music education should look up to 2020 and introduced the plans for the music education hubs. The vision is to enable children from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, to make music with others, to learn to sing, and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence. In January 2019, the Government committed to refreshing the Plan to ensure music remains at the forefront of school life and made clear that the Plan would be refreshed.

At the same time to ensure all pupils are able to enjoy high quality lessons it was announced that schools are to receive a new model music curriculum created by an independent panel of experts. As well as ensuring all pupils can benefit from knowledge rich and diverse lessons, it is hoped that the curriculum will make it far easier for teachers to plan lessons and help to reduce workload.

In the same period the Government also funded the Music and Dance Scheme with £120 million. The aim of the scheme is to help identify, and assist, children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.

Although the Department has not commissioned any recent studies, a Call for Evidence on music education was launched on 9 February 2020, and closed on 13 March 2020, the findings from which will inform the development of proposals for the refreshed Plan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the Plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

In terms of individual music tuition, in addition to support provided through the hubs, the Government also invests in organisations that help young people learn about different styles of music and to support the next generation of musicians. These programmes are:

  • In Harmony
  • National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs)
  • Music for Youth.
Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent studies his Department has carried out on the benefits of teaching music in schools.

The Government believes that music is an important subject and that all pupils should receive a high quality music education, at least up to age 14. That is why the subject is compulsory in the national curriculum and why this government provided funding of over £300 million for Music Education Hubs between 2016 and 2020 and in January 2020 I announced a further £80 million investment by the Government in these hubs for 2020-21.

In 2011 the Government published ‘The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education’, available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-importance-of-music-a-national-plan-for-music-education.

The document set out a vision for how music education should look up to 2020 and introduced the plans for the music education hubs. The vision is to enable children from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, to make music with others, to learn to sing, and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence. In January 2019, the Government committed to refreshing the Plan to ensure music remains at the forefront of school life and made clear that the Plan would be refreshed.

At the same time to ensure all pupils are able to enjoy high quality lessons it was announced that schools are to receive a new model music curriculum created by an independent panel of experts. As well as ensuring all pupils can benefit from knowledge rich and diverse lessons, it is hoped that the curriculum will make it far easier for teachers to plan lessons and help to reduce workload.

In the same period the Government also funded the Music and Dance Scheme with £120 million. The aim of the scheme is to help identify, and assist, children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.

Although the Department has not commissioned any recent studies, a Call for Evidence on music education was launched on 9 February 2020, and closed on 13 March 2020, the findings from which will inform the development of proposals for the refreshed Plan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the Plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

In terms of individual music tuition, in addition to support provided through the hubs, the Government also invests in organisations that help young people learn about different styles of music and to support the next generation of musicians. These programmes are:

  • In Harmony
  • National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs)
  • Music for Youth.
Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils study music at GCSE level in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and (c) Rother Valley constituency.

The number of pupils[1] entered[2] for music GCSE[3],[4] and GCE A Level[5],[6] in Rother Valley and Yorkshire and the Humber for the academic year 2018/19 is shown in the table below:

Region/Local Authority[7]

GCSE

GCE A Level

Rother Valley

29

6

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,334

280

The national figure for GCSE entries can be found under ‘Subject data’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2019-revised.

The national figure for GCE A Level entries can be found under ‘Underlying data: 2019 Revised’ and selecting ‘REVISED_A_Level_Results_by_LA_and_Region’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/a-level-and-other-16-to-18-results-2018-to-2019-revised

Please note that we have not provided figures for pupils studying music at primary and secondary school overall. This is because music is part of the national curriculum and is a compulsory subject between Key Stages 1 and 3. Therefore, all pupils are required to study music during these stages.

[1] Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils at the end of their year of study.

[2] Counts are for pupils who have entered exams. We do not hold data for the number of pupils who study the subject.

[3] In line with discounting rules, only one attempt is counted.

[4] Counts are for pupils with exam entries only.

[5] Represents the number of exam entries, which will differ slightly from initial registration in a subject.

[6] GCSE information is based on final data, A level data is based on revised figures.

[7] Local Authority and Region figures cover achievements in state-funded schools only. They do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas and so will not match with state-funded figures in the published data.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils study music at secondary school level in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and (c) Rother Valley constituency.

The number of pupils[1] entered[2] for music GCSE[3],[4] and GCE A Level[5],[6] in Rother Valley and Yorkshire and the Humber for the academic year 2018/19 is shown in the table below:

Region/Local Authority[7]

GCSE

GCE A Level

Rother Valley

29

6

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,334

280

The national figure for GCSE entries can be found under ‘Subject data’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2019-revised.

The national figure for GCE A Level entries can be found under ‘Underlying data: 2019 Revised’ and selecting ‘REVISED_A_Level_Results_by_LA_and_Region’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/a-level-and-other-16-to-18-results-2018-to-2019-revised

Please note that we have not provided figures for pupils studying music at primary and secondary school overall. This is because music is part of the national curriculum and is a compulsory subject between Key Stages 1 and 3. Therefore, all pupils are required to study music during these stages.

[1] Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils at the end of their year of study.

[2] Counts are for pupils who have entered exams. We do not hold data for the number of pupils who study the subject.

[3] In line with discounting rules, only one attempt is counted.

[4] Counts are for pupils with exam entries only.

[5] Represents the number of exam entries, which will differ slightly from initial registration in a subject.

[6] GCSE information is based on final data, A level data is based on revised figures.

[7] Local Authority and Region figures cover achievements in state-funded schools only. They do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas and so will not match with state-funded figures in the published data.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils study music at primary school level in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and (c) Rother Valley constituency.

The number of pupils[1] entered[2] for music GCSE[3],[4] and GCE A Level[5],[6] in Rother Valley and Yorkshire and the Humber for the academic year 2018/19 is shown in the table below:

Region/Local Authority[7]

GCSE

GCE A Level

Rother Valley

29

6

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,334

280

The national figure for GCSE entries can be found under ‘Subject data’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2019-revised.

The national figure for GCE A Level entries can be found under ‘Underlying data: 2019 Revised’ and selecting ‘REVISED_A_Level_Results_by_LA_and_Region’ from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/a-level-and-other-16-to-18-results-2018-to-2019-revised

Please note that we have not provided figures for pupils studying music at primary and secondary school overall. This is because music is part of the national curriculum and is a compulsory subject between Key Stages 1 and 3. Therefore, all pupils are required to study music during these stages.

[1] Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils at the end of their year of study.

[2] Counts are for pupils who have entered exams. We do not hold data for the number of pupils who study the subject.

[3] In line with discounting rules, only one attempt is counted.

[4] Counts are for pupils with exam entries only.

[5] Represents the number of exam entries, which will differ slightly from initial registration in a subject.

[6] GCSE information is based on final data, A level data is based on revised figures.

[7] Local Authority and Region figures cover achievements in state-funded schools only. They do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas and so will not match with state-funded figures in the published data.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to schools to help facilitate remote and e-learning.

The Department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. We recognise that many schools and colleges have already shared resources for children who are at home, and we are grateful for this.

The higher education regulator in England, the Office for Students, has produced guidance on practical ways in which university students can complete their studies whilst ensuring quality and standards are upheld.

The Government is working closely with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to ensure students continue to leave university with qualifications that have real value, reflect their hard work and allow people to progress.

The Department has issued guidance for schools which signposts to an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The Department has also issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who at home, which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Leading state schools have collaborated to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online.

Devices will be ordered for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, for those who receive support from a social worker, and for care leavers.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are working to provide 4G connectivity to them so that they can study at home.

Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools have been given guidance on how to place online orders for Government-funded and allocated devices for eligible children and young people.

The Department is also working with major telecommunications providers to exempt certain educational resources from data charges, so that this does not add to household expense.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support childminders' businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has set out specific measures to support childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Funding for the government’s early years entitlements will continue during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures or when children cannot attend
  • To support private nurseries at this time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced that they will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year from 1 April

Childcare providers will also benefit from the wider measures the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced to support the people and businesses of the UK:

  • A three-point plan announced in the Budget providing £12 billion of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by the outbreak
  • A package to provide additional support for businesses and individuals totalling £350 billion
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. This means that businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed
  • A scheme to help the UK’s self-employed who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will enable those eligible to receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment
  • On 28 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, announced that the government will also temporarily suspend the wrongful trading provisions to give company directors greater confidence to use their best endeavours to continue trading during this pandemic emergency, without the threat of personal liability should the company ultimately fall into insolvency

The government is also providing the following additional support:

  • deferral of Self-Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • increased amounts of Universal Credit
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The latest guidance from the department for early years and childcare providers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support childminders during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has set out specific measures to support childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Funding for the government’s early years entitlements will continue during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures or when children cannot attend
  • To support private nurseries at this time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced that they will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year from 1 April

Childcare providers will also benefit from the wider measures the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced to support the people and businesses of the UK:

  • A three-point plan announced in the Budget providing £12 billion of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by the outbreak
  • A package to provide additional support for businesses and individuals totalling £350 billion
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. This means that businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed
  • A scheme to help the UK’s self-employed who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will enable those eligible to receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment
  • On 28 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, announced that the government will also temporarily suspend the wrongful trading provisions to give company directors greater confidence to use their best endeavours to continue trading during this pandemic emergency, without the threat of personal liability should the company ultimately fall into insolvency

The government is also providing the following additional support:

  • deferral of Self-Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • increased amounts of Universal Credit
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The latest guidance from the department for early years and childcare providers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families on 28 January 2020 to 5550.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) schools and (b) other educational establishments have adequate access to (i) soap and (ii) hand sanitiser.

The Department for Education is working with Public Sector Buying Organisations and the Crown Commercial Service to understand and try to address supply chain issues. At this time, the supply chain has flagged that for some products there are reduced volume deliveries and less frequent deliveries which means some items may be rationed. They are seeking to find alternatives to any products which are out of stock.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that teachers are equipped with (a) hand sanitiser, (b) anti-bacterial wipes and (c) soap in the course of their duties.

The Department for Education is working with Public Sector Buying Organisations and the Crown Commercial Service to understand and try to address supply chain issues. At this time, the supply chain has flagged that for some products there are reduced volume deliveries and less frequent deliveries which means some items may be rationed. They are seeking to find alternatives to any products which are out of stock.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of people undertaking energy engineering apprenticeships were women in the latest period for which figures are available.

In 2018/19, there were 59,970 apprenticeship starts in the Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies sector subject area, of which 7.9% were female.

In the first quarter of the 2019/20 academic year (covering August to October 2019), there have been 24,440 starts reported to date, of which 7.8% were female.

There is no single apprenticeship called ‘energy engineering’, however there are a number of engineering-related apprenticeships that may relate to the ‘energy’ sector, a number of which are shown in the attached table.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to (a) encourage the study of STEM subjects and (b) promote jobs in the energy sector in schools.

The demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills is growing, particularly for sectors such as engineering, construction and manufacturing. To support this, the Government has made substantial spending commitments for mathematics, digital and technical education. The Government is also encouraging more students into STEM, from primary school to higher education.

Mathematics, science and computing are compulsory subjects in all state-maintained schools, which pupils will study at least until age 16. State-maintained schools must teach the national curriculum programmes of study for these subjects in full, which ensures that all pupils gain a thorough and rigorous grounding in each discipline. Academies and free schools are also required to teach mathematics and science as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, using the national curriculum as an exemplar.

At GCSE, the majority of pupils enter mathematics and science, and entries to computer science continue to rise. Entries to STEM A-levels are also rising, with a 26% increase between 2010 and 2019. The Government is funding programmes to increase the take-up of mathematics (such as the Advanced Maths Premium), computing and physics, and to support better teaching of mathematics, science and computing in schools. This includes a new £84 million programme to improve computing teaching. This also includes focused action to address existing gender imbalances in STEM, which are more pronounced in subjects such as physics, computing and mathematics.

The Government has committed to improving STEM careers advice in schools in the Department’s careers strategy, including for sectors such as energy. The Department is also raising awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer, through programmes such as STEM ambassadors.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils achieved (a) the highest and (b) pass grades at GCSE in Rother Valley constituency in each of the last five years.

The percentage of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in all state-funded schools[1] achieving grades 9-4 or A*-C in English and mathematics GCSEs in Rother Valley constituency over the last four years are presented in the table attached.

Further data at institution level for schools in Rother Valley from 2014 to 2019 can be accessed from the download data section of the school performance tables website at: https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/.

[1] State-funded schools include academies, free schools, city technology colleges, further education colleges with provision for 14- to 16-year-olds and state-funded special schools. They exclude independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision. Alternative provision includes academy and free school alternative provision.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the numbers of teachers in Rother Valley.

In January 2019 the Department launched the Government’s first ever integrated strategy to recruit and retain more teachers in schools – developed alongside and welcomed by teachers, education unions and leading professional bodies.

The Department recognises that some schools and local areas have greater issues with recruitment and retention than others. The Department is making every effort to refocus national teacher recruitment and retention programmes to ensure they address local variations in teacher supply, so that more schools can benefit from tried and tested programmes.

In January 2019 the Department also announced that we will introduce the Early Career Framework early in three local authority areas, including Doncaster, in September 2020. The Early Career Framework is a two-year package of development and support that will transform support for early career teachers, rolling out nationally from September 2021. From September 2020, early career teachers and their mentors in early roll-out areas will be eligible to start benefitting early from improved support to their early career teachers, including high-quality training and support.

There are a number of financial incentives to join and remain in the profession that teachers in Rother Valley may be eligible for. Mathematics and Physics teachers in the Rotherham and Doncaster local authority areas of Rother Valley who are in the first five years of their career may be eligible for a £2,000 retention payment after tax. In addition to this, teachers who completed their initial teacher training from 2013 onwards may be eligible for Teacher Student Loan reimbursement, and Mathematics teachers who started their initial teacher training from 2018 onwards may be eligible early career payments up to £7,500. Both of these schemes are available to teachers in the Doncaster local authority area.

In addition to this, the Department is currently delivering a £30 million investment in tailored support for struggling schools designed to help schools improve existing plans, join national programmes, build local partnerships or fund new initiatives. One school in Rother Valley is receiving this support.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) primary and (b) secondary teachers there are in Rother Valley.

As at November 2018 (the latest year for which information is available), there were 378 full time equivalent (FTE) primary school teachers, and 510 FTE teachers in secondary schools in Rother Valley.

The information requested can be derived from school level data on teachers numbers published as part of School Workforce in England, 2018. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2018.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to amend the Game Act 1831 to enable the police to recover the kennelling costs incurred where dogs have been seized.

The Government is aware of various proposals which have been made to amend the Game Act. and will continue its discussions with all those concerned, whilst considering what further action could be taken.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many incidents of hare poaching have been recorded in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) England since 2016.

There is no requirement for the police to record incidents of hare poaching – it is a matter for individual police forces to decide whether and how they wish to do so. There is no national data on the number of hare poaching incidents in England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle hare poaching.

The Government takes wildlife crime seriously and is committed to ensuring the protection wildlife legislation offers is effectively enforced. We recognise the problems and distress which poaching and hare coursing causes for local communities.

We recognise the importance of preserving our iconic brown and mountain hare populations – and we are exploring a range of options to help drive their recovery across England.

Poaching (including hare coursing) is already one of the UK's six wildlife crime priorities. Each wildlife crime priority has a delivery group to consider what action should be taken and develop a plan to prevent crime, gather intelligence on offences and enforce against it.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit, funded partly by Defra and the Home Office, continues to support efforts to tackle poaching and hare coursing, assisting regional police forces in tackling these crimes by gathering and analysing intelligence, sharing this with the police and assisting police investigations.

Hare poaching is illegal under the Game Acts (the Game Act 1832 and the Night Poaching Act 1828). Enforcement is an operational matter for the police, and it is for individual Chief Constables to determine how their resources are deployed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to oblige horse riders clean up manure from footpaths and roads.

Local councils have a duty to ensure that public areas are kept clear of litter and refuse. This includes removing horse foul from certain types of land. Local authorities are not required to report on their specific costs related to cleaning horse manure from public roads and footpaths, and Defra has made no assessment of these costs.

Defra does not keep any information on offences or fines for statutory nuisances as local authorities are the main enforcers of the statutory nuisance regime. Individual local authorities may keep records of statutory nuisance offences and fines, but these are not held nationally by Defra.

There is no law requiring riders to pick up after their horses and we have no plans to introduce such a law. Manure from healthy horses is generally free of the pathogens that are found in dog faeces, such as the worm that carries toxocariasis, and there is not enough evidence of widespread nuisance from horse fouling to suggest that special legislative controls are necessary.

Councils already have powers to issue Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs allow councils to deal with a particular nuisance or problem arising in an area which have “a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality” by imposing conditions on the use of that area.

Those who breach the terms of a PSPO may be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court, which can lead to a criminal record and a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction. Alternatively, the council can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100. It is up to each council to decide how and to what extent they use these powers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the number of fines for statutory nuisance caused by horse fouling on roads and footpaths have been issued in the last year.

Local councils have a duty to ensure that public areas are kept clear of litter and refuse. This includes removing horse foul from certain types of land. Local authorities are not required to report on their specific costs related to cleaning horse manure from public roads and footpaths, and Defra has made no assessment of these costs.

Defra does not keep any information on offences or fines for statutory nuisances as local authorities are the main enforcers of the statutory nuisance regime. Individual local authorities may keep records of statutory nuisance offences and fines, but these are not held nationally by Defra.

There is no law requiring riders to pick up after their horses and we have no plans to introduce such a law. Manure from healthy horses is generally free of the pathogens that are found in dog faeces, such as the worm that carries toxocariasis, and there is not enough evidence of widespread nuisance from horse fouling to suggest that special legislative controls are necessary.

Councils already have powers to issue Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs allow councils to deal with a particular nuisance or problem arising in an area which have “a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality” by imposing conditions on the use of that area.

Those who breach the terms of a PSPO may be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court, which can lead to a criminal record and a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction. Alternatively, the council can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100. It is up to each council to decide how and to what extent they use these powers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a single database of microchipped cats and dogs to help tackle increases in pet thefts.

We are always keen to consider improvements to the system and a post-implementation review of the law that regulates compulsory microchipping of dogs – The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 - will be carried out this year. This will include a review of how the current database system is working in practice.

The Government takes the issue of pet theft very seriously and is concerned by suggestions that occurrences are on the rise. The department is in contact with the police about crime prevention advice and the enforcement of the law around pet theft.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring veterinarians to scan the mircochips of cats and dogs upon first presentation to them.

We are always keen to consider improvements to the system and a post-implementation review of the law that regulates compulsory microchipping of dogs – The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 - will be carried out this year. A public consultation on compulsory microchipping and scanning of cats and dogs closed on 17 February. Among the questions being posed, the Government asked whether veterinarians should be required to scan cats and dogs upon first presentation. The Government will respond to this consultation once responses have been considered.

It is best practice for vets to check ownership details of pets brought to their practices for the first time in order to satisfy themselves that the pet has not been listed as stolen.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to help increase awareness of pet theft among (a) pet owners, (b) veterinarians and (c) the police.

The Government takes the issue of pet theft very seriously and I urge all owners of pets to be aware that their pet could be targeted by thieves. This includes when owners of dogs are out exercising their dogs or when pets may be out of sight. Helpful advice about how to reduce the risk of having your pet stolen is available online, including on animal welfare organisations sites and insurance sites. It is best practice for vets to check ownership details of pets brought to their practices for the first time in order to satisfy themselves that the pet has not been listed as stolen. My department is in contact with the police about crime prevention advice and the enforcement of the law around pet theft.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his preferred option for the interim licensing regime of game bird release on protected sites remains general licences.

We have launched a public consultation on our proposals for the interim licensing of game bird releasing which includes the use of a general licence. We are committed to achieving an interim licensing regime which is both effective and workable for users.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is his policy to introduce a licensing regime for gamebird releasing on certain European protected sites for 2021.

I can confirm that it is the Government's policy to introduce an interim licensing regime for the 2021 releases of common pheasant and red-legged partridge within European protected sites and within a 500m buffer zone around the sites. A consultation has been launched that sets out the proposals.

The cost to the public purse of reviewing gamebird releasing on European protected sites has not been specifically calculated or compared to other outdoor pursuits.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse has been of reviewing gamebird releasing on European protected sites compared with the cost of reviewing other outdoor sports, leisure activities and recreation activities in the last two years.

I can confirm that it is the Government's policy to introduce an interim licensing regime for the 2021 releases of common pheasant and red-legged partridge within European protected sites and within a 500m buffer zone around the sites. A consultation has been launched that sets out the proposals.

The cost to the public purse of reviewing gamebird releasing on European protected sites has not been specifically calculated or compared to other outdoor pursuits.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance has been issued to (a) dog trainers and (b) dog groomers to enable them to operate safely during the covid-19 national lockdown.

My Department continues to work closely with the Canine and Feline Sector Group who have issued advice for pet businesses, including dog trainers and dog groomers, on how to operate safely within the new restrictions; this includes a protocol for the handover of pets. The advice may be found online at https://www.cfsg.org.uk/repository/360/.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether a veterinary referral is necessary for pet groomers to carry out grooming appointments for welfare reasons during the covid-19 national lockdown.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group have issued advice for pet businesses, including dog groomers, on how to operate safely within the new restrictions. The advice may be found online at https://www.cfsg.org.uk/repository/360/.

Dog owners are permitted to take their dog to be groomed by appointment where this is necessary for the animal’s welfare and not simply for aesthetic reasons. Defra cannot advise on whether it is appropriate to take animals to be groomed in individual cases. Owners should carefully consider whether grooming is necessary for animal welfare reasons, in discussion with their vet if needed.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced on 4 January 2021 on the level of stock held by food service wholesalers.

I refer the hon. Members to the reply previously given on 25 January 2021, PQ 138473.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-15/138473

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to promote the use of steel shot as an alternative to lead shot.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential environmental effect of reducing the use of lead shot in shooting sports and activities.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the policy options it has at its disposal to support a reduction in use of lead shot in shooting sports and activities.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to support a reduction in use of lead shot in shooting sports and activities.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department plans to take to support a reduction in use of lead shot in shooting sports and activities.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using steel shot over lead shot in shooting sports and activities.

Lead is highly toxic and most of its uses are regulated to prevent exposure to humans and the environment. Between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfowl are estimated to die each year in the UK due to lead poisoning from spent gunshot. Lead poisoning can also have a negative effect on other wildlife, especially scavenging raptors. That is why, in England, the use of lead shot is prohibited for shooting certain species of wildfowl and for use over certain sites of special scientific interest by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Recently the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on human health and the environment, has proposed an amendment of the current EC regulation on the use of lead in gunshot over wetlands. The Government will consider the evidence review recently undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency and the proposal from the REACH Committee before deciding if any changes to UK regulations are required. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to lead ammunition, such as steel and copper, will form part of the consideration.

On 24 February 2020, nine shooting organisations issued a joint statement calling for the end of using lead and single-use plastics in ammunition for live quarry shooting with shotguns over five years. We welcome this voluntary move and applaud these organisations for reaching this decision. It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment.

The Government continues to support shooting activities which benefit the rural economy and the environment, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government's target of the UK achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including the carbon emissions of imported products in the calculation of the UK's carbon emissions.

Defra produces annual estimates of the UK’s carbon footprint. The latest data was published on 4 May 2020: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uks-carbon-footprint. These are consumption-based emissions and include the emissions embedded in imported products. However, consumption emissions are officially categorised as “experimental statistics” because of inherent uncertainties in the estimates produced. The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions statistics used for the purposes of measuring progress against the net zero target are calculated in line with the standard international accounting approach for measuring emissions as established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with stakeholders on the reopening of Watsons Tip at Droppingwell in Kimberworth.

The Environment Agency (EA) regulates ‘Watson’s Tip’, also known as Droppingwell Landfill, under an environmental permit issued to Grange Landfill Limited (GLL).

Historically, this landfill has received a range of waste types. Landfilling was suspended in the late 1990s as it could not fully comply with the new environmental standards under the European Landfill Directive. Although the operator decided to suspend further waste disposal, the environmental permit was not surrendered and remained in force.

In 2015, GLL applied to the EA to vary the existing permit to enable the disposal of inert wastes only. Inert wastes, for example soil and stone, are defined as materials that do not undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological transformation. As part of its application, GLL was required to demonstrate that the new activity would meet the requirements of the Landfill Directive. GLL was also required to submit a detailed risk assessment to identify potential effects on nearby receptors and to propose any necessary mitigation. The EA has thoroughly assessed the risk assessments submitted in support of the permit application and is satisfied that all aspects that could affect the environment and human health have been addressed to a satisfactory standard.

After due consideration of the application, the EA issued the permit variation on 23 March 2016. The varied permit takes account of all legislative requirements under the Landfill Directive and includes a number of pre-operational conditions that must be complied with before waste disposal can resume. This includes a requirement to put additional measures in place to monitor for potential impacts from the site on the local environment. Monitoring boreholes have therefore been installed to monitor groundwater and gas levels around the historic landfill area (referred to as Phase 1).

The EA is aware of two assessments that have been undertaken to determine baseline contamination levels within the historically deposited landfill area (Phase 1). An initial assessment was carried out on 18 May 1990 by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) Department of Environmental Health. This showed that samples taken from the surface of the historic landfill (Phase 1) were heavily contaminated with a wide range of materials. In January 2017 an assessment was undertaken requiring analysis of composite soil samples taken from each of the in-waste monitoring boreholes installed within the historic landfill area (Phase 1). This also identified the presence of elevated levels of hazardous substances in the historic waste.

It is important to note that there will be no excavation into, or disturbance of, the historically deposited waste in the Phase 1 area when landfilling resumes with inert wastes.

The EA has met the Chief Executive of RMBC and her team a number of times regarding this landfill. The EA continues to work together with RMBC to share information with residents about the landfill. The EA attended RMBC’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on 28 January 2020 to answer questions about the landfill from local councillors and members of the public. Given the widespread interest in this site, the EA has placed regular updates on its public portal (citizen space) and has continually liaised with the hon. Member for Rotherham in whose constituency the landfill sits, as well as the local community action group.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of toxicity levels at Watsons Tip at Droppingwell in Kimberworth.

The Environment Agency (EA) regulates ‘Watson’s Tip’, also known as Droppingwell Landfill, under an environmental permit issued to Grange Landfill Limited (GLL).

Historically, this landfill has received a range of waste types. Landfilling was suspended in the late 1990s as it could not fully comply with the new environmental standards under the European Landfill Directive. Although the operator decided to suspend further waste disposal, the environmental permit was not surrendered and remained in force.

In 2015, GLL applied to the EA to vary the existing permit to enable the disposal of inert wastes only. Inert wastes, for example soil and stone, are defined as materials that do not undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological transformation. As part of its application, GLL was required to demonstrate that the new activity would meet the requirements of the Landfill Directive. GLL was also required to submit a detailed risk assessment to identify potential effects on nearby receptors and to propose any necessary mitigation. The EA has thoroughly assessed the risk assessments submitted in support of the permit application and is satisfied that all aspects that could affect the environment and human health have been addressed to a satisfactory standard.

After due consideration of the application, the EA issued the permit variation on 23 March 2016. The varied permit takes account of all legislative requirements under the Landfill Directive and includes a number of pre-operational conditions that must be complied with before waste disposal can resume. This includes a requirement to put additional measures in place to monitor for potential impacts from the site on the local environment. Monitoring boreholes have therefore been installed to monitor groundwater and gas levels around the historic landfill area (referred to as Phase 1).

The EA is aware of two assessments that have been undertaken to determine baseline contamination levels within the historically deposited landfill area (Phase 1). An initial assessment was carried out on 18 May 1990 by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) Department of Environmental Health. This showed that samples taken from the surface of the historic landfill (Phase 1) were heavily contaminated with a wide range of materials. In January 2017 an assessment was undertaken requiring analysis of composite soil samples taken from each of the in-waste monitoring boreholes installed within the historic landfill area (Phase 1). This also identified the presence of elevated levels of hazardous substances in the historic waste.

It is important to note that there will be no excavation into, or disturbance of, the historically deposited waste in the Phase 1 area when landfilling resumes with inert wastes.

The EA has met the Chief Executive of RMBC and her team a number of times regarding this landfill. The EA continues to work together with RMBC to share information with residents about the landfill. The EA attended RMBC’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on 28 January 2020 to answer questions about the landfill from local councillors and members of the public. Given the widespread interest in this site, the EA has placed regular updates on its public portal (citizen space) and has continually liaised with the hon. Member for Rotherham in whose constituency the landfill sits, as well as the local community action group.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what risk assessment has been carried out by the Environment Agency ahead of the proposed reopening of Watsons Tip at Droppingwell in Kimberworth.

The Environment Agency (EA) regulates ‘Watson’s Tip’, also known as Droppingwell Landfill, under an environmental permit issued to Grange Landfill Limited (GLL).

Historically, this landfill has received a range of waste types. Landfilling was suspended in the late 1990s as it could not fully comply with the new environmental standards under the European Landfill Directive. Although the operator decided to suspend further waste disposal, the environmental permit was not surrendered and remained in force.

In 2015, GLL applied to the EA to vary the existing permit to enable the disposal of inert wastes only. Inert wastes, for example soil and stone, are defined as materials that do not undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological transformation. As part of its application, GLL was required to demonstrate that the new activity would meet the requirements of the Landfill Directive. GLL was also required to submit a detailed risk assessment to identify potential effects on nearby receptors and to propose any necessary mitigation. The EA has thoroughly assessed the risk assessments submitted in support of the permit application and is satisfied that all aspects that could affect the environment and human health have been addressed to a satisfactory standard.

After due consideration of the application, the EA issued the permit variation on 23 March 2016. The varied permit takes account of all legislative requirements under the Landfill Directive and includes a number of pre-operational conditions that must be complied with before waste disposal can resume. This includes a requirement to put additional measures in place to monitor for potential impacts from the site on the local environment. Monitoring boreholes have therefore been installed to monitor groundwater and gas levels around the historic landfill area (referred to as Phase 1).

The EA is aware of two assessments that have been undertaken to determine baseline contamination levels within the historically deposited landfill area (Phase 1). An initial assessment was carried out on 18 May 1990 by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) Department of Environmental Health. This showed that samples taken from the surface of the historic landfill (Phase 1) were heavily contaminated with a wide range of materials. In January 2017 an assessment was undertaken requiring analysis of composite soil samples taken from each of the in-waste monitoring boreholes installed within the historic landfill area (Phase 1). This also identified the presence of elevated levels of hazardous substances in the historic waste.

It is important to note that there will be no excavation into, or disturbance of, the historically deposited waste in the Phase 1 area when landfilling resumes with inert wastes.

The EA has met the Chief Executive of RMBC and her team a number of times regarding this landfill. The EA continues to work together with RMBC to share information with residents about the landfill. The EA attended RMBC’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on 28 January 2020 to answer questions about the landfill from local councillors and members of the public. Given the widespread interest in this site, the EA has placed regular updates on its public portal (citizen space) and has continually liaised with the hon. Member for Rotherham in whose constituency the landfill sits, as well as the local community action group.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, when churches will be re-opened for worshippers.

It is essential that when church buildings reopen for public worship or private prayer by members of the public, that it is done safely. In the meantime, churches across the country are holding virtual services and offering support to the vulnerable and elderly. Where they are unable to do this locally national resources are available such as the national church service on a Sunday and the Daily Hope phone line.

The Church is adapting and rising to the challenge of supporting their community physically and spiritually during this medical emergency. The Church is regularly reviewing the medical advice and is in regular conversation with the Government. What is needed is a wide range of detailed protocols and practices to be established to ensure that church buildings and services do not represent risks for renewed transmission of the virus.

The Church of England is currently preparing for the reopening of church buildings, but it must be recognised that not all churches and clergy may be able to satisfy all the necessary criteria, especially in the early stages of the recovery phase. This has been the experience in other jurisdictions such as Germany where the Government has advised that churches can be reopened for public worship.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) key workers and (b) vulnerable people who are self-isolating are given priority access to supermarket delivery slots online during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has put in place measures to ensure that those identified by the NHS as being extremely clinically vulnerable and who are without a support network of friends and family receive basic food and essential supplies. We have passed the data of these individuals (in line with data protection regulations) to supermarkets, who are placing these customers at the front of the queue for online delivery slots. Currently, customers must be registered with a supermarket to be prioritised in this way, but we are working with supermarkets to agree a process to allocate customers who are not registered for support.

We are working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. We are working with industry, charities, other Government departments and Devolved Administrations to ensure whatever support is needed is delivered in a coordinated and consistent manner. We welcome measures that supermarkets have put in place to support the elderly and other vulnerable groups, including prioritising them for online delivery slots.

Many people are already being well supported by their friends, families, neighbours and local communities. We are working with retailers and the voluntary sector to ensure that people are supported to shop for others safely.

Most supermarkets offer protected in-store shopping hours for key workers, including NHS staff and care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of river dredging on levels of flooding in South Yorkshire.

I refer my honourable Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barnsley Central on 2 March 2020, Parliamentary Question UIN 23628 [https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-03-02/23628/].

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of increasing national debt on the financial stability of developing nations affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on developing countries. The IMF recently forecast that debt-to-GDPs ratios will rise by 5.1 percentage points in low income developing countries in 2020. In Africa, this figure is 7.3 percentage points. Higher debt will impact on future growth, resilience and poverty reduction prospects, particularly in those countries which entered the crisis at high risk of debt distress.

In response to the crisis, the UK, alongside the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors, has committed to a temporary suspension of debt service repayments from the poorest countries. This official sector effort could provide up to $12bn of additional fiscal space until the end of the year, allowing countries to redirect finances towards mitigating the health and economic impacts of Covid-19. This initiative will help preserve financial stability in the poorest and most vulnerable countries whilst providing time to assess what future support is required.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support the economic recovery of developing countries affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

We are working though International Financial Institutions and our bilateral programmes to help developing countries access affordable financing and advisory assistance to respond to the crisis. In doing so, we are supporting a clean, inclusive and resilient economic recovery and urgently establishing safety nets, to protect the most vulnerable.

The UK has doubled its £2.2 billion loan to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which provides concessional financing for the poorest countries. With UK support, multilateral development banks are making over $200 billion of financing available to governments over 15 months.

The UK and other G20 countries, has suspended debt service payments to the poorest countries until the end of 2020. We have contributed up to £150 million to the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help developing countries meet their debt repayments. These initiatives will enable countries to use their resources to respond to the crisis.

DFID currently has social protection programmes in more than 25 countries that support people who are vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2020
What steps her Department is taking to protect the world’s (a) forestry and (b) biodiversity.

DFID is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle illegal logging and promote sustainable trade in timber, and eliminate deforestation from supply chains. These programmes, and other assistance from the UK, are helping to preserve the world’s most valuable habitats and address biodiversity loss.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to secure an exemption for UK steel exports from the EU steel safeguards.

The Department for International Trade has already engaged closely with the European Commission to secure tariff-free quota allocations for some British steel exports into the European Union from 1st January 2021.

The United Kingdom has put in place some country-specific allocations within its overall tariff rate quotas for steel products subject to the steel safeguards, enabling EU companies to trade tariff-free into the United Kingdom. These tariff-free allocations came into operation on 1st January 2021 too.

Mutual provision of tariff-free quota allocations for steel exports for the United Kingdom’s and the European Commission’s respective Steel Safeguard measures will preserve traditional trade flows and provide as much continuity to industry as possible.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to secure an exemption for UK steel exports from the US 232 tariffs.

The Government’s objective is to secure the swift removal of unjustified measures on exports of steel and aluminium and has already raised this with the new US administration. We want to de-escalate the conflict and come to a negotiated settlement so we can deepen our trading relationship with the US.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations she has received on the importance of trade remedies to steel producing communities in the UK.

HM Government recognises the important role trade remedies can play in protecting British businesses from import surges and unfair trading practices. We maintained steel safeguard measures on 19 steel product categories to ensure continued protection for British producers after the end of the transition period. Officials have regular discussions with interested parties on a wide range of important issues for the steel industry.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on certain steel products on 1st October 2020. This review is ongoing and domestic producers, importers and other interested parties are encouraged to provide evidence to the review. TRID will consider the impact on the United Kingdom’s steel industry of continuing, varying, or terminating the current British steel safeguard measures.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the role of the trade remedies in protecting UK foundation interests from import surges.

HM Government recognises the important role trade remedies can play in protecting British businesses from import surges and unfair trading practices. We maintained steel safeguard measures on 19 steel product categories to ensure continued protection for British producers after the end of the transition period. Officials have regular discussions with interested parties on a wide range of important issues for the steel industry.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on certain steel products on 1st October 2020. This review is ongoing and domestic producers, importers and other interested parties are encouraged to provide evidence to the review. TRID will consider the impact on the United Kingdom’s steel industry of continuing, varying, or terminating the current British steel safeguard measures.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the need to extend the UK steel safeguards beyond the expiry date of June 2021.

HM Government recognises the important role trade remedies can play in protecting British businesses from import surges and unfair trading practices. We maintained steel safeguard measures on 19 steel product categories to ensure continued protection for British producers after the end of the transition period. Officials have regular discussions with interested parties on a wide range of important issues for the steel industry.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on certain steel products on 1st October 2020. This review is ongoing and domestic producers, importers and other interested parties are encouraged to provide evidence to the review. TRID will consider the impact on the United Kingdom’s steel industry of continuing, varying, or terminating the current British steel safeguard measures.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to secure an exemption for UK steel exports from the US 232 tariffs.

The Government’s objective is to secure the swift removal of unjustified measures on exports of steel and aluminium. The Government has rolled over EU rebalancing tariffs in response to the ‘Section 232’ measures, and will launch a consultation to ensure these tariffs are shaped to UK interests and tailored to the UK economy. We want to de-escalate the conflict and come to a negotiated settlement so we can deepen our trading relationship with the US.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with the Government of Somalia on a trade agreement with the UK.

Somalia will benefit from the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which was announced on 10th November. The Least Developed Countries Framework will give duty-free quota-free access to all 47 countries classified by the UN as Least Developed Countries, which includes Somalia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom-funded Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund 2 Plus Programme (TAF2+) is in discussions with Somalia about providing advisory support towards their WTO accession.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussion she has had with the Government of Somaliland on a trade agreement with the UK.

Somalia will benefit from the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which was announced on 10th November. The Least Developed Countries Framework will give duty-free quota-free access to all 47 countries classified by the UN as Least Developed Countries, which includes Somalia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom-funded Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund 2 Plus Programme (TAF2+) is in discussions with Somalia about providing advisory support towards their WTO accession.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the value is to the UK economy of trade with (a) Somalia and (b) Somaliland.

The value of UK Trade with Somalia in 2019 was £81 million. This comprised £48 million UK exports to Somalia and £33 million UK imports from Somalia.

UK trade with Somaliland is captured within the figures for Somalia and cannot be separately identified.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made in discussions with Israel on an agreement for further trade co-operation beyond the trade continuity deal.

I refer my Hon. Friend, the Member for Rother Valley, to the answer that my Rt. Honourable Friend, Minister Jayawardena, gave to the Honourable Member for Buckingham on 19 November 2020 to Question UIN 909006.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to strengthen the UK's trade relationship with Israel in medical research and development.

The United Kingdom and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship, and we are committed to strengthening it further.

That’s why, to promote international collaboration on Science and Innovation, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office jointly funded our Science and Innovation Network (SIN), based in over 40 countries around the world. The priorities for British engagement with Israel are set by Industry Strategy and the United Kingdom-Israel Science Council, a group of 30 leading scientist and policymakers from both countries, chaired by the British Ambassador in Israel.

Further, through the UK-Israel tech hub, the UK-Israel Dangoor Healthcare Initiative was established to create a pipeline of the best Israeli healthcare innovations for the United Kingdom’s healthcare sector. Information on its most recent projects can be found here.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to strengthen the UK’s trade relationship with Israel.

As my Rt Hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, stated during his recent visit to the region, the relationship between the United Kingdom and Israel is strong. We wish to strengthen it further.

We are working with Israeli officials to explore opportunities for expanding and deepening the United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement – and we will work with our Israeli counterparts to reinstate plans to host a United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Investment conference in London too.

We welcome Israel’s normalisation of relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. As a friend to all three countries, we welcome the opportunities for increased trade and investment that this will provide.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support she is providing to her Israeli counterpart to help expand Israel’s commercial ties with the Gulf states.

As my Rt Hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, stated during his recent visit to the region, the relationship between the United Kingdom and Israel is strong. We wish to strengthen it further.

We are working with Israeli officials to explore opportunities for expanding and deepening the United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement – and we will work with our Israeli counterparts to reinstate plans to host a United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Investment conference in London too.

We welcome Israel’s normalisation of relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. As a friend to all three countries, we welcome the opportunities for increased trade and investment that this will provide.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether critical mineral supply chains are being discussed in Project Defend.

HM Government continually monitors and assesses the supply of critical minerals.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what opportunities she has identified for further trade co-operation with Israel beyond the trade continuity agreement.

The United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement provides an ambitious framework to continue to grow our future trading relationship, which totalled £5.1bn in 2019.

We will be working with our Israeli counterparts to reinstate plans to host a bilateral trade and investment summit in the future. Through this engagement, we will seek to secure the United Kingdom’s position as Israel’s number one trade and investment partner in Europe. This includes promoting science, innovation and technology partnerships between both countries, as well as exploring further opportunities for British business in the financial services, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to strengthen the UK’s trade relationship with Israel in medical research and development during the covid-19 pandemic.

UK and Israeli experts have been closely cooperating on medical research and development throughout the course of the COVID-19 response, including in relation to testing, clinical response, epidemiological management, and the development of vaccines and treatments. This cooperation has been extremely helpful to both sides and has resulted in a number of opportunities for further collaboration.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to increase trade co-operation between the UK and Israel in the agricultural technology sector.

UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship and we are committed to strengthening that relationship. A dedicated DIT team in Tel Aviv British Embassy promotes trade cooperation between UK and Israeli companies.

A UK-Israel Tech Hub, working alongside DIT, creates partnerships between British companies and world class Israeli innovators across tech sectors, including agriculture.

Following the signature of the UK- Israel trade continuity agreement, Israel and UK expressed support for a future summit to be hosted in London aimed at increasing bilateral trade, including Agri-Tech. Planned for 2020, the event is on hold due to current corona circumstances.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of properties required for the development of HS2 Phase 2b eastern leg have received full compensation in accordance with the Compensation Code.

Until a Bill for the Phase 2b eastern leg has achieved Royal Assent and design development has concluded, the number of properties required for the Phase 2b eastern leg will not be finalised, therefore the proportion of properties cannot be estimated at this time.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many residential properties have been acquired by HS2 Ltd by (a) compulsory purchase, (b) through private agreement, and (c) statutory blight in (i) Rother Valley and (ii) England.

HS2 Ltd. does not classify it’s cases by property type, such as “residential” in this way. Properties frequently have a mixed use clarification or can contain more than one type of property.

i) With regards to properties acquired in the Rother Valley:

  1. 0 properties have been acquired by compulsory purchase as this area is not currently covered by CPO powers. Such powers come post Royal Assent of a Bill.
  2. 1 property has been acquired through Private Agreement.
  3. 37 properties have been acquired via Statutory Blight (or the Express Purchase Scheme)

ii) With regards to properties acquired in England:

  1. Information not held at a property level for compulsory purchase.
  2. 60 properties have been acquired through Private Agreement.

600 properties have been acquired via Statutory Blight (or the Express Purchase Scheme

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average length of time is for HS2 Ltd to agree (a) a statutory blight and (b) a non-statutory property compensation with a property owner.

a) For completed statutory blight and Express Purchase claims, the mean average of days it has taken from receiving the form of claim to date of acquisition approval is 356 days.

b) Rolling six month figures:

Need to Sell Scheme – 64 days

Rural Support Zone Scheme – 21 days

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the complaint process is for property owners who are dissatisfied with HS2 Ltd’s handling of blight claims.

Claimants are advised to contact the HS2 Helpdesk or their acquisition case manager in the first instance. Claimants can also submit a formal complaint to HS2 Ltd in line with its published complaints handling policy. Further details can be found here: https://www.hs2.org.uk/how-to-complain/

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the process is for HS2 Ltd in agreeing the market value of properties through the (a) statutory blight and (b) non-statutory property compensation schemes.

a) HS2 Ltd follows the statutory process for determining compensation under statutory blight in line with other Acquiring Authorities. In practice, the Acquiring Authority and claimant each appoint a surveyor to assess the unblighted market value of the property and the disturbance compensation. Each valuer will look at comparable property transactions and value the property disregarding the underlying scheme for which the CPO powers exist. The valuers will discuss their valuations, comparables and methodologies to explore the potential to reach an agreement. Where agreement cannot be reached, the Compensation Code provides for disputes as to the level of compensation to be determined by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).

b) For the discretionary schemes introduced by the Secretary of State, the valuation approach is set out in published guidance and provides for each party to commission a valuation from a Registered Valuer. Where the two valuations are within 10% of each other (calculated by taking the difference between the two values as a percentage of the higher value) the Secretary of State will offer a price that is the average of the two valuations. If the valuations differ by more than 10% (calculated as above) an additional valuation will be obtained from HS2 Ltd’s pool of valuers (chosen by the applicant). The third valuer will be provided with the previous reports for consideration, with the valuation figures themselves removed. The offer will be made on the average of the closest two valuations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing emergency bus funding directly to local transport authorities as opposed to bus operators.

To ensure consistency with Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG), the majority of Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) funding is paid directly to operators. Local Transport Authorities do also receive some CBSSG funding for tendered services. However, we do not believe that now is the right time to change our funding models.

We are also keen to avoid a situation where different funding models are operating in different parts of the country, which would cause additional challenges for cross-border services or operators whose businesses span multiple urban areas.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to (a) provide longer term covid-19 financial support to and (b) extend the powers of city region transport authorities after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has committed up to £27.3 million per week to support the bus sector, through the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart scheme. This funding - some of which is allocated to Local Transport Authorities, for tendered services - has no pre-agreed end date. The Government will work with bus operators and local authorities to review when it is appropriate to end the funding. We are also providing up to £67.8 million of funding for light rail services in Manchester, Tyne and Wear, Sheffield, West Midlands, Nottingham and Blackpool for the period from 27 October to the end of the 20/21 financial year.

The Government is also investing in city regions for the longer term. As announced at Budget and confirmed in the Spending Review, the Government is investing £4.2 billion in the transport networks of eight city regions across England from 22/23. This funding will be delivered through multi-year, consolidated transport settlements agreed with central government and based on plans put forward by city regions. The Government is currently engaging with the eligible city regions to understand their ambitions for this fund.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 funding support for (a) light rail, (b) buses and (c) active travel in response to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

To date the Government has announced over £1 billion in emergency grant funding to support the bus sector in England, alongside over £150 million to support light rail. This funding has helped keep services running throughout the pandemic


Over £200 million has been made available to authorities during the current financial year, via the Active Travel Fund, to support an active and green recovery from Covid-19. This will enable them to deliver safe and direct cycling and walking measures in their areas, such as protected cycle lanes, widened pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Urban Transport Group and (b) city region transport authorities on Government funding in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government officials and Ministers are in regular conversation with members of the Urban Transport Group and local transport authorities to understand the challenges faced by city region transport authorities in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This engagement informs a range of Departmental policies, including the development and administration of Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding and Light Rail support funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to promote UK manufactured steel use across their Tier 1 contractors.

The Department is working closely with the UK steel industry to ensure UK steel manufacturers and fabricators have clear visibility of future opportunities to supply steel products for our major transport infrastructure projects and understand how they can bid for future work, including by facilitating engagement between UK steel producers and our Tier 1 contractors.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to promote UK manufactured steel use in infrastructure projects.

The Department is working closely with the UK steel industry to ensure UK steel manufacturers and fabricators have clear visibility of future opportunities to supply steel products for our major transport infrastructure projects and understand how they can bid for future work, including by facilitating engagement between UK steel producers and our Tier 1 contractors.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that procurement spend on steel remains within the UK steel supply chain.

The Department is working closely with the UK steel industry to ensure UK steel manufacturers and fabricators have clear visibility of future opportunities to supply steel products for our major transport infrastructure projects and understand how they can bid for future work, including by facilitating engagement between UK steel producers and our Tier 1 contractors.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for this policy on HS2 of the findings of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Rail Needs Assessment for The Midlands and The North: Final Report, published on 15 December 2020 that prioritising regional links has the potential to deliver the highest benefits for cities in the Midlands and the North rather than the eastern leg of HS2 Phase 2b.

Following full consideration of the National Infrastructure Commission's report, the Government expects to publish the Integrated Rail Plan early in 2021.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Rail Needs Assessment for The Midlands and The North: Final Report, published on 15 December 2020, what steps his Department is taking to prioritise regional links in the Midlands and the North.

Following full consideration of the National Infrastructure Commission's report, the Government expects to publish the Integrated Rail Plan early in 2021.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the planned timescale is for a hybrid bill for the Eastern Leg of Phase 2b of High Speed Two.

Following full consideration of the National Infrastructure Commission's report, the Government expects to publish the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) early in 2021. Plans for legislation covering the Eastern Leg of HS2 Phase 2b will be confirmed following the publication of the Integrated Rail Plan.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands.

Following full consideration of the National Infrastructure Commission's report, the Government expects to publish the Integrated Rail Plan early in 2021.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the coach industry in areas with tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has announced several measures available to UK businesses, including the coach sector, to support them through this challenging time, and launched a ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

From 2 December councils in England in Tier 2 and Tier 3 will receive funding to provide grants to closed businesses and to be able to run local discretionary grant schemes to provide support to affected businesses. These allocations will be published shortly and are in addition to the £2.3 billion already provided to local councils since the start of the pandemic. The Local Authority administers the scheme and determines on a case-by-case basis where to allocate this funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with local authorities on providing the coach industry the same financial support as taxi companies.

We continue to work closely with Local Authorities, other Government Departments and representatives from the coach sector, including the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK to understand the ongoing risks and issues the sector faces and how these could be addressed.

In addition to the financial support measures available to all UK businesses, including the coach industry, Local Authorities have discretion to provide further support to businesses in their area on the basis of local need. Some areas have provided targeted support to the coach and taxi sectors.

From 2 December councils in England in Tier 2 and Tier 3 will receive funding to provide grants to closed businesses and to be able to run local discretionary grant schemes to provide support to affected businesses. These allocations will be published shortly and are in addition to the £2.3 billion already provided to local councils since the start of the pandemic. The Local Authority administers the scheme and determines on a case-by-case basis where to allocate this funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that driving schools are able to re-open safely, as taxi companies have been permitted to, in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

As business owners, approved driving instructors (ADI) are responsible for ensuring their services remain safe and COVID-secure. Guidance on how ADIs can carry out risk assessments can be found on the Health and Safety Executive’s website at: https:www.hse.gov.uk

The requirement for pupils to wear PPE during a lesson is the decision of the driving instructor and the pupil.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has worked closely with trade associations, such as the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP), and shared its plans with them to allow NASP to publish guidance for ADIs. NASP has also produced guidance on training which is available online at: www.n-a-s-p.co.uk/

The DVSA has also signposted ADIs to Government guidance on safety in vehicles and while working. A copy of the guidance can be found online at: https:www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-restarting-driver- and-rider-training-and-tests

The DVSA does not have sufficient or direct powers to instruct ADIs to take certain measures; it can only offer guidance, which is what it has done.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with industry representatives on (a) converting petrol-fuelled modern cars and (b) retrofitting petrol-fuelled classic cars to run on hydrogen.

Ministers have had no recent direct calls from industry or discussions on the conversion from petrol to hydrogen for either modern and classic cars.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to establish a hydrogen hub; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential contribution that a hydrogen hub could play in de-carbonising transport.

The Transport Secretary is exploring options for green hydrogen in transport across freight, buses, trains, maritime and aviation and how the UK can lead the world in its deployment and use. Further details will follow in due course.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of hydrogen lorries to de-carbonising transport; and what discussions he has had with representatives of the road haulage industry on the introduction of hydrogen lorries.

In 2018, the Department for Transport published the outputs of the Transport Energy Model. The model provides a clear assessment of the relative environmental impacts of a range of fuel and powertrain options for road vehicles over the period to 2050, including hydrogen fuel cell heavy goods vehicles. Transport Ministers and officials regularly meet with sector representatives on a range of issues, including the use of hydrogen in the freight industry. During July and August officials engaged with over 700 key stakeholders to support the development of our Transport Decarbonisation Plan which will be published later this year and set out options and support for green hydrogen across road, rail, maritime and aviation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to help increase the number of hydrogen passenger vehicles in use.

The Government’s approach to realising our ambitions for greener transport is technology neutral and we are supporting hydrogen technology where the market favours its use. The Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is increasing the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and growing the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations. The programme is delivering new refuelling stations, upgrading some existing stations as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles. Our FCEV Fleet Support Scheme has also increased the number of hydrogen passenger vehicles in use, by supporting both public and private sector fleets to become early adopters of FCEV cars and vans. We are investing in hydrogen buses and 62 are being delivered through our Low and Ultra Low Emission Bus Schemes.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department has allocated from the public purse to (a) electric vehicle charging infrastructure and (b) hydrogen vehicle refuelling infrastructure in each of the last five years.

Funding allocated to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure in each of the last five years is as follows:

  • Spending Review 2015: £20m to install chargepoint infrastructure dedicated to electric taxis and private hire vehicles

  • Autumn Statement 2016: £80m to support the installation of chargepoints in the home, workplace and on-street

  • Autumn Budget 2017: £200m for the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund

  • March Budget 2020: £500m for charging infrastructure over the next five years

  • Government has provided £40m of funding via our Go Ultra Low city scheme to 8 cities across the UK to support uptake of ultra low emission vehicles in those cities. To date, well over 2500 chargepoints have been installed as part of this scheme, including the first 350kW enabled EV charging station in the UK

    Government and industry have supported the installation of over 18,000 publicly available charging devices and over 130,000 domestic chargepoints

    With regard to Hydrogen, the Office for Low Emission Vehicle’s £4.8m Hydrogen for Transport Advancement programme (HyTAP) programme was launched in 2015 to funded hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. In 2017 Government provided £23m Hydrogen for its Transport Programme to increase the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles and expand hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Through this funding, the UK now has one of the largest publicly-accessible hydrogen refuelling station networks in Europe.

    Our approach to delivering our ambitions for greener transport is technology neutral, supporting different zero emission technologies where the market favours their use.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from (a) the Urban Transport Group and (b) urban transport authorities on the Government’s plan for local transport as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Ministers and Officials have had regular meetings with key stakeholders, including the Urban Transport Group,?Confederation for Passenger Transport, local transport authorities and transport operators?in recent weeks to discuss a wide range of matters.

The Department will continue to work with stakeholders and transport authorities to understand how public transport services can adapt as covid-19 restrictions ease so that a sustainable long-term recovery can be made.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department have to grant additional powers to urban transport authorities to respond effectively to the (a) covid-19 outbreak and (b) recovery period after that outbreak.

We continue to consider the role additional powers could play in helping transport authorities to deliver their transport restart and recovery plans and to implement local lockdowns should these be required in the future.

Due to be published later this year, the White Paper on devolution will aim to connect local recovery into levelling up, to provide a transformative place-based strategy to boost regional economic performance as part of the UK-wide economic recovery and renewal response to Covid-19. The role of transport authorities in supporting this aim will be considered in parallel.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on the funding challenges faced by urban transport authorities.

On 23 May, the Transport Secretary announced a further £283 million to help increase bus and light rail services across England as quickly as possible as we begin to re-open our economy. This is in addition to the £397 million the Government announced on 3 April 2020 to keep England’s buses running to serve those who need to rely on them.

The Government has agreed a £1.6 billion funding and financing support package for Transport for London to enable them to continue operating essential services, transporting passengers safely and protecting staff during the pandemic and supporting the capital’s gradual recovery from COVID-19.

The Department will continue to work with transport authorities to understand how public transport services can adapt to any ‘new normal’ that emerges from the Covid-19 outbreak so that a sustainable long-term recovery can be made.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that roadside bathroom and changing facilities remain open to lorry drivers during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the important contribution that delivery drivers make to the nation, the economy, and business. We are reviewing urgently how motorway service areas operate during the COVID-19 related disruption. They are likely to be operating differently and we want to ensure that they continue to offer support to industry and drivers.

Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are required by law to offer two hours free parking, which is essential to allow drivers to have breaks, and use the facilities. All MSAs in England are currently still open and we have asked MSA operators to redouble their efforts to ensure that users will be safe at facilities.

We have also recently published guidance for Transport workers on gov.uk, which is updated as new advice becomes available. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

More widely, we are working with industry on the development of a charter that outlines businesses commitment to offering hygiene and toilet facilities to delivery drivers. This includes all delivery drivers, e.g. HGV drivers, couriers, and everything in between, but crucially only focuses on business properties, not private or residential property. The charter will be for businesses to sign up to. Signing up signifies that as an employer they meet Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance and offer these facilities to their delivery drivers. This charter follows changes to HSE guidance in November 2017 to say, “Drivers must have access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers” and was introduced in response to a campaign by Truckers’ Toilets.

In addition to the Charter, we have recently published a joint letter with the Health and Safety Executive on gov.uk, reminding businesses of their legal obligation to provide toilet and handwashing facilities to drivers visiting their premises as part of their work. This is available to download and print, via the following link. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887867/dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the number of hydrogen powered vehicles in use in the UK.

We are supporting hydrogen technology to deliver our ambitions for greener transport where the market favours its use. The Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is increasing the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and growing the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations. The programme is delivering new refuelling stations, upgrading some existing stations as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles. Government is supporting public and private sector fleets to become early adopters through the £2m FCEV Fleet Support Scheme. In addition, £6.4m of the Low and Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme funding has been invested in more than 60 hydrogen buses operating in Birmingham and near Gatwick. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) Low Emission Freight Trials is funding 20 projects to support industry-led trials of alternative propulsion technologies for commercial fleets in the UK, including hydrogen. OLEV and the Advanced Propulsion Centre are funding a wide range of development projects in hydrogen vehicles, and hydrogen is eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation following changes made to the scheme in April 2018.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential for hydrogen-powered vehicles to support improvements in air quality.

In 2018, the Department for Transport published the outputs of the Transport Energy Model. The model provides a clear assessment of the relative environmental impacts, including air quality, of a range of fuel and powertrain options for cars, vans, buses and heavy goods vehicles over the period to 2050, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with sight loss can safely access public transport while covid-19 social distancing measures are in place.

The Government remains committed to delivering inclusive transport for all passengers. Our expectation is that transport operators should continue to assist disabled passengers who need assistance, including those with sight loss, as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. I made this clear in my open letter to the rail industry on 8 April 2020.

I am also meeting regularly with key disability stakeholders, including Guide Dogs, to hear directly from them about the experiences of disabled people using transport. This means we will be able to take action quickly if we find that passengers are not receiving the assistance to which they are entitled.

The Department has published guidance for transport operators to help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport. The guidance makes it clear operators need to consider accessibility at every stage of the passenger journey and that passenger assistance should be provided when requested. Service providers have duties to ensure individuals with protected characteristics, such as disabled people, the elderly and pregnant women are able to access transport networks and that everyone should be supported to access transport and comply with social distancing.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to introduce a covid-19 screening regime at airports that helps to protect people from that disease while enabling the travel industry to recover from the financial effect of the outbreak.

The aviation sector plays a key role in our future as a global trading nation, as well as playing a critical role in local economies. The Government is working closely with the sector to enable its restart and recovery.

Airlines will be asked to provide the latest Public Health England information at several stages of the passenger journey, including as part of the booking process, at check-in, and on board the aircraft. Airports are also displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19.

The Government’s approach to passenger screening is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what covid-19 guidance people cycling (a) to work and (b) for exercise in (i) Rother Valley constituency and (ii) the UK should follow to ensure that they adhere to the Government's social distancing guidelines.

On the 12th May the Government published guidance advising the public how to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in England. This guidance provides advice for cycling and travel by types of transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) HGV and (b) logistics firms are providing drivers with (i) personal protective equipment and (ii) access to toilet and hygiene facilities.

i) The Government has set out its clear, evidence based, strategy providing guidance on the sectors which have a clinical need for PPE. We have encouraged transport operators to check the guidance and make any changes in a way that works for their business, employees and customers, and asked that changes made be considered in consultation with their employees.

ii) Officials in my department have been working closely with the freight associations and Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), to ensure that they continue to provide suitable toilets and shower facilities to drivers. We have also been working with large Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs), who have implemented hygiene procedures and social distancing in line with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and government guidelines.

Where access to toilet or handwashing facilities is denied, and proper social distancing measures are not in place, this can be reported to RHA, who are collecting information on this issue.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has issued to High Speed Two construction workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has advised its agencies including HS2 Ltd to follow the Government’s policy in relation to COVID-19. That is that construction workers can continue to travel to work on sites so long they are able to follow the Public Health England guidance and industry best practice on social distancing. It is for HS2 Ltd and its contractors to determine whether it is appropriate to continue work or not according to conditions on each site.

On 25th March HS2 Ltd paused the works on most of their construction sites to ensure operations could continue in-line with this guidance. Since then a majority of sites have re-opened with currently 71% of sites now back operating.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on social distancing for High Speed Two construction workers.

The Department has advised its agencies including HS2 Ltd to follow the Government’s policy in relation to COVID-19. That is that construction workers can continue to travel to work on sites so long they are able to follow the Public Health England guidance and industry best practice on social distancing. It is for HS2 Ltd and its contractors to determine whether it is appropriate to continue work or not according to conditions on each site.

On 25th March HS2 Ltd paused the works on most of their construction sites to ensure operations could continue in-line with this guidance. Since then a majority of sites have re-opened with currently 71% of sites now back operating.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average number of daily journeys by each mode of transport from (a) Dinnington, (b) North Anston, (c) South Anston, (d) Laughton, (e) Maltby and (f) Thurcroft to (i) Rotherham, (ii) Sheffield, (iii) Doncaster and (iv) Worksop.

The Department produces estimates of where trips begin and end for the purpose of forecasting travel for use in specific transport modelling applications. The estimates are based on national data sources such as people’s propensity to travel from the National Travel Survey and where they may live from ONS population projections. This helps inform bespoke models used in individual scheme appraisals by providing an initial estimate of demand, which the more specific models refine in light of more local data. This data set is publicly available here https://data.gov.uk/dataset/national-trip-end-model-ntem and associated guidance for its specific use can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tag-unit-m4-forecasting-and-uncertainty. Other available information for journeys at some of the locations has been provided below for each mode, though this includes all journeys made at specified locations and does not specify the start and end points. This information has been selected from a variety of statistical sources and as a result there are differences in time periods and geographies.

Journeys made by rail

The ORR produce annual Estimates of Station Usage for each mainline railway station on Great Britain’s rail network. This publication gives the total number of entries and exits at each station over an annual period, which has been provided in the table below as a daily average for 2018/19 financial year, at the listed locations which have a train station:

Station name

Entries and exits (daily average)

(i) Rotherham Central

1,554

(ii) Sheffield

27,144

(iii) Doncaster

10,734

(iv) Worksop

1,207

Journeys made by all road vehicles

The Department publishes the motor vehicle flow by local authority, which provides the number of motor vehicles passing in 24 hours at an average point on the road network in each local authority.

Local Authority

2018 Annual Average Daily Flow* (number of vehicles)

Doncaster

5,602

Rotherham

5,499

Sheffield

3,765

Nottinghamshire

4,187

* The number of motor vehicles passing in 24 hours at an average point on the road network in each local authority.

This information is taken from the Road Traffic Estimates in Great Britain 2018 publication, table TRA8907 (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/road-traffic-estimates-in-great-britain-2018)

Journeys made by tram

There were 48.1 million passenger journeys on the Sheffield Supertram in 2018/19. The journeys on the Sheffield Supertram cross several constituencies, but the Department only holds data on the total number of journeys for the entire system per year.

Journeys made by bus

The number of passenger journeys on buses in South Yorkshire PTE was 91.3m in 2018/19. Further information on bus use in other areas is unavailable.

Journeys made by air

The Department does not hold data for air journeys in these areas.

Journeys made by taxis

The Department does not hold daily journey data at an area level.

Journeys made by walking

The Department does not hold daily journey data at an area level.

Journeys made by cycling

The Department does not hold daily journey data at an area level.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of car journeys that start in Rother Valley constituency compared to those journeys that start (a) south Yorkshire and (b) Sheffield City region; and what steps he is taking to help reduce the number of those journeys by improving public transport in that constituency.

The Department produces estimates of where trips begin and end for the purpose of forecasting travel for use in specific transport modelling applications. The estimates are based on national data sources such as people’s propensity to travel from the National Travel Survey and where they may live from ONS population projections. This helps inform bespoke models used in individual scheme appraisals by providing an initial estimate of demand, which the more specific models refine in light of more local data. This data set is publicly available here https://data.gov.uk/dataset/national-trip-end-model-ntem and associated software and guidance for its specific use is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tempro-downloads.

The Government is committed to improving public transport. The Transforming Cities Fund is providing £2.5 billion to support public and sustainable transport within city regions, promote local growth, reduce carbon emissions, tackle air quality, and increase housing. £1.28 billion will be allocated via a process of co-development with 12 shortlisted cities, which includes Sheffield City Region. Decisions on the funding to be awarded to the shortlisted cities will be announced shortly.

In addition, the Government has recently announced plans to invest £5 billion to overhaul bus and cycle links across England. This is on top of the £220 million of funding announced last year to revitalise bus use across the UK by supporting electric buses and demand responsive transport schemes, establish new Superbus networks and enable local authorities to improve current or restore lost services.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of coal freight journeys made through South Yorkshire; on which routes those freight journeys travelled; and how many of those journeys were made on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway line in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not have details of coal freight journeys in South Yorkshire but overall coal freight has declined from 2.05bn tonne km moved in 2013/14 Q1 to 0.12bn tonne km in 2019/20 Q1 as our actions to reduce carbon emissions take effect.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department’s plans are for the future of the South Yorkshire Joint Railway line.

The Department has not made any plans for the future of the South Yorkshire Joint Railway Line. Freight traffic over the line has declined with the reduction in coal extraction and power generation and the Department looks to the Network Rail-led industry planning process for guidance on whether change is appropriate.

Additionally, however, through the recently launched £500m Restoring Your Railway initiative, the Department for Transport has invited MPs, local authorities and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to support ambitions to reinstate axed local passenger services and restore closed stations. I am delighted that my Honourable Friend has submitted an Expression of Interest.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the quality of the (a) track and (b) related rail infrastructure on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway line.

The Department has not made such assessment. Network Rail operates at arm’s length from the Department for Transport, with independence on day-to-day operational decisions. This is important for efficiency and maintaining the company’s accountability and for Network Rail to deliver a safe and reliable railway infrastructure.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many rail improvement projects for expanding commuter services on single track sections of rail are (a) ongoing and (b) have been completed in the last 10 years.

Network Rail's Enhancement Delivery Plans sets out funded schemes which are in the process of delivery as part of the Governments £10.4bn enhancement commitment to 2024 and the Department's Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline lists the schemes which are being evaluated for funding. Train operators in the UK are currently operating around 20 million miles a year more passenger services than in 2010/11, a number of which such as the North Cotswolds, Swindon-Kemble and Falmouth Docks lines use single track sections.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of reinstating passenger services on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway line.

No estimate has been made by my Department of the costs and benefits of reinstating passenger services on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway Line.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating investment to enable the reopening of passenger services on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway line as part of the transport infrastructure investment programme for the Northern Powerhouse.

Through the recently launched £500m Restoring Your Railway initiative, the Department for Transport has invited MPs, local authorities and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to support ambitions to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations. I am happy to note that my Honourable Friend has submitted a case for funding.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many freight only railway lines have been converted to enable passenger travel, and what the cost per mile of track was for those conversions.

Since 2000, freight routes which now carry passenger services include Corby, Chandlers Ford, Ebbw Vale, Vale of Glamorgan and Aylesbury Parkway. The Government does not hold the individual costs per mile of track as these are made up of many elements depending on the nature of the scheme.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been offered full-time equivalent employment through the Kickstart Scheme to date.

We are not currently able to provide this information. As of 22nd April the Kickstart Scheme has approximately 16,600 jobs started by young people but we do not hold information on which employers are offering hours over and above the 25 hours a week minimum.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Kickstart scheme, how many jobs have been (a) made available for application to young people by that scheme; and (b) started by young people in each (i) business sector and (ii) region of the UK.

As of the 22nd April 2021, over 93,000 jobs have been made available for young people to apply to through the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Kickstart Scheme. This includes approximately 16,600* jobs started by young people. There have been over 195,000 jobs approved by the scheme.

More than 260 young people, on average, have started a Kickstart job every day for the last six weeks**.

The tables below show these figures split by region and sector, the data presented has been rounded according to DWP statistical rounding convention. Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

*Around 1,000 of the Kickstart jobs started have been provided without government funding.

** This is based on the number of young people starting in Kickstart jobs from 11th March 2021 to 22nd April 2021.

Regions

Jobs Advertised

Jobs Started

Central England

19,000

2,900

London and Essex

22,000

3,800

North East England

6,600

1,200

North West England

16,000

3,100

Scotland

6,500

1,200

Southern England

19,000

3,200

Wales

5,300

740

Figures may not add up to provided totals due to rounding. 1,000 non-grant funded jobs are included in Jobs Advertised but not included under Jobs Started.

By Sector

Jobs Advertised

Jobs Started

Administration

24,000

4,300

Animal Care

430

130

Beauty & Wellbeing

600

100

Business & Finance

3,700

620

Computing, Technology & Digital

7,500

1,700

Construction & Trades

3,100

580

Creative & Media

7,300

1,800

Delivery & Storage

3,000

580

Emergency & Uniform Services

190

10

Engineering & Maintenance

3,400

380

Environment & Land

1,800

280

Government Services

280

20

Healthcare

4,100

520

Home Services

710

70

Hospitality & Food

6,100

750

Law & Legal

240

70

Managerial

750

100

Manufacturing

2,400

510

Retail & Sales

15,000

2,300

Science & Research

420

70

Social Care

2,600

210

Sports & Leisure

2,000

330

Teaching & Education

4,100

610

Transport

370

30

Travel & Tourism

250

30

Figures may not add up to provided totals due to rounding. 1,000 non-grant funded jobs are included in Jobs Advertised but not included under Jobs Started.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment claimants have had their claim accepted at appeal following an initial rejection, in (a) Rother Valley, (b) South Yorkshire, and (c) nationwide in the latest period for which data is available.

The table below provides the information requested for initial decisions following a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment for the Rother Valley Parliamentary constituency, the four local authority areas that make up South Yorkshire and Great Britain for all PIP initial disallowance decisions.

Initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment: April 2013 to Jun-20

totals

%

GB

PIP decision - disallowed following a PIP assessment

1,336,740

Appeal lapsed

26,880

2%

Overturned at appeal

137,970

10%

South Yorkshire

PIP decision - disallowed following a PIP assessment

37,550

Appeal lapsed

750

2%

Overturned at appeal

3,290

9%

Rother Valley

PIP decision - disallowed following a PIP assessment

2,200

Appeal lapsed

40

2%

Overturned at appeal

200

9%

Initial decisions: April 2013 to 30th June 2020; appeals: to 30th September 2020

Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Percentages are to the nearest 1% and based on the total number of initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment.

Initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment reflect outcomes prior to any Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) and appeal action. They do not include Award Review or Change of Circumstance decisions, or decisions prior to an assessment being completed.

Claimants who have received benefit decisions more recently may not yet have had time to complete the claimant journey and progress to appeal. The volumes of appeals for the more recent periods of initial decision could increase as claimants’ progress to MR and appeal.

A lapsed appeal is where DWP changed the decision in the customer’s favour after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at tribunal.

The appeal figures will include some decisions which are changed at a Mandatory Reconsideration, where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at appeal.

South Yorkshire data consists of the four local authority areas of Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of strengthening existing regulations on the storage of fireworks by retailers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator and has policy responsibility for the Explosives Regulations 2014 (as amended) which set out the framework for the safe and secure manufacture and storage of explosives, including fireworks.

These Regulations are supported by overarching guidance on safety - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l150.htm and security - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l151.htm

Subsector guidance is also available for storing and selling fireworks safely - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg407.htm - and detailed guidance relating to fireworks in retail premises - https://www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/er2014-fireworks-retail-prem.pdf

There is already comprehensive legislation and guidance in this area to enable retailers involved in the storage of fireworks to do so safely and so there are no plans at this time to strengthening existing regulations in this area.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that family members of people who have underlying industrial diseases, but who die from covid-19, are allowed to put in posthumous claims for industrial injuries disablement benefit.

Under existing rules, the dependants of anyone who dies after being diagnosed with a prescribed disease may make a posthumous claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, provided that they do so within one year of the issue of the deceased’s death certificate.

For an award to be made, the death does not need to be in respect of the prescribed disease but may be from any cause, including for example where COVID-19 was a contributory factor. Payments to dependants usually equate to up to 3 months’ worth of benefit, but may sometimes be higher.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on the prioritisation of covid-19 vaccines of the Joint Statement on prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and aircrew by the International Civil Aviation Organization, International Labour Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Organization for Migration and World Health Organization, published on 25 March 2021, that calls on Governments to prioritise seafarers and aircrew in their national covid-19 vaccination programmes.

Phase two of the vaccination programme will cover all adults under 50 years old not already included in phase one. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has concluded that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, as this is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations and because the speed of delivery is crucial to provide more people with protection from COVID-19. Seafarers and aircrew, in line with the JCVI’s advice, will therefore be prioritised for vaccination according to their age and clinical risk along with the rest of the population. They will not be prioritised based on their occupation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to introduce a national strategy to help prevent young sudden cardiac death.

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee has not recommended the adoption of a national screening approach in 12 to 39 year olds. NHS England and Improvement has published a national service specification for inherited cardiac conditions, covering patients of all ages who often present as young adults with previously undiagnosed cardiac disease or those requiring follow up due to a death in their family from this cause

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of contributing to a covid-19 recovery plan for disabled children.

No specific assessment has been made. However, identifying and addressing the needs of disabled people, including disabled children, is a key part of the Government’s recovery planning. We will publish a national strategy for disabled people later this spring, taking into account the impacts of the pandemic on disabled people.

National Health Service recovery guidance makes clear that community services must be prioritised for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged up to 25 years old and who have an Education Health and Care Plan in place or who are going through an assessment for one. These services fall under the category of ‘continue essential services’.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that housebound patients can access a free community pharmacy medicines delivery service once the covid-19 lockdown restrictions have ended.

A National Health Service medicine delivery service has been available to clinically extremally vulnerable patients since April 2020 when shielding advice has been in place. The medicine delivery service for clinically extremely vulnerable patients will stop at the end of March. However, from 16 March to 30 June initially, a medicine delivery service for people who are required to self-isolate is in place.

Anyone, who is unable to collect medicines or does not have anyone to do so on their behalf continue to make use of volunteers. Some pharmacies offer a medicine delivery service to all patients, though this may come at a charge as it is not a NHS service or alternatively patients can use an online pharmacy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions have been delivered by the Pandemic Delivery Service to shielded patients in the last 12 months.

Between April and December 2020 dispensing contractors (community pharmacies and dispensing doctors) have claimed for 3,477,259 deliveries to shielded patients. Data for January to March 2021 is not yet available due to the claiming and payment timetable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what different forms of mental health support are available to patients.

A wide range of support is available for people with mental health problems on the National Health Service. These range from school and college-based mental health support teams, evidence-based therapeutic interventions such as prescribed medication, psychological and talking therapies provided by Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services for more common conditions, through to specialist mental health support services and 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines for those with more serious conditions.

Social prescribing and green social prescribing can link people with mental health problems to non-clinical interventions and activities, such as local walking for health schemes, community gardening and food-growing projects. Digital resources such as the Every Mind Matters portal and the GOV.UK and NHS websites also offer expert advice and practical tips to support mental health and wellbeing.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) deaths and (b) injuries as a result of people not accessing mental health support in each of the last three years.

We have made no such estimates. Any person in need of mental health support should receive that support as soon as possible and clinical commissioning groups and mental health providers should ensure that people have access to timely support.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people unable to access mental health services as a result of the waiting times for those services.

We have made no such estimates. Any person in need of mental health support should receive that support as soon as possible and clinical commissioning groups and mental health providers should ensure that people have access to timely support.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people sought help for mental health issues in 2020.

This information is not available in the format requested. The requested data cannot be provided. People can access support for their mental health from a range of health services, including through their general practitioner, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services and in accident and emergency departments. Children and young people have additional referral routes, including through mental health support teams in schools and colleges. The reasons for presenting to health services are not routinely recorded across all services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time is for people requiring on-going mental health support.

This information is not held in the format requested. There is currently no single waiting times standard that covers all mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are on the waiting list for mental health support in (a) England and (b) Rother Valley constituency.

This information is not available as there is currently no single waiting times standard that covers all mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of people affected by mental health issues.

We are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England and others to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 and plan for how to support the public’s mental health and wellbeing.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the types of therapy provided to people with mental health issues by the NHS tackle deep-seated or long-term issues in addition to treating the symptoms.

There are a number of different evidence-based therapies and treatments available through National Health Service mental health services. It is for clinicians to decide, in consultation with their patients, whether they are clinically appropriate interventions based on the patient’s individual clinical needs at that time.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for determining (a) the seriousness of the condition of a mental health patient and (b) whether to provide a mental health patient with support. .

These are matters for clinicians to decide in consultation with their patients, based on the patient’s individual clinical presentation and needs. Clinicians should take into account the latest available evidence, including any National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines and any local referral criteria.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people unable to access mental health services as a result of the cost those services.

National Health Service mental health services are provided free of charge at point of delivery.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support Rotherham’s community eating disorder service to help it meet demands for its services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust provides a community eating disorder service for 0–19 year olds living within the Rotherham, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire localities. This service is modelled on the NHS England children and young people’s community eating disorder service standard service specification. Other statutory and voluntary sector organisations also offer support within the wider South Yorkshire region.

The Trust is working with local, regional and national partners to support these children and young people and is currently engaged with local commissioners regarding future service provision and funding. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with its regions as well as community eating disorder services and commissioners to support teams.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is being provided for young people with eating disorders in (a) Rother Valley constituency and (b) South Yorkshire.

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust provides a community eating disorder service for 0–19 year olds living within the Rotherham, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire localities. This service is modelled on the NHS England children and young people’s community eating disorder service standard service specification. Other statutory and voluntary sector organisations also offer support within the wider South Yorkshire region.

The Trust is working with local, regional and national partners to support these children and young people and is currently engaged with local commissioners regarding future service provision and funding. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with its regions as well as community eating disorder services and commissioners to support teams.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of access to specialist in-patient services for young people with eating disorders in (a) Rotherham and (b) England.

Specialist children and young people’s mental health in-patient services, including for those with eating disorders, are available for people living in Rotherham from mental health providers within the Yorkshire and Humber region, including Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Riverdale Grange in Sheffield and the recently opened Inspire facility at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. Additional in-patient beds are due to open in West Yorkshire in December 2021.

We have announced extra funding for eating disorder services in 2021/22 to enable an additional 2,000 children and young people nationally to receive the support they need in the community. We recognise that it is preferable for a young person to stay in the community and at home to receive their support and treatment via the local community team rather than an in-patient admission, wherever possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the number of children and young people presenting with acute eating disorders during the covid-19 outbreak.

Urgent treatment referrals to children and young people’s eating disorder services increased in the first quarter of 2020/21. We have announced extra funding for eating disorder services so that an additional 2,000 children and young people can get the support they need. This follows NHS England and NHS Improvement’s plans to expand rapid access to specialist treatment for young people with eating disorders across England, aiming to contact patients within 48 hours and beginning treatment as soon as two weeks later.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the medical trials testing the efficacy and safety of the covid-19 vaccine in children and teenagers are planned to report their results.

Through the joint call for COVID-19 research from the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation, we have awarded over £2 million towards ‘nCoV: Rapid Clinical Development of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’. This research project aims to demonstrate vaccine safety and immunogenicity in adults, older adults, and children, and is scheduled to finish in September 2021. A phase II study to determine safety and immunogenicity in 300 children and adolescents aged between 6 and 17 years old was also approved as a priority Urgent Public Health COVID-19 study in February 2021 and is due to finish in May 2021.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) continues to review the data on COVID-19 vaccines. Once data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents and younger children becomes available, these will be considered by the JCVI to inform deliberations on vaccination in these age groups.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's roadmap is out of covid-19 lockdown for clinically vulnerable children who have been advised to shield but have yet to receive a covid-19 vaccine.

Doctors have been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk. In addition, for the vast majority of children and young people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, a vaccination is not currently advised. However, for a very small number of children, the independent expert Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have advised that vaccination may be appropriate. If a vaccination has been deemed to be necessary they should receive an offer to be vaccinated as part of the JCVI’s priority group four.

Whilst shielding advice remains in place until 31 March, clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people are advised to follow the guidance available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Further information will be provided to all clinically extremely vulnerable people, including children and young people, outlining the guidance that they should follow beyond this date.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance has been issued to clinicians to enable them to prescribe the covid-19 vaccine to children under the age of 16 who suffer from cystic fibrosis.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) currently advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination with either of the two currently available vaccines. The JCVI considers that there is not usually a good case for immunisation as there is very limited safety data on vaccination in adolescents, and almost no data on vaccination in younger children so far. Following infection, almost all children will have asymptomatic infection or mild disease.

The clinicians are advised to discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility. However, the matter of whether to vaccinate a child should ultimately be a decision to be made by the physician responsible for the patient.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance has been issued to clinicians to enable them to prescribe covid-19 vaccine to clinically extremely vulnerable children under the age of 16.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) currently advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination with either of the two currently available vaccines. The JCVI considers that there is not usually a good case for immunisation as there is very limited safety data on vaccination in adolescents, and almost no data on vaccination in younger children so far. Following infection, almost all children will have asymptomatic infection or mild disease.

The clinicians are advised to discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility. However, the matter of whether to vaccinate a child should ultimately be a decision to be made by the physician responsible for the patient.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the proportion of care home (a) residents and (b) staff who have refused the covid-19 vaccine dose in (i) Rother Valley, (ii) South Yorkshire and (iii) England.

Data on vaccine refusal is not collected.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to commission a long term study of immune responses in people vaccinated against covid-19.

Public Heath England’s surveillance strategy will monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes, including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality, and onward transmission. The surveillance strategy is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-surveillance-strategy

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the UK Research and Innovation are jointly funding the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium to address key questions around the immune system’s response to COVID-19. The NIHR’s Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections is also looking at the size and longevity of the immune response.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Royal College of General Practitioner's decision to announce their intention to remove the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) toolkit for GPs from their website, if he will work with EDS UK to facilitate a review of the toolkit and agree its future location.

The Government published the new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework in January 2021 which outlines the key priorities for rare diseases in the UK over the next five years. One priority area, as identified through the ‘national conversation’ on rare diseases, is to further increase awareness of rare diseases such as Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) amongst health professionals. Development of nation-specific action plans for how each of the four UK nations will deliver on these priorities will begin in 2021 and will involve further engagement with the rare disease community. The use of online toolkits will be considered while working towards this priority.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) toolkit for GPs and healthcare professionals on the recognition, response to and management of EDS in primary care.

No such assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to monitor the effectiveness of different covid-19 vaccines on different age groups.

Public Health England is leading on the surveillance of the COVID-19 vaccine programme and has developed a surveillance strategy to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against mortality, hospitalisations, confirmed infections, markers of infectiousness and the impact on transmission.

Whilst phase three clinical trials provided evidence of vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, further evidence is needed on how effectiveness varies by subgroup, including by age. This will be done using advanced surveillance techniques once the earliest eligible cohorts have been offered a full course of vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discretion local authorities have to award a Test and Trace Support Payment to ill or hospitalised people who have been unable to submit a claim by the deadline of 14 days after their period of self-isolation should have ended.

People can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment up to 28 days after the first day of their self-isolation period. A third party such as a family member, a friend or neighbour could help a severely ill or hospitalised person complete the application.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that severely ill or hospitalised people notified to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace for Test have a maximum of 14 days after their period of self-isolation ended to make a claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment.

People can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment up to  28 days after the first day of their self-isolation period. A third party such as a family member, a friend or neighbour could help a severely ill or hospitalised person to complete the application.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England’s investigation into potential breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, when Public Health England plan for (a) testing to begin on products of interest and (b) that investigation to conclude.

The Department has asked Public Health England to conduct testing analysis of cigarettes as part of its investigation into possible breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products. This work should conclude in the summer. There are currently no plans to publish the results of the investigation. We understand that industry is complying with the investigation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support long-term research studies on covid-19 immunity.

The Government, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation are jointly funding the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium to address key questions around the immune system’s response to COVID-19.

We are also supporting immunity studies in specific groups, including the SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection EvaluatioN (SIREN) study in health care workers and the Vivaldi study in care home residents and workers. The NIHR’s Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections is also looking at the size and longevity of the immune response.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether local authorities have the discretion to award claims for the Test and Trace Support Payment that have been made later than 14 days after an individual's period of self-isolation has ended.

Individuals can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment up to 28 days after their first day of self-isolation. This cut-off period is the same across all local authorities. In the event a local authority believes there is a legitimate reason an applicant has not been able to apply within the 28-day application period – for example, because they were ill in hospital and could not reasonably have been expected to make an application – they should use their discretion on a case-by-case basis in deciding whether to accept an application after the cut-off point.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to provide additional support to people in the northern regions to improve (a) physical and (b) mental health care in light of the health, economic and social effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) works with NHS England and NHS Improvement to support and assure the delivery of the health inequalities ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The support programme includes Communities of Improvement forums as well as bringing together expertise from around the country and local academia. Programmes to address health inequalities include those covering cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory health, health checks, mental health, drugs and alcohol, social prescribing and numerous others. Work in each locality is delivered through local constructs such as the sustainability and transformation partnership, the health and wellbeing board and individual local organisations.

We are committed to supporting everyone’s mental health and wellbeing in all parts of the country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the winter period and beyond. We have published our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19, which sets out the support available for individuals and we are working with the National Health Service, PHE and others to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19. Additional funding for 2020/21 announced in the Spending Review will be used to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has for investing in research into mental health interventions to support people post-covid-19 in the North.