Antony Higginbotham Portrait

Antony Higginbotham

Conservative - Burnley

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
12th May 2021 - 24th Jun 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 7th July 2022
11:30
National Security Bill - Oral evidence
Subject: To consider the Bill
7 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m.
At 11.30am: Oral evidence
Jonathan Hall QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
At 12.00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Alex Younger KCMG
Professor Sir David Ormand GCB
At 12.40pm: Oral evidence
Paddy McGuinness CMG OBE
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 7th July 2022
14:00
National Security Bill - Oral evidence
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
7 Jul 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.00pm: Oral evidence
Carl Miller - Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos
Mr Sam Jackson - Director of Communications at Henry Jackson Society
At 2.40pm: Oral evidence
Louise Edwards - Director of Regulation at Electoral Commission
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Professor Ciaran Martin
At 3.20pm: Oral evidence
Dr Nicholas Hoggard - lead lawyer for the Law Commission’s Protection of Official Data project at Law Commission
Professor Penney Lewis - Commissioner for Criminal Law at Law Commission
Rich Owen - Access to Justice Committee Chair at Law Society
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Poppy Wood - UK Director at Reset.Tech
At 4.20pm: Oral evidence
Dan Dolan - Director of Policy and Advocacy at Reprieve
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 11th July 2022
14:45
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Regulation of energy suppliers
11 Jul 2022, 2:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Sarah Munby - Permanent Secretary at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Joanna Whittington - Director General at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Jonathan Brearley - Chief Executive at Ofgem
Neil Lawrence - Director of Retail at Ofgem
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Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th July 2022
09:25
National Security Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
12 Jul 2022, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th July 2022
14:00
National Security Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
12 Jul 2022, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th July 2022
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Redevelopment of Defra’s animal health infrastructure
13 Jul 2022, 1 p.m.
At 1.30pm: Oral evidence
Tamara Finkelstein - Permanent Secretary at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
David Holdsworth - Chief Executive at Animal and Plant Health Agency
Colin Dingwall - Senior Responsible Owner for the SCAH Programme at Animal and Plant Health Agency
Sarah Homer - Programme Sponsor for the SCAH Programme at Animal and Plant Health Agency
Christine Middlemiss - UK Chief Veterinary Officer at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 14th July 2022
11:30
National Security Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
14 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 14th July 2022
14:00
National Security Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
14 Jul 2022, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th July 2022
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Improving the Accounting Officer Assessment Process
18 Jul 2022, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Tom Scholar - Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury
Cat Little - Director General for Public Spending and Head of the Government Finance Function at HM Treasury
Alex Chisholm - Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office
Nick Smallwood - Chief Executive at Infrastructure and Projects Authority
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Department Event
Tuesday 19th July 2022
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
19 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th July 2022
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Department for Work and Pensions Accounts 2021-22
20 Jul 2022, 1 p.m.
At 1.30pm: Oral evidence
Peter Schofield - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work & Pensions
Neil Couling CBE - Director General for Change and Universal Credit Senior Responsible Owner at Department for Work & Pensions
Bozena Hillyer - Director for Counter Fraud and Compliance and Debt at Department for Work & Pensions
View calendar
Division Votes
Monday 4th July 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 281 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 220 Noes - 283
Speeches
Monday 20th June 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
T6. In the past few weeks, not a day has gone by on which my team and I have not …
Written Answers
Tuesday 26th April 2022
Inland Waterways: Regional Planning and Development
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has made an assessment of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 6th September 2021
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Lawrence Tomlinson
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Antony Higginbotham has voted in 568 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Antony Higginbotham voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Antony Higginbotham 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
(15 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(14 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(30 debate contributions)
Home Office
(21 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(20 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Antony Higginbotham's debates

Burnley 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.


Latest EDMs signed by Antony Higginbotham

Antony Higginbotham has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Antony Higginbotham, 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.


Antony Higginbotham has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Antony Higginbotham has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Antony Higginbotham has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Antony Higginbotham has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


28 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has made an assessment of the potential role of canals and waterways in the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

As set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, infrastructure and connectivity are key to levelling up the country.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently conducting a review of the annual Government grant provided to the Canal and River Trust, and the potential role of the canal network in the levelling-up agenda is being considered as part of that review.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he expects his Department to (a) conclude considerations and (b) establish a beneficial ownership register of overseas individuals and entities which own UK property.

As set out in my Written Ministerial Statement made on 2nd November 2021, the Government remains committed to establishing a new beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property. This register will help combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. We are continuing to finalise the draft legislation, to align with the broader reform of Companies House. We will legislate when parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to introduce reforms to Companies House.

The Department’s plans for Register Reform and improvements to the powers of Companies House will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

We will legislate when Parliamentary time allows.

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, with reference to the Queen's Speech 2019, what progress has been made on introducing the Thomas Cook Compensation Bill.

We are working to ensure that Parliamentary business can continue as far as possible during this period.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jul 2020
What steps his Department is taking to help gyms, health spas and similar businesses to reopen safely as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

We are committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so including indoor gyms and health spas. BEIS published guidance on 23 June to help spas prepare for reopening.

The Government is also in discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to reopen these facilities, hopefully from mid-July.

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

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to improve access for children to music, film, dance and theatre.

Arts Council England (ACE) funds a number of national music and cultural education programmes across the country focused on children and young people.

For example, DCMS works closely with DfE to deliver Music Education hubs which help hundreds of thousands of young people learn to play an instrument in whole classes every year. Alongside this, ACE supports a range of organisations that provide cultural programmes specifically aimed at children.

DCMS has also committed £2m to the Creative Careers Programme: an industry-designed and led initiative to raise awareness amongst children and young people of opportunities for work across the creative economy.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage more young people to take up apprenticeships.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.

From August 2020, all starts will be on the new apprenticeship standards which are replacing frameworks. Over 530 standards, designed and driven by industry, have already been approved for delivery. These high-quality standards are directly benefitting young apprentices as they allow them to gain transferable skills, knowledge and behaviours which are recognised by industry and to become fully competent in their chosen occupations.

We are working hard to encourage take-up of apprenticeships among young people. The first 2 phases of the Fire it Up campaign have targeted young people, parents and schools to improve the perception and take-up of apprenticeships by young people. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign, which launched in January, will continue this work as well as targeting audience groups that contribute to widening participation in apprenticeships.

Our 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week took place in February. Nearly 900 events were held across the country, aiming to change perceptions of apprenticeships.

In January 2018, we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships so that young people hear about the alternatives to academic routes.

We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges (ASK) programme to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, ASK reached over 300,000 students throughout England. We have recently extended the programme to include younger pupils in key stage 3 (years 7 to 9).

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on the roll-out of T levels.

We are making good progress and remain on track for the introduction of the first three T levels this September. A further seven T levels will be delivered in 2021, completing the construction and digital routes and introducing T levels from the health and science route.

We have appointed awarding organisations to deliver T levels for 2020 and 2021 and expect to award contracts for 2022 T levels in the autumn.

We have an extensive programme of support for providers and employers to get them ready to deliver Industry Placements under T levels. Funding of nearly £60 million in 2018/19 and nearly £55 million in 2019/20 has helped providers to build capacity and deliver T level industry placements, with over 18,000 T level-style placements already successfully completed in 2018/19 and many more expected this academic year.

Up to March 2020, £20 million has been allocated to help teachers and leaders prepare for the introduction of T levels, with a further investment of £15 million for 2020/21.

We want T level students to have access to the latest, high quality equipment and state-of-the-art facilities during their studies. £38 million capital funding supports the 2020 rollout and we have announced an extra £95 million to help upgrade the facilities of 2021 providers.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking with representatives of private sector companies to increase the number of apprenticeships in the engineering sector.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to apprenticeships to improve their quality and encourage employers across England, include those in the engineering sector, to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer.

In 2018-19, there were almost 60,000 starts in the engineering and manufacturing technologies sector. There are currently 122 high-quality industry-designed apprenticeship standards available in the engineering sector, including engineering and manufacturing technician and rail and rail systems engineer, with a further 24 standards in development.

We continue to work closely with employers and industry sector bodies, including the Institute for Engineering and Technology, MAKE UK and the Royal Aeronautical Society, to help them make the most of the long-term benefits of apprenticeships.

This support ranges from direct engagement with key employers to support growth in apprenticeships, helping to promote apprenticeships on employers’ websites and social media, and running sector-specific apprenticeship events. We also provide guidance for small employers who do not pay the levy to transition onto the apprenticeship service, through webinars, workshops and face to face meetings.

Our Intermediary Ambassador Network, which currently has 60 members, includes representation from the engineering and manufacturing sector. We are supporting these ambassadors to effectively promote apprenticeships in their sectors.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has in place to improve access for (a) horse riders, (b) dog walkers and (c) runners on bridleways.

The Agriculture Bill currently before Parliament sets out how farmers and land managers in England will in future be rewarded with public money for public goods including improved access to the countryside. These improvements should benefit horse riders and pedestrians on bridleways and other paths.

Local highway authorities are also required to maintain a rights of way improvement plan which should consider the needs of multiple types of user.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
What assessment she has made of the potential benefits of international trade for the North West.

Burnley and the wider North West economy already benefit from the higher productivity and better-quality jobs associated with international trade. According to new experimental research, 630,000 jobs in the region were estimated to be linked to exports in 2016, and Foreign Direct Investment projects created over 5,000 new jobs in 2019-20.We are confident the new Free Trade Agreements we are striking around the world will create even more opportunities for Burnley companies and that this increased trade will help level up the UK economy further.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits to Burnley of improvements to rail connectivity in and around the East Lancashire area; and if he will make a statement.

The Government supported the reopening of the Todmorden Curve in 2015 which has allowed a new faster and direct train service between Manchester Victoria and Burnley, opening up job prospects and tourist and leisure opportunities.

Work is progressing to assess the potential role of a re-opened Skipton-Colne rail line to deliver real benefits for passengers in East Lancashire, freight users and the local economy to complement the initial Strategic Outline Business Case completed in December 2018. These will inform the Government’s decision as to whether a reinstatement scheme should progress to the ‘develop’ stage of the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.

More widely, to help communities both in East Lancashire and across the country, we have pledged £500m to start reopening lines closed following the Beeching report.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has in place to help the long-term unemployed back into the workplace.

This Government is committed to providing targeted support for people, regardless of the length of time they have been unemployed, so that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance of getting into work.

In both Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, the Work and Health Programme uses the expertise of private, public and voluntary and community sector providers to deliver sustained employment for disabled people, certain priority groups and the long term unemployed (more than 2 years).

For claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Additional Employability Support provides additional time for claimants who are long term unemployed – 18 months or longer – with their Work Coach to tackle barriers to work: it also includes targeted group sessions; case conferencing with a work psychologist; mock interviews and job application support; and a rigorous skills assessment.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to help the long-term unemployed find work.

This Government is committed to providing targeted support for people, regardless of the length of time they have been unemployed, so that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance of getting into work.

In both Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, the Work and Health Programme uses the expertise of private, public and voluntary and community sector providers to deliver sustained employment for disabled people, certain priority groups and the long term unemployed (more than 2 years).

For claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Additional Employability Support provides additional time for claimants who are long term unemployed – 18 months or longer – with their Work Coach to tackle barriers to work: it also includes targeted group sessions; case conferencing with a work psychologist; mock interviews and job application support; and a rigorous skills assessment.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) support and (b) resources the Government plans to make available to tackle the backlog in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

We are committed to recovering cancer services by the end of March 2022, returning to February 2020 levels for waiting times between a general practitioner appointment and referral and the number of people waiting for over 62 days for treatment.

Diagnostic capacity is being increased, particularly in endoscopy, computerised tomography and targeted lung health checks. Rapid diagnostic centres are bringing together diagnostic equipment and expertise and increasing capacity. The National Health Service is maximising innovative treatments adopted during the pandemic, including new radiotherapy methods to deliver targeted treatment in fewer hospital visits.

At the Spending Review 2021, we announced an extra £5.9 billion to support elective recovery, diagnostics and technology over the next three years. This includes £2.3 billion to increase the volume of diagnostic activity and launching community diagnostic centres to address backlogs of clinical tests.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the potential annual savings of fully integrating health and social care provision.

The Government continues to support the integrated provision of health and social care because of the improvements it brings to the quality of care people receive. Integrated provision has been found to improve health, quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Integration across health and social care commissioning also enables improved co-operation and joint decision-making between health and social care partners in delivering shared outcomes. A number of local areas have reported improved outcomes through the adoption of integrated approaches.

At the national level, evidence of savings due to integrated provision is limited, therefore, the Department does not have an estimate of the annual savings of integration.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were treated in Burnley General Hospital’s Urgent Care Unit between January and December (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many nurses there are in East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust; and how many of those nurses were recruited in each year since 2010.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care, general practitioner (GP) surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

As at November 2019, the latest available data, there are 2,323 nurses and health visitors at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, headcount.

The following table shows the number of nurses and health visitors joiners for the period specified to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, headcount.

Nurses and Health Visitor Joiners

November 2010 - 2011

513

November 2011 – 2012

189

November 2012 – 2013

295

November 2013 – 2014

291

November 2014 – 2015

287

November 2015 – 2016

296

November 2016 – 2017

324

November 2017 – 2018

246

November 2018 - 2019

349

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of mental health practitioners working in the NHS.

We have a number of national programmes in place focused on improving mental health staff retention, return to practice, overseas and domestic recruitment and improving sickness absence. These include:

- providing funding for the fast track mental health social work programme that is delivering around 100 social workers into mental health services each year and supporting the development of social work as a profession in mental health services;

- increasing the nursing workforce by expanding the number of nurse training places and launching the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign to highlight nursing opportunities in mental health to increase interest in this profession; and

- increasing the number of psychiatry placements available for junior doctors undertaking foundation training.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has made an assessment of the potential merits of applying an excise duty to non-tobacco nicotine products.

The Government has no current plans to apply an excise duty to non-tobacco nicotine or vaping products. We believe these are an effective way of encouraging smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.

Non-tobacco nicotine and vaping products are currently subject to the standard rate of VAT at 20%. Medicinally regulated products are subject to the reduced rate of VAT at 5%.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has made an assessment of the potential merits of levying an excise duty on vaping products.

The Government has no current plans to apply an excise duty to non-tobacco nicotine or vaping products. We believe these are an effective way of encouraging smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.

Non-tobacco nicotine and vaping products are currently subject to the standard rate of VAT at 20%. Medicinally regulated products are subject to the reduced rate of VAT at 5%.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the Serious Fraud Office's recommendation on making failure to prevent economic crime a criminal rather than a regulatory offence.

In response to calls that current law on economic crime may require reform, the Government carried out a Call for Evidence in 2017 and published its response in November 2020. This is an extremely complex area of the law and the public consultation unfortunately proved inconclusive.

The Government has therefore asked the Law Commission to undertake an in-depth review of the laws around corporate criminal liability for economic crime and - if considered necessary - make recommendations on proportionate and appropriate options for reform. The Commission is aiming to publish an Options Paper shortly.

It is important that we get this right, and any reforms must be proportionate and evidence-based. We intend to engage with the Law Commission on the findings of the review once it has concluded.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to strengthen the UK Border Force.

Since 2018, Border Force staffing has increased from 7,700 to over 8,700 to boost wider operational resilience. This includes a brand-new Readiness Task Force (RTF) of c. 300 multi-functional officers, available to deploy across the UK at short notice in response to emerging issues and peaks in demand.

The Government is developing a new global border and immigration system that makes better use of data, biometrics, analytics and automation to improve both security and fluidity across the border

We intend to introduce a requirement for visitors and transit passengers who do not currently need a visa to come to the UK to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), as an additional security measure. This will enable the Government to conduct security checks on passengers and make more informed decisions on information obtained at an earlier stage, as to whether individuals should be allowed to travel to and enter the UK.

We are also investing in new technology, including ePassport gates and other modern detection technology to improve security and prevent illegal entry.

As previously announced, we intend to phase out the acceptance of EEA and Swiss national identity cards to enter the UK in the future. National identity cards are often the most insecure and forged documents detected at the border and are not compatible with the ePassport gates. By making better use of digital technology and automation, Border Force will be able to provide an improved service whilst maintaining security.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans are in place for local authorities to bring derelict housing stock back into use.

Local authorities are equipped with a range of powers and strong incentives to tackle empty homes, including those that are derelict. Through the New Homes Bonus, they earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as for building a new one. Billing authorities have the discretion to charge up to 100 per cent extra council tax – on top of the standard bill – on properties that have been empty for at least two years.

In certain circumstances, local authorities can apply for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) to temporarily take over the management of a property that has been empty for more than two years and bring it back into use. Local authorities have a variety of compulsory purchase powers which they can use to acquire and develop derelict or empty property, including for housing purposes. However, compulsory purchase is intended for use as a last resort and there must always be a compelling case in the public interest.

13th Jan 2020
What steps his Department is taking to support towns.

This Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund will support an initial 100 Town Deals, unleashing towns’ economic potential and sharing prosperity across the country. We are forming a Towns Hub to make Whitehall work for towns and communities and have provided places with over £16 million capacity funding – to prepare their plans and secure up to £25 million each.

We will be investing in town centres and high streets to help them evolve – with more housing, safer streets, culture and transport to make them more accessible.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that prison officers are safe at work.

Prison Officers are some of our finest public servants, and we do not underestimate the challenges faced by everyone working in prisons. We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and providing prison officers with the right support, training and tools to empower them to do their jobs.

We have recruited more than 4,300 new prison officers over the last two years, and this has given us the capacity to implement the key worker role which will help us deal with emerging threats and to improve safety. We’re also investing £2.75 billion to transform the estate, to make prisons safer and cut crime behind bars.

We are rolling out body worn cameras, police-style restraints and PAVA incapacitant spray to prison officers to help them do their job more safely.

In light of recent developments concerning Covid-19, we have put in place robust contingency plans in consultation with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care. This includes specific advice for staff on steps they should take should they become unwell, or if they have been exposed to Covid-19.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of offenders convicted of serious offences have reoffended within 12 months of their release from prison in the latest period for which figures are available.

This Government is committed to reducing reoffending by ensuring all offenders have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime. The Ministry of Justice regards every crime as serious, so does not group offence types on that basis. The ‘Proven Reoffending Type Data Tool, January to December 2016, England and Wales’ can be used to look at the various reoffending rates for specific offence categories:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/797424/Reoffence_type_data_tool.xlsx

As an example, from this toolkit, the relevant reoffending rates for a selection of index offences were:

Proven reoffending of adult offenders released from custody, by selected index offence type (January-December 2016 cohort)

Offence

Number of Reoffenders

Reoffending Rate (%)

Violence against the person

3,505

36.1%

Sexual

356

14.1%

Robbery

830

31.4%

Drug

1,387

23.5%

Possession of Weapons

1,212

45.7%

Note:

  1. The January-December 2016 cohort in the table above refers to all adult offenders in the calendar year who were released from custody. A proven reoffence is then defined as any offence committed in a one-year follow-up period that resulted in a court conviction or caution in this timeframe or a further six month waiting period to allow time for cases to progress through the courts.

  2. The index offence is the proven offence that leads to an offender being included in the cohort.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
What steps he is taking to support the defence sector in Scotland.

The Scotland Office, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and I are all in frequent contact with stakeholders across the Scottish defence sector to ensure their valuable perspective is heard and understood.

In my Moray constituency, Kinloss Barracks and RAF Lossiemouth have remained busy supporting the efforts to fight COVID-19 and to continue to protect our country. So I place on record our thanks to them for all their efforts.