Apsana Begum Portrait

Apsana Begum

Labour - Poplar and Limehouse

Apsana Begum has no previous appointments


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
09:30
Education Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Accountability hearings
1 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Will Quince MP - Minister for Children and Families at Department for Education
Indra Morris - Director General at Children’s Services, Communications & Strategy Group
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 177 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 240 Noes - 304
Speeches
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Islamophobia Awareness Month

Every single day, people of Muslim backgrounds like me face discrimination and prejudice. I am never allowed to forget that …

Written Answers
Friday 19th November 2021
Colombia: Homicide
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Working conditions for private hire drivers
That this House recognises the efforts of those Uber workers who have recently taken industrial action as part of the …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 10th February 2020
8. Miscellaneous
Until 2 January 2020, a Trustee and Director of Women's Inclusive Team Ltd, a charity that delivers projects and training …
EDM signed
Thursday 18th November 2021
Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme
That this House notes the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACSR) was announced on 18 August 2021; further notes that hon. …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
National Minimum Wage Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Apsana Begum has voted in 306 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Apsana Begum voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
View All Apsana Begum 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
Rosie Winterton (Labour)
(5 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(12 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Apsana Begum's debates

Poplar and Limehouse 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 highest Poplar and Limehouse signature proportion
Petitions with most Poplar and Limehouse signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, particularly as grants have been removed


Latest EDMs signed by Apsana Begum

15th November 2021
Apsana Begum signed this EDM on Thursday 18th November 2021

Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House notes the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACSR) was announced on 18 August 2021; further notes that hon. Members are still receiving desperate messages for help and that Ministerial replies to queries make repeated reference to the scheme; is concerned that three months later the ACRS is still …
54 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
9th June 2021
Apsana Begum signed this EDM on Thursday 18th November 2021

Public scientific hearing on animal experiments

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House applauds the new Animal Sentience Bill, enshrining in law the ability of animals to experience joy and feel suffering and pain; notes the science-based campaign For Life On Earth with its Beagle Ambassador, rescued laboratory dog Scarlett; is shocked to see the harrowing exposé showing thousands of …
92 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 35
Scottish National Party: 29
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Conservative: 2
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Apsana Begum's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Apsana Begum, 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.


Apsana Begum has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Apsana Begum has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Apsana Begum has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


417 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
22 Other Department Questions
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the impact of the fire safety challenges on the ability of housing associations to (a) build new homes, (b) undertake maintenance and repair works on existing properties and (c) not increase service charges and rents.

Individual housing associations are responsible for making the necessary investments to ensure their buildings are safe. The Government has supported this by committing up to £400 million to fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding systems on buildings over 18 metres that are owned by registered providers of social housing. The Government has also committed to meet the cost of removing other types of unsafe cladding on buildings over 18 metres where the costs would otherwise have been borne by leaseholders or where a registered provider of social housing’s financial viability would otherwise be threatened.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and is investing over £12 billion in affordable housing, the largest investment in a decade. This includes the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

Social landlords are obliged by law to maintain the structure and exterior of their properties, and to keep sanitation, water, gas and electrical installations in repair. The Regulator of Social Housing requires that social rented homes are maintained by all landlords to at least the quality set out by the Decent Homes Standard, and we are reviewing the Decent Homes Standard to consider whether it needs to be updated to make sure it delivers what is needed for safety and decency today.

Service charges are payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred as set out under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The Government’s social housing rent policy prohibits rent increases in excess of CPI plus one percentage point per annum (subject to certain exceptions) and are encouraged to keep service charges within this parameter.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of proposals to merge One Housing Group with Riverside Housing.

Registered providers of social housing are required to comply with the regulatory standards set by the independent body, the Regulator of Social Housing. These include a 'Governance and Financial Viability standard' which requires, amongst other things, that private registered providers ensure they have effective governance arrangements that deliver their aims, objectives and intended outcomes for tenants in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. Among other things, those arrangements shall ensure that they are accountable to tenants, the Regulator and relevant stakeholders. These same requirements apply before and after any merger.

In addition, the Regulator's Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard requires that where a registered provider is considering a merger that will entail a change in landlord for one or more of their tenants, they must consult with affected tenants in a fair, timely, appropriate and effective manner. The proposals must set out clearly any actual or potential advantages and disadvantages (including costs) to tenants and the registered provider must be able to show how they have taken account of the views of affected tenants in reaching a decision.

The Regulator does not have a direct role to play in assessing the merits of potential mergers. As a consequence of measures introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, non-profit registered providers are no longer required to seek the Regulator's consent for restructures. They are, however, required to notify the Regulator when undertaking certain corporate restructures, including mergers.

It is for the Board of a registered provider to carefully consider the option of a merger taking into account all of the necessary requirements.

Housing associations are independent organisations and Government does not control the way in which they run their business or form their organisational structure. It would not be appropriate for the Department to comment on the merits of this particular merger.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of ballots for residents in housing associations to decide whether to go ahead with mergers.

Registered providers of social housing are required to comply with the regulatory standards set by the independent body, the Regulator of Social Housing. These include a 'Governance and Financial Viability standard' which requires, amongst other things, that private registered providers ensure they have effective governance arrangements that deliver their aims, objectives and intended outcomes for tenants in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. Among other things, those arrangements shall ensure that they are accountable to tenants, the Regulator and relevant stakeholders. These same requirements apply before and after any merger.

In addition, the Regulator's Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard requires that where a registered provider is considering a merger that will entail a change in landlord for one or more of their tenants, they must consult with affected tenants in a fair, timely, appropriate and effective manner. The proposals must set out clearly any actual or potential advantages and disadvantages (including costs) to tenants and the registered provider must be able to show how they have taken account of the views of affected tenants in reaching a decision.

The Regulator does not have a direct role to play in assessing the merits of potential mergers. As a consequence of measures introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, non-profit registered providers are no longer required to seek the Regulator's consent for restructures. They are, however, required to notify the Regulator when undertaking certain corporate restructures, including mergers.

It is for the Board of a registered provider to carefully consider the option of a merger taking into account all of the necessary requirements.

Housing associations are independent organisations and Government does not control the way in which they run their business or form their organisational structure. It would not be appropriate for the Department to comment on the merits of this particular merger.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what comparative assessment he has made of the standard of service provided to residents (a) prior to and (b) following the merger of housing associations.

Registered providers of social housing are required to comply with the regulatory standards set by the independent body, the Regulator of Social Housing. These include a 'Governance and Financial Viability standard' which requires, amongst other things, that private registered providers ensure they have effective governance arrangements that deliver their aims, objectives and intended outcomes for tenants in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. Among other things, those arrangements shall ensure that they are accountable to tenants, the Regulator and relevant stakeholders. These same requirements apply before and after any merger.

In addition, the Regulator's Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard requires that where a registered provider is considering a merger that will entail a change in landlord for one or more of their tenants, they must consult with affected tenants in a fair, timely, appropriate and effective manner. The proposals must set out clearly any actual or potential advantages and disadvantages (including costs) to tenants and the registered provider must be able to show how they have taken account of the views of affected tenants in reaching a decision.

The Regulator does not have a direct role to play in assessing the merits of potential mergers. As a consequence of measures introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, non-profit registered providers are no longer required to seek the Regulator's consent for restructures. They are, however, required to notify the Regulator when undertaking certain corporate restructures, including mergers.

It is for the Board of a registered provider to carefully consider the option of a merger taking into account all of the necessary requirements.

Housing associations are independent organisations and Government does not control the way in which they run their business or form their organisational structure. It would not be appropriate for the Department to comment on the merits of this particular merger.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Social Housing Regulator's (a) oversight and (b) scrutiny of housing association mergers.

Registered providers of social housing are required to comply with the regulatory standards set by the independent body, the Regulator of Social Housing. These include a 'Governance and Financial Viability standard' which requires, amongst other things, that private registered providers ensure they have effective governance arrangements that deliver their aims, objectives and intended outcomes for tenants in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. Among other things, those arrangements shall ensure that they are accountable to tenants, the Regulator and relevant stakeholders. These same requirements apply before and after any merger.

In addition, the Regulator's Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard requires that where a registered provider is considering a merger that will entail a change in landlord for one or more of their tenants, they must consult with affected tenants in a fair, timely, appropriate and effective manner. The proposals must set out clearly any actual or potential advantages and disadvantages (including costs) to tenants and the registered provider must be able to show how they have taken account of the views of affected tenants in reaching a decision.

The Regulator does not have a direct role to play in assessing the merits of potential mergers. As a consequence of measures introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, non-profit registered providers are no longer required to seek the Regulator's consent for restructures. They are, however, required to notify the Regulator when undertaking certain corporate restructures, including mergers.

It is for the Board of a registered provider to carefully consider the option of a merger taking into account all of the necessary requirements.

Housing associations are independent organisations and Government does not control the way in which they run their business or form their organisational structure. It would not be appropriate for the Department to comment on the merits of this particular merger.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he has taken to end the use of segregated entrances for residents with different tenures in developments.

We have provided guidance to local planning authorities which asks them to take this issue into account when preparing their local plans and taking decisions on planning applications. The National Design Guide advises that housing should be designed to be tenure neutral and socially inclusive, avoiding features that could create actual or perceived barriers, or contribute to segregation, and that there should be no differentiation in the positions of entrances. The National Model Design Code gives advice to local authorities on how to prepare their own design codes which set standards for the design of new development. This clarifies that design codes can help by requiring that the same shared entrances and facilities are available for all tenants within a building.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to make additional resources available to the Health and Safety Executive for the proposed establishment of the Building Safety Regulator.

The Government is funding and will continue to fund the Health and Safety Executive to establish and run the Building Safety Regulator. Budgets will be determined following the Spending Review. We intend to use the Building Safety Bill to give the Building Safety Regulator powers to recoup a significant proportion of costs from regulated parties.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of insurance companies refusing to insure buildings which have been not been deemed in need of remediation through an EWS1 survey.

We are aware of a very small number of buildings for which insurers have requested that additional remediation plans are put in place in order for them to provide building insurance.

The Department has raised this issue with insurers as part of our ongoing work with the insurance industry to restore confidence in building safety. Ministers continue to press insurance companies and industry bodies to take a more proportionate approach to pricing insurance.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to update the Consolidated Advice Note to reflect the announcement of 21 July 2021 that buildings under 18 metres will no longer require an EWS1 form.

As stated in the 21 July Written Ministerial Statement, the Department will shortly retire the Consolidated Advice Note.

The Consolidated Advice Note will be superseded by new statutory fire safety guidance and the British Standards Institution (BSI) will publish guidelines on how to undertake fire risk assessments of external walls.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of estate agent renewal fees on the cost of privately rented homes.

The Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019 to improve transparency and affordability for renters, by way of banning unfair fees and capping tenancy deposits. Letting agent fees previously charged to tenants, for renewals, 'admin' costs, inventory and credit checks are now banned unless they are specified in an existing tenancy agreement signed before 1 June 2019. These provisions benefit up to 4.4 million private renting households and save them an average of £70 per year.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what meetings she has had to discuss trans rights with organisations that have specific services supporting trans people.

We want transgender people to be free to live and to prosper in modern Britain. Myself and the Equality Hub Ministerial team on equality issues engage with a range of organisations and stakeholders who support LGBT people and have specific services supporting trans people, including most recently Stonewall, UK Black Pride and the National LGBT Health Adviser, Dr Michael Brady.

Officials in the Government Equalities Office also engage broadly with interested parties, feeding the insights gathered into policy advice. They regularly meet with LGBT organisations, for example most recently Galop and the LGBT Foundation, as well as devolved administrations and the National LGBT Health Advisor to discuss trans rights, amongst other issues.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to ensure that providers of women-only domestic and sexual violence support services abide by the Equality Act 2010 by supporting transgender women.

The Government is committed to supporting all victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse, including through the provisions of the Domestic Abuse Bill. We continue to work closely with domestic abuse organisations, including those representing LGBT victims, to assess ongoing needs and ensure that commissioning of services is fully inclusive.

The government believes that the protection of single-sex spaces, as provided for in the Equality Act, is important. The Equality Act makes it clear that providers have the right to restrict use of spaces on the basis of sex, and to exclude transgender people from those spaces, where this is justified. This position is unchanged since 2010 and we believe it strikes the right balance. All victims, regardless of their gender, have the right to access victim support services and be treated with respect, dignity, sensitivity and compassion.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Government departments can apply to the Living Wage Foundation to become a Living Wage Accredited Employer; and if he will make a statement.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Government departments are able to specify that wages of at least the Real Living Wage as determined by the Living Wage Foundation must be paid to all workers employed under Facility Management contract let by that Department; and if he will make a statement.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether officials in (a) his Department, and (b) the wider Civil Service have been advised not to destroy covid-19-related records that could be considered relevant in the event of a potential public inquiry.

Advice and guidance on record keeping in the context of Covid-19 was first issued to officials in the Cabinet Office on 25 March. Staff were asked to “ensure that the record of what we do at this time, which is of vital importance to our nation, is preserved for future inquiries, and valuable knowledge is preserved.” Each department is responsible for its own record keeping processes.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the legal employers of all categories of civil servants by Government department.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 292944 on Cabinet Office: Ethnic Groups, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of his Department’s employment practices with monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory Code of Practice on Employment.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 292944 on Cabinet Office: Ethnic Groups, what recent assessment he has made of equal opportunities for people who have identified as BAME in his Department's promotion system.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 292944 on Cabinet Office: Ethnic Groups, whether his Department has since collected equality data on promotions in his Department.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of staff who applied for promotion opportunities run by the Government Recruitment Service between 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020 and who identified as (a) BAME and (b) White were successful by each grade; and if he will make a statement.

Cabinet Office employment practices are in compliance with the monitoring requirements set out in the EHRC Statutory code of practice of employment. All permanent external recruitment within the Cabinet Office is based on the Civil Service recruitment principles which is done on merit and on the basis of fair and open competition. The information on promotions is not held centrally.

The Crown is the legal employer of civil servants but, practically, as a result of delegation, the employment relationship for all civil servants is with their department or agency.

Government departments have delegated authority to set pay arrangements to allow them to put in place reward arrangements for civil servants that best suit their business needs.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of value for money for the taxpayer. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage for workers over 25.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, with reference to Public Health England's report, Beyond the data: understanding the impact of covid-19 on BAME groups, published June 2020, what plans he has to to implement the recommendations on reducing the risk to black Asian Minority Ethnic, BAME, people catching and dying of covid-19.

On 4 June the Government announced its next steps following the Public Health England (PHE) Report, ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’, which was published on 2 June.

PHE also engaged with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the BAME community to hear their views about the impact of COVID-19. This work informed a separate report, ‘Beyond the Data: understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups’, which was published on 16 June 2020.

Many of the recommendations from the second report are already in train. For example, NHS Employers has published – and continues to update – robust occupational risk assessment tools; and the Race Disparity Unit continues to work to with Covid teams across Departments to improve communications, outreach and engagement with ethnic minority communities. Furthermore, many of the recommendations are being taken forward through the terms of reference published on 4 June. This includes steps to assess and improve the quality of data collected by ethnicity; and further strengthening and improving public health communications to ensure they can reach and inform all communities across the country.

It's critical that Government takes into account the voices of people who are impacted by our actions. It's also critical that Departments base their actions on robust evidence, so that we can be sure that they will have a positive impact.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of domestic abuse.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the level of domestic abuse and violence in Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what risk assessment has been undertaken by the Government Property Agency on the requirement for externally-contracted support staff to return to work in multi-hub office locations; and if he will publish that risk assessment.

Government advice and guidance is clear that people should work from home wherever possible to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Advice has been provided to departments on how to support all workers performing roles which require them to be in the workplace, in line with the government guidance on safer working during COVID-19. Assessments are being completed in line with relevant guidance.

The Government Property Agency is working with contractors to promote social distancing and to seek assurance from contractors that necessary mitigating measures are taken to manage identified risks, including in respect of PPE.

Staff - including ethnic minority individuals - are supported based on their particular circumstances and have the right to challenge a proposed return to the workplace if they have concerns. Contractors are completing individual discussions with staff that are deemed to be at greater risk, including where relevant BAME colleagues or those with declared underlying health conditions.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Government Property Agency has made of the disproportionate effect on BAME employees of contracting covid-19 in requiring externally-contracted support staff return to work in multi-hub office locations.

Government advice and guidance is clear that people should work from home wherever possible to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Advice has been provided to departments on how to support all workers performing roles which require them to be in the workplace, in line with the government guidance on safer working during COVID-19. Assessments are being completed in line with relevant guidance.

The Government Property Agency is working with contractors to promote social distancing and to seek assurance from contractors that necessary mitigating measures are taken to manage identified risks, including in respect of PPE.

Staff - including ethnic minority individuals - are supported based on their particular circumstances and have the right to challenge a proposed return to the workplace if they have concerns. Contractors are completing individual discussions with staff that are deemed to be at greater risk, including where relevant BAME colleagues or those with declared underlying health conditions.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps have been taken by the Government Property Agency to ensure that externally-contracted support staff in multi-hub office locations have access to personal protective equipment.

Government advice and guidance is clear that people should work from home wherever possible to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Advice has been provided to departments on how to support all workers performing roles which require them to be in the workplace, in line with the government guidance on safer working during COVID-19. Assessments are being completed in line with relevant guidance.

The Government Property Agency is working with contractors to promote social distancing and to seek assurance from contractors that necessary mitigating measures are taken to manage identified risks, including in respect of PPE.

Staff - including ethnic minority individuals - are supported based on their particular circumstances and have the right to challenge a proposed return to the workplace if they have concerns. Contractors are completing individual discussions with staff that are deemed to be at greater risk, including where relevant BAME colleagues or those with declared underlying health conditions.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of tenants on heat networks experience (a) per kWh tariffs and (b) standing charges for heat that are more than 1.5 times the capped price for gas.

It is challenging to directly compare gas and heat network bills. This is because heat network bills tend to include additional system costs such as system maintenance, whereas these additional costs are typically paid by gas consumers through other means.

Whilst there is currently no requirement for heat networks owners or operators to formally report details on their pricing practices, studies have been carried out which provide useful insight into heat network pricing from a sample of the market, namely the 2017 Heat Networks Consumer Survey (HNCS) and the 2018 CMA heat networks market study (CMA).

Government is committed to implementing the Heat Networks Market Framework, which will introduce price transparency requirements on heat network operators. The future heat networks regulator will also have powers to protect consumers from disproportionately high pricing and monopoly power.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of customers of heat networks that pay for heat at more than double the price of fuel if using a gas boiler at prices governed by the cap on standard variable tariffs.

It is challenging to directly compare gas and heat network bills. This is because heat network bills tend to include additional system costs such as system maintenance, whereas these additional costs are typically paid by gas consumers through other means.

Whilst there is currently no requirement for heat networks owners or operators to formally report details on their pricing practices, studies have been carried out which provide useful insight into heat network pricing from a sample of the market, namely the 2017 Heat Networks Consumer Survey (HNCS) and the 2018 CMA heat networks market study (CMA).

Government is committed to implementing the Heat Networks Market Framework, which will introduce price transparency requirements on heat network operators. The future heat networks regulator will also have powers to protect consumers from disproportionately high pricing and monopoly power.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of homes allocated to social housing under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that are on heat networks where the social landlord has no mechanism for control in relation to performance, reliability and pricing.

We do not hold data on the exact number of social homes under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that are on a heat network. However, the results of the 2017 Heat Networks Consumer Survey (HNCS) found that heat network consumers were more likely to be renting from a housing association or local authority (32% and 34%) compared with the wider population (8% and 9%).

The ability for landlords to have control over the performance, reliability and pricing of a heat network will in part depend on the network’s delivery model. This is based on whether it is the leaseholder or the heat supplier who holds the right to use the network. The CMA heat networks study found that where the consumers have the right to use the network as part of their leaseholder or tenancy agreement, this provides them with more protection and control. In addition, leases can state that supply of heating and hot water is the responsibility of the landlord, and the Landlord and Tenant Act places requirements on landlords to maintain a property and its associated assets, such as heating. The CMA report found that the types of business models found in the heat networks market vary significantly.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will change the classification of travel agents to strand two of the restart grant in the context of ongoing restrictions being placed on international travel and the emergence of novel covid-19 variants in India.

Travel agents are eligible for strand 1 of Restart Grants as they are classified as non-essential retail.

Strand 2 of Restart Grants is for hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care and gym & sport businesses, most of which will not fully reopen until step 3 of the Roadmap out of lockdown and which are likely to continue to be most significantly affected by social distancing rules, cleaning protocols and other measures in place to tackle Covid-19.

There are currently no plans to change the eligibility criteria for the Restart Grant scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of applications to the Future Fund scheme have been processed by the British Business Bank as at 24 March 2021; and how many and what proportion of those applicants have been notified of the decision taken by the British Business Bank on their applications as at that date.

As of 24 March 2021, 1,851 applications to the Future Fund had been received of which 100% had been processed. On that same date, 1,766 applicants (96% of the total) had been notified. ‘Processed’ in this context means that an application has been completed by a lead investor and the proposed investee company and has entered the next stage of checks.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of people working in sectors that have had covid-19 lockdown restrictions eased are from Black, Asian and minority ethic backgrounds.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and other groups with protected characteristics. The Race Disparity Unit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures website publishes data on the percentage of workers in each ethnic group employed by different sectors.

This can be found at:

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/work-pay-and benefits/employment/employment-by-sector/latest.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to hold meetings with (a) employer organisations and (b) trade unions on a strategy to manage the potential effect on workers of further covid-19 infection.

The Government is closely monitoring the impacts on the UK economy, including on individuals, businesses, supply chains, and for consumers. We are working with key industry partners, employer organisations, and trade unions to understand the effect of Covid-19 on employees, employers, and businesses, and to share the latest guidance and information.

On 17 March, the Government announced an unprecedented package of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses,?making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish the results of the Gambling Act Review.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, which closed on 31 March. We received c.16,000 submissions from a range of stakeholders and members of the public, which we are considering carefully. The government aims to publish a white paper setting out and consulting on next steps by the end of the year.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to give powers to local authorities to introduce a mandatory short-term lets registration scheme.

Published in June, the Tourism Recovery Plan states that the Government will launch a consultation on the introduction of a Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme in England.

The Government is committed to hearing the views of all interested parties on the merits and drawbacks of a Registration Scheme, and how any potential scheme could be implemented proportionately to avoid placing a significant regulatory burden on the sector or risking a reduction in supply.

Further details of the timescale for this consultation will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will commission an independent investigation into the Gambling Commission's handling of the collapse of Football Index.

The Gambling Commission has suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operators of Football Index, and a live investigation is ongoing. Further information, including an update on the status of customer funds, can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2021/BetIndex-update.aspx

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events.

It is a condition of a gambling operating licence that customers should be able to withdraw funds from their accounts. The Commission acted to suspend BetIndex’s licence on learning that the operator planned to freeze access to funds. Operators who hold customer funds must tell customers whether funds are protected in event of insolvency and the level of the protection offered. Football Index provides a medium level of customer funds protection, which means customer funds are kept in accounts separate from business accounts, and arrangements are made to ensure assets in the customer accounts are distributed to customers in the event of insolvency.

The government has launched a Review of the Gambling Act 2005 and has called for evidence on a range of issues across the sector, including the powers and resources of the Gambling Commission. The call for evidence closes on 31 March, and we will be led by the evidence received.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digtal, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that musicians are able to continue to tour in EU countries and that additional costs do not stop that practice being financially viable.

In negotiations with the EU we fought for a great proposal for our world-leading creative industries. I deeply regret that the EU rejected our proposals. Our proposals remain on the table and our door is open if the EU is willing to reconsider its position.

DCMS has established a Working Group to bring together sector representatives and other key government departments to look at the issues facing the creative and cultural sectors when touring the EU. The group will work together to provide clarity regarding the practical steps that need to be taken by creative professionals when touring the EU, including around carnets and customs declarations, and it will explore how these sectors can be supported to work and tour in the EU with confidence.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to support musicians who have purchased ATA Carnets to travel and work in EU countries.

In negotiations with the EU we fought for a great proposal for our world-leading creative industries. I deeply regret that the EU rejected our proposals. Our proposals remain on the table and our door is open if the EU is willing to reconsider its position.

DCMS has established a Working Group to bring together sector representatives and other key government departments to look at the issues facing the creative and cultural sectors when touring the EU. The group will work together to provide clarity regarding the practical steps that need to be taken by creative professionals when touring the EU, including around carnets and customs declarations, and it will explore how these sectors can be supported to work and tour in the EU with confidence.

17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of properties in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency and (b) Tower Hamlets that have broadband speeds of less than 10Mbps.

According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2020 report, with data collected in September 2020,

  1. Poplar and Limehouse constituency contains 459 premises which are unable to receive 10Mbps via a fixed line connection.

  2. Tower Hamlets contains 723 premises which are unable to receive 10Mbps via a fixed line connection.

The average fixed line download speed is:

  1. 59.3Mbps in Poplar and Limehouse and;

  2. 53.7Mbps in Tower Hamlets.

This only accounts for the speeds premises receive via a fixed line broadband connection and therefore does not take into account those premises which are able to access a faster connection via a 4G or 5G mobile data service.

Most of these premises are likely to be able to access Superfast speeds via 4G (and some via 5G) with a mobile broadband data service.

According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2020 report with data collected in September 2020, accounting for mobile broadband data services,

  1. Poplar and Limehouse constituency contains 134 premises which are unable to receive a connection that meets the requirements of the broadband Universal Service Obligation.

  2. Tower Hamlets contains 335 premises which are unable to receive a connection that meets the requirements of the broadband Universal Service Obligation.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has made an assessment of the role of Islamophobia in the events leading to the (a) death of 12-year-old Shukri Abdi and (b) subsequent investigation.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State at the Home Office, to PQ126154.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to ensure the retention of highly skilled workers in the creative industries.

We recognise the crucial role that highly skilled workers play in making our creative industries world-leading, and the Government is providing extensive support to workers in these sectors. The £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund provides targeted support to critical cultural, arts and heritage organisations to help them, and the skilled workers that work in them, survive and recover from the Covid pandemic. In addition Arts Council England has made £119 million available to individuals (including freelancers) and in July, the Government also announced a UK-wide £500m Restart scheme to support film and TV production companies that have been unable to film due to the lack of insurance covering Covid-related risks. As of 19 November, the scheme is supporting over 4,500 jobs.

The Government also recently announced the extension of both the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 31 2021. This support will help creative businesses across the country to protect their employees’ jobs during this difficult winter period.

Government continues to engage regularly with stakeholders such as the BFI, the Creative Industries Federation and the Creative Industries Council to ensure we understand the impact of Covid-19 on the skills and talent needed to keep the UK’s creative industries a global success.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect of the English covid-19 tiers system on the performing arts sector.

The Government fully recognises the disruptive impact that Coronavirus and restrictions has on the performing arts sector and how devastating it will be where events are cancelled.

That is why we have already extended the Job Retention Scheme until March, alongside the unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery package which has already benefited thousands of organisations and the individuals supported by them.

The Government continues to work with the performing arts sector to assess the impact of the tiers and to develop proposals for how venues can open for fuller audiences when it is safe to do so.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to ensure that people who work and live in Poplar and Limehouse constituency can access full-fibre broadband internet.

The government has the ambition of providing nationwide gigabit-capable connectivity as soon as possible, and will continue to take action to remove barriers to commercial network rollout.

Broadband rollout in Poplar and Limehouse has been undertaken commercially, with 63% of premises now able to access full fibre broadband - this is up from 1% in March 2016. This 63% figure is nearly four times the UK figure of 16%. Openreach are responsible for 12.5% of full fibre connections, and Hyperoptic are also playing a significant role in delivering full fibre connectivity across the constituency.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of access to full-fibre broadband internet for people who live and work in Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

The government has the ambition of providing nationwide gigabit-capable connectivity as soon as possible, and will continue to take action to remove barriers to commercial network rollout.

Broadband rollout in Poplar and Limehouse has been undertaken commercially, with 63% of premises now able to access full fibre broadband - this is up from 1% in March 2016. This 63% figure is nearly four times the UK figure of 16%. Openreach are responsible for 12.5% of full fibre connections, and Hyperoptic are also playing a significant role in delivering full fibre connectivity across the constituency.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 64332 on Broadband and Mobile Phones, what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of the strategy to ensure access to full fibre broadband through promoting network competition and commercial investment.

The government set out its high level strategy for delivering nationwide coverage of gigabit capable broadband in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), published in July 2018. As part of the review, the government commissioned an independent report by Frontier Economics to consider different competitive models for achieving these aims against a set of criteria including overall coverage, pace of deployment, quality of service delivered, total cost and feasibility.

The FTIR concluded that the best way to achieve the government’s aims was to promote competition and commercial investment where possible, and intervene where necessary. The review estimated that c.80% of the country could support competitive networks, and that the remaining c.20% may need further intervention to deliver gigabit-capable networks.

Since the FTIR, the government has supported measures to enhance competition in the telecoms market, including Ofcom regulations to open up access to Openreach’s ducts and poles network. The government has also focused on reducing barriers to commercial deployment, including through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill currently before Parliament. In addition, we have committed a record £5 billion to support the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband in the hardest to reach 20% of the country.

We have seen a considerable increase in gigabit capable coverage since the FTIR was published. Full fibre coverage has increased from 5% of the UK in May 2018 to 14% as of May 2020, according to Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations figures. Gigabit-capable coverage is even higher as a result of Virgin Media’s upgrades to its cable network, with ThinkBroadband now reporting that over a quarter of the UK can access gigabit-capable broadband.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking with local councils to increase support for activities for young people over the 2020 summer holiday.

The Government recognises the important role out-of-school settings play in providing young people with enriching opportunities to support their wellbeing. DCMS and the Department for Education have supported local councils and the youth sector by publishing guidance on gov.uk about how to safely run activities for young people over the summer 2020 holidays.

The Government's £9m Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme has directly supported up to 50,000 disadvantaged children across 17 local authority areas to stay healthy and active over the summer.

In collaboration with the Department for Education, National Citizen Service is providing a further education support offer for 16-17 year olds over the summer. This is free to further education (FE) providers and will include sessions on ; employability, health and wellbeing, careers guidance, citizenship and skills for independent living.

28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the removal by the family courts of the children of survivors of domestic abuse.

The government wants every child to be in a stable, loving home that is right for them. One of the key principles of the law is that children are best looked after within their families. However, in situations where a child is at risk of significant harm, the local authority has a statutory duty to take action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.

We recognise that domestic abuse can impact on children’s health, wellbeing and development, with lasting effects into adulthood. The Domestic Abuse Act, which received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021, exemplifies this government’s commitment to ensuring the needs of victims and children are at the forefront of tackling domestic abuse.

The government has recently consulted on draft Domestic Abuse statutory guidance, which emphasises the importance of social workers working in partnership with children, families and professionals, and highlights effective features of practice such as multi-disciplinary working and adopting a strengths-based approach.

The system of family justice in England is based firmly on the principle that children should not be taken into care without a court independently assessing and carefully scrutinising all the evidence first. The court can only make an order where it concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is suffering from, or is likely to suffer, significant harm if the order were not made - and that taking the child from their family’s care will be in the child’s best interests.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Office for Students' plans to exclude the London allowance factor in the calculation for relevant London-based higher education providers on the quality of teaching at London universities.

The Strategic Priorities Grant, formerly referred to as the Teaching Grant, plays an important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

We have asked the Office for Students (OfS) to reform the Grant for the 2021-22 financial year. These reforms include the reallocation of high-cost subject funding towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, high-cost STEM subjects, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

The London weighting accounts for a small proportion of London-providers’ income. Providers in London received around £64 million London Weighting in the 2020-21 academic year, which is less than 1% of their estimated total income.

London universities will be able to benefit from the significant uplifts we are making to elements of the Strategic Priorities Grant, including the first real terms increase in years in per capita funding for high-cost subjects in grant funding, as well as being able to bid for capital investment to support the delivery of strategic subjects.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

The OfS has now publicly consulted on these proposals, and responses from universities, students and others will be taken into account before any final decisions on allocations are made.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase provision of low carbon vocational training.

The department is taking a number of steps to help deliver the provision needed to boost skills for green jobs.

The Green Jobs Taskforce, following its launch on 12 November last year, has aims to help the UK build back greener and deliver the skilled workforce needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is a joint initiative between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Education.

Details of the taskforce including a full list members can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-launches-taskforce-to-support-drive-for-2-million-green-jobs-by-2030.

With help from the taskforce, we will ensure that our existing skills programmes (such as those set out in the recent Skills for Jobs White Paper and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s recent Lifetime Skills Guarantee) can be directed to support the net zero agenda and help to identify where the evidence tells us we might need to go further or faster.

For example, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has convened a Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel (GAAP) to guide the continued alignment of apprenticeships with net zero and wider sustainability objectives. The GAAP is employer-led and includes stakeholders with an interest in climate change and sustainability. It aims to help identify which apprenticeships directly support the green agenda and which may need to be refocused. The panel will also crucially identify where there are potential opportunities to create new green apprenticeships and identify employers to help take this work forward.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make sustainability and climate crisis compulsory subjects for schoolchildren following August 2020 research which found that only 4 per cent of students reported being well informed about climate change.

Climate change and related topics, such as sustainability, are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. In geography at primary, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity, and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the Department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled. Schools and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the National Curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what scientific evidence has been provided to the Government on the transmission of covid-19 in early years settings.

Ensuring the safety of children, the workforce and families is our overriding priority.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission. There is no evidence the new strain of the virus causes more serious illness in either children or adults and there is no evidence that the new variant of coronavirus disproportionately affects young children.

Public Health England (PHE) advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments. The following report, from PHE, shows that, at present, under 5s have the lowest confirmed case rate of all age groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a rise in COVID-19 cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools.

Guidance for early years settings is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what processes are in place to ensure the regular testing of (a) staff and (b) children attending early years settings.

We are continuing to work closely with other government departments and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early years sector. This includes ongoing discussions about providing testing via the education testing programme, as well as encouraging local authorities to consider prioritising appropriate testing for early years staff via community testing programmes, which is now available to all local authorities.

We have urged all local authorities to consider prioritising early years staff in their community testing programme.

The Department for Education is rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools. The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools-based nursery and maintained nursery school staff home lateral flow device test kits for twice-weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in education settings by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. All children can be tested if they have symptoms, including children under 5, but children under 11 will need to be helped by their parents or carers if using a home testing kit. Relevant guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested and https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

The Department for Education has published the ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ which provides further information about how early years staff and children can access testing, and on what to do when an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test. The guidance 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#track.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether staff working in early years settings will be considered a priority 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 programme 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.

Regarding the next phase of vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education will input into this cross governmental exercise, and I hope that educational staff, including in early years settings, will be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops the Government planned to provide to schools in Tower Hamlets (a) prior to 23 October 2020 and (b) after 26 October 2020.

At the start of autumn term, each school was allocated a number of laptops and tablets based on the estimates of disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 without access to a suitable device. On 23rd October, the Department adjusted school allocations. Adjusting allocations ensured that devices reached as many children as possible when they needed them most, and as a result we have been able to continue delivering laptops and tablets to those young people throughout this term.

Schools, local authorities and academy trusts were able to request additional devices if their original allocation did not meet their needs.

During the period that device allocations have been adjusted, schools that fully close for a sustained period have been able to work with their Regional Schools Commissioner to ensure they receive enough devices to meet the needs of all disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 who do not already have one.

Now schools can order the number of devices they were originally allocated, where these have not already been ordered by the school.

The Department does not publish data on the number of devices allocated to schools, given that it is for the school to decide what proportion of their allocation they need.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have newly attained Academy status since 16 March 2020.

Since 16 March 2020, 212 primary schools and 30 secondary schools have converted to academy status. In September, a further 23 primary and 13 secondary schools newly opened as Free Schools and University Technical Colleges (UTCs). Table 1 shows the breakdown of primary and secondary academy conversions (excluding Free Schools and UTCs) in the months following 16 March 2020.

Table 1: Breakdown of primary and secondary academy openers by month since 16 March 2020 (excluding Free Schools and UTCs)

Month

Primary Openers

Secondary Openers

April

43

5

May

15

2

June

10

2

July

16

1

August

2

1

September

45

8

October

15

2

November

24

5

December

42

4

Total

212

30

Source: Get Information About Schools, taken from 1 December 2020.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will undertake an investigation into the actions of (a) public bodies and (b) staff that fall under his remit relating to the death of 12-year-old Shukri Abdi.

The death of Shukri Abdi was a tragedy. On 4 December 2020, the Coroner concluded that Shukri’s death was an accident. Public bodies and their staff will have their own responsibilities for undertaking processes in response to recommendations made from the Coroner’s Report and indeed any other recommendations from any review into Shukri’s death. If this report finds recommendations for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, or the Department, we will of course respond appropriately.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of not allowing university students to return home for Christmas on preventing the transmission of covid-19.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our higher education institutions during this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced to the House on Tuesday 29 September, the department is working with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones, if they choose to do so.

We are working through measures to mitigate transmission risks and we are planning to publish guidance on students returning home safely at Christmas shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial and (b) mental health support he will put in place in the event that students are required to remain at university during Christmas 2020-21 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

The department is working with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones, if they choose to do so. Where students choose to stay in their university accommodation over Christmas, universities should continue making sure that they are well looked after. The department is working with the sector to publish guidance on students returning home safely at Christmas.

The government has worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS) to help clarify that providers can draw upon existing funding to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreaks. Providers can use OfS Student Premium funding, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

I wrote to Vice Chancellors in October outlining that student welfare should remain a priority and have convened a taskforce on mental health and wellbeing to address the current and pressing issues that students are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The OfS funded Student Space platform bridges gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and is designed to work alongside existing services.

Students struggling with their mental health at this time can also access support via the NHS and online resources from Public Health England, along with support from mental health charity Mind. NHS mental health support is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/.

Online resources from Public Health England are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

Support from mental health charity Mind is available here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/about-student-mental-health/.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the accessibility of higher education for part-time mature students.

Many mature students need to study flexibly and we have taken a number of steps over recent years to encourage more flexible learning. These include greater support for part-time learners through maintenance support, and removing restrictions which had prevented students getting loan funding for part-time science, technology, mathematics and engineering undergraduate degrees if they were equivalent or lower qualifications.

The number of part-time students undertaking full undergraduate degrees has increased in recent years, but the numbers of part-time students overall (including those taking shorter courses) has declined. Therefore, we need to take much more radical steps to support lifelong learning. This is why my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that we will introduce a flexible lifelong loan entitlement to 4 years of post-18 education, providing incentives for people to build the skills the economy needs. This will provide finance for shorter-term studies, rather than people having to study in 1, 3 or 4-year blocks. People will be able to break up their study into segments, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and take on more part-time study.

As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak, it will be even more important that individuals have opportunities to develop their skills over the course of their lifetimes. We will be consulting on the introduction of a lifelong loan entitlement in due course. This will set out proposals for how and when we will be introducing it. Where necessary, we will bring forward legislation in this Parliament.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that jobs involving recruiting, retaining and supporting students in their studies are protected in higher education.

During and after the COVID-19 outbreak, our aim is for higher education (HE) providers to continue to deliver HE provision and support the needs of students, both on and off campus.

Since my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced this government’s unprecedented package of support to help keep staff employed and support businesses, the department has provided guidance for HE providers so that they are aware of the support that is available to them. This includes guidance on how they may access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

On 24 September the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This package includes the new Job Support Scheme (JSS). This is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses which are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19. Like the CJRS, the government expects that the JSS will not be used by many public sector organisations. Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion. This also applies to non-public sector employers that receive public funding for staff costs.

We recognise that many students are facing additional challenges due to the disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Protecting students’ health and wellbeing is a priority and we expect providers to ensure that students are well looked after by staff with the right skills and experience to deliver the support they need. This includes the cleaning and security staff keeping campus safe and the catering staff providing meals, particularly for students self-isolating in halls, as well as staff providing mental health, wellbeing and pastoral support. However, HE providers are independent institutions and are responsible for their own decisions on staffing and employment issues. They should make employment decisions according to their own operational needs and the needs of their wider staff and student community.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of (a) the potential for job losses in the higher education sector in the event that institutes close as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and (b) the potential effect of those job losses on the higher education sector.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on both students and higher education (HE) providers, and we welcome the resilience, innovation and dedication from staff and students over these months.

It is our aim for HE providers to continue to deliver HE provision and support the needs of students, both on and off campus. We have also committed to work with HE providers to help them access the range of measures on offer to support jobs and financial sustainability.

The government is clear that we do not want to see any students miss out on the opportunity to benefit from our excellent HE system as a result of COVID-19. We expect that access to the business support schemes and the reprofiling of public funding should help stabilise most providers’ finances, and that should certainly be the first port of call for providers.

The department provided sector-specific guidance in April to help providers understand and access the range of government support on offer. This guidance confirmed that HE providers could access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to help safeguard jobs.

Furthermore, on 4 May, we announced a package of measures to give further support to HE providers at this time of financial pressure. This included pulling forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressures and bringing forward quality-related research funding for HE providers in England in the current academic year by £100 million.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime on 16 July. This may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a provider in England, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. The overarching objectives, which will guide the department’s assessment of cases, will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base and supporting the role that HE providers play in regional and local economies, through the provision of high-quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs.

We will consider HE providers’ circumstances on a case-by-case basis, supported by expert advice, to ensure there is a robust value-for-money case for intervention, with support for restructuring in the form of repayable loans coming from public funds as a last resort, and with strict conditions attached that align with wider government objectives.

On 24 September, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This package includes the new Job Support Scheme? (JSS). This is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses which are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19. Like the CJRS, the government expects that the JSS will not be used by many public sector organisations. Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion. This also applies to non-public sector employers that receive public funding for staff costs.

However, regardless of the unprecedented levels of government support available, HE providers are autonomous of government and they are ultimately responsible for their own staffing decisions, which we expect them to make according to their own operational needs.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support smaller higher education institutes who may have difficulty repaying loans during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector, including with smaller specialist providers, the Office for Students (OfS), and other government departments to monitor the likely impacts.

The OfS as the independent regulator of HE in England monitors their financial sustainability. The OfS provides targeted allocations for world-leading specialist providers, which was £43 million for 2020/21. The OfS hopes to undertake a review of the current specialist provider funding arrangements later this year and will release further details at the earliest opportunity.

The government has also announced a package of measures which combines different ways to give further support to providers at this time of financial pressure. We have pulled forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressure this autumn. In the last academic year, we also brought forward £100 million quality-related research funding support for HE providers in England.

This is on top of the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. HE providers are eligible to apply for these schemes.

The government has also announced a further package of support to universities, and other research organisations, to enable them to continue their research and innovation activities. This includes £280 million of government funding as well as a package of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. In sharing responsibility for the future of science and research with our world-leading university system, from the autumn, the government will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime on 16 July. This may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a provider in England, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. The overarching objectives, which will guide the department’s assessment of cases, will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base and supporting the role that HE providers play in regional and local economies by offering high quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs. We will consider providers’ circumstances on a case-by-case basis, supported by expert advice, to ensure there is a robust value for money case for intervention. Public funds in the form of repayable loans to support restructuring will be as a last resort with strict conditions that align with wider government objectives.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential for (a) higher education institutes to go into insolvency during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) job losses as a result of that insolvency.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector, including with smaller specialist providers, the Office for Students (OfS), and other government departments to monitor the likely impacts.

The OfS as the independent regulator of HE in England monitors their financial sustainability. The OfS provides targeted allocations for world-leading specialist providers, which was £43 million for 2020/21. The OfS hopes to undertake a review of the current specialist provider funding arrangements later this year and will release further details at the earliest opportunity.

The government has also announced a package of measures which combines different ways to give further support to providers at this time of financial pressure. We have pulled forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressure this autumn. In the last academic year, we also brought forward £100 million quality-related research funding support for HE providers in England.

This is on top of the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. HE providers are eligible to apply for these schemes.

The government has also announced a further package of support to universities, and other research organisations, to enable them to continue their research and innovation activities. This includes £280 million of government funding as well as a package of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. In sharing responsibility for the future of science and research with our world-leading university system, from the autumn, the government will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime on 16 July. This may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a provider in England, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. The overarching objectives, which will guide the department’s assessment of cases, will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base and supporting the role that HE providers play in regional and local economies by offering high quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs. We will consider providers’ circumstances on a case-by-case basis, supported by expert advice, to ensure there is a robust value for money case for intervention. Public funds in the form of repayable loans to support restructuring will be as a last resort with strict conditions that align with wider government objectives.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to smaller specialist higher education institutes.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector, including with smaller specialist providers, the Office for Students (OfS), and other government departments to monitor the likely impacts.

The OfS as the independent regulator of HE in England monitors their financial sustainability. The OfS provides targeted allocations for world-leading specialist providers, which was £43 million for 2020/21. The OfS hopes to undertake a review of the current specialist provider funding arrangements later this year and will release further details at the earliest opportunity.

The government has also announced a package of measures which combines different ways to give further support to providers at this time of financial pressure. We have pulled forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressure this autumn. In the last academic year, we also brought forward £100 million quality-related research funding support for HE providers in England.

This is on top of the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. HE providers are eligible to apply for these schemes.

The government has also announced a further package of support to universities, and other research organisations, to enable them to continue their research and innovation activities. This includes £280 million of government funding as well as a package of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. In sharing responsibility for the future of science and research with our world-leading university system, from the autumn, the government will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime on 16 July. This may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a provider in England, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. The overarching objectives, which will guide the department’s assessment of cases, will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base and supporting the role that HE providers play in regional and local economies by offering high quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs. We will consider providers’ circumstances on a case-by-case basis, supported by expert advice, to ensure there is a robust value for money case for intervention. Public funds in the form of repayable loans to support restructuring will be as a last resort with strict conditions that align with wider government objectives.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the financial viability of smaller, specialist higher education institutes.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector, including with smaller specialist providers, the Office for Students (OfS), and other government departments to monitor the likely impacts.

The OfS as the independent regulator of HE in England monitors their financial sustainability. The OfS provides targeted allocations for world-leading specialist providers, which was £43 million for 2020/21. The OfS hopes to undertake a review of the current specialist provider funding arrangements later this year and will release further details at the earliest opportunity.

The government has also announced a package of measures which combines different ways to give further support to providers at this time of financial pressure. We have pulled forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressure this autumn. In the last academic year, we also brought forward £100 million quality-related research funding support for HE providers in England.

This is on top of the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. HE providers are eligible to apply for these schemes.

The government has also announced a further package of support to universities, and other research organisations, to enable them to continue their research and innovation activities. This includes £280 million of government funding as well as a package of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. In sharing responsibility for the future of science and research with our world-leading university system, from the autumn, the government will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime on 16 July. This may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a provider in England, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. The overarching objectives, which will guide the department’s assessment of cases, will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base and supporting the role that HE providers play in regional and local economies by offering high quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs. We will consider providers’ circumstances on a case-by-case basis, supported by expert advice, to ensure there is a robust value for money case for intervention. Public funds in the form of repayable loans to support restructuring will be as a last resort with strict conditions that align with wider government objectives.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to make available additional online learning resources for children during the 2020 summer holiday.

The Government recognises that pupils will have missed a critical period of their education in the 2019/20 academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a £650 million ‘Catch Up Premium’ to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. The expectation is that this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support children and young people to catch up after a period of disruption to their education.

To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students, including summer support: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

Alongside this, the Government is launching a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. This will increase access to high-quality tuition during the 2020/21 academic year for the most disadvantaged young people, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers.

Oak National Academy continued to make available all of their lessons, Oak Activity Clubs and assemblies from the summer term on their website over the school holidays. Parents and pupils were able to access these, and Oak National Academy also developed an 'Oak Acorn Chart' to help pupils record their progress over the summer. Further information about Oak National Academy can be found at: https://www.thenational.academy/.

The BBC also developed a comprehensive new education package, which was available during the summer holiday on TV (via the red button), BBC iPlayer, and online at BBC Bitesize. The BBC has since adapted their education support with a new BBC Bitesize package for the academic year 2020/21. In addition, the Department published a list of high-quality online resources, which have been assessed with support from some of the country’s leading educational experts and could be used during the summer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to allocate additional resources to local councils for the provision of support for families with SEND children.

We are aware that local authorities have experienced pressures on their high needs budgets. That is why we are putting £730 million of additional funding into high needs next year, which represents a 10% increase. Coming on top of the additional £780 million in 2020-21, that means that high needs budgets will have grown by over £1.5 billion, or 24%, in just two years.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has a provisional high needs funding allocation of £66 million next year, which is a £6.3 million increase compared to this year. Provisional allocations for every local authority can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2021-to-2022.

Alongside additional funding, we are continuing the review of the system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to see what improvements are needed. We are also working with local authorities that have the largest deficits to make sure that they have realistic recovery plans and the support they need to implement them.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to deliver equivalents to holiday play schemes for children with special educational needs.

Supporting the most vulnerable children, young people and adults is a priority for us, especially at this time. This is a challenge unlike any we have faced in our lifetimes. We know that this period is particularly hard for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their families and those who support them. Co-production with families, partnership and communication remain critical.

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. Local authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their local area and to commission provision appropriately. We have published guidance to support providers in operating safely and emphasised the importance of prioritising the delivery of service which support disabled children and young people.

On 2 July 2020, the government announced that an additional £500 million funding will be available for additional expenditure across local government services, taking the total additional funding made available to local authorities to £3.7 billion. This can support local authorities to deliver their respite offers (in line with their existing duties) and to address increased costs.

On 19 May 2020, the department announced that the family fund will receive funding of £37.3 million in 2020-21 to help low income families with seriously ill or disabled children (over 75,000 families). £10 million of the total has been committed specifically in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our Holiday Activities and Food Programme is integral to our approach to provide healthy food and activities to children over the summer. On 22 June, we announced 17 local authority areas that will benefit from our holiday activities and food programme this summer 2020, providing thousands of children with access to healthy meals and enriching activities, building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes. This programme is open all children eligible for free school meals in those areas, including those with SEND.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support he will make available to parents of children with special educational needs over the summer holidays 2020.

Supporting the most vulnerable children, young people and adults is a priority for us, especially at this time. This is a challenge unlike any we have faced in our lifetimes. We know that this period is particularly hard for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their families and those who support them. Co-production with families, partnership and communication remain critical.

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. Local authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their local area and to commission provision appropriately. We have published guidance to support providers in operating safely and emphasised the importance of prioritising the delivery of service which support disabled children and young people.

On 2 July 2020, the government announced that an additional £500 million funding will be available for additional expenditure across local government services, taking the total additional funding made available to local authorities to £3.7 billion. This can support local authorities to deliver their respite offers (in line with their existing duties) and to address increased costs.

On 19 May 2020, the department announced that the family fund will receive funding of £37.3 million in 2020-21 to help low income families with seriously ill or disabled children (over 75,000 families). £10 million of the total has been committed specifically in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our Holiday Activities and Food Programme is integral to our approach to provide healthy food and activities to children over the summer. On 22 June, we announced 17 local authority areas that will benefit from our holiday activities and food programme this summer 2020, providing thousands of children with access to healthy meals and enriching activities, building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes. This programme is open all children eligible for free school meals in those areas, including those with SEND.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Questions 61818, 61819 and 61820 on Children: Ethnic Groups and with reference to his statement in that Answer that his Department does not centrally hold that information, for what reasons the information is not held centrally; and whether his Department plans to gather and hold that information in the future.

When making decisions about asking schools to welcome back more children, Ministers have had due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not, as required by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

We continue to keep our assessment of those matters under review. This has been an in depth and ongoing assessment of the impacts of the Government’s policy, including on groups with protected characteristics such as race. The assessments continue to form an active part of the decision-making process.

Importantly, we know that some staff, parents and pupils may be anxious about returning to school. Where individuals are concerned about their comparatively increased risk from coronavirus, due to factors including ethnicity, age, sex and comorbidities, we are asking school leaders to discuss concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk, in line with our guidance.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Questions 61818, 61819 and 61820 on Children: Ethnic Groups and with reference to his statement in that Answer that his Department does not centrally hold that information, how his Department has assessed the effect of schools' policies on BAME people; and if he will place a copy of the methodology and conclusions of that assessment in the Library.

When making decisions about asking schools to welcome back more children, Ministers have had due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not, as required by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

We continue to keep our assessment of those matters under review. This has been an in depth and ongoing assessment of the impacts of the Government’s policy, including on groups with protected characteristics such as race. The assessments continue to form an active part of the decision-making process.

Importantly, we know that some staff, parents and pupils may be anxious about returning to school. Where individuals are concerned about their comparatively increased risk from coronavirus, due to factors including ethnicity, age, sex and comorbidities, we are asking school leaders to discuss concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk, in line with our guidance.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of his Department's decision to reopen schools on 1 June 2020 following the covid-19 outbreak on (a) BAME children and adults and (b) people with other protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

When making decisions about asking schools to welcome back more children, we have had due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not as required by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. We continue to keep our assessment of those matters under review.

In respect of BAME children and adults specifically, we continue to assess the emerging evidence, including Public Health England’s review into disparities in COVID-19 outcomes and the report on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups, and consider what this means for the education system.

There is further work to do to understand the key drivers of these disparities and the relationships between the different risk factors. In the meantime, we continue to encourage schools to be particularly sensitive to the needs and concerns of BAME pupils, parents and carers, and staff, considering if any additional measure or reasonable adjustments may need to be put in place to mitigate those concerns.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the children who have continued to attend school during the covid-19 outbreak are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The information requested is not held centrally.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children who have reattended school from 1 June 2020 following the covid-19 outbreak are from BAME backgrounds.

The information requested is not held centrally.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the staff who have continued to work onsite in schools during the covid-19 outbreak are from Black, Asian and minority ethic backgrounds.

The information requested is not held centrally.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of staff working in schools since 1 June 2020 are from BAME backgrounds.

The information requested is not held centrally.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of his Department's initial decision not to implement the national voucher scheme during the 2020 school summer holiday on (a) BAME children and adults and (b) people with other protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

Owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer. To reflect this, we will be providing additional funding for a Covid Summer Food Fund that will enable families with children who are eligible for free school meals to receive food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period. This is a specific measure to reflect the unique circumstances of the outbreak. As we have announced this provision will take place, we will not publish an assessment of any alternative scenarios.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of potential effect of the decision to reopen schools following the covid-19 lockdown on the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools reported by Public Health England on 18 June 2020 in its Weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

In its weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report, Public Health England (PHE) provides information on the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools. The Department continues to engage with PHE and other organisations to ensure our guidance reflects the most up to date scientific advice.

We want to get all children and young people back into 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. Children returning to educational and childcare settings in greater numbers will also allow more families to return to work.

In all schools and nurseries, preventing the spread of COVID-19 involves dealing with direct and indirect transmission. Our guidance sets out a range of approaches and actions to do this. These can be seen as a hierarchy of controls that, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system, where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools as reported by Public Health England in its Weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report on 18 June 2020 included people from BAME backgrounds.

In its weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report, Public Health England provides information on the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools. They do not have detail on the proportion of this number who are from BAME backgrounds.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the reports published in May 2020 by Barnardo's, the Children's Society, Action for Children, the NSPCC and the National Children's Bureau entitled Children’s and young people’s services: funding and spending 2010-11 to 2018-19 and Pressures on children’s and young people’s services: a deep dive, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for children's services in response to the findings of those reports.

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 on children’s services. We will keep this under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish the research undertaken in collaboration with Middlesex University on dog attacks.

Defra commissioned Middlesex University to examine measures to reduce dog attacks and promote responsible ownership. The research considers different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. The report will be published shortly and will provide the basis for the consideration of further reform in this area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what communication his Department has had with Tower Hamlets Police following the dog attack in Bartlett Park on 26 August 2021.

Defra officials are in regular contact with the police to discuss issues relating to dog attacks, including seeking information on specific incidents. I can confirm that officials have been in contact with the Metropolitan Police seeking further information on this tragic incident. I cannot comment further on this incident as it is the subject of an ongoing police investigation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to issue national guidance to all Police forces on following the Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs initiative.

The Government takes the issue of dog attacks extremely seriously and we are determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership. The Government supports local preventative approaches to encourage responsible dog ownership of all breeds of dog, such as the Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs (LEAD) initiative.

The Middlesex University report on responsible dog ownership, which will be published shortly, identified the LEAD initiative as a model of preventative best practice for low level dog control issues. Defra liaises regularly with the police on dog control issues, and is giving careful consideration to the report and its recommendations, which will provide the basis for potential further reform in this area.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to identify dog owners with control challenges; and what early interventions his Department is encouraging local authorities and Police forces to take to tackle that matter.

The Government takes the issue of dog attacks extremely seriously and is determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership.

Under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place. Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871 also allows for a complaint to be made to a magistrates' court by any individual or authority that a dog is "dangerous and not kept under proper control". Additionally, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes specific measures to enable the police and local authorities to tackle irresponsible dog ownership before a dog attack occurs. The main tool to tackle irresponsible dog ownership is the Community Protection Notice (CPN). These notices can be issued by local authority officers or the police on dog owners, or anyone temporarily in charge of the dog at the time, whose dogs are behaving in an unruly way. To breach a CPN is a criminal offence and could lead to a significant penalty. To that end we are encouraging police forces across the country to use these tools.

Defra has also commissioned research in collaboration with Middlesex University into ways to reduce dog attacks and promote responsible ownership amongst dog owners. The research considers different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. The report, which will be published shortly, identifies the police Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs (LEAD) initiative as a model of preventative best practice for low level dog control issues and early intervention. The Government supports these local preventative approaches to encourage responsible ownership of all breeds of dog. Defra is giving careful consideration to the report and its recommendations, which will provide the basis for potential further reform in this area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote responsible dog ownership.

The Government takes the issue of dog attacks extremely seriously and is determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership.

Under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place. Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871 also allows for a complaint to be made to a magistrates' court by any individual or authority that a dog is "dangerous and not kept under proper control". Additionally, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes specific measures to enable the police and local authorities to tackle irresponsible dog ownership before a dog attack occurs. The main tool to tackle irresponsible dog ownership is the Community Protection Notice (CPN). These notices can be issued by local authority officers or the police on dog owners, or anyone temporarily in charge of the dog at the time, whose dogs are behaving in an unruly way. To breach a CPN is a criminal offence and could lead to a significant penalty. To that end we are encouraging police forces across the country to use these tools.

Defra has also commissioned research in collaboration with Middlesex University into ways to reduce dog attacks and promote responsible ownership amongst dog owners. The research considers different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. The report, which will be published shortly, identifies the police Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs (LEAD) initiative as a model of preventative best practice for low level dog control issues and early intervention. The Government supports these local preventative approaches to encourage responsible ownership of all breeds of dog. Defra is giving careful consideration to the report and its recommendations, which will provide the basis for potential further reform in this area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the levels of (a) particulate matter and (b) nitrogen dioxide in the air in Tower Hamlets.

The Mayor of London is responsible for air quality in the capital and has reserve powers under the Environment Act 1995 to reflect this.

The UK is compliant with our air quality obligations for all pollutants with the exception of nitrogen dioxide concentrations at roadside locations, and we have put in place a £3.8 billion plan to tackle this issue. More widely, the Government’s Clean Air Strategy sets out an ambitious programme of action to reduce air pollution from a wide range of sources. Our Environment Bill delivers key parts of this Strategy, makes a clear commitment to set a legally binding target to reduce fine particulate matter and enables local authorities to take more effective action to tackle air pollution in their areas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department took to mark Islamophobia Awareness month in November 2020.

The Government notes Islamophobia Awareness Month but takes the view that combatting Islamophobia is not a time-limited task and such thinking and behaviour should be tackled whenever it occurs. For that reason we continue to work closely with Muslim communities to tackle hate against them, including understanding issues and trends. This includes supporting Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) with just over £2.8m distributed over the last five years to monitor, combat and raise awareness of anti-Muslim hatred.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to allocate additional funding to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak in Bangladesh.

The UK has major health, humanitarian and extreme poverty programmes in Bangladesh. These have re-prioritised funding and interventions to tackle the immediate health needs and the broader social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the poorest and most vulnerable. To date the UK has allocated £21 million to support the Government of Bangladesh’s Preparedness and Response Plan objectives. This includes more than £7 million for testing and treatment by the national health system and £3 million through UNDP to reach more than 2 million of the poorest people living in urban slums. In the Rohingya refugee camps, over £11 million has been allocated to UN and NGO partners to prepare for COVID-19 and to provide critical humanitarian services, including testing, isolation and treatment. DFID is collaborating with Unilever on a mass global handwashing media campaign, which will run across Africa and Asia, including in Bangladesh.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that India upholds international labour, democratic and human rights standards as part of the ongoing trade negotiations with the UK; and if she will make a statement.

We have a high level of ambition to strengthen the United Kingdom’s trade relationship with India. In July, as a first step towards a potential free trade agreement in the future, we agreed to establish an Enhanced Trade Partnership to deepen trade ties and address barriers to trade and investment.

The United Kingdom has long promoted her values?globally. We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our values. While our approach will vary between partners, it will always allow HM Government to have open discussions on issues, including rights and responsibilities.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her Indian counterpart on (a) trade negotiations with India and (b) the Annual South Asia State of Minorities Report published in November 2020; and if she will make a statement.

We have a high level of ambition to strengthen the United Kingdom’s trade relationship with India. In July, as a first step towards a potential free trade agreement in the future, we agreed to establish an Enhanced Trade Partnership to deepen trade ties and address barriers to trade and investment.

The United Kingdom has long promoted her values?globally. We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our values. While our approach will vary between partners, it will always allow HM Government to have open discussions on issues, including rights and responsibilities.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to tackle DVLA delays in processing applications by changing the requirements for original identity documents to be sent for applicants whose identity cannot be verified with the UK Passport Agency.

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the length of time it takes for an application to be successful of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Association delays in returning Biometric Residence Permits to driving licence applicants.

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average amount of time the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency retains original identity documents for driving licence applications from applicants whose identity cannot be verified with the UK Passport Agency, from receipt of that document until it is returned, in (a) 2019 and (b) 2021.

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the reasons are for Mauritius being placed on the UK's red list of countries for which hotel quarantine is required; and when a review of the countries placed on that red list is scheduled to take place.

The decision to place Mauritius on the red list on 9 January was in direct response to scientific and medical data, which represents an increased risk to UK public health and an increased risk of community transmission of COVID-19 variants of concern identified in other countries. These are intended to be temporary measures and the government keeps data for countries and territories under constant review.

The government has made it consistently clear that it will take decisive action to contain the virus, including adding further countries to the red list, or keeping countries on the red list, if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will waive the charge for the driving theory test for people who passed the theory test in the past two years but have been unable to take their practical driving test owing to the covid-19 outbreak.

There are no current plans to waive the charge of a theory test for those whose theory test certificates have expired, given that they will have already received the service for which they paid.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pays its contractor, Pearson, per theory test delivered. If candidates were exempted from having to pay for a retake then the DVSA and in turn other fee payers would incur these costs. This would be unfair to fee payers who would not benefit from the arrangement.

In addition, applications for a re-test would need to be validated and systems amended to remove the requirement for payment in these cases. The DVSA’s focus should rightly be on developing solutions to address the backlog of practical driving tests that has arisen as a result of the pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent public awareness-raising campaigns his Department has undertaken on rule 170 in the Highway Code.

The Department for Transport promotes road safety messaging through the THINK! campaign. While we are not directly running a campaign on rule 170 of The Highway Code, THINK! has incorporated messaging around taking extra care at junctions in its recent campaigns. In March 2019, THINK! ran a campaign for new drivers, which featured a short film on looking out for cyclists, motorcyclists, and horse riders at junctions. This summer, with the increase in cycling and walking, THINK! collaborated with the Department’s Safer Transport campaign to promote cycle safety tips, including advice for drivers to check for cyclists when pulling out at junctions.

We are analysing consultation responses following a review of The Highway Code which aims to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly at road junctions. THINK! continues to review its campaign priorities and will ensure that communications on changes to The Highway Code, including key messaging on how to behave at junctions, will be incorporated into future campaigns.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of staff who applied for promotion within his Department between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 and identified as (a) BAME and (b) White were successful at each grade; and if he will make a statement.

Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of resourcing across the Department for Transport (DfT); developing and testing innovative new approaches to attract and hire a more diverse candidate pool. We have clear objectives to increase representation rates to reflect the proportion of BAME individuals in the local working-age population, strengthen our BAME talent pipeline (grades 6 and 7) and our leadership cadre (SCS) as well as increase diversity in roles and professions where BAME staff are underrepresented.

The data provided relates to roles advertised by the Department for Transport on the Civil Service Jobs recruitment platform. Any permanent promotion opportunities within the department would be advertised on the platform to allow fair and open competition with an appointment being made on merit in line with the Civil Service Commissioners principles.

The data provided is based on identifications of applicants who are currently Civil Servants in any government department or agency, and is not restricted to promotions just from the DfT workforce and covers the Department and its four executive agencies. It does not include the diversity of applicants or successful applicants who were applying from outside the Civil Service. The data can be found in the attached table.

The completeness and accuracy of the data above is influenced by the following factors.

For vacancies advertised across government, individuals need to have a verified account to confirm their eligibility as existing Civil Servants. As part of their personal profile, Civil Servants are requested to provide their current substantive grade. If individuals have not completed their personal profile we would be unable to identify whether they were promoted.

For vacancies advertised externally, individuals have the option to use a privately registered account as there is no requirement for them to confirm that they are existing Civil Servants. This means that in the instance that an existing Civil Servant applies for an externally advertised vacancy using a private account, then we cannot identify whether or not the successful individual is being promoted.

In light of this, the data provided may not be comprehensive and would only be indicative of ‘how many and what proportion of Civil Service staff who applied for promotion within his Department between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 and identified as (a) BAME and (b) White were successful at each grade’.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support is available to UK citizens who are stranded abroad with an out-of-date driving licence which is preventing them from returning to the UK.

As a driving licence is not a travel document, an out of date licence should not prevent a UK citizen from returning to the UK. There is no facility to issue temporary emergency driving licences.

UK citizens with an urgent need to travel who do not have a valid passport may be able to apply for an emergency travel document. Information on how to how to apply for an emergency travel document can be found at https://www.gov.uk/emergency-travel-document

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it possible for a UK citizen stranded abroad with an out-of-date driving licence to receive a temporary emergency licence in order for them to return the UK.

As a driving licence is not a travel document, an out of date licence should not prevent a UK citizen from returning to the UK. There is no facility to issue temporary emergency driving licences.

UK citizens with an urgent need to travel who do not have a valid passport may be able to apply for an emergency travel document. Information on how to how to apply for an emergency travel document can be found at https://www.gov.uk/emergency-travel-document

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to ensure that train operating companies and their subcontractors use a deep cleaning service to help mitigate the spread of covid-19 on public transport.

To help tackle the spread of coronavirus, rail operators and Network Rail are doing more to ensure our trains and stations are clean. The kinds of steps being taken include a greater focus on cleaning high-touch areas in trains and at stations (such as hand rails and ticket machine screens), more intensive cleaning and ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap.

In addition, they are also ensuring their staff are kept aware of the latest advice to maintain good hand hygiene. They are also promoting the public health advice for everyone to wash their hands regularly and to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ when they cough or sneeze.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the accessibility of employment support available to Poplar and Limehouse constituents in the context of the closure of the Poplar Job Centre.

The new site is located near to Poplar Jobcentre and has excellent transport links.

Work Coaches can advise claimants in such circumstances.

If an individual has a disability, caring responsibilities, children or any other reason for needing support Jobcentre Work Coaches will discuss and offer support to people based on their individual circumstances this also includes limited or no access to the internet at home, for which claimants can request to attend a local Jobcentre. Work Coaches will continue to offer employment support to people in Poplar and Limehouse.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the closure of Poplar Job Centre on benefit claimants with no or limited access to the internet at home.

The new site is located near to Poplar Jobcentre and has excellent transport links.

Work Coaches can advise claimants in such circumstances.

If an individual has a disability, caring responsibilities, children or any other reason for needing support Jobcentre Work Coaches will discuss and offer support to people based on their individual circumstances this also includes limited or no access to the internet at home, for which claimants can request to attend a local Jobcentre. Work Coaches will continue to offer employment support to people in Poplar and Limehouse.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the closure of Poplar Job Centre on claimants with (a) disabilities, (b) caring responsibilities and (c) children.

The new site is located near to Poplar Jobcentre and has excellent transport links.

Work Coaches can advise claimants in such circumstances.

If an individual has a disability, caring responsibilities, children or any other reason for needing support Jobcentre Work Coaches will discuss and offer support to people based on their individual circumstances this also includes limited or no access to the internet at home, for which claimants can request to attend a local Jobcentre. Work Coaches will continue to offer employment support to people in Poplar and Limehouse.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the increased cost of travel for benefit claimants who will no longer be able to access a Job Centre Plus within Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

The new site is located near to Poplar Jobcentre and has excellent transport links.

Work Coaches can advise claimants in such circumstances.

If an individual has a disability, caring responsibilities, children or any other reason for needing support Jobcentre Work Coaches will discuss and offer support to people based on their individual circumstances this also includes limited or no access to the internet at home, for which claimants can request to attend a local Jobcentre. Work Coaches will continue to offer employment support to people in Poplar and Limehouse.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether all employees from Poplar Job Centre will (a) remain in her Department's employment and (b) be on the same contractual terms and conditions following the closure of the Poplar Job Centre.

The Department is able to confirm that employees from Poplar Jobcentre will remain in employment under the same terms and conditions following the closure of Poplar Jobcentre.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which (a) people and (b) organisations were consulted prior to the decision to close the Job Centre in Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

The closure of Poplar Jobcentre is as a result of the landlord’s plans to redevelop the site. Consultation has taken place in confidence with the Tower Hamlets Council. The Department undertook an independent and extensive property search and opted for the most suitable replacement building in the local area.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether claimants for extended personal independence payment awards will be given a choice between a face-to-face assessment and a phone/video assessment.

As has always been the case, we will continue to assess new claims to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and reviews of existing PIP awards, on the basis of the paper-based evidence whenever possible. While telephone, paper-based and a limited number of video assessments will continue to be appropriate for many of our claimants, for others it might be more appropriate to conduct a face-to-face assessment in order to collect sufficient evidence and make a robust recommendation. These might include claimants without access to a telephone or a reliable telephone signal, claimants who lack insight into their condition, those with speech or hearing impairments (who cannot use the text relay service), and claimants who, due to their condition, feel unable to communicate via telephone. We will be identifying the most appropriate assessment type for individual claimants.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many of the extended personal independence payment awards that are currently being reviewed were awarded following an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal or the Upper Tier Tribunal.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria her Department is using to review extended personal independence payment awards.

Award reviews, whether following an extension to the award or not, are initiated within the 12 months prior to the award ending.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of extended personal independence payments awards due for review which are set to end before a medical assessment can take place.

To ensure continuity of payments to our customers in receipt of PIP [during the coronavirus pandemic], we have extended awards with a review date to ensure that a review can take place before the end of the award.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of people whose (a) personal independence payment and (b) employment support allowance claims were (i) unsuccessful and (ii) closed due to (A) failure to attend and (B) failure to participate who were identified as vulnerable by her Department in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested for both Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have (a) incurred sanctions and (b) incurred sanctions while waiting for a work capability assessment in (i) 2019 and (ii) since 14 January 2021.

Sanctions statistics on those people claiming Universal Credit are published quarterly and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions

The latest statistics are to July 2020 and the statistics from November 2020 to January 2021 are expected to be published in May 2021.

The information requested on sanctions incurred whilst waiting for a work capability assessment is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long her Department's South East region has taken on average to process changes of circumstances with regards to housing on universal credit claims since 14 January 2021.

The Department does not record this information.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants have had their (a) personal independence payment and (b) employment and support allowance claims disallowed or closed as a result of a failure to attend or failure to participate notice.

In respect to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), I would like to refer you to the detailed statistics that can be found in Stat-Xplore: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

The latest available data on PIP includes clearances split by geographical area (local authority and parliamentary constituency) and by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn) for both new claims and reassessed claims.

Clearance type details can be broken down by Awarded and Disallowed which includes ‘Disallowed post-referral to the AP due to failing to attend assessment appointment’.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html

In respect of Employment and Support Allowance, the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the end of the £20 uplift to universal credit on levels of food bank usage.

No assessment has been made.

Throughout this pandemic, this Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system. The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's timescale is for publication of ethnicity data for universal credit claimants.

Plans for the publication of ethnicity data can be found in the background information section of the Universal Credit Statistics Background Information & Methodology document.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of claimants who have not been notified of the extension of their award of personal independence payments by the time their award ends.

No such estimate has been made. The Department has automatically extended awards of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) where needed, and have issued notifications to all customers whose awards have been extended as part of this exercise.

17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2020 to Question 124879 on disability premium, whether any compensation is offered to claimants affected by accidental cessation of the severe disability premium on employment and support allowance awards; and how long on average claimants have had to wait before that premium was reinstated in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Where claimants have been affected by accidental cessation of the severe disability premium as part of their Employment and Support Allowance, we are taking swift action to rectify the mistake. The Department’s position on compensation is that each case must be considered on its own merits, taking into account the particular circumstances of that case.

Specific information on the waiting times for reinstatement of the premium is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the extension of personal independence payment awards, what data or estimates her Department holds on the number of claimants who are (a) yet to be notified of the extension of their awards and (b) have not been notified of the extension of their award by the time their award ends.

The Department has been automatically applying extension of awards of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have issued around 756,000 notifications to date. We still have c850,000 notifications to issue and remaining customers will be notified of their new award end date early 2021, the planned completion date for all extension activity.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of not extending the £20 uplift in universal credit beyond April 2021 on the 17,000 households in Poplar and Limehouse in receipt of that benefit.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria was used to determine which personal independence payment awards, due for review in 2021-22, would be extended.

The Department has been automatically applying extension of awards of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for all claims due for review in 2021-22. This does not include cases with a new decision from July, when review and reassessment activity resumed, as they are not part of the Covid-19 easements exercise.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what factors Decision Makers take into account when determining the length of personal independence payment (a) awards and (b) review periods in circumstances where that award is initially made for a short period with the result that the recipient has to reapply.

Once someone has been awarded Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which can be paid at one of eight rates, that award will be usually be reviewed. Regular reviews are a key feature of the benefit and ensure that payments accurately match the current needs of claimants. Shorter term awards without a review can also be made where there is an expectation that a claimant’s condition will not give rise to a further award. Claimants given a fixed term award with no review are free to apply for PIP before their existing award ends and will be treated as a new claim.

Advice is available to Case Managers on the appropriate award length and was deposited in the House Library on 10 October 2018 [http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-1113/UIN_174062_-_Award_period_guidance_10.10.18.pdf]. The guidance has since been updated to include guidance about awarding ongoing awards for PIP recipients of State Pension age.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has of the number of claimants whose disability premium on their employment support allowance has ceased to as a result of an automatic extension of a personal independence payment award has not been communicated to employment support allowance.

The specific information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

We are aware of the impact that extending PIP award end dates has had on the Severe Disability Premiums of a number of ESA claimants, between April and July 2020. Work is being undertaken to correct this issue and an alternative procedure has been put in place.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has of the number of cases who have not been notified of automatic extensions of their PIP awards due to covid-19, where those awards were first instated at First Tier Tribunal.

The Department has been automatically applying extension of awards of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for all decisions in scope of the Covid-19 easements including those decisions first instated at First Tier Tribunals. All customers receiving an extension will be notified of their new award end date early 2021, the planned completion date for all extension activity.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of families currently receiving universal credit in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency; and what her policy is on foodbank referrals for those people.

The available information on the number of Universal Credit households by parliamentary constituency is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

DWP, through their Jobcentre network, do not refer claimants to food banks or issue food banks vouchers. The Department has long-standing guidance in place which allows staff to signpost customers in writing to a food bank where they have asked for details, and if all sources of statutory support have been exhausted.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of (a) the level of foodbank usage and (b) the level of food poverty in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

No estimate has been made.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions his Department has had with (a) Gateway Housing Association, (b) Tower Hamlets Council and (c) Swan Housing Association on the welfare needs of people who have been displaced as result of the crane collapse on 9 July 2020 at the Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow.

The Department has not been approached by either Gateway Housing, Tower Hamlets Council or Swan Housing Association regarding localised support for displaced residents. We will provide support to any residents who have been affected and are working with local agencies to coordinate our services and ensure people are able to access the help they need.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the 20-metre crane that collapsed at Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow on 9 July 2002 had been inspected by the Health and Safety Executive.

This is a live and developing investigation and the well-established work-related death protocol for England and Wales is being followed. The Metropolitan Police are therefore leading at present, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE will keep the department informed as appropriate, and work to prevent further incident and effectively secure justice. No Prohibition Notice has been issued but that will be considered if the investigation reveals circumstances requiring it. For the present, a Notice to Leave Undisturbed is in place across the site.

Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), the Principal Contractor at the site is responsible for having the crane thoroughly examined before it can be brought into use. HSE had not inspected the crane that collapsed and there are no further cranes on this site.

The collapsed crane and damaged homes are deemed to be dangerous structures. The immediate surroundings have therefore been evacuated, while the crane is safely removed, and dangerous structures made safe.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions his Department has had with the Health and Safety Executive on the crane that collapsed at Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow on 9 July 2020.

This is a live and developing investigation and the well-established work-related death protocol for England and Wales is being followed. The Metropolitan Police are therefore leading at present, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE will keep the department informed as appropriate, and work to prevent further incident and effectively secure justice. No Prohibition Notice has been issued but that will be considered if the investigation reveals circumstances requiring it. For the present, a Notice to Leave Undisturbed is in place across the site.

Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), the Principal Contractor at the site is responsible for having the crane thoroughly examined before it can be brought into use. HSE had not inspected the crane that collapsed and there are no further cranes on this site.

The collapsed crane and damaged homes are deemed to be dangerous structures. The immediate surroundings have therefore been evacuated, while the crane is safely removed, and dangerous structures made safe.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions his Department has had with the Health and Safety Executive on potential steps required to ensure the safety of the affected site and surrounding area as a result of the crane that collapsed at Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow on 9 July 2020.

This is a live and developing investigation and the well-established work-related death protocol for England and Wales is being followed. The Metropolitan Police are therefore leading at present, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE will keep the department informed as appropriate, and work to prevent further incident and effectively secure justice. No Prohibition Notice has been issued but that will be considered if the investigation reveals circumstances requiring it. For the present, a Notice to Leave Undisturbed is in place across the site.

Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), the Principal Contractor at the site is responsible for having the crane thoroughly examined before it can be brought into use. HSE had not inspected the crane that collapsed and there are no further cranes on this site.

The collapsed crane and damaged homes are deemed to be dangerous structures. The immediate surroundings have therefore been evacuated, while the crane is safely removed, and dangerous structures made safe.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions officials in his Department have had with the representatives from the Health and Safety Executive on the safety of remaining cranes at the Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow.

This is a live and developing investigation and the well-established work-related death protocol for England and Wales is being followed. The Metropolitan Police are therefore leading at present, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE will keep the department informed as appropriate, and work to prevent further incident and effectively secure justice. No Prohibition Notice has been issued but that will be considered if the investigation reveals circumstances requiring it. For the present, a Notice to Leave Undisturbed is in place across the site.

Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), the Principal Contractor at the site is responsible for having the crane thoroughly examined before it can be brought into use. HSE had not inspected the crane that collapsed and there are no further cranes on this site.

The collapsed crane and damaged homes are deemed to be dangerous structures. The immediate surroundings have therefore been evacuated, while the crane is safely removed, and dangerous structures made safe.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions his Department has had with the Health and Safety Executive on whether an Inspector Prohibition Notice will be issued regarding the Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow as a result of the crane collapse of 9 July 2020.

This is a live and developing investigation and the well-established work-related death protocol for England and Wales is being followed. The Metropolitan Police are therefore leading at present, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE will keep the department informed as appropriate, and work to prevent further incident and effectively secure justice. No Prohibition Notice has been issued but that will be considered if the investigation reveals circumstances requiring it. For the present, a Notice to Leave Undisturbed is in place across the site.

Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), the Principal Contractor at the site is responsible for having the crane thoroughly examined before it can be brought into use. HSE had not inspected the crane that collapsed and there are no further cranes on this site.

The collapsed crane and damaged homes are deemed to be dangerous structures. The immediate surroundings have therefore been evacuated, while the crane is safely removed, and dangerous structures made safe.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Minister for Disabled People’s letter of 3 May 2019 to the former hon. Member for Kensington apologising for his predecessor’s incorrect answers on who authorised the revision to the original wording of the ESA65B letters to employment and support allowance claimants’ GPs, when her Department first sought the advice of the Cabinet Office on proposed revised wording.

The Department first consulted with the Cabinet Office on revising the ESA65B letter in November 2014.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) disabled and (b) seriously unwell people who requested a Mandatory Reconsideration for (i) employment and support allowance and (ii) personal independence payments had their decision (A) upheld and (B) overturned in 2019.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) do not have a specific definition for seriously unwell or disabled.

The latest available data on Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) clearances for PIP, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessments and ESA sanctions by outcome is available on Stat-Xplore at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Minister for Disabled People’s letter of 3 May 2019 apologising for his predecessor’s incorrect answers in March and May 2018 on who authorised the revision to the original wording of the ESA65B letters to employment and support allowance claimants’ GPs, for what reasons that was not corrected in the Answers of (a) 6 June 2018 to Question 146986, (b) 3 July 2019 to Question 155401 and (c) 22 March 2019 to Question 234145.

For clarity, and following checks with the Table Office, it appears question UIN 155401 referenced in part (b) of the question was answered on 3 July 2018.

The relevant Parliamentary Questions were corrected with a letter to the Member for Kensington which was issued on 3 May 2019 and a copy placed in the House Library.

It was decided to make the correction this way because of the time that had elapsed since the original answers were given, and to provide a correction to all of the answers at once to avoid potential confusion. They cannot now be amended on the Parliament Q&A System because we are now in a different Parliamentary session.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of (a) universal credit, (b) contributory employment and support allowance and (c) other financial support for people who do not receive statutory sick pay.

Universal Credit (UC) is a modern, flexible, personalised benefit reflecting the rapidly changing world of work and replaces six outdated and complex benefits with one. It is simplifying the benefits system and making work pay. Monthly assessment periods align to the way the majority of people are paid and also allows UC to be adjusted each month. This means that if a claimant’s income falls, they will not have to wait several months for a rise in their UC.

In the recent budget announcement on the 11 March 2020, the Chancellor announced the following changes to welfare provisions, in light of the fact not everyone will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): Rules will be relaxed for self-employed UC claimants whose earnings are affected by self-isolating due to the coronavirus so they are not financially worse off; Gainfully Self Employed claimants on UC, who are required to self-isolate or are ill as a result of Covid 19, will not have a Minimum Income floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected.

In addition, to better support the needs of people, particularly the self-employed and those not eligible for SSP, and/or not entitled to UC, we are removing the seven waiting days that currently apply to Employment Support Allowance (ESA). This means that everyone who makes a new claim for ESA and is entitled to the benefit, who are infected with COVID-19 or required to self-isolate, will be paid from day one of their claim.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to improve the mandatory reconsideration process to reduce the number of (a) disabled and (b) unwell benefits claimants who appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

Last year we implemented a new approach to handling applications for Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) in PIP which includes contacting claimants, where appropriate, to see if there is information that would enable us to change the decision. To support this, we are investing additional time for communication, evidence gather and review. This approach supports our aim - to make the right decision as early as possible - so claimants don’t need to progress to the appeal stage. Early results have been positive and the same approach has now been adopted in ESA and UC. We continue to engage with stakeholders to explore how we can further improve the effectiveness of the MR process.

8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria the NHS uses to decide whether a child with epilepsy can access a prescription for cannabis medication.

Whether to prescribe any medicine is a clinical decision.

The licensed cannabis-based medicine Epidyolex is prescribed and routinely funded on the National Health Service (NHS) for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (two forms of epilepsy).

However, the latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions for unlicensed cannabis-based products on the NHS.

If an NHS clinician wishes to prescribe these unlicensed products an individual funding request can be made based on whether there is evidence of exceptionality to justify funding the treatment. A request is made for an individual patient whose clinical circumstances are clearly different to other patients with the same condition, and there is a reason why the individual patient would respond differently to other patients and therefore gain more clinical benefit from the proposed treatment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is making provisions for families who cannot afford to access cannabis medication via private healthcare for children with epilepsy after being refused treatment by the NHS.

The Department does not make provision for the funding of medicines outside of the National Health Service (NHS) commissioning systems. NHS funding decisions follow clearly developed procedures that ensure equitable distribution of funding, prioritising those medicines that have proved their safety, quality, and clinical and cost effectiveness.

The licensed cannabis-based medicine Epidyolex is prescribed routinely on the NHS for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (two forms of epilepsy). The cost of treatments, that have not been assessed for their quality, safety, clinical and cost effectiveness, sought privately, remains the responsibility of patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional funding he plans to provide to NHS England to help reduce the current waiting lists for NHS dentistry.

We continue to work closely with the National Health Service, Public Health England and the profession to safely increase levels of service, taking into account the ongoing infection prevention and control and social distancing requirements. This includes prioritising existing and additional funding provided to NHS England to tackle backlogs in care.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the health and wellbeing of trans people of the increase to waiting times between referral and first appointment for Gender Identity Clinics; and what steps he is taking to help shorten those waiting lists.

We know that long waiting times for care is negative on patient’s mental health and wellbeing. We are improving access to gender identity services with the opening of four new clinics, in London, Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside and the East of England. These clinics are now all open and receiving patients. A further new clinic is planned in Sussex due to open in 2022. These clinics are expected to reduce the waiting list by a third.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the European Medicines Agency on the exclusion of Indian-made covid vaccines from the EU vaccine passport scheme.

We have had no recent discussions with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA is an independent regulatory body which makes decisions on the vaccines approved for use in the European Union. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a matter for the European Commission and individual Member States. The Government continues to engage the European Commission on certification to ensure that travel is unhindered and supported by a common approach. People vaccinated in the United Kingdom can use the NHS COVID Pass to demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons only those fully vaccinated under the NHS covid-19 vaccination programme are able to travel without having to quarantine on their return to England.

The Government is taking a phased approach to amending border requirements, firstly for inbound arrivals from ‘amber list’ countries who have been fully vaccinated under the United Kingdom programme. Work is ongoing to determine which non-UK vaccines could be recognised in this country.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure a contract for trans masculine genital surgery is secured as quickly as possible.

The contract for phalloplasty services is currently out for tender with a view for rapid award.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the (a) health and (b) wellbeing of trans masculine people of the unavailability of genital surgery on the NHS for those people.

No formal assessment of the unavailability of genital surgery has been undertaken.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to providing funding for trans masculine people to have genital surgery abroad until the NHS provides a UK provider.

There are no current plans for patients to be sent abroad for phalloplasty services. The contract for phalloplasty services is currently out for tender with a view for rapid award in the near future.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the length of time between people being referred to a Gender Identity Clinic and starting treatment.

No formal assessment has been made as waiting time information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how hotels were selected for providing covid-19 hotel quarantine accommodation; and what steps the Government is taking to ensure that hotel staff are effectively trained to meet the needs of people in quarantine.

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) are responsible for identifying and contracting with the individual hotels. CTM contacted the main hotel chains to determine whether any properties in the area that meet our specification. A site visit is conducted to ensure the hotel meets the specifications of the Managed Quarantine Service, including sufficient space for exercise away from the public and for coaches to relay guests to and from the hotel. The transit time by coach from the airport is also considered.

All hotels are responsible for their own staff training and should comply with standards of operation regarding COVID-19 health and safety protocols. This includes physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and the wearing of face masks and gloves if mandated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason people legally required to quarantine in hotels as a result of the covid-19 pandemic are being charged £1750; and if he will provide a breakdown of that cost.

The cost for providing managed quarantine facilities is largely met by charging those having to quarantine, which includes paying for COVID-19 tests and managed quarantine to ensure the protection of themselves and the public.

The rate for one adult in one room for 10 days and 11 nights is £1,750. The normalised cost per person of managed quarantine is composed of 49% for the hotel, 2% for transport, 32% for security, 4% for testing and 13% for other costs.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to ensure adequate provision of appropriate food during mandatory covid-19 hotel quarantine for people with strict dietary requirements; and what processes are in place to determine the appropriateness and adequacy of food for those people.

It is specified at the induction stage for managed quarantine hotels that the catering requirements must include the delivery of menus to rooms and an understanding of individual needs for each meal; a variety of meals to meet nutritional, dietary, religious, and cultural needs; and the ability for guests to order additional food and beverage from a 24-hour room service menu.

A review is carried out with hotels at two and 21 days following the induction process. Each hotel has a liaison officer available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to escalate any issues, in addition to the hotel’s own customer service channels.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what processes are in place to tackle complaints of people in covid-19 hotel quarantine in respect of (a) dietary requirements, (b) living conditions and (c) the unresponsiveness of hotel staff.

In the first instance, guests should raise any concerns directly with hotel or security staff, who can address practical issues about the hotel room and services. Hotel staff can also escalate concerns if necessary. Where the hotel is unable to resolve the complaint, Corporate Travel Management (CTM), who hold the hotel contracts, will raise issues with the hotel manager. Complaints are investigated by the hotel and processes changed if so required. If necessary, CTM will require the hotel to make improvements within a given time period.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 hotel quarantine exemption requests have been approved to date.

Since February 2021, approximately 60 people have been granted exemptions from COVID-19 managed quarantine facilities on medical grounds.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people in covid-19 hotel quarantine (a) have adequately clean rooms throughout their 10 day stay and (b) are given the privacy they need during their stay.

Due to potential COVID-19 infection risks, the cleaning of rooms is not undertaken by hotel staff in managed quarantine facilities while they are occupied. Guests are provided with suitable disposable cleaning products and equipment to clean their rooms. Fresh linen and towels are left outside of the room door every third day.

Hotel staff and security do not enter the guest rooms, therefore ensuring privacy throughout the stay.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence he holds to indicate that singing increases the transmission of covid-19 compared with other activities where large groups are present indoors.

Singing is considered a high-risk activity, compared with other large group activities, because it significantly increases the risk of transmission through small viral particles in the air and droplets. As outlined in the Government’s safer singing guidance, there is evidence that shouting or singing loudly can produce 20 times the mass of aerosol than speaking at a normal level of loudness. Several outbreaks of COVID-19 have been associated with adult choir rehearsals and performances and in church congregations across the world. The safer singing guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-suggested-principles-of-safer-singing

All such activity should follow the principles set out in the guidance to reduce the risk of transmission, including ensuring that singing takes place only in larger well-ventilated spaces or outdoors and limited number of people sing together.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the level of healthcare that would be available for migrants who come to the UK on the Seasonal Workers Pilot.

The Department has made no such assessment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason visiting elderly relatives abroad is not a permitted reason for travel during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of permitting those overseas visits on medical and compassionate grounds.

At this time international travel is limited to reduce the risk of the virus spreading, including variants of concern. However some of the reasonable excuses for international travel will enable people to visit relatives where essential, such as where it is reasonably necessary to provide care and assistance to a vulnerable person.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department made prior to taking the decision to locate the covid-19 testing centre in Jack Dash House of the risks to public health of locating that test centre in proximity to (a) Magic Roundabout Nursery, (b) other businesses occupying the building and (c) operational working area of the local area.

All local test sites are provided by the relevant local authority as they are best placed to make considerations upon where testing would be most beneficial. The local authority is responsible for engaging with all local residents and businesses.

All local authorities utilising local test sites are provided with a National Health Service Test and Trace site criteria guide to consider the location of the site, the demand, ownership, the duration that the site might be in use for and surrounding uses.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of waiting times for appointments at NHS Adults' Gender Identity Clinics; and if he will allocate additional resources to reduce those waiting times.

The Department and NHS England recognise that waiting times for gender identity clinics are unacceptably long. To address this, a new service specification has been developed to deliver services in local health settings. Three new clinics, operating as a pilot scheme for this specification, have been established in London, Manchester and Cheshire and Merseyside. These clinics are subject to ongoing evaluation with the ambition of further clinics being established.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the effect on (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners and (c) the Magic Roundabout Nursery of the covid-19 testing centre being situated in Jack Dash House, Isle of Dogs, London.

All local test sites are provided by the relevant local authority as they are best placed to make considerations upon where testing would be most beneficial. The local authority is responsible for engaging with all local residents and businesses.

All local authorities utilising local test sites are provided with a National Health Service Test and Trace site criteria guide to consider the location of the site, the demand, ownership, the duration that the site might be in use for and surrounding uses.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners, (c) representatives of the Magic Roundabout Nursery and (d) representatives of the local authority on the functioning of the covid-19 testing centre situated in Jack Dash House, Isle of Dogs, London.

All local test sites are provided by the relevant local authority as they are best placed to make considerations upon where testing would be most beneficial. The local authority is responsible for engaging with all local residents and businesses.

All local authorities utilising local test sites are provided with a National Health Service Test and Trace site criteria guide to consider the location of the site, the demand, ownership, the duration that the site might be in use for and surrounding uses.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation his Department undertook with (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners, (c) representatives of the Magic Roundabout Nursery and (d) representatives of the local authority prior to the opening of the covid-19 testing centre in Jack Dash House, Isle of Dogs, London.

All local test sites are provided by the relevant local authority as they are best placed to make considerations upon where testing would be most beneficial. The local authority is responsible for engaging with all local residents and businesses.

All local authorities utilising local test sites are provided with a National Health Service Test and Trace site criteria guide to consider the location of the site, the demand, ownership, the duration that the site might be in use for and surrounding uses.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the covid-19 testing centre in Popular and Limehouse constituency was situated in Jack Dash House.

All local test sites are provided by the relevant local authority as they are best placed to make considerations upon where testing would be most beneficial. The local authority is responsible for engaging with all local residents and businesses.

All local authorities utilising local test sites are provided with a National Health Service Test and Trace site criteria guide to consider the location of the site, the demand, ownership, the duration that the site might be in use for and surrounding uses.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how long on average patients registered with the GP At Hand service have had to wait between being (a) offered a covid-19 vaccine and (b) able to attend an appointment to receive that vaccine.

As at 1st March 2021, there were 92,470 patients registered at the ‘GP at Hand’ practice.

Data on how many of those patients have been unable to access COVID-19 vaccines in their local area, how far they have had to travel, or the average wait between being offered a vaccine and attending to receive, is not collected centrally. Individuals eligible for vaccination have a choice on where they can book their COVID-19 vaccination. More than 98% of the country is now within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how far on average patients registered with the GP At Hand service have had to travel to access their covid-19 vaccinations.

As at 1st March 2021, there were 92,470 patients registered at the ‘GP at Hand’ practice.

Data on how many of those patients have been unable to access COVID-19 vaccines in their local area, how far they have had to travel, or the average wait between being offered a vaccine and attending to receive, is not collected centrally. Individuals eligible for vaccination have a choice on where they can book their COVID-19 vaccination. More than 98% of the country is now within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of patients registered with the GP At Hand service who have been unable to access a covid-19 vaccine in their local areas.

As at 1st March 2021, there were 92,470 patients registered at the ‘GP at Hand’ practice.

Data on how many of those patients have been unable to access COVID-19 vaccines in their local area, how far they have had to travel, or the average wait between being offered a vaccine and attending to receive, is not collected centrally. Individuals eligible for vaccination have a choice on where they can book their COVID-19 vaccination. More than 98% of the country is now within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients are registered with the GP At Hand service.

As at 1st March 2021, there were 92,470 patients registered at the ‘GP at Hand’ practice.

Data on how many of those patients have been unable to access COVID-19 vaccines in their local area, how far they have had to travel, or the average wait between being offered a vaccine and attending to receive, is not collected centrally. Individuals eligible for vaccination have a choice on where they can book their COVID-19 vaccination. More than 98% of the country is now within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the public health implications of removing from priority in phase two of the vaccine roll-out those people who take steroid inhalers to manage asthma symptoms.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation concluded that only a subset of those with asthma are at clinically higher risk from COVID-19. This group is defined as adults with asthma who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission and will be vaccinated in priority group six. An individual with a more severe case of asthma may have been included in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, in which case they will be vaccinated in priority group four.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to introduce a managed isolation welfare fund similar to the scheme in Scotland for people unable to afford hotel quarantine.

For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of the managed quarantine charge, there is an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. This is available for individuals who receive income-related benefits and they will be required to pay back the charge in 12 monthly instalments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people living in households that include members with (a) blood cancer, (b) HIV and (c) other immune deficiency disorders will be prioritised for the covid-19 vaccine.

Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable, should be offered vaccination in priority group six. This group includes unpaid carers. In addition, consideration has been given by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to vaccination of household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. However, at this time there is insufficient data on the size of the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on transmission. Further evidence is expected to accrue on transmission during the course of the vaccine programme but currently the JCVI is not in a position to advise vaccination solely on the basis of indirect protection.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate has made of the number of musculoskeletal issues arising from home-working arrangements during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether his Department is taking steps to develop a strategy to tackle those issues.

No such estimate has been made.

We will continue to monitor prevalence and treat musculoskeletal conditions, taking into account long standing best practice guidance in this area, including from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to create NHS Osteopathic units for Long Covid sufferers.

Patients diagnosed with ‘long’ COVID-19 will be directed into multi-system care pathways, which will be tailored to their specific needs. These care pathways are still in early stages of development and it is unknown whether specific osteopathic units will form a part of this.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase GP registration amongst undocumented migrants.

National Health Service regional teams are working with appropriate local systems to reach out to unregistered people so as to ensure that all their health needs are met and that they are offered the COVID-19 vaccine in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation priorities. NHS England and NHS Improvement recently launched a general practitioner (GP) registration campaign alongside the voluntary sector. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing materials, such as training for practice staff and access cards which support the message that everyone is entitled to register with a GP and give the NHS England and NHS Improvement Customer Contact Centre number for people to use if they have been refused registration.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to encourage homeless people to register with a GP so that they may receive a covid-19 vaccine.

National Health Service regional teams are working with appropriate local systems to reach out to unregistered people so as to ensure that all their health needs are met and that they are offered the COVID-19 vaccine in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation priorities. NHS England and NHS Improvement recently launched a general practitioner (GP) registration campaign alongside the voluntary sector. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing materials, such as training for practice staff and access cards which support the message that everyone is entitled to register with a GP and give the NHS England and NHS Improvement Customer Contact Centre number for people to use if they have been refused registration.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people there are without an NHS number who are (a) over 65 and (b) over 50 in England.

NHS Digital does not have a mechanism for recording people who are not on National Health Service systems.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the people over the age of 85 who have not been vaccinated (a) have an NHS number and (b) come from a BAME background.

We do not hold this information.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will end data sharing between the NHS and the Home Office during the covid-19 outbreak to encourage uptake of the covid-19 vaccine amongst migrants.

There are no plans to suspend the limited data sharing arrangements between the National Health Service and the Home Office at this time.

The Department has published a message on the relevant NHS website pages stating that overseas visitors to England, including anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission, will not be charged for testing or treatment for or vaccination against COVID-19. The message also states that no immigration checks are needed to receive these services. Because there is no charge for the vaccine for people living in the UK, the immigration status of a patient is not relevant.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people aged over 65 in (a) prisons and (b) immigration detention centres have been prioritised for covid-19 vaccination.

If an individual in prison or an immigration detention centre is over 65 years old, they will be prioritised for vaccination in line with the rest of the population.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the second dose of the Pfizer/Biontech covid-19 vaccine will be delayed for healthcare workers beyond the 28 days recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Updating the dosing interval is in line with the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and is the right thing to do to maximise the impact of the programme and save lives. The Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has also clarified that for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the interval between doses must be at least three weeks.

Whilst the National Health Service across the United Kingdom will prioritise giving the first dose of the vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups, everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mental health support is in place for detainees at Napier Barracks in Folkstone; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the conditions at Napier Barracks on detainees' mental health.

Overall responsibility for the site sits with the Home Office who provide the services available on site.

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the delegated CCG which has responsibility for healthcare for the vulnerable group of residents. All residents are registered with one general practitioner (GP) practice and there is an agency nurse on site. The residents can access mental health services through the GP practice. The nurse provides an outreach primary care service on site. Translation services are provided to make sure residents can access the care they need, if they cannot speak English.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the non-renewal of local Mental Health Support contracts in Poplar and Limehouse constituency, whether he has plans to provide funding to local authorities in order to keep such services open.

The public health grant to local authorities in England was £3.279 billion in 2020/21. Local authority funding, through the public health grant for 2021/22 will be maintained, meaning local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services, including services that support public mental health. It is for local authorities to make funding decisions for public health services based on local population priorities, in line with the conditions attached to the grant including having regard to reducing health inequalities.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to encourage take up of the covid-19 vaccine in BAME communities.

The Department is working with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement and key stakeholders to encourage uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine among black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The Department is also working with community press, TV and radio stations to deliver information on vaccination in over a dozen languages.

Activity is also focusing on working with trusted voices such as healthcare personnel, faith leaders, community influencers and community organisations for priority multicultural audiences, with a particular focus on Muslim, Polish, black African and Caribbean and Jewish communities. The Department is building on pre-existing relationships and established channels as well as reaching out to more influencers through virtual sessions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the reasons for higher rates of covid-19 deaths among (a) BAME communities, (b) people affected by the benefits cap and (c) people living in overcrowded accommodation.

There has been significant effort to understand the causes of race disparities in COVID-19 infection and to bring the research into policy making to mitigate the disproportionate effects. The direct impacts of COVID-19 improved for ethnic minorities as a whole during the early second wave, suggesting that race disparities in COVID-19 outcomes are driven by risk of infection rather than ethnicity itself being a risk factor for severe illness or death.

Data shows deprivation to be a major driver of the disparities in COVID-19 infection rates for all ethnic groups. Whilst mortality rates in black African men and women have significantly decreased between the first and second waves, the findings that the impact has been greater in South Asian groups indicate the role of wider social determinants in the unequal impact of COVID-19. Tackling deprivation will be a particular focus of the Government work.

No assessment has been made for people affected by the benefits cap. There is no direct evidence concerning overcrowded accommodation, but there is some related evidence of a positive association between household size and composition and COVID-19 deaths. The evidence is summarised in a recent report by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on housing, household transmission and ethnicity, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943178/S0923_housing_household_transmission_and_ethnicity.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Royal Society of Public Health survey funding that 55 per cent of people in Asian communities would take the covid-19 vaccine, whether he plans to implement public health initiatives for Asian communities to encourage covid-19 vaccine take up.

The Department, together with the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England, is providing advice and information at every opportunity to support uptake in individuals who are prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes providing advice to groups who may have questions about the vaccination process, including members from the Asian communities.

The Department, alongside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and NHS England are holding regular meetings with local authorities, faith leaders, and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) organisations to answer questions and provide advice and information about COVID-19 vaccines and how they will be made available.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support the Government is providing to people who are told to isolate by their children's school and who are not eligible to access the Test and Trace Support Payment.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is for people who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. If a child is self-isolating because they have tested positive, other household members will also need to self-isolate and will be able to claim under the scheme, provided they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Parents or guardians of children who have to self-isolate because of contact with someone outside their household who has tested positive are not eligible. If a parent and/or guardian needs support because a child has to self-isolate, the NHS Test and Trace service can provide guidance on how to access local support provided by their local authority or by NHS Volunteer Responders.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans provide a response to Question 108295, tabled by the hon. Member for Poplar and Limehouse on 23 October 2020.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England report, Covid-19: understanding the impact on BAME communities, published on 16 June 2020, what assessment his Department has made of whether (a) BAME people and (b) people of a Bangladeshi background continue to be disproportionately affected by covid-19.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 November 2020 to Question 108296.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) BAME people and (b) people of a Bangladeshi background have died from covid-19 since the summer 2020 compared to other groups.

The information is not available in the format requested. The National Health Service publishes weekly statistics on the deaths of patients who have died in hospitals in England and have tested positive for COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) BAME people and (b) people of a Bangladeshi background who have contracted covid-19 since summer 2020 as compared to other ethnic groups.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Public Health England publishes COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 population by ethnicity in the national flu and COVID-19 surveillance report on a weekly basis which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on rolling out the regular testing of care home residents’ families in (a) Poplar and Limehouse and (b) throughout England.

All Care Quality Commission-registered adult care homes, including those in Poplar and Limehouse, are receiving lateral flow device (LFD) test kits to enable safe visits, where permitted.

From 8 March, care home residents will be able to be visited indoors by a single, named individual who will be required to have a test beforehand, wear personal protective equipment during the visit and avoid close contact. All visitors will receive a lateral flow test and be required to follow all infection prevention and control measures.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason black, Asian and minority groups who are at greater risk of covid-19 have not been included in the composition and order of priority of groups for covid-19 vaccinations.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

The JCVI notes that while there is clear evidence that certain black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups have higher rates of infection, and higher rates of serious disease, morbidity and mortality, there is no strong evidence that ethnicity by itself or genetics is the sole explanation for observed differences in rates of severe illness and deaths.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many flu vaccines have been administered as at 1 November 2020; and what comparative assessment he has made of the level of uptake of that vaccine in (a) 2020-21, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2018-19 as at November 2020 in each of those years.

Public Health England (PHE) publishes weekly provisional flu vaccine uptake reports, which give the proportions of those eligible who have been vaccinated and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

Data for week ending 1 November 2020 shows vaccine coverage is the highest it has ever been at this stage of the season for those aged 65 years and over and for two and three year olds. In at risk groups, flu vaccination coverage is higher than this time last year but at comparable levels to previous seasons. For pregnant women it is lower than in previous seasons.

The following table shows vaccine uptake data in September and October in each flu season between 2018/19 and 2020/21, in England.

Patient Group

Vaccine uptake (%)

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

Patients aged 65 years or older

67.6

57.9

45.2

Patients aged six months to under 65 years in risk groups

31.1

22.6

30.8

Pregnant women

25.3

26.1

33.0

Patients aged two years old

37.8

4.4

22.3

Patients aged three years old

39.3

4.7

23.2

Source: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Notes:

  1. Data is provisional and from a sample of 87.6% of all automated general practitioner (GP) practices participating in the 2020/21 sentinel survey.
  2. Data for two and three-year olds is from a sample of 97.1% of all automated GP practices participating in the 2020/21 sentinel Childhood flu GP survey.

Monthly flu vaccine uptake data, which includes estimates of the numbers vaccinated, is produced by PHE. The first monthly data will be published on 26 November and will include clinical commissioning group and local authority level data. Monthly uptake data will also be published for frontline healthcare workers and school-aged children.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effect of the opening of the covid-19 testing centre situated in Watney Market Idea store in Shadwell on (a) local residents, (b) local shops and (c) Watney Market traders.

Local test sites, such as those situated in the Watney Market Ideal store in Shadwell are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been set up.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many residents of Poplar and Limehouse constituency have been tested for covid-19.

Weekly data for pillar 2 COVID-19 testing for every lower tier local authority in England is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department undertook an Equality Impact Assessment of the decision to situate the testing centre in Watney Market Ideas store in Shadwell.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to address the disproportionate effect of covid-19 on (a) BAME people and (b) people of a Bangladeshi background.

On 22 October, the Race Disparity Unit at the Cabinet Office published ‘Quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities’, which made three recommendations.

This includes reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by relevant Government Departments to directly lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19 and taking action to modify existing policy, and policy in development, to address these disparities. The Prime Minister has accepted these recommendations. These measures apply to the black, Asian and minority ethnic population, including those of Bangladeshi background.

The report is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928646/First_Covid_Disparities_report_to_PM___Health_Secretary_Final_22-10-20.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the increased health risk to people (a) living and (b) working in vicinity of the covid-19 testing centre situated in Watney Market Idea store, Shadwell, London.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) BAME people and (b) people of a Bangladeshi background who been tested for covid-19.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of potential health risks of the opening of the covid-19 testing centre in Watney Market Idea store, Shadwell to (a) nearby residents, (b) customers and staff of nearby shops and (c) the Watney Market traders.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the adequacy of the personal protective clothing issued to staff working in covid-19 testing centres.

In line with the national Public Health England guidance, there are different personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements dependent on the role test site staff take within the testing sites. In the case of the walk-in local testing sites, the PPE requirements are set out in the local testing sites’ Standard Operating Procedure. Test operatives, for tester assisted testing, are required to wear disposable gloves; a disposable plastic apron; a fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical mask; and reusable eye protection.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been undertaken at the testing centre in Watney Market, Shadwell, London.

We publish data on the number of pillar 2 tests processed in each local authority weekly alongside the Test and Trace statistics publication on GOV.UK. The total number of pillar 2 tests processed in Tower Hamlets between 28 May and 14 October was 38,272.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the testing centre in Popular and Limehouse constituency was situated in Watney Market Idea store.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation his Department undertook with (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners, (c) the Watney Market stall traders and (d) the local authority on the opening of the covid-19 testing centre in Watney Market Idea store, Shadwell, London.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the contracts agreed between his Department and (a) Serco, (b) Sitel Group and (c) all other commercial providers of track and trace functions operating in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

National contracts were awarded to commercial providers Serco and Sitel to provide call handling services for the contact track and trace initiative. The contracts have been published and are available at the following links:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c23fdfaf-d1f2-4d8c-a0cd-6b6f35793ccd

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/7645e3ef-ce16-4cae-8932-1eb6521a50cb

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners, (c) the Watney Market stall traders and (d) the local authority on the functioning of the covid-19 testing centre situated in Watney Market idea store, Shadwell, London.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the effect of the covid-19 testing centre situated in Watney Market Idea store, Shadwell, London on (a) local residents, (b) local shop owners and (c) the Watney Market stall traders.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the distance between the covid-19 testing centre in Watney Market Idea store, Shadwell and the (a) nearest residential area, (b) nearest concentration of shops and (c) operational working area of Watney Market traders.

The Government is committed to rapid and accessible testing for everyone who needs one. We are working with private sector partners to establish local test sites, such as the one at the Watney Market Ideal store, in metropolitan areas across the country. These local test sites are being used to test eligible individuals who may not have access to a car and are set up in places where there is space and local demand for testing. Local test sites are deployed at the direction of Local Resilience Forums and Recovery Coordination Groups and decisions are centrally executed at their direction. This co-design approach between local and national teams has been key in achieving the pace at which these sites have been stood up. To monitor cases, we are working closely with local authorities and local Directors of Public Health, sharing highly localised case data on a daily basis to understand and tackle local outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department has not issued guidance on the reopening of social care day centres for people with disabilities.

The Government recognises that day services are an important form of support for people with disabilities and those that care for them. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely which is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Ensuring the care and support needs of their populations are met is the responsibility of local authorities. No central assessment has been made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in Poplar and Limehouse constituency and the United Kingdom.

However, on 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to Adult Social Care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Up to 20% of this fund can be allocated by local authorities for COVID-19 infection control measures outside of care homes and community care provision. This includes implementing infection control measures to support the resumption of community and day services. In total the Government has provided over £1.1 billion in funding for infection control measures. This is in addition to making £3.7 billion available to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to publish updated guidance on the reopening of social care day centres for people with disabilities.

The Government recognises that day services are an important form of support for people with disabilities and those that care for them. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely which is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Ensuring the care and support needs of their populations are met is the responsibility of local authorities. No central assessment has been made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in Poplar and Limehouse constituency and the United Kingdom.

However, on 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to Adult Social Care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Up to 20% of this fund can be allocated by local authorities for COVID-19 infection control measures outside of care homes and community care provision. This includes implementing infection control measures to support the resumption of community and day services. In total the Government has provided over £1.1 billion in funding for infection control measures. This is in addition to making £3.7 billion available to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency and (b) the UK.

The Government recognises that day services are an important form of support for people with disabilities and those that care for them. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely which is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Ensuring the care and support needs of their populations are met is the responsibility of local authorities. No central assessment has been made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in Poplar and Limehouse constituency and the United Kingdom.

However, on 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to Adult Social Care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Up to 20% of this fund can be allocated by local authorities for COVID-19 infection control measures outside of care homes and community care provision. This includes implementing infection control measures to support the resumption of community and day services. In total the Government has provided over £1.1 billion in funding for infection control measures. This is in addition to making £3.7 billion available to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allocate funding to enable the reopening of social care day centres for people with disabilities.

The Government recognises that day services are an important form of support for people with disabilities and those that care for them. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely which is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Ensuring the care and support needs of their populations are met is the responsibility of local authorities. No central assessment has been made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in Poplar and Limehouse constituency and the United Kingdom.

However, on 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to Adult Social Care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Up to 20% of this fund can be allocated by local authorities for COVID-19 infection control measures outside of care homes and community care provision. This includes implementing infection control measures to support the resumption of community and day services. In total the Government has provided over £1.1 billion in funding for infection control measures. This is in addition to making £3.7 billion available to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussion he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on additional funding to support the reopening of social care day centres for people with disabilities.

The Government recognises that day services are an important form of support for people with disabilities and those that care for them. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely which is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Ensuring the care and support needs of their populations are met is the responsibility of local authorities. No central assessment has been made of the adequacy of provision of social day care for people with disabilities in Poplar and Limehouse constituency and the United Kingdom.

However, on 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to Adult Social Care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Up to 20% of this fund can be allocated by local authorities for COVID-19 infection control measures outside of care homes and community care provision. This includes implementing infection control measures to support the resumption of community and day services. In total the Government has provided over £1.1 billion in funding for infection control measures. This is in addition to making £3.7 billion available to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding he plans to allocate to local authorities to support the reopening of social care day centres that closed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 17 September 2020, the Government announced that it would provide a further £546 million to adult social care through the Infection Control Fund, alongside the Adult Social Care Winter Plan. Whilst the majority of this funding is for regulated care homes and community care provision, local authorities may allocate 20% for other COVID-19 infection control measures. This may include expenditure on infection control measures to support the resumption of day services. This is in addition to the £600million Infection Control Fund and £3.7 billion already provided to local authorities to address pressures on local services caused by COVID-19, including adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the Government plans to ensure that a vaccine for covid-19 will be administered equality across the UK.

Health is a devolved matter. The United Kingdom Government will co-ordinate with partners across the devolved administrations to ensure equitable access and successful delivery of vaccines across the UK. This includes considerations of planning and key decisions, which will need to be aligned across the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a vaccine for covid-19 will be administered to target local areas with a higher incidence of covid-19.

Whilst there is a desire for as many people in the United Kingdom to be vaccinated as possible, there may need to be an element of prioritisation, based on availability of vaccine supply and evidence on safety and efficacy in different population groups.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will provide advice to Ministers on clinical prioritisation of any vaccine based on the best available clinical, modelling and epidemiological data. This will depend on the properties of the vaccine, information about those most at need, and the unique medical circumstances of individuals. However, there are no plans at present to target local areas with higher incidence of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on trends in the level of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools among (a) Black, Asian and minority ethnic pupils and (b) pupils with other protected characteristics; and if he will make a statement.

Data on the number and proportion of people recorded within acute respiratory outbreaks in schools are not available in the format requested.

Public Health England provides information on the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools in its weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report, available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/weekly-covid-19-surveillance-report-published

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's report entitled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 published on 2 June 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for which people of a Bangladeshi background are twice as likely to die from covid-19.

Public Health England’s (PHE) review ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’ presented an analysis of survival among people with confirmed COVID-19 by sex, age group, ethnicity, deprivation and region. It showed that, after taking these factors into account, some ethnic groups still had a higher risk of death than others.

This analysis adjusts for important factors such as age and deprivation, but not for factors such as comorbidities and obesity, which are likely to have an impact on the different risks of dying between ethnic groups.

The review did not aim to determine root causes of findings that are likely to be driven by complex interactions, as the terms of reference shows.

PHE’s report ‘Beyond the data: understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups’ contains a literature review that highlights issues which can be a factor in some ethnic groups being more likely to suffer from COVID-19, including Bangladeshi communities. The report is available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-understanding-the-impact-on-bame-communities

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) improve the accessibility of health services to BAME communities, including to migrants and their families, and (b) mitigate the effects of the covid-19 lockdown so that existing health inequalities are not widened.

Anyone in England can register and consult with a general practitioner (GP) without charge. The GP practice must accept a patient wishing to register, unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse. These must not relate to race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or a medical condition. National Health Service guidance clearly outlines that a practice cannot refuse a patient because they do not have identification or proof of address.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for our communities. One of the PCN service specifications is to ‘Tackle Health Inequalities’ which will be introduced in 2021/22 following negotiation with the General Practitioners Committee, England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the NHS charging exemption for testing and treatment for covid-19 covers paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, associated with covid-19 in children that have had a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test.

Under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015, as amended, overseas visitors are exempt from charge for the diagnostic test and treatment for COVID-19. Some overseas visitor children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome test negative for COVID-19, but are treated as being COVID-19 patients based on a clinical diagnosis, meaning that their parents will not be charged.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to implement the recommendations of (a) the WHO and (b) UNHCR on ensuring that everyone can access healthcare (i) without charge and (ii) safely during the covid-19 outbreak.

Patient safety remains a priority for the National Health Service and has been a key element of the Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regulations came into force on 29 January 2020 to add Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (now known as COVID-19) to the list of infectious diseases within Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. This means everyone, including all overseas visitors and migrants, can already access testing and treatment for COVID-19 without charge.

To help ensure that no one is deterred from safely accessing healthcare for COVID-19, this information has been widely communicated to NHS staff and the public and has been translated into 40 languages.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to suspend all NHS charges for migrants during the covid-19 outbreak.

Regulations came into force on 29 January 2020 to add Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (now known as COVID-19) to Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. This means there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis, or, if positive, treatment, of COVID-19.

In addition, migrants who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, or exempt from charge under the Charging Regulations, such as those covered under the Immigration Health Surcharge, those seeking asylum in the UK and those who are victims of modern slavery are not subject to charges for most NHS care. The Government does not intend to suspend the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets on minimising the risk of further infection from covid-19 in that borough among (a) people over 60 years old, (b) people with (i) cardiovascular disease, (ii) diabetes, (iii) respiratory disease and (iv) cancer and (c) other high-risk groups.

The Government is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a national concern and has not therefore been providing any localised information.

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure that all sectors across all communities are prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council on minimising the risk of further infection from covid-19 in that borough among (a) people over 60 years old, (b) people with (i) cardiovascular disease, (ii) diabetes, (iii) respiratory disease and (iv) cancer and (c) other high-risk groups.

The Government is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a national concern and has not therefore been providing any localised information.

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure that all sectors across all communities are prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Director of Public Health for Tower Hamlets on minimising the risk of further infection from covid-19 in that borough among (a) people over 60 years old, (b) people with (i) cardiovascular disease, (ii) diabetes, (iii) respiratory disease and (iv) cancer and (c) other high-risk groups.

The Government is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a national concern and has not therefore been providing any localised information.

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure that all sectors across all communities are prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board on minimising the risk of further infection from covid-19 in that borough among (a) people over 60 years old, (b) people with (i) cardiovascular disease, (ii) diabetes, (iii) respiratory disease and (iv) cancer and (c) other high-risk groups.

The Government is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a national concern and has not therefore been providing any localised information.

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure that all sectors across all communities are prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional resources have been allocated to minimising the risk of further infection from covid-19 in (a) Tower Hamlets and (b) the UK.

The Government has announced that the United Kingdom are moving out of the contain phase and into delay, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. As the response is at national level there are currently no localised plans.

A series of new measures have been introduced to reduce and delay transmission and delay the peak. This includes a ‘staying at home’ measure for seven days if any symptoms of coronavirus infection, however mild are experienced. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature. During isolation councils are activating Local Resilience Forums in order to co-ordinate action in local areas to assist effective isolation. The full announcements of these plans are available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-government-announces-moving-out-of-contain-phase-and-into-delay

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the circumstances surrounding the armed attack that killed trade unionist María Dorfenis López Cordón and injured Rigoberto Cabanzo Arévalo in the Colombian region of Meta on 29 August 2021.

The British Government remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights' defenders and social leaders in Colombia. Through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF), which has provided £68 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights' defenders, including trade unionists, and social leaders.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders and social leaders at the UN Security Council, as we did at meetings in July, and on 14 October. We look to the Colombian Government to further integrate its presence in conflict-affected areas, and strengthen the institutions that can investigate and prosecute the criminal actors responsible. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the average time taken by his Department to issue Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificates; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce the backlog in the issuing of those certificates.

The Government has increased Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) processing and assessment capacity in the past 12 months. This has helped manage the unprecedented surge in ATAS applications - in part due to course deferrals from 2020 - and ensured that the vast majority of applications are processed within advertised timeframes.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports of ocular injuries as a result of the actions of the Colombian police during protests in that country between 28 April and 31 May 2021.

UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government, and in multilateral fora. We are clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully, and that the right to peaceful assembly and association must be guaranteed.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we have raised our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia since protests began. Most recently, I spoke with acting Foreign Minister Adriana Mejía on 14 May to express my concerns, and welcome Colombia's commitment to transparent investigations into allegations of abuse. We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any reports on excessive use of force against protestors, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, and any complaints thoroughly investigated

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on the reported ongoing killings of former FARC combatants who have laid down their weapons under the peace process.

The British Government regularly raises concerns with our Colombian counterparts regarding the persistent high levels of violence, and threats towards former FARC combatants. Most recently, we raised the issue on 21 April at the UN Security Council meeting, at which the UN Secretary General's Special Representative presented his quarterly report on Colombia's peace process.

We will continue to support the Colombian Government's commitment to assisting former combatants in transitioning to civilian life, as agreed as part of the 2016 peace agreement. We have committed more than £63million over 5 years through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund to support reintegration, rural development, and security across conflict-affected regions. We have done this through programmes designed to build state capacity to ensure the safety of former combatants, and of other vulnerable individuals and groups, including outside of official reincorporation zones.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has with his Indian counterpart on the human rights situation in India and (a) the conditions experienced by political prisoners, (b) the amount of time prisoners are waiting for trials, (c) the ability of human rights monitoring organisations to operate, (d) press freedom, (e) discriminatory laws, (f) labour rights and protections, (g)trade union rights, (h) violence against women and girls, and (i) democratic rights such as freedom of speech and the right to protest.

We engage with India on the full range of human rights matters. On his visit to India 14-17 December, The Foreign Secretary discussed human rights with the Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Our High Commission in Delhi works with Union and State Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations to promote human rights by building capacity and sharing expertise. Our projects tackle the drivers of human rights violations in regards to gender equality, media freedom and other FCDO priorities, and encourage the empowerment of minority groups.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Annual South Asia State of Minorities Report published in November 2020 that India has become a dangerous and violent space for Muslim minorities; and if he will make a statement.

We engage with India on the full range of human rights matters. We oppose discrimination against minorities because of religion, caste, or belief. On his visit to India 14-17 December, The Foreign Secretary discussed human rights with the Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that UK businesses conduct thorough due diligence on supply chains that may be linked to entities engaging in human rights violations in Xinjiang.

Through our overseas business risk guidance, regular engagement with business and clear statements to Parliament we have urged all businesses involved in investing in Xinjiang, or with parts of their supply chains in the region, to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, or risk being seen to be supporting, any human rights violations or abuses. In addition, FCDO-funded research into forced labour in Xinjiang has been crucial to raising business awareness of this issue.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to condemn and work against human rights abuses being committed by the Chinese government on Muslim communities in Xinjiang province.

The UK has taken a leading international role in holding China to account for its gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang. On 6 October, alongside Germany, we brought together a total of 39 countries to express grave concern at the situation in Xinjiang in a joint statement at the UN General Assembly Third Committee. This growing international pressure on China reflects UK diplomatic leadership, including intensive diplomacy by the FCDO's diplomatic network and the personal involvement of the Foreign Secretary in raising the issue with a wide range of partners.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of reports that Chinese authorities in Tibetan areas continue to severely restrict religious and cultural expression, freedom of speech, movement, and assembly.

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. The UK regularly raises freedom of religion or belief directly with the Chinese authorities and via multilateral action at the UN. On 6 October, the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York calling on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, including in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether civil servants in the (a) Foreign and Commonwealth Office and (b) Department for International Development will see a change in their legal employer on the formation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

As employees are and will remain Crown employees, there is technically no change of employer due to the merger. However, all staff affected by the merger have been advised that they transferred into the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on 2 September.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to support UK citizens working in the US during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is in regular contact at the highest levels with our US partners on our joint response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. British nationals abroad are encouraged to sign up for travel advice alerts which will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Anyone who needs some support can contact the FCDO 24/7 for advice. Information on the consular assistance the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office can provide to British nationals overseas can be found at
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the drone footage released by War on Fear showing blindfolded Uighur communities in China being transferred from the Xinjiang province in that country.

We are aware of the footage, which was initially published online in September 2019. Open source analysis indicates the people shown in the footage are Uyghur or other minorities in Xinjiang. We judge this analysis to be credible. The footage adds to the growing body of evidence on the disturbing situation that Uyghurs and other minorities are facing in Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of including Chinese officials who have allegedly been implicated in the persecution of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the next round of Magnitsky sanctions designations.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights sanctions regime. It is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated in the future, as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to Amnesty International's report entitled China: Uyghurs living abroad tell of campaign of intimidation, published 21 February 2020, what recent assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of harassment by the Chinese Government of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic groups after they have left the China.

These reports are concerning and we continue to monitor allegations of harassment of Uyghurs outside of China. We regularly raise our concerns about the treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang directly with the Chinese Government and at the UN.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims; and what assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Xinjiang.

On 9 March, the Foreign Secretary directly raised his serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the treatment of Uyghur Muslims with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.

Our concerns include the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps", systematic restrictions on Uyghur culture and the practice of Islam, and extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Prime Minister made representations to President Xi of China on the treatment of Uyghur people during their call of 18 February 2020.

We regularly make representations to the Chinese Government on the treatment of Uyghurs. Most recently, on 9 March the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. On 5 March I did the same with the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming. On 24 December, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making payments for waking watches in buildings deemed not fire safe VAT exempt in the context of the financial effects of that matter on leaseholders.

The Government already maintains a zero rate for fire safety equipment when provided alongside the construction and renovation of residential or charitable buildings. There is also a relief for the cost of replacing fire cladding on buildings if it is tied to the initial construction of the building and is shown to be defective.

Waking watch should only be in place for a short period of time and the relevant responsible person should move quickly to install a common fire alarm system as they are a more cost effective and reliable option. That is why the Government has set aside £30m to install common alarm systems in eligible buildings to replace expensive waking watch measures. No interim measures should be considered as a substitute for completing remediation as quickly as possible.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on hospitality sector workers of not having had their tronc payments included in the calculation of their furlough payments.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) aims to enable employers to keep people in employment. In order to achieve this, the CJRS grants compensate employers for the payments that they are contractually obliged to make in order to avoid the need for redundancies. Covering payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client such as tips, including those distributed through tronc payments, would go beyond the objectives of the scheme.

The Government recognises that for some employees, the pay in scope for this emergency grant package will be less than the overall sum they usually receive. The Government is supporting people on low incomes who need to rely on the welfare system through a significant package of temporary measures introduced in March 2020. This includes a £20 per week increase to the 2020-21 Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element and almost £1 billion of additional support for private renters claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefit in 2020/21 following the increase of the local housing allowance rate to the 30th percentile. These changes are benefitting new and existing claimants.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will include tronc payments with the furlough for the remainder of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) aims to enable employers to keep people in employment. In order to achieve this, the CJRS grants compensate employers for the payments that they are contractually obliged to make in order to avoid the need for redundancies. Covering payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client such as tips, including those distributed through tronc payments, would go beyond the objectives of the scheme.

The Government recognises that for some employees, the pay in scope for this emergency grant package will be less than the overall sum they usually receive. The Government is supporting people on low incomes who need to rely on the welfare system through a significant package of temporary measures introduced in March 2020. This includes a £20 per week increase to the 2020-21 Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element and almost £1 billion of additional support for private renters claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefit in 2020/21 following the increase of the local housing allowance rate to the 30th percentile. These changes are benefitting new and existing claimants.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of excluding from the self employment income support scheme people who have less than 50 per cent of their income coming from self-employment on levels of financial adversity in that group.

The design of the SEISS, including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be at least equal to their non-trading income, is intended to target support at those who most need it, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

The Government does recognise that some of the rules, criteria and conditions necessary to ensure that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) worked for the vast majority of people have meant that some did not qualify.

Those who are ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the substantial package of support available. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department conducted an equalities impact assessment of the decision to exclude the 1.3 million self-employed people who have less than 50 per cent of their income coming from self-employment, from the self employment income support scheme.

The self-employed are very diverse and have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times, and in some cases with substantial alternative forms of income too. The design of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be at least equal to their non-trading income, means it is targeted at those who most need it, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

The Government takes equality considerations seriously and has been careful to give due regard to Public Sector Equality Duties throughout its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When designing the SEISS, the Treasury undertook an analysis of how the scheme, including the eligibility criteria, may affect individuals with protected characteristics, in line with its Public Sector Equality Duty.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. Those ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the support available, including increased levels of Universal Credit, Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of individuals subject to No Recourse to Public Funds conditions who are currently supported by the furlough scheme.

HMRC do not hold information on the immigration status of migrants supported by the furlough scheme, and are therefore unable to provide the requested data.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of HMRC compliance with the requirement in Section 3.1.8 of the Civil Service Management Code that time off with pay for safety representatives will not be set against facility time allowed under existing arrangements.

As a department HMRC have an obligation to provide reasonable paid time off to recognised trade union representatives to undertake trade union duties. This will include paid time off as necessary for safety representatives as set out in section 3.1.8 of the Civil Service Management Code.

HMRC have a legislative obligation, set out in the Trade Union Act (2016), that information relating to facility time for relevant union officials is published annually, with facility time defined by that Act as including time off taken by a relevant union official that is permitted by the official’s employer, including where this arises under “regulations made under section 2(4) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974”.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether market traders who occupy sub-leases will be given compensation for business rates paid by their landlord included in their rent.

Business rates relief is provided to the relevant ratepayer. In cases where the ratepayer is the landlord, it is for them and their tenants to resolve how that is distributed.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the existing business rates relief and grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether market traders will be able to make retrospective claims for earnings lost whilst they were ineligible for the coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund.

Market traders are eligible for a £10,000 grant from the Small Business Grant Fund if they occupied a business property that was in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief on 11th March 2020.

In addition, market traders may also be eligible for a grant worth £10,000 or £25,000 from the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund, even if they were not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief. They will be eligible if they have their own business rates assessment, if they occupy a property used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public (or for other purposes listed in the published guidance on the expanded retail discount for business rates), and if their property has a rateable value of under £51,000.

For market traders without their own business rates assessment, the Discretionary Grants Fund, launched on 1st May 2020, provided up to an additional £617m to allow Local Authorities to make grants to businesses in this situation (alongside other types of business).

Market traders may also be eligible to receive income support via a grant from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, or be able to access support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, depending on their personal circumstances.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of the State for Education on the (a) adequacy of funding for and (b) operation of the free school meal voucher scheme.

During this period, we are asking schools to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. The national voucher scheme provides an alternative with costs covered by the Department for Education. Schools are able to order a single voucher to the value of £15 each week for every child eligible for benefits-related free school meals who is not attending school. This is more generous than the weekly amount provided to schools for provision of free school meals, recognising that families will not buy in bulk and therefore will not be able to achieve the same economies of scale.

Voucher codes are being processed and many thousands of families are redeeming them. As of Tuesday 12 May, Edenred reported that more than £70 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket e-gift cards by schools and families.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to (a) collect and (b) publish data on the (a) age, (b) gender and (c) ethnicity of people subject to serious violence reduction orders.

We published a policy equality statement for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in September 2021. This document includes a policy equality assessment on SVROs. The full assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill-2021-equality-statements/home-office-measures-in-the-police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill-equalities-impact-assessment

We will pilot and evaluate SVROs in four police force areas before a decision is made on national roll out. Ministers will be required to have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty in taking decisions in relation to implementation and the pilot in due course. We will, therefore, ensure that the equalities assessment is kept up to date.

The Government is working with the pilot police forces to agree the parameters of the pilot evaluation and what data will need to be collected and monitored to inform the evaluation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to make additional funding available for (a) local authorities, (b) educational institutions and (c) health services to implement serious violence partnerships.

This Government recognises that tackling serious violence is not only a law enforcement issue, it needs a multi-agency approach involving a range of partners with a focus on prevention and early intervention. That is why we continue to take a whole system approach to violence prevention, exemplified by our £105.5m investment to date in Violence Reduction Units that co-ordinate the partnership response to violence in their areas, and by implementing the Serious Violence Duty that will ensure that serious violence is made a focus within existing multi-agency arrangements across England and Wales, allowing for greater collaboration between a wider set of partners.

Following the recent outcome of the Spending Review, we have committed to investing £150 million a year to continue and expand programmes that prevent crime and keep our communities safe. We will provide greater detail on the funding allocations later this year.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether education institutions, local authorities and health services will be required to share information with the police about people deemed at risk of serious violence under serious violence partnerships.

Tackling serious violence is not only an issue for law enforcement, it needs a multi-agency approach involving a range of partners and agencies such as education, health, social services, housing, youth and victim services with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill we are creating a new duty on a range of specified agencies, to work collaboratively, share data and information and put in place plans to prevent and reduce serious violence within their local communities.

The legislation does not specify particular types of data or cohorts of individuals whose data must be shared as part of this process. This will be for local partnerships to determine based on local circumstances.

The Bill also specifies that authorities will need to comply with relevant data protection legislation when sharing data, personal or otherwise, under the Serious Violence Duty.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria her Department plans to use to identify people whose information will be shared at serious violence partnerships.

Tackling serious violence is not only an issue for law enforcement, it needs a multi-agency approach involving a range of partners and agencies such as education, health, social services, housing, youth and victim services with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill we are creating a new duty on a range of specified agencies, to work collaboratively, share data and information and put in place plans to prevent and reduce serious violence within their local communities.

The legislation does not specify particular types of data or cohorts of individuals whose data must be shared as part of this process. This will be for local partnerships to determine based on local circumstances.

The Bill also specifies that authorities will need to comply with relevant data protection legislation when sharing data, personal or otherwise, under the Serious Violence Duty.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to undertake an equalities impact assessment on the implementation of serious violence reduction orders.

We published a policy equality statement for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in September 2021. This document includes a policy equality assessment on SVROs. The full assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill-2021-equality-statements/home-office-measures-in-the-police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill-equalities-impact-assessment

We will pilot and evaluate SVROs in four police force areas before a decision is made on national roll out. Ministers will be required to have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty in taking decisions in relation to implementation and the pilot in due course. We will, therefore, ensure that the equalities assessment is kept up to date.

The Government is working with the pilot police forces to agree the parameters of the pilot evaluation and what data will need to be collected and monitored to inform the evaluation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department considers reasonable grounds for EU citizens to be accepted for settled or pre settled status in the UK if they miss the 30 June 2021 application deadline.

The Home Office has already published non-exhaustive guidance (on 1 April 2021) on what may constitute such reasonable grounds, which will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme in light of the circumstances of each case.

The guidance can be found at pages 26 to 44 here:

EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of (a) EEA Family Permit Applications and (b) EU Settlement Scheme family permits have not met her Department's service standards in the most recent period for which data is available.

The published service standards for EEA and EUSS family permits states:

If you are applying for an EEA family permit or an EUSS family permit you will get a decision as soon as possible after proving your identity and provided your documents.

This can be found at:

www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk#if-you-want-to-join-family-in-the-uk

Therefore, there is no time-bound service standard attached to these routes.

The Home Office publishes data on entry clearance visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on EEA Family Permit and EU Settlement Scheme family permit applications and outcomes are published in table Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visa detailed data sets which can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the use of the term Oriental by the Metropolitan Police in reference to hate crimes against people from East and South East Asia; and whether her Department plans to review the use of that term.

From 1 April we have asked forces to use the below categories, in relation to recording the ethnicity of victims of hate crime:

Asian

Indian

Pakistani

Bangladeshi

Any Other Asian Background

Black

Black Caribbean

Black African

Any Other Black Background

Mixed

White And Black Caribbean

White And Black African

White And Asian

Any Other Mixed Background

Not Stated

Chinese and other

Chinese

Any Other Ethnic Group

White

White British

White Irish

Any Other White Background

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many non-British nationals who have served their sentence remain held in prison under immigration powers awaiting deportation.

This Government puts the rights of the British public before those of criminals, and we are clear that foreign criminals should be deported from the UK wherever it is legal and practical to do so.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention as at the last day of the quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The number of people in detention held in an HM Prison under immigration powers, published on the 25 February 2021, is available from table Det_D02 of the Detention detailed datasets. Information on those who have served their sentence and remain held in prison under immigration powers awaiting deportation is not available in a reportable format.

We make every effort to ensure that a person’s removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Where an FNO refuses to cooperate with the removal or deportation process, they may be detained. Foreign national offenders held in detention have the option to apply to an independent immigration judge for bail at any point.

Since January 2019, we have returned 7,240 FNOs, and we make no apology for protecting the public.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many locations are housing asylum seekers under section 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency, (b) Tower Hamlets and (c) London.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 25 February 2021. The next quarterly figures are due to be released in May 2021.

The Home Office does not publish a break down of numbers of asylum seekers accommodated under Section 98 for each local authority area. These figures are not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure the timely distribution of Biometric Residence Permit cards during the covid-19 outbreak.

UVKI does not hold figures relating to the number of customers who have waited longer than 10 working days to receive their Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) after a positive decision. However, it does have service level agreements with its production provider the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) and its secure delivery provider FedEx.

Customers who applied for leave to enter from abroad will usually be expected to collect their BRP from a Post Office or from an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) such as a University International Student Team office. Considering the global pandemic, The Post Office agreed to hold BRPs for up to 90 days from receipt before returning them to UKVI if uncollected to enable delayed travellers to collect their BRP. Usually the Post Office would hold BRPs for 60 days before returning any uncollected BRPs to UKVI.

The DVLA has a target of producing 90% of BRPs within 24 hours of receiving the production request and 100% within 48 hours. For the financial year to date DVLA has achieved 72.4% within 24 hours, 97.4% within 48 hours and 2.6% over 48 hours.

FedEx has a target to attempt first delivery for 99% of BRPs within 48 working hours of collection of the BRP from DVLA. For financial year 2020 to end December 2020 FedEx were achieving 94.4%. UKVI is working closely with FedEx to improve this performance and an improvement plan is in place to achieve this.

Further steps UKVI have taken to improve the timely delivery of BRPs includes introducing an ‘Post Arrival Process’ for closed university ACLs. This was introduced to enable BRPs for overseas students to be delivered directly to their UK residential address instead of to their ACL for collection. Twenty-one ACLs signed up to the scheme enabling 10,348 BRPs to be produced and delivered.

UKVI has continued to improve the pre-delivery notification messaging we send to customers including the timing of when it is sent. It now includes the BRP reference number, in addition to the FedEx delivery consignment number, delivery post code and clearer instructions relating to help customers organise re-delivery if first delivery fails.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of visa applications requiring the distribution of a new or replacement Biometric Resident Permit card have taken longer than her Department's standard processing time.

UVKI does not hold figures relating to the number of customers who have waited longer than 10 working days to receive their Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) after a positive decision. However, it does have service level agreements with its production provider the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) and its secure delivery provider FedEx.

Customers who applied for leave to enter from abroad will usually be expected to collect their BRP from a Post Office or from an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) such as a University International Student Team office. Considering the global pandemic, The Post Office agreed to hold BRPs for up to 90 days from receipt before returning them to UKVI if uncollected to enable delayed travellers to collect their BRP. Usually the Post Office would hold BRPs for 60 days before returning any uncollected BRPs to UKVI.

The DVLA has a target of producing 90% of BRPs within 24 hours of receiving the production request and 100% within 48 hours. For the financial year to date DVLA has achieved 72.4% within 24 hours, 97.4% within 48 hours and 2.6% over 48 hours.

FedEx has a target to attempt first delivery for 99% of BRPs within 48 working hours of collection of the BRP from DVLA. For financial year 2020 to end December 2020 FedEx were achieving 94.4%. UKVI is working closely with FedEx to improve this performance and an improvement plan is in place to achieve this.

Further steps UKVI have taken to improve the timely delivery of BRPs includes introducing an ‘Post Arrival Process’ for closed university ACLs. This was introduced to enable BRPs for overseas students to be delivered directly to their UK residential address instead of to their ACL for collection. Twenty-one ACLs signed up to the scheme enabling 10,348 BRPs to be produced and delivered.

UKVI has continued to improve the pre-delivery notification messaging we send to customers including the timing of when it is sent. It now includes the BRP reference number, in addition to the FedEx delivery consignment number, delivery post code and clearer instructions relating to help customers organise re-delivery if first delivery fails.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of safeguarding referrals made on behalf of asylum seekers at Napier Barracks in the last 14 days.

We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously. Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

The Home Office however do not publish or provide estimated data of safeguarding referrals relating to asylum seekers.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department has provided to asylums seekers in accommodation at Napier Barracks on the procedure for complaints about that accommodation; how many many complaints have been received through made through the relevant complaints procedure; and what remedial steps have been taken in response to complaints received.

The Government takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with safe, warm and secure accommodation, whilst their claims are being processed.

Since Napier Barracks opened as asylum accommodation, the Home Office has worked closely with Clearsprings Ready Homes and Migrant Help, providers of accommodation and advice services, and in partnership with local authorities, the police and other partners to ensure that the site operates safely, securely, and in accordance with public health guidance. In addition to support provided on site, Home Office officials have held discussions with asylum seekers about their concerns and to provide further reassurance, including about their safety, wellbeing and access to relevant healthcare services.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the high standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied.

Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated at Napier receive an induction which outlines the process for raising complaints. A booklet available in ten languages detailing the process is also issued to new arrivals.

Community support workers at the site can also support asylum seekers in accessing the AIRE service to raise a complaint. Providers’ staff will make clear to asylum seekers that registering a complaint will not affect their asylum claim.

The Home Office will continue to carefully review the operation of the site and will make any improvements necessary. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

The Home Office does not publish statistics relating to medical treatment provided to, or complaints raised by, those accommodated at Napier Barracks and to provide these data could only be achieved at disproportionate cost to the department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the UKVI in meeting its duty to inspect accommodation, to ensure that the provider is complying with the basic standards; and what matters arose from those inspections in the latest period for which data is available.

The Government takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with safe, warm and secure accommodation, whilst their claims are being processed.

Since Napier Barracks opened as asylum accommodation, the Home Office has worked closely with Clearsprings Ready Homes and Migrant Help, providers of accommodation and advice services, and in partnership with local authorities, the police and other partners to ensure that the site operates safely, securely, and in accordance with public health guidance. In addition to support provided on site, Home Office officials have held discussions with asylum seekers about their concerns and to provide further reassurance, including about their safety, wellbeing and access to relevant healthcare services.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the high standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied.

Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated at Napier receive an induction which outlines the process for raising complaints. A booklet available in ten languages detailing the process is also issued to new arrivals.

Community support workers at the site can also support asylum seekers in accessing the AIRE service to raise a complaint. Providers’ staff will make clear to asylum seekers that registering a complaint will not affect their asylum claim.

The Home Office will continue to carefully review the operation of the site and will make any improvements necessary. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

The Home Office does not publish statistics relating to medical treatment provided to, or complaints raised by, those accommodated at Napier Barracks and to provide these data could only be achieved at disproportionate cost to the department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers at Napier Barracks have received medical treatment for conditions arising from the refusal of food or fluids.

The Government takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with safe, warm and secure accommodation, whilst their claims are being processed.

Since Napier Barracks opened as asylum accommodation, the Home Office has worked closely with Clearsprings Ready Homes and Migrant Help, providers of accommodation and advice services, and in partnership with local authorities, the police and other partners to ensure that the site operates safely, securely, and in accordance with public health guidance. In addition to support provided on site, Home Office officials have held discussions with asylum seekers about their concerns and to provide further reassurance, including about their safety, wellbeing and access to relevant healthcare services.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the high standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied.

Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated at Napier receive an induction which outlines the process for raising complaints. A booklet available in ten languages detailing the process is also issued to new arrivals.

Community support workers at the site can also support asylum seekers in accessing the AIRE service to raise a complaint. Providers’ staff will make clear to asylum seekers that registering a complaint will not affect their asylum claim.

The Home Office will continue to carefully review the operation of the site and will make any improvements necessary. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

The Home Office does not publish statistics relating to medical treatment provided to, or complaints raised by, those accommodated at Napier Barracks and to provide these data could only be achieved at disproportionate cost to the department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers at Napier Barracks have had to receive medical treatment for mental health conditions including suicide ideation.

The Government takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with safe, warm and secure accommodation, whilst their claims are being processed.

Since Napier Barracks opened as asylum accommodation, the Home Office has worked closely with Clearsprings Ready Homes and Migrant Help, providers of accommodation and advice services, and in partnership with local authorities, the police and other partners to ensure that the site operates safely, securely, and in accordance with public health guidance. In addition to support provided on site, Home Office officials have held discussions with asylum seekers about their concerns and to provide further reassurance, including about their safety, wellbeing and access to relevant healthcare services.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the high standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied.

Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated at Napier receive an induction which outlines the process for raising complaints. A booklet available in ten languages detailing the process is also issued to new arrivals.

Community support workers at the site can also support asylum seekers in accessing the AIRE service to raise a complaint. Providers’ staff will make clear to asylum seekers that registering a complaint will not affect their asylum claim.

The Home Office will continue to carefully review the operation of the site and will make any improvements necessary. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

The Home Office does not publish statistics relating to medical treatment provided to, or complaints raised by, those accommodated at Napier Barracks and to provide these data could only be achieved at disproportionate cost to the department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers at Napier Barracks have received medical treatment for covid-19.

The Government takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with safe, warm and secure accommodation, whilst their claims are being processed.

Since Napier Barracks opened as asylum accommodation, the Home Office has worked closely with Clearsprings Ready Homes and Migrant Help, providers of accommodation and advice services, and in partnership with local authorities, the police and other partners to ensure that the site operates safely, securely, and in accordance with public health guidance. In addition to support provided on site, Home Office officials have held discussions with asylum seekers about their concerns and to provide further reassurance, including about their safety, wellbeing and access to relevant healthcare services.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the high standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied.

Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated at Napier receive an induction which outlines the process for raising complaints. A booklet available in ten languages detailing the process is also issued to new arrivals.

Community support workers at the site can also support asylum seekers in accessing the AIRE service to raise a complaint. Providers’ staff will make clear to asylum seekers that registering a complaint will not affect their asylum claim.

The Home Office will continue to carefully review the operation of the site and will make any improvements necessary. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

The Home Office does not publish statistics relating to medical treatment provided to, or complaints raised by, those accommodated at Napier Barracks and to provide these data could only be achieved at disproportionate cost to the department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many adults are held at Napier Barracks in Folkestone.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent. Those we are accommodating are not detained and are free to come and go.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has. We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food or have attempted suicide in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many detainees at Napier Barracks in Folkestone are on hunger strike.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent. Those we are accommodating are not detained and are free to come and go.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has. We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food or have attempted suicide in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained at Napier Barracks in Folkstone have received positive covid-19 tests in the last 14 days; and what steps she is taking to prevent the transmission of covid-19 amongst adults held at Napier Barracks.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent. Those we are accommodating are not detained and are free to come and go.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has. We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food or have attempted suicide in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many suicide attempts there have been amongst detainees at Napier Barracks in Folkstone in the last 14 days.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent. Those we are accommodating are not detained and are free to come and go.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has. We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food or have attempted suicide in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for citizenship from EEA citizens have been rejected since 30 September 2020 due to the applicant not holding comprehensive sickness insurance.

No such applications have been refused or rejected on this basis.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her planned timescale is for fully implementing the recommendations of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

The Permanent Secretary and I are committed to deliver lasting and meaningful change across the entire Home Office so that it represents all the communities it serves.

Work continues at pace to implement the findings of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review and Parliament will be updated on further progress in the new year.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the outcome of her review of the compliant environment; and whether that review includes the effect of the No Recourse to Public Funds condition.

As set out in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, initial analysis of data and evidence on the compliant environment will be completed by autumn 2021.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the recent changes to Immigration Rules that make rough sleeping grounds for deportation on people seeking a change of conditions from No Recourse to Public Funds; and if she will make a statement on this.

The Immigration Rule making provision for the discretionary refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the grounds of rough sleeping came into force on 1 December 2020. It will be used sparingly and only as a last resort where a person sleeping rough refuses offers of support and engages in persistent anti-social behaviour.

A person is expected to leave the UK if their leave is cancelled or refused. If they do not choose to leave voluntarily the Home Office may enforce their removal. They will not be subject to deportation action which is reserved for foreign national offenders with serious and persistent criminality as well as for reasons of national security.

The Home Office does not hold data on the number of people rough sleeping in the UK who are subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

The Government remains committed to protecting vulnerable people and has acted decisively to ensure that we support everyone through this pandemic. Many of the wide-ranging COVID-19 measures the Government has put in place, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been made available to migrants with NRPF. We have published guidance and support for migrants affected by COVID-19 at

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or where there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

Change of conditions decisions are being prioritised and are being dealt with compassionately. This approach is working. Data published in November 2020 shows that 85% of change of condition applications are granted and the average time taken to make a decision is now just 17 days, down from 45 days in the previous quarter.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether personal information gathered during a Stop and Search can then be used for immigration enforcement purposes.

Stop and search is an investigative tool that the police use to prevent and detect crime by allowing the police to search for offensive weapons and drugs. The police are required to take statistical records of stop and searches for accountability and transparency purposes.

Information may be shared between the Police and Immigration Enforcement under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. However, we remain clear that the Police do not use stop and search to identify potential immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether police data on individuals with no fixed abode will be used by immigration enforcement officials.

Police Officers refer any suspected immigration offenders to the Home Office’s National Command and Control Unit (NCCU), this includes details of individuals with no fixed abode. First and foremost, NCCU officers will provide appropriate advice and support where required to the police to safeguard any vulnerable individuals. NCCU officers then consider any further action required with regard to the individual’s 'insecure' immigration status, including signposting individuals to other Home Office Teams to regularise their stay where appropriate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will undertake an assessment of the effectiveness of the actions of (a) the police, (b) other public bodies and (c) staff under her Department's remit in relation to the death of 12-year-old Shukri Abdi.

Shukri Abdi’s death was a tragedy and our thoughts remain with her family and friends. An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into the actions of Greater Manchester Police found insufficient evidence to suggest that the force did not conduct a thorough investigation into Shukri’s death and was satisfied that it was carried out in line with national and local policies and procedures. The coroner in the inquest into Shukri’s death concluded that it was an accidental death. Consequently, there are no plans for an assessment of the type suggested by the Hon. Member.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which senior police officer is responsible for the police national strategy on digital intelligence and investigations including Islamophobic online abuse.

Islamophobic online abuse is completely unacceptable and has no place in British society. In instances where content of this nature reaches the illegal threshold, the police may treat it as a hate crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton is the National Police Chiefs’ Council Hate Crime Lead. His role includes promoting Hate Crime standards and awareness across the UK.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of rough sleeping migrants from the European Economic Area that will be deported as a result of changes to immigration rules.

The new Immigration Rules, which make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping, will not apply to those with (or eligible for) leave granted under the EU Settlement Scheme or other cohorts protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The provision in the immigration rules will be used as a last resort where a person repeatedly engages in anti-social behaviour and refuses offers of support. If we cancel a person’s permission to stay in the UK we will ask them to leave voluntarily with government support.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent (a) impact assessments, (b) public sector equality duty assessments and (c) consultations with stakeholders have been conducted in relation to changes to immigration law and rough sleeping.

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA citizens from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA citizens from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

An Equality Impact Assessment was completed for all the Immigration Rules laid on 22 October 2020.

The Home Office and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government are working together to encourage local authorities and approved charities to resolve the immigration status of eligible rough sleepers and unlock access to any benefits and entitlements that rough sleepers may be eligible for.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason recently announced changes to immigration rules make rough sleeping a grounds for refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK.

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA citizens from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA citizens from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

An Equality Impact Assessment was completed for all the Immigration Rules laid on 22 October 2020.

The Home Office and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government are working together to encourage local authorities and approved charities to resolve the immigration status of eligible rough sleepers and unlock access to any benefits and entitlements that rough sleepers may be eligible for.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will waive fees for renewing a passport for people who travel often for work when the new rules on the passport expiry date come info force for travel to the EU after the transition period.

There are no plans to waive any passport fees after the transition period.

Fees are charged to cover the full cost of providing the service, granting fee waivers means other customers would have to pay more to subsidise those waivers. All passport customers need to check they have appropriate validity for travel to the EU or anywhere else in the world. Guidance is available on Gov.UK

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the hostile environment policies on (a) current and (b) potential migrants from (i) India, (ii) Pakistan and (iii) Bangladesh.

The Government is committed to a firm, fair and humane immigration policy which distinguishes effectively between those with lawful status and those here illegally.

In common with other comparable countries, the UK has in place a framework of laws, policies and administrative arrangements, introduced under successive governments ensuring access to work benefits and services is permitted for those with the right access to them. Key measures were the subject of public consultations and/or impact assessments before they were introduced. These measures incorporate important safeguards, including the ability to exercise discretion where there are genuine barriers to persons leaving the UK or there are exceptional compassionate factors.

Eligibility checks are based on checking lawful status, not the nationality of those accessing work and key services, applying equally to all.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what is the timeframe is for the publication of the Windrush Lessons Learned review.

The Home Secretary has not yet received the final report from the independent reviewer Wendy Williams. On receipt it will be published as soon as practicable.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the people deported to Jamaica on 11 February 2020 had previously been granted (a) a right of residency and (b) indefinite leave to remain.

The foreign national offenders who have been removed on this flight have all had their cases fully reviewed to ensure there are no outstanding legal barriers that would prevent their removal from the UK.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, introduced by the Labour Government, a Deportation Order must be made where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.This is subject to several exceptions, including where to do so would be a breach of a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

A Deportation Order also invalidates any leave to enter or remain that the person has or is subsequently given while the order is in force.In the case of a foreign national who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.

A foreign national who has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, who is a persistent offender or who represents a threat to national security may be considered for deportation under the Immigration Act 1971, where it is conducive to the public good.The individuals on the flight were foreign national offenders whose offences include manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are factors considered when determining whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Each case is considered on its individual merits and is carefully assessed against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues.

The Home Office works with a number of non-governmental organisations that provide support on arrival for returnees which includes general orientation, access to temporary accommodation, travel, vocational training, job referral and signposting services. We are committed to ensuring safe and dignified returns and reintegration is a key part of that

All individuals who are detained are made aware of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an immigration removal centre (IRC). The Legal Aid Agency operates legal advice surgeries across the detention estate in England, with detainees receiving up to 30 minutes of advice without reference to financial eligibility or merits of their case.. If they require substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid then full legal advice can be provided.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any of the people deported to Jamaica on 11 February 2020 originally entered the UK as a child.

The foreign national offenders who have been removed on this flight have all had their cases fully reviewed to ensure there are no outstanding legal barriers that would prevent their removal from the UK.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, introduced by the Labour Government, a Deportation Order must be made where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.This is subject to several exceptions, including where to do so would be a breach of a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

A Deportation Order also invalidates any leave to enter or remain that the person has or is subsequently given while the order is in force.In the case of a foreign national who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.

A foreign national who has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, who is a persistent offender or who represents a threat to national security may be considered for deportation under the Immigration Act 1971, where it is conducive to the public good.The individuals on the flight were foreign national offenders whose offences include manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are factors considered when determining whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Each case is considered on its individual merits and is carefully assessed against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues.

The Home Office works with a number of non-governmental organisations that provide support on arrival for returnees which includes general orientation, access to temporary accommodation, travel, vocational training, job referral and signposting services. We are committed to ensuring safe and dignified returns and reintegration is a key part of that

All individuals who are detained are made aware of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an immigration removal centre (IRC). The Legal Aid Agency operates legal advice surgeries across the detention estate in England, with detainees receiving up to 30 minutes of advice without reference to financial eligibility or merits of their case.. If they require substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid then full legal advice can be provided.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has taken steps to ensure the safety of people deported to Jamaica on 11 February 2020.

The foreign national offenders who have been removed on this flight have all had their cases fully reviewed to ensure there are no outstanding legal barriers that would prevent their removal from the UK.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, introduced by the Labour Government, a Deportation Order must be made where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.This is subject to several exceptions, including where to do so would be a breach of a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

A Deportation Order also invalidates any leave to enter or remain that the person has or is subsequently given while the order is in force.In the case of a foreign national who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.

A foreign national who has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, who is a persistent offender or who represents a threat to national security may be considered for deportation under the Immigration Act 1971, where it is conducive to the public good.The individuals on the flight were foreign national offenders whose offences include manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are factors considered when determining whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Each case is considered on its individual merits and is carefully assessed against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues.

The Home Office works with a number of non-governmental organisations that provide support on arrival for returnees which includes general orientation, access to temporary accommodation, travel, vocational training, job referral and signposting services. We are committed to ensuring safe and dignified returns and reintegration is a key part of that

All individuals who are detained are made aware of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an immigration removal centre (IRC). The Legal Aid Agency operates legal advice surgeries across the detention estate in England, with detainees receiving up to 30 minutes of advice without reference to financial eligibility or merits of their case.. If they require substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid then full legal advice can be provided.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the people deported to Jamaica on 11 February 2020 had access to legal advice and representation prior to deportation.

The foreign national offenders who have been removed on this flight have all had their cases fully reviewed to ensure there are no outstanding legal barriers that would prevent their removal from the UK.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, introduced by the Labour Government, a Deportation Order must be made where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.This is subject to several exceptions, including where to do so would be a breach of a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

A Deportation Order also invalidates any leave to enter or remain that the person has or is subsequently given while the order is in force.In the case of a foreign national who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.

A foreign national who has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, who is a persistent offender or who represents a threat to national security may be considered for deportation under the Immigration Act 1971, where it is conducive to the public good.The individuals on the flight were foreign national offenders whose offences include manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are factors considered when determining whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Each case is considered on its individual merits and is carefully assessed against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues.

The Home Office works with a number of non-governmental organisations that provide support on arrival for returnees which includes general orientation, access to temporary accommodation, travel, vocational training, job referral and signposting services. We are committed to ensuring safe and dignified returns and reintegration is a key part of that

All individuals who are detained are made aware of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an immigration removal centre (IRC). The Legal Aid Agency operates legal advice surgeries across the detention estate in England, with detainees receiving up to 30 minutes of advice without reference to financial eligibility or merits of their case.. If they require substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid then full legal advice can be provided.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any of the people deported to Jamaica on 11 February 2020 were the (a) children and (b) grandchildren of people who migrated to the UK from the Commonwealth before 1973.

The foreign national offenders who have been removed on this flight have all had their cases fully reviewed to ensure there are no outstanding legal barriers that would prevent their removal from the UK.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, introduced by the Labour Government, a Deportation Order must be made where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.This is subject to several exceptions, including where to do so would be a breach of a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

A Deportation Order also invalidates any leave to enter or remain that the person has or is subsequently given while the order is in force.In the case of a foreign national who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.

A foreign national who has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, who is a persistent offender or who represents a threat to national security may be considered for deportation under the Immigration Act 1971, where it is conducive to the public good.The individuals on the flight were foreign national offenders whose offences include manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are factors considered when determining whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Each case is considered on its individual merits and is carefully assessed against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues.

The Home Office works with a number of non-governmental organisations that provide support on arrival for returnees which includes general orientation, access to temporary accommodation, travel, vocational training, job referral and signposting services. We are committed to ensuring safe and dignified returns and reintegration is a key part of that

All individuals who are detained are made aware of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an immigration removal centre (IRC). The Legal Aid Agency operates legal advice surgeries across the detention estate in England, with detainees receiving up to 30 minutes of advice without reference to financial eligibility or merits of their case.. If they require substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid then full legal advice can be provided.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to help support pet ownership among those living in shared ownership properties.

There is nothing within the Government's Shared Ownership model which prohibits pet ownership. Instead, decisions on pet ownership lie with the landlord and will be set out as part of people's lease agreements.

Pet owners should, therefore, check the details of their lease with the relevant Shared Ownership provider prior to purchase. Help to Buy agents will be able to supply contact details for local Shared Ownership providers. A full list of Help to Buy agents can be found on the Government's Own Your Home website.

The Government is in the process of introducing a new model of Shared Ownership that will be more consumer friendly, fairer and more accessible. As with the current version of Shared Ownership, there will be nothing within the new model that prohibits pet ownership.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the average time from an application to the Building Safety Fund proceeding to the second stage to funds being released to the building owner.

Detailed information on the Building Safety Fund application process and estimated timelines can be found in the Building Safety Fund application guidance available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-application-process.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit correctly completed applications as soon as possible. The quicker an applicant submits their application correctly, the quicker their application will be processed. A poorly completed full application will result in delays.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make a further extension to the Building Safety Fund so that remediation works can follow a contract, rather than design and procurement route.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to the Building Safety Fund to choose an appropriate procurement model to ensure that the remediation works are carried out in a timely manner. The Department is working closely with applicants to ensure that works take place as quickly as possible and we are also providing expert construction consultation support to actively engage and advise applicants on procurement and project management.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make additional funding available to leaseholders who are being asked to pay for the costs of remediating their balconies to make them compliant with fire safety regulations.

The Building Safety Fund will cover all works directly related to the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems, this will include costs to remediate balconies where they are integral to the cladding system. This is because unsafe cladding acts as an accelerant to fire spread, and funding will remove the biggest obstacle to remediation proceeding.

Works which are not directly related to the remediation of unsafe cladding systems will not be covered by public funding. Government guidance is clear that building safety is the responsibility of building owners and the consolidated advice note published in January 2020 provides information to building owners on the actions they should take to address the risk of fire spread from external wall systems including and balconies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the projected cost of remediation works to balconies on blocks.

An Economic Impact Assessment was published alongside the draft Building Safety Bill on 20 July 2020 which includes estimates of the average costs per building for addressing safety remediation in high rise buildings, including balconies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what meetings he has had in the last year with (a) leaseholder-run groups, (b) groups that directly represent leaseholders and (c) leaseholders living in blocks which are not fire-safe.

Ministers regularly meet with leaseholders and their representative groups.

Details of Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on the Gov.uk website: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/956236/Ministerial_meetings_July_to_Sept_2020.csv/preview

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of a cap on service charge rises at the rate of CPI inflation for social housing tenants.

All service charges must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

The Government’s policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1%, to help keep charges affordable.

For tenants in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80% of market rent.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to improve the regulation of under-performing housing associations to provide greater protection for tenants and leaseholders and increased involvement in the governance structures of those organisations.

The Government is committed to ensuring a better deal for tenants. In November 2020 we published “The Charter for Social Housing Residents”, which sets out clearly what every social housing resident in England should expect of their landlord. The Charter will deliver a transformation of the social housing regulatory regime, creating proactive consumer regulation and rebalancing the relationship between landlord and tenant. It will ensure that complaints are dealt with quickly and fairly, improve the quality of social homes and empower tenants.

In the Charter we are also committed to deliver a new opportunities and empowerment programme to support resident’s effective engagement with landlords. We are also improving the complaints process for tenants; we have strengthened the Housing Ombudsman’s powers and increased their resources to help improve performance and delivery of services, along with other reforms such as speeding up access to the Housing Ombudsman by removing the Democratic Filter.

With regards to the Regulator of Social Housing’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group, the regulator is operationally independent, and Government does not interfere with how it regulates. Its general approach and how it ensures its standards are being met are set out in its guidance ‘Regulating the Standards’. I understand that as part of its recent investigation into Clarion Housing Group’s repairs service, the Regulator met with councillors who were raising concerns on behalf of residents. The Regulator kept the councillors updated on progress throughout the process. The Regulator did not meet directly with tenants or leaseholders as part of the investigation. The Department has not discussed the Regulator’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group with Lord Barwell.

Housing associations are independent organisations and are in charge of setting their own procedures for tenants to report repairs and complaints. By law, landlords need to respond within a reasonable timeframe, which will depend on the severity of the repair. The 20 working days referred to is a local, i.e. landlord, policy not a departmental policy.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his department has had discussions with Clarion Housing Group Board member, Lord Barwell, in the last 12 months about the Regulator of Social Housing’s investigation into that organisation’s repairs services and housing management.

The Government is committed to ensuring a better deal for tenants. In November 2020 we published “The Charter for Social Housing Residents”, which sets out clearly what every social housing resident in England should expect of their landlord. The Charter will deliver a transformation of the social housing regulatory regime, creating proactive consumer regulation and rebalancing the relationship between landlord and tenant. It will ensure that complaints are dealt with quickly and fairly, improve the quality of social homes and empower tenants.

In the Charter we are also committed to deliver a new opportunities and empowerment programme to support resident’s effective engagement with landlords. We are also improving the complaints process for tenants; we have strengthened the Housing Ombudsman’s powers and increased their resources to help improve performance and delivery of services, along with other reforms such as speeding up access to the Housing Ombudsman by removing the Democratic Filter.

With regards to the Regulator of Social Housing’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group, the regulator is operationally independent, and Government does not interfere with how it regulates. Its general approach and how it ensures its standards are being met are set out in its guidance ‘Regulating the Standards’. I understand that as part of its recent investigation into Clarion Housing Group’s repairs service, the Regulator met with councillors who were raising concerns on behalf of residents. The Regulator kept the councillors updated on progress throughout the process. The Regulator did not meet directly with tenants or leaseholders as part of the investigation. The Department has not discussed the Regulator’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group with Lord Barwell.

Housing associations are independent organisations and are in charge of setting their own procedures for tenants to report repairs and complaints. By law, landlords need to respond within a reasonable timeframe, which will depend on the severity of the repair. The 20 working days referred to is a local, i.e. landlord, policy not a departmental policy.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the recent investigation into Clarion Housing Group, for what reason it is his Department's policy that social landlords have 20 working days to respond to any repair that is not deemed an immediate risk to the health and safety of the tenant.

The Government is committed to ensuring a better deal for tenants. In November 2020 we published “The Charter for Social Housing Residents”, which sets out clearly what every social housing resident in England should expect of their landlord. The Charter will deliver a transformation of the social housing regulatory regime, creating proactive consumer regulation and rebalancing the relationship between landlord and tenant. It will ensure that complaints are dealt with quickly and fairly, improve the quality of social homes and empower tenants.

In the Charter we are also committed to deliver a new opportunities and empowerment programme to support resident’s effective engagement with landlords. We are also improving the complaints process for tenants; we have strengthened the Housing Ombudsman’s powers and increased their resources to help improve performance and delivery of services, along with other reforms such as speeding up access to the Housing Ombudsman by removing the Democratic Filter.

With regards to the Regulator of Social Housing’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group, the regulator is operationally independent, and Government does not interfere with how it regulates. Its general approach and how it ensures its standards are being met are set out in its guidance ‘Regulating the Standards’. I understand that as part of its recent investigation into Clarion Housing Group’s repairs service, the Regulator met with councillors who were raising concerns on behalf of residents. The Regulator kept the councillors updated on progress throughout the process. The Regulator did not meet directly with tenants or leaseholders as part of the investigation. The Department has not discussed the Regulator’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group with Lord Barwell.

Housing associations are independent organisations and are in charge of setting their own procedures for tenants to report repairs and complaints. By law, landlords need to respond within a reasonable timeframe, which will depend on the severity of the repair. The 20 working days referred to is a local, i.e. landlord, policy not a departmental policy.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, If he will ask the Regulator of Social Housing to provide the number of tenants or leaseholders of Clarion Housing Group it had communications with as part of its recent investigation into that organisation’s repairs services before it concluded there had been no breach of the Homes Standard.

The Government is committed to ensuring a better deal for tenants. In November 2020 we published “The Charter for Social Housing Residents”, which sets out clearly what every social housing resident in England should expect of their landlord. The Charter will deliver a transformation of the social housing regulatory regime, creating proactive consumer regulation and rebalancing the relationship between landlord and tenant. It will ensure that complaints are dealt with quickly and fairly, improve the quality of social homes and empower tenants.

In the Charter we are also committed to deliver a new opportunities and empowerment programme to support resident’s effective engagement with landlords. We are also improving the complaints process for tenants; we have strengthened the Housing Ombudsman’s powers and increased their resources to help improve performance and delivery of services, along with other reforms such as speeding up access to the Housing Ombudsman by removing the Democratic Filter.

With regards to the Regulator of Social Housing’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group, the regulator is operationally independent, and Government does not interfere with how it regulates. Its general approach and how it ensures its standards are being met are set out in its guidance ‘Regulating the Standards’. I understand that as part of its recent investigation into Clarion Housing Group’s repairs service, the Regulator met with councillors who were raising concerns on behalf of residents. The Regulator kept the councillors updated on progress throughout the process. The Regulator did not meet directly with tenants or leaseholders as part of the investigation. The Department has not discussed the Regulator’s investigation into Clarion Housing Group with Lord Barwell.

Housing associations are independent organisations and are in charge of setting their own procedures for tenants to report repairs and complaints. By law, landlords need to respond within a reasonable timeframe, which will depend on the severity of the repair. The 20 working days referred to is a local, i.e. landlord, policy not a departmental policy.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his Department's policy that housing associations should provide full annual independent audit of service charges with the report published and available to the public and fully itemised bills accompanied with validated receipts.

The Social Housing White Paper sets out clear transparency requirements for housing associations, with a clear expectation that all social housing residents should be able to know how their landlord is performing. As part of this, the Government has committed to introduce a new access to information scheme for social housing tenants of housing associations, as well as setting expectations for landlords to provide a clear breakdown of how their income is being spent.

The Government further believes that the service charge requests of all freeholders, regardless of who they might be, should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong. A summary of leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities must currently be provided with the demand for charges.

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best, to consider transparency of fees and charges alongside the regulation of property agents. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report) and we are considering the report’s recommendations.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what representations his Department has received on residential developments that have had A1 or A2 EWS ratings re-assessed as B2; and what steps he is taking to ensure the standardisation of results through clarifying who is entitled to carry out those tests.

The Department is aware of a small number of cases regarding differing EWS1 valuation assessments. Differing assessments may be as a result of further information about a building being obtained. It is for the building owner to explain any changes in valuation assessment. RICS have published a list of professionals suitable to sign an EWS1 form.

An EWS1 form is not a safety certificate or safety ‘test’. An EWS1 form is not a replacement for a fire risk assessment, carried out by a competent professional.

To support professionals undertaking work to complete the external wall aspect of fire risk assessments, the Government has commissioned the British Standards Institution to produce a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). Known as PAS 9980, this is a code of practice is designed to ensure that if followed, assessments of external wall systems are consistent.

The code of practice has been published in draft form for public consultation, which closes on 20 May.

The Department is funding nearly £700k to train additional assessors. RICS, the body delivering the training, is ensuring alignment with the emergent code of practice.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of delays to the timescales for the Building Safety Fund on the ability of housing associations to plan financially.

The Government does not expect there to be delays to the Building Safety Fund. All buildings, whether in the social or private sector, with an existing application to the Fund should be planning to start remediation work on site by September 2021. To ensure this critical safety work can commence at pace we offer expert construction consultation support to actively engage with those planning and undertaking remediation work under the Building Safety Fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish details of how to access the additional funding for the removal of unsafe cladding that was announced by his Department on 10 February 2020.

The additional £3.5 billion of funding announced on 10 February provides assurance for leaseholders that all eligible applications to the Building Safety Fund will be able to proceed and that Government will fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres and over in England.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department press release of 10 February 2021, Government to bring an end to unsafe cladding with multi-billion pound intervention, whether the Home Office's analysis of fire and rescue service statistics used by his Department as evidence on which to base the findings in that press release measured building heights from bottom to the top of the building or to the finished floor level of the top occupied storey of that building.

Methodological notes, including information on height measurements, is available in the Home Office publication here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831136/detailed-analysis-fires-attended-fire-rescue-england-1819-hosb1919.pdf

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to make support available to people in buildings deemed unsafe as a result of cladding or other fire safety issues who have seen recent increases in their building insurance premiums.

The Government is aware that some leaseholders in high rise residential buildings are receiving very high building insurance premiums. The Department is working to understand this better and, with the insurance industry, to scope out potential resolutions. The Department has engaged directly with insurers and leaseholders on building insurance


The Minister for Building Safety is due to hold a further roundtable with both insurers and leaseholders later this month to address the issue of unaffordable building insurance specifically.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2021
What steps he is taking to protect leaseholders from the costs of remediating dangerous buildings.

We have announced that an additional £3.5 billion in funding will be provided by the Government to remediate unsafe cladding, bringing the total investment to building safety to an unprecedented £5 billion. We are also establishing a generous financing scheme which will allow buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height to access finance for the remediation of dangerous cladding. Leaseholders will pay no more than £50 per month.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the interest free period on Help To Buy Loans for leaseholders living in buildings with unsafe cladding.

The Government has announced a globally unprecedented investment in building safety and hundreds of thousands of leaseholders will be protected from the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on their homes


Government will provide grant funding worth over £5 billion for the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings over 18 metres.

Lower-rise buildings between 11 and 18 metres, with a lower risk to safety, will gain new protection from the costs of cladding removal through a generous new financing scheme. The Government is conscious of the need to make any financing scheme affordable for leaseholders. That is why we have said that any financing scheme will have a £50 a month cap.

We will publish more details on how these will work alongside existing funds (including the Building Safety Fund (BSF)) soon. There are no plans to extend the interest-free period on Help to Buy Equity Loans.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of (a) White British households and (b) Bangladeshi households are living in overcrowded accommodation in Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

The latest data on national and regional levels of overcrowding by ethnicity is published on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website and can be found at: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/housing/housing-conditions/overcrowded-households/latest#by-ethnicity-and-area .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made for his policies of people in the LGBTQ+ community who are made homeless due to fleeing abuse at home.

It is absolutely critical that victims of domestic abuse get support and especially when they are in housing need.

In May 2020 the Government announced its intent to give those who are homeless as a result of being a victim of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation secured by the local authority. This is being taken forward through the Domestic Abuse Bill and will help to ensure victims do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.

Until this legislative change comes into force, victims of domestic abuse continue to be supported by local authorities through the Homelessness Reduction Act, where authorities have a duty to try and prevent or relieve a household’s homelessness irrespective of whether they are a family or single person, what has put them at risk, or if they have a local connection to the area. This means that all victims of domestic abuse who are at risk of homelessness, including those from the LGBTQ+ community, should be provided with an offer of support from their local authority to find appropriate accommodation.

During the pandemic MHCLG has allocated the £10 million Emergency Support Fund to 147 successful charity bids. In total these are supporting 166 organisations to provide 1,890 bed spaces for victims of domestic abuse. Of those funded, 51 bids were from organisations offering specialised support to diverse groups including BAME and LGBTQ+ victims.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has allocated funding to support professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments.

The department is working with professional bodies to scale up capacity to carry out external wall system assessments. To speed up valuations where EWS1 forms are justified, the Government is providing nearly £700,000 funding to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to train up to 2,000 more assessors in 2021. The department is also considering ways to ensure technical experts can continue to take on more challenging work.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the proportion of private landlords using a deposit protection scheme who make use of the (a) insurance and (b) custodian options; and how many tenancies where those options have been used have lead to disputes over deposit repayments.

All landlords must protect any deposit taken in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy in a Government-approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. The most recent data received from the Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes showed 2,185,270 (52 per cent) deposits protected in an insurance scheme and 1,989,718 (48 per cent) within a custodial scheme on 30 September 2020. In the 6 months to 30 September 2020, there were 6,667 disputes adjudicated upon by insurance schemes and 6,465 disputes adjudicated upon by custodial schemes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many additional professionals able to undertake external wall surveys have been trained from 13 October and 1 December 2020.

The department is working with professional bodies to scale up capacity to carry out external wall system assessments. To speed up valuations where EWS1 forms are justified, the Government is providing nearly £700,000 funding to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to train up to 2,000 more assessors in 2021. The department is also considering ways to ensure technical experts can continue to take on more challenging work.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the deadline for the submission of claims forms to the Building Safety Fund for the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems.

The Department has been working at pace and with building owners to process the registrations to the Building Safety Fund and to ensure that as many buildings as possible can benefit from the fund – a task that has been made challenging by the failure of many buildings to provide basic eligibility information. It has become clear that many building owners will be unable to complete applications by our intended deadline of 31 December 2020, adding to the concerns of many leaseholders. To address this, we announced on 17 December 2020 that building owners will now have until 30 June 2021 to complete their applications.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of remediation work for buildings deemed not to be fire-safe.

The programme has prioritised remediation of combustible cladding – and particularly ACM cladding – because it acts as a fire accelerant and poses the greatest risk of fire spread. We have made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to the Building Safety Fund to support leaseholders with the costs of remediation work in cases where they have been unable to secure an EWS1 form.

The Government has made £1.6 billion of public funding available for the remediation of unsafe cladding on high rise residential buildings to make homes safer, quicker. In addition to funding the removal of unsafe cladding, Government is also providing expert technical and pre-tender financial support for successful fund applicants.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will undertake an investigation into the actions of the public bodies under his Department's remit in relation to the death of Shukri Abdi.

I am not aware of any actions taken by public bodies under the remit of my Department which would warrant an investigation in relation to the tragic death Shukri Abdi.

A list of departments, agencies and public bodies, including those which MHCLG is responsible for, can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will commission independent research on the causes of Islamophobia.

The Government keeps its policies on addressing hate crime under review and in doing so draws upon extensive existing research regarding the drivers of anti-Muslim hatred.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of trends in Islamophobic hate crime since 2016.

The Government engages with Muslim communities in order to tackle hatred against them, this includes understanding issues and trends that drive hate crime. The Government publishes an annual hate crime statistical bulletin which shows the number of hate crimes recorded by the Police that are perceived to have an anti-Muslim motivation. In 2017-18 there were 2965 reports, in 2018-19 there were 3530 reports and in 2019-20 there were 3089 reports.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to tackle Islamophobia.

This Government has pledged to tackle prejudice, racism and discrimination. We already have some of the strongest legislation in the world to tackle hate crime and, where groups incite racial hatred or are engaged in racially or religiously motivated criminal activity, we would expect them to be prosecuted.

This Government’s work to tackle the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred is extensive, and includes:

· supporting Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) with more than £2.8 million since 2016, helping to monitor and combat anti-Muslim hatred;

· providing almost £5 million through our Places of Worship Security Grant in the last two years alone - helping to secure and protect mosques and other places of worship

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to tackle the level of Islamophobic hate crime in England and Wales.

This Government has pledged to tackle prejudice, racism and discrimination. We already have some of the strongest legislation in the world to tackle hate crime and, where groups incite racial hatred or are engaged in racially or religiously motivated criminal activity, we would expect them to be prosecuted.

This Government’s work to tackle the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred is extensive, and includes:

· supporting Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) with more than £2.8 million since 2016, helping to monitor and combat anti-Muslim hatred;

· providing almost £5 million through our Places of Worship Security Grant in the last two years alone - helping to secure and protect mosques and other places of worship

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to reduce Islamophobic bullying and harassment on social media.

Muslims in our country should be able to practise their faith in freedom.

We have some of the strongest legislation in the world to tackle hate crime and, where groups incite racial hatred or are engaged in racially or religiously motivated criminal activity, we would expect them to be prosecuted.

To strengthen this, we are working on the Online Harms policy. The online harms policy is focused on making the UK the safest place in the world to be online. Our approach to tackling online harms will support more users to participate in online discussions, by reducing the risk of bullying or being attacked on the basis of their identity (for example their gender, race, disability, sexuality, religion or age).

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure an adequate level of funding for the statutory duties in the Domestic Abuse Bill to enable Tower Hamlets council to provide support and protection to people experiencing domestic abuse and their children.

Following the outcome of the Spending Review announced on 25 November, £125 million new burdens funding will be allocated for the new duty to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children within safe accommodation.

My Department will publish further details on when funding will be released to local authorities in due course.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps his Department has taken to tackle Islamophobia in (a) Tower Hamlets, (b) London and (c) England.

This Government has pledged to tackle prejudice, racism and discrimination. We already have some of the strongest legislation in the world to tackle hate crime and, where groups incite racial hatred or are engaged in racially or religiously motivated criminal activity, we would expect them to be prosecuted.

This Government’s work to tackle the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred is extensive, and includes:

· supporting Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) with more than £2.8 million since 2016, helping to monitor and combat anti-Muslim hatred;

· providing almost £5 million through our Places of Worship Security Grant in the last two years alone - helping to secure and protect mosques and other places of worship

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that leaseholders do not bear the costs of remedial works when their managing agent or building owner is unsuccessful in their application for Building Safety Fund, in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency and (b) England.

The Building Safety Fund will cover the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on private and social sector high-rise residential buildings over 18m where building owners would not otherwise be able to do so at the pace required.

On May 26, Government announced the launch of the prospectus for the Building Safety Fund.??The prospectus sets out the buildings and non-ACM cladding systems that are eligible for funding. However, we do not expect Government funding to be the only means of remediating high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding systems.

We expect a significant proportion of the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding on these buildings to be funded by those responsible for the original work, through warrantees or by building owners and landlords who are able to pay for the remediation without passing on costs to leaseholders.

The department is investigating solutions to protect leaseholders, and will provide an update

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation in ensuring that enforcement action can be taken against landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to tenants.

Local authorities have a range of enforcement powers to protect tenants from landlords that do not fulfil their legal obligations. The Housing Act 2004 gives powers to local authorities to regulate and enforce standards in the private rented sector. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 further introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders for use against the worst and most persistent offenders. Legislation also extended rent repayment orders which require a landlord to repay rent when they have not complied with the law.

My Department has also created the database of rogue landlords and property agents and, as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, we have committed to widening access to the database to empower tenants to make more informed choices.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's guidance, Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings, published in January 2020, what discussions he has had with mortgage lenders on the valuation of properties with potential fire safety issues.

The January 2020 Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings, was written for building owners to ensure the safety of their buildings. It was not designed to be used for valuation purposes. The EWS1 process was designed by RICS to address lender concerns about cladding in high-rise residential buildings, but industry has applied it more widely than it was intended. Government does not support a blanket use of EWS1. The Building Safety Minister has met with mortgage lenders seeking their support to a more proportionate approach to valuation of multi storey, multi occupied residential buildings.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has taken steps with the (a) fire and rescue services and (b) Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on increasing the number of skilled professionals able to undertake external wall fire safety assessments.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer for PQ UIN 94499, answered on 1 October 2020.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to provide funding for remedial work to buildings which do not comply with fire safety regulations but do not have problems relating to cladding.

Building owners or other responsible entities managing blocks of flats are responsible for the safety of their buildings. We have made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding on buildings of 18 meters and above. This?reflects the exceptional fire risk that certain cladding products pose at that height, as noted?by?Dame Judith?Hackitt in her independent report.

That funding does not absolve industry from responsibility and taking action. We expect developers, investors and building owners to cover remediation costs themselves, meeting their legal and contractual obligations, recovering costs or drawing on warranties where applicable, without passing on costs to leaseholders.

This Government is determined to identify suitable financing solutions, remove barriers to remediation, and protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs. The Government has asked Michael Wade to accelerate work with the financial sector to identify affordable solutions, and we will be updating the House.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to introduce a cap on rent rises that is linked to inflation.

Landlords cannot in general increase rent without their tenant’s permission, and there are no plans to change the rules regarding rent rises.

The Government does not support the introduction of rent controls to set the level of rent at the outset of a tenancy. Historical evidence suggests that these would discourage investment in the sector, and would lead to declining property standards as a result, which would not help landlords or tenants.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to increase sanctions for rogue landlords.

Through the Housing and Planning Act 2016 we have already introduced strong enforcement powers for local authorities to tackle rogue landlords. These include the introduction of civil penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders for use against the worst and most persistent offenders. We have also extended rent repayment orders which require a landlord to repay rent when they have not complied with the law.

In addition, my Department has also created the database of rogue landlords and property agents and, as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, we have committed to widening access to the database to empower tenants to make more informed choices

Since 2019 we have awarded over £6 million in grant funding to local authorities to boost their enforcement work, fostering innovative approaches and sharing best practice to tackle the minority of landlords who deliberately flout the law.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to increase the use of rent repayment orders to compensate tenants in the event that they are found to be living in sub-standard properties.

Local authorities enforce standards in privately rented homes. If they identify health and safety hazards or poor conditions, they have strong powers to oblige landlords to remedy these. This includes powers to seek rent repayment orders for up to 12 months rent for legal breaches, including letting out substandard properties.

Rent repayment orders were extended through the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to cover a wide range of offences. If a local housing authority becomes aware that a landlord has been convicted of any of these offences, it must consider applying for a rent repayment order. Tenants are also able to submit a claim for a rent repayment order directly to the First-tier Tribunal.

Local housing authorities are required to develop and document their own policy on when to prosecute and when to apply for a rent repayment order and should decide each case independently. I have no plans to change this system.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of recent trends in (a) disputes over service charges, (b) how service charges are challenged and (c) how disputes are resolved.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The department does not hold information about service charge calculation and administration in Poplar and Limehouse or London, nor trends in disputes over service charges, how they are challenged or resolved. Service charges are the most common subject for enquiries to the Leasehold Advisory Service. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The Government established an independent?working group, chaired by Lord?Best,?to raise standards across the property sector, which?also considered?how fees such as service charges should be presented to consumers.?The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ) and we are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the components of services charges for (a) social housing, (b) shared ownership and (c) privately (i) rented and (ii) leasehold properties.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The Department does not hold information about the average number of and category types for service charge components, nor the average service charge amount in London. We also do not hold information on trends in incidences where leaseholders challenge their service charge because work was not undertaken, or because they do not have access to the service provided. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services (Section 20 of the of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered improvements to the transparency of service charges and major works consultations. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ). We are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to introduce minimum property standards to require landlords to register and prove their property is in an acceptable condition.

We are exploring the introduction of minimum standards for privately rented properties as part of our comprehensive review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), the tool used by local authorities to assess standards in the private rented sector.

This review has begun and is looking into new minimum standards for all hazards, including fire, damp and excess cold. This will make the system easier to understand for landlords and tenants, correct the disconnect between the HHSRS and other legislative standards, and facilitate the effective enforcement of housing standards by local authorities.

Regarding a requirement for landlords to register, we want to strike the right balance between supporting good landlords and tackling criminals. In April 2018, using powers under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, we introduced a national database of rogue landlords and letting agents for local authorities to target the worst offenders and prevent them from operating, to better protect tenants. Our consultation on how to open up and extend information on the database to tenants closed on 12 October 2019 and we will respond in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment his Department has made of the the effect of landlord practices in (a) calculation, (b) charging and (c) administering service charges on leaseholders in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency and (b) London.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The department does not hold information about service charge calculation and administration in Poplar and Limehouse or London, nor trends in disputes over service charges, how they are challenged or resolved. Service charges are the most common subject for enquiries to the Leasehold Advisory Service. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The Government established an independent?working group, chaired by Lord?Best,?to raise standards across the property sector, which?also considered?how fees such as service charges should be presented to consumers.?The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ) and we are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of (a) the transparency of service charges and (b) the level of consultation with people paying services charges on their landlord's maintenance and repair programmes.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The Department does not hold information about the average number of and category types for service charge components, nor the average service charge amount in London. We also do not hold information on trends in incidences where leaseholders challenge their service charge because work was not undertaken, or because they do not have access to the service provided. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services (Section 20 of the of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered improvements to the transparency of service charges and major works consultations. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ). We are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the level of substandard housing in the private sector in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency and (b) the UK.

My department publishes the English Housing Survey, which provides information on the housing stock in England including the decency of homes in the private rented sector. The survey reported that in 2008 44 per cent of privately rented homes did not meet the Decent Homes Standard, but that this had improved to 25 per cent by 2018. English Housing Survey results can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/english-housing-survey.

The English Housing Survey does not provide data at a constituency level and this information is not held by this department. However, local authorities have an obligation under the Housing Act 2004 to keep housing conditions in their area under review for all tenures, including the private rented sector, so this information may therefore be held by the relevant local authority.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the average (a) number and (b) category types for service charge components in London; and what recent estimate he has made of average service charges in London.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The Department does not hold information about the average number of and category types for service charge components, nor the average service charge amount in London. We also do not hold information on trends in incidences where leaseholders challenge their service charge because work was not undertaken, or because they do not have access to the service provided. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services (Section 20 of the of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered improvements to the transparency of service charges and major works consultations. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ). We are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department takes to (a) monitor and (b) regulate the standard of housing in the private rental sector; and if he will place in the Library the criteria used as part of that monitoring process.

(a) Standards of housing in the private rented sector are monitored through the English Housing Survey, which my Department publishes and which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/english-housing-survey. The survey reports that in 2008 44 per cent of privately rented homes did not meet the Decent Homes Standard, but that this had improved to 25 per cent by 2018.

(b) Local authorities have strong powers to tackle poor standards in the private rented sector. These powers were strengthened by the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which introduced financial penalties of up to £30,000, extended Rent Repayment Orders and introduced Banning Orders for the most serious and prolific offenders.

In addition, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 has empowered tenants, for the first time, to?take action?in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation.?The remedies available to the tenant are an order by the court requiring the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard and damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit for human habitation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing regulation of service charges applied by landlords.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The Department does not hold information about the average number of and category types for service charge components, nor the average service charge amount in London. We also do not hold information on trends in incidences where leaseholders challenge their service charge because work was not undertaken, or because they do not have access to the service provided. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services (Section 20 of the of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered improvements to the transparency of service charges and major works consultations. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ). We are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of trends in incidents where leaseholders or residents have been charged by landlords for work that has not been undertaken or where services have been provided that they do not have access to.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.??The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard.

Disputes may be resolved informally between leaseholders and the freeholder, or leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges. There are two service charge codes of practice approved by the Secretary of State for the residential leasehold sector and private retirement housing published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which can be taken into account at court or tribunal proceedings where relevant.

The Department does not hold information about the average number of and category types for service charge components, nor the average service charge amount in London. We also do not hold information on trends in incidences where leaseholders challenge their service charge because work was not undertaken, or because they do not have access to the service provided. Free initial advice regarding service charges as well as other leasehold matters may be obtained via the Leasehold Advisory Service, the specialist advisory body funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide assistance to leaseholders.

The law requires that leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a landlord carries out qualifying works or enters into a long-term agreement for the provision of services (Section 20 of the of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered improvements to the transparency of service charges and major works consultations. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report ). We are considering?the report’s?recommendations and will announce next?steps in due course.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timescale is for his Department's re-consideration of the Westferry Printworks planning application by North and Shell.

As the Secretary of State has said, he will not be involved in deciding the redetermined planning appeal and has had no discussions or meetings on the redetermination of this case. No decision has yet been made as to which Minister will decide the appeal. My officials will be writing to the parties in due course setting out the arrangements for the redetermination of the appeal.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which role in his Department is leading the reconsideration of Westferry Printworks development planning proposal; and what progress has been made on that matter.

As the Secretary of State has said, he will not be involved in deciding the redetermined planning appeal and has had no discussions or meetings on the redetermination of this case. No decision has yet been made as to which Minister will decide the appeal. My officials will be writing to the parties in due course setting out the arrangements for the redetermination of the appeal.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with his (a) advisers and (b) Departmental officials on the Westferry Printworks development since June 2020.

As the Secretary of State has said, he will not be involved in deciding the redetermined planning appeal and has had no discussions or meetings on the redetermination of this case. No decision has yet been made as to which Minister will decide the appeal. My officials will be writing to the parties in due course setting out the arrangements for the redetermination of the appeal.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant of the Answer of 21 October to Question 104199, when his Department plans to widen access to the database of rogue landlords and property agents introduced in April 2018; and what his timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on renters reform.

The Renters’ Reform Bill, which will include measures on the database of rogue landlords and property agents, is a priority for the Department and will be brought forward in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant of the Answer of 15 July 2020 to Questions 72267, 72268, 72269 and 72270 on Property Development: Isle of Dogs, what steps his Department took to assess and test the accuracy of the Viability Assessment for the Westferry Printworks planning proposal undertaken by the appellant.

The Secretary of State’s full assessment of viability and affordable housing is set out in his Decision Letter of 14 January 2020 and the accompanying Inspector’s Report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department made of whether the Viability Assessment for the Westferry Printworks planning proposal submitted by the appellant took into account Northern & Shell's reported tax arrangements.

None.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department made of Northern & Shell's reported tax arrangements when considering the financial feasibility of the affordable housing element of Westferry Printworks planning proposal submitted by the appellant.

None.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to implement the lessons learned from the Westferry Printworks planning application to a future decision on the proposal.

Officials continually review procedures and guidance to ensure that they are fit for purpose and that lessons are learned and shared in future.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his oral contribution of 22 July 2020 to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, for what reason it was his policy on the Westferry housing scheme that it was a perfectly fair decision to try and get this done one way or another before the Community Infrastructure Levy charge came in.

It is in the interest of all parties that planning decisions are considered in a timely manner. The Westferry planning application came before Ministers following the failure of Tower Hamlets Council to determine it within their statutory deadline despite a number of opportunities to do so, including at a planning committee meeting which they cancelled owing to ‘a lack of business’, some 8 months after it was first submitted.

As the Secretary of State said before the Committee, Community Infrastructure Levy is a material planning consideration that a decision-maker may take into account in terms of the timing of their decision. Advice on timing is set out in the submission to the Secretary of State included within the published documents on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/westferry-printworks-letters-to-hclg-select-committee.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department is providing to people living in residential blocks with prohibited aluminium composite material cladding who wish to sell their property in Poplar and Limehouse constituency.

The Government has made £600 million of funding available for the removal of unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on high-rise residential buildings, protecting leaseholders from remediation costs, and is also providing additional project management support for remediation. This funding should mean that banks and mortgage lenders have certainty that remediation costs for these buildings will be paid for. The Independent Expert Advisory Panel has provided clear advice to building owners who should take steps to remove unsafe ACM cladding regardless of height. Building owners should be as transparent as possible to enable mortgage lenders and potential buyers to make an informed decision.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the average (a) weekly and (b) monthly cost to leaseholders in buildings in Poplar and Limehouse with unsafe cladding systems of (i) temporary safety measures, (ii) legal fees, (iii) insurance premiums and (iv) other ancillary fees related to fire safety.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 77746, answered on 1 September.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for the removal of any unsafe cladding from 84 Stainsby Road, London, E14 6JD.

The Department cannot provide information regarding individual buildings. Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner, and we expect remedial works to progress at pace. Remediation works to remove and replace unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems have either completed or started on over 70 per cent of all identified high rise residential buildings. We have made clear that we expect the rest to have started work on site before the end of the year and for all to have completed by the end of 2021.

The Government has recognised that finance can be a barrier to remediation and has made significant funds available to speed up the remediation of buildings while protecting leaseholders from significant costs. For the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding we have made £1 billion available to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding in 2020/21. This is in addition to the £600 million made available already to ensure the remediation of unsafe ACM cladding. Government funding is not and should not be the only source of funds and for over half of private residential buildings with ACM claddings, the ACM remediation is being funded from other sources without falling to leaseholders to pay.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the £45 million benchmark land value for the Westferry Printworks site on the provision of affordable housing in (a) Tower Hamlets and (b) England.

The Secretary of State’s conclusions on benchmark land value in relation to this site, and his assessment of the impacts on the provision of affordable housing are set out in full in the Inspector’s Report of 20 November 2019 and his decision letter of 14 January.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his officials had access to the market evidence that formed the basis of the London Deputy Mayor for Planning's decision in April 2016 to accept a £45 million benchmark land value for the Westferry Printworks site; and what assessment his Department made of the implications for his policies of the level of compliance of that decision with the guidance as set out in the Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance published in March 2016.

The Secretary of State’s conclusions on benchmark land value in relation to this site, and his assessment of the impacts on the provision of affordable housing are set out in full in the Inspector’s Report of 20 November 2019 and his decision letter of 14 January.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his officials had with the Deputy Mayor for Planning in April 2016 on his decision to accept a £45 million benchmark land value for the Westferry Printworks site.

The Secretary of State’s conclusions on benchmark land value in relation to this site, and his assessment of the impacts on the provision of affordable housing are set out in full in the Inspector’s Report of 20 November 2019 and his decision letter of 14 January.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason his Department did not publish the Viability Assessment for the Westferry Printworks planning proposal before the public inquiry of August 2019.

Decisions on called in applications and recovered appeals are made on the basis of evidence submitted by parties, and the report and recommendation of the planning Inspector. In this case, the viability assessment undertaken by the appellant was the subject of evidence given by parties to the inquiry. Viability is considered in detail in the Inspector’s report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he commissioned an updated Viability Assessment for the Westferry Printworks proposal before his decision to grant planning permission in January 2020.

Decisions on called in applications and recovered appeals are made on the basis of evidence submitted by parties, and the report and recommendation of the planning Inspector. In this case, the viability assessment undertaken by the appellant was the subject of evidence given by parties to the inquiry. Viability is considered in detail in the Inspector’s report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy for his Department to undertake viability assessments of planning proposals where affordable housing and site values are contested.

Decisions on called in applications and recovered appeals are made on the basis of evidence submitted by parties, and the report and recommendation of the planning Inspector. In this case, the viability assessment undertaken by the appellant was the subject of evidence given by parties to the inquiry. Viability is considered in detail in the Inspector’s report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to publish a Viability Assessment of the Westferry Printworks proposal before the planning application is resubmitted to his Department.

Decisions on called in applications and recovered appeals are made on the basis of evidence submitted by parties, and the report and recommendation of the planning Inspector. In this case, the viability assessment undertaken by the appellant was the subject of evidence given by parties to the inquiry. Viability is considered in detail in the Inspector’s report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of whether there are any wider implications for his Department's policies of his decision to grant planning permission for the Westferry Printworks site (PA/18/01877/A1); and what assessment his Department has made of whether that decision was compliant with Policy 3.12 of the Mayor of London's London Plan.

Decisions on called in applications and recovered appeals are made on the basis of evidence submitted by parties, and the report and recommendation of the planning Inspector. In this case, the viability assessment undertaken by the appellant was the subject of evidence given by parties to the inquiry. Viability is considered in detail in the Inspector’s report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with (a) Gateway Housing Association, (b) Tower Hamlets Council and (c) Swan Housing Association on re-housing people who have been displaced as a result of the crane collapse on 9 July 2020 at the Swan Housing Association’s Watts Grove development site in Bow.

Tower Hamlets Council, working with its partners, is responsible for the re-housing of residents who have had to be evacuated from their homes following this tragic incident. We understand that all affected residents have temporarily been re-housed. My officials have had no direct contact with any of these organisations to date.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Questions 61611 on planning permission, if he will list each of the 27 decisions issued on called in planning applications and recovered appeals.

Since my answer to Question UIN 61611, a further two decisions have been issued. The 29 decisions on called in planning applications and recovered appeals are listed below, and all are published on the Gov.uk website.

Date

Case

25/7/19

N Worcs Golf Club (Birmingham CC)

25/9/19

214 Tunnel Ave (LB Greenwich)

31/10/19

Harrow School (LB Harrow)

4/11/19

HS2 Phase One (LB Hillingdon)

4/11/19

Pale Lane Farm, Fleet (Hart DC)

5/11/19

The Long Shoot (Nuneaton & Bedworth BC)

5/11/19

Darnhall, School Lane, Winsford

5/11/19

Sun Lane, Burley-in-Wharfedale (Bradford MDC)

14/1/20

Westferry Printworks (LB Tower Hamlets)

22/1/20

Land at Fiddington, Ashchurch (Tewkesbury BC)

22/1/20

Former car park, Tesco Store SE13 (LB Lewisham)

24/2/20

N London Business Park (LB Barnet)

12/3/20

Hatchfield farm, Newmarket (W Suffolk)

12/3/20

10 King Henry’s Rd NW3 (LB Camden)

1/4/20

Station Rd, Long Melford (Babergh DC)

7/4/20

Barbrook Lane, Tiptree (Colchester BC)

9/4/20

Vauxhall Bus station (LB Lambeth)

9/4/20

Land nr Whittlesford, Hinxton (S Cambs DC)

22/4/20

160 Stanley Rd, Cheadle Hulme (Stockport MBC)

24/4/20

Oxford Brookes Uni, Wheatley (S Oxon DC)

29/4/20

Burgess Business Park, (LB Southwark)

13/5/20

Moor Lane, Woodthorpe, (City of York)

14/5/20

Hawthorns, Farnham, Surrey (Waverley BC)

3/6/20

Love Lane, Woolwich (LB Greenwich)

3/6/20

VIP Trading Estate, SE7 (Greater London Authority)

3/6/20

Wolborough Barton, Devon (Teignbridge DC)

15/6/20

Levitt’s Field, Cambs (Cambs County Council)

25