Ben Bradley Portrait

Ben Bradley

Conservative - Mansfield

Women and Equalities Committee
1st Mar 2021 - 8th Jun 2021
Regulatory Reform
5th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Education Committee
22nd Oct 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
8th Jan 2018 - 10th Jul 2018


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 286 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 52 Noes - 292
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

2. What steps his Department is taking to increase private sector investment in innovation. (903529)

Written Answers
Monday 27th September 2021
Children: Disadvantaged
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to tackle educational inequalities for disadvantaged …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 8th May 2018
Protection of Pollinators Bill 2017-19
A Bill to make provision about the protection of pollinators; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 6th September 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: The Cayzer Trust Company Ltd
Address of donor: Cayzer House, 30 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6NN
Amount …
EDM signed
Friday 20th December 2019
Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big …
Supported Legislation
Monday 11th March 2019
Online News Platforms (Regulation) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ben Bradley has voted in 284 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Ben Bradley voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Ben Bradley voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Ben Bradley Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(22 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(30 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
Home Office
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ben Bradley's debates

Mansfield Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.

The government should allow BTEC students to achieve teacher predicted grades rather than being forced into a system that is unethically downgrading thousands of students grades.

Please don’t send students back until we know we have had the priority groups vaccinated such as the elderly, the extremely clinically vulnerable, and those with underlying health conditions.

Cancel all standardise testing for year 11 and year 12 students in 2021. By replacing tests with smaller amounts of course work and teacher assessment, students would have a fair chance at achieving their target grades and it would relieve stress for teachers and students.

Schools can be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. Children are mingling at schools and returning to families who are potentially vulnerable, keeping rates high.

It's only been since schools opened that infection rates have been high in Kent, and keeping them open may keep it high.


Latest EDMs signed by Ben Bradley

19th December 2019
Ben Bradley signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 48
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
11th April 2019
Ben Bradley signed this EDM on Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All Ben Bradley's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ben Bradley, 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.


Ben Bradley has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ben Bradley has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Ben Bradley


A Bill to make provision about the protection of pollinators; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 8th May 2018
(Read Debate)

98 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
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the upcoming National Census will collect information on biological sex.

The census has asked a question on sex since 1801. The sex question for Census 2021 is set out in the Census (England and Wales) Order 2020 and the Census (England) Regulations 2020. The Office for National Statistics has recently published its final guidance for this question on its website at the following link: https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/questiondevelopment/genderidentity/census2021finalguidanceforthequestionwhatisyoursex

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to support the Commonwealth Veterans 8 faced with unaffordable bills for healthcare due to their residential status.

The NHS provides a range of outstanding physical and mental health care support for the Armed Forces community. There are some Armed Forces veterans whose residency status does not currently entitle them to free healthcare for conditions not related to their Armed Forces service; discussions are underway to address this anomaly. All non-UK personnel who serve in the Armed Forces for a minimum of four years, and those medically discharged before then as a result of an attributable injury or illness, have the option to settle in the UK at the conclusion of their service through bespoke Armed Forces immigration arrangements which include the full use of the NHS.

There is also provision in existing immigration rules for individuals who have served in the Armed Forces to re-apply to have their immigration status reviewed under certain circumstances or to apply where the normal timeframes for an application have expired. There should be no doubt the Government is committed to making it easier for service personnel and their families to settle in the UK once they have completed their service and is exploring ways to achieve this

4th May 2020
What discussions his Department has had with Local Resilience Forums on the level of local authority engagement in the response to the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is in frequent contact with all 38 Local Resilience Forums in England, with officials present at all strategic level meetings. Each Forum has an assigned Government Liaison Officer who serves as a direct line between the Forum and central government. Weekly calls take place between officials and Local Resilience Forum Chairs.

Of course, we recognise that local authorities' functions vary across the UK and that the devolved administrations are responsible for supporting their respective resilience partnerships. The Government has been in regular contact with the devolved administrations in order to coordinate a UK-wide response to the pandemic.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 11649 and with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020, what steps his Department has taken to develop impartial guidance for consumers to allow them to identify appropriate air cleaning devices and technologies to combat SARS-CoV-2.

All products, including air cleaning devices, placed on the market must be safe and must not make untrue or misleading statements about their properties and performance. Consumer law requires traders to provide consumers with information on the main characteristics of goods and it must be accurate and not misleading. Consumers may also request information from the retailer when making a purchase and the retailer would be required to provide this accurately under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Consumers can seek free information and advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/).

The Government publishes a wide range of information for businesses about product regulation and complying with product safety legislation on its GOV.UK website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/product-safety-for-businesses-a-to-z-of-industry-guidance). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidance on keeping workplaces safe and disinfecting premises (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/disinfecting-premises-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm).

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has previously published consumer survey data outlining attitudes and behaviours to products related to COVID-19, including air cleaning technologies:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opss-covid-19-consumer-survey.

After the SAGE paper publication (4 November 2020), the OPSS collaborated with the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group to review evidence gaps associated with consumer knowledge. The OPSS has since commissioned further consumer surveys and the findings will be published in due course.

Public Health England is responsible for providing advice on public health matters to the general public.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 11648 and with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020, what research is being undertaken to evaluate likely consumer response to the use of air cleaning technologies and understand their level of knowledge and potential behavioural actions.

All products, including air cleaning devices, placed on the market must be safe and must not make untrue or misleading statements about their properties and performance. Consumer law requires traders to provide consumers with information on the main characteristics of goods and it must be accurate and not misleading. Consumers may also request information from the retailer when making a purchase and the retailer would be required to provide this accurately under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Consumers can seek free information and advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/).

The Government publishes a wide range of information for businesses about product regulation and complying with product safety legislation on its GOV.UK website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/product-safety-for-businesses-a-to-z-of-industry-guidance). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidance on keeping workplaces safe and disinfecting premises (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/disinfecting-premises-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm).

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has previously published consumer survey data outlining attitudes and behaviours to products related to COVID-19, including air cleaning technologies:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opss-covid-19-consumer-survey.

After the SAGE paper publication (4 November 2020), the OPSS collaborated with the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group to review evidence gaps associated with consumer knowledge. The OPSS has since commissioned further consumer surveys and the findings will be published in due course.

Public Health England is responsible for providing advice on public health matters to the general public.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 11649 and with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020, what steps he is taking to support industry and consumers to ensure that they are selecting and using air cleaning technologies safely and effectively.

All products, including air cleaning devices, placed on the market must be safe and must not make untrue or misleading statements about their properties and performance. Consumer law requires traders to provide consumers with information on the main characteristics of goods and it must be accurate and not misleading. Consumers may also request information from the retailer when making a purchase and the retailer would be required to provide this accurately under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Consumers can seek free information and advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/).

The Government publishes a wide range of information for businesses about product regulation and complying with product safety legislation on its GOV.UK website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/product-safety-for-businesses-a-to-z-of-industry-guidance). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidance on keeping workplaces safe and disinfecting premises (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/disinfecting-premises-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm).

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has previously published consumer survey data outlining attitudes and behaviours to products related to COVID-19, including air cleaning technologies:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opss-covid-19-consumer-survey.

After the SAGE paper publication (4 November 2020), the OPSS collaborated with the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group to review evidence gaps associated with consumer knowledge. The OPSS has since commissioned further consumer surveys and the findings will be published in due course.

Public Health England is responsible for providing advice on public health matters to the general public.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of requiring defibrillators at sports venues.

Events at UEFA EURO 2020 this summer demonstrated the immense value of access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and first aid training for anyone involved in sport. Sports have a responsibility to make the safety and welfare of players their top priority, including through access to life-saving first aid equipment and relevant training and education.

AEDs are already recommended best practice at all sports stadia, as set out in guidance from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. Local authorities are able to mandate AED provision (at grounds designated under the Safety of Sports Grounds 1975 Act or sports grounds with regulated stands under the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 Act) through medical plans included in General Safety Certificates.

At the grassroots level, all capital funding awards for sports venues made by Sport England, the Government’s arm’s length body for community sport, must include AED provision if it is not already available. For football facilities, support over recent years has been provided by The Football Association (The FA) and the British Heart Foundation to help ensure AEDs are available. In June 2021 I welcomed the Premier League’s announcement of their new Defibrillator Fund, which will fund AEDs at thousands of football clubs and facilities across the country. Each grant recipient will be required to have at least one person successfully complete The FA Education Sudden Cardiac Arrest free online course. Sport England is working with the Football Foundation in support of the Premier League initiative to put £3 million into providing AED equipment for grassroots football clubs.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to review of the Gambling Act 2005, what powers are currently available to the Gambling Commission to investigate and prosecute offences under section 28 of the Gambling Act 2005.

Section 28 of the Gambling Act 2005 states that the Gambling Commission may investigate whether an offence has been committed under the Act and may institute criminal proceedings for an offence in England and Wales. In Scotland, the power to institute criminal proceedings rests solely with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). These provisions are tied to specific powers outlined in other subsections of the Act and may be exercised whether in response to information received by the Commission or otherwise.

As a general rule, the Commission will not normally pursue a criminal investigation into a licensed operator, as in most cases the matter under investigation is likely to be dealt with by the exercise of the Commission’s regulatory powers. However, there might be circumstances where the commencement of a criminal investigation is merited. Where the Commission’s investigations uncover evidence that a serious criminal offence may have been committed, which falls outside the Commission’s jurisdiction, the Commission may pass the information it possesses to the police, or another body, for consideration by them.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is able to take to protect the right to free speech from censorship by social media platforms.

The UK is committed to upholding freedom of expression online. Our new online safety laws will safeguard pluralism and ensure internet users can continue to engage in robust debate online.

Under the new regulatory framework, both Ofcom and in-scope companies will have duties relating to freedom of expression, for which they can be held to account.The largest social media platforms will be required to have clear and accessible terms and conditions, and to enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently. Furthermore, new obligations for transparency and user reporting will enable users to more effectively understand and appeal content removal. This will both empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, and protect freedom of expression by preventing companies from arbitrarily removing content.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Ofcom on its proposals to widen the definition of hate speech to include political opinions.

Ofcom, as the UK’s independent television and radio regulator, is responsible for broadcasting regulation. Decisions on updates to Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code are a matter for Ofcom. On 31 December 2020, following consultation, Ofcom implemented changes to the Broadcasting Code to update its definition of hate speech to reflect requirements in the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Ofcom remains bound by the Human Rights Act 1998 in carrying out its regulatory functions, including giving effect to freedom of expression (which includes political speech). Ofcom has said that the amended definition does not affect the weight Ofcom places on the importance of freedom of expression when considering cases, including issues concerning political opinions or in the public interest.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional support for (a) fairgrounds and other outdoor events and (b) the wider events sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

My Department has taken a number of steps to support fairgrounds, other outdoor events, as well as the broader events sector through Covid-19.

The events sector has been able to access support such as the Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme. We have also cut the rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities, including admission to circuses and fairs, from 20% to 5% until March 2021.

On 22 October, the Chancellor increased the reach of the Government’s winter support schemes to further help businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19, including those in the events sector. Measures include doubling the size of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Extension Grant so that it covers 40% of previous earnings.

We continue to meet with stakeholders, including through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Events and Entertainment Working Group, to monitor the ongoing impacts on the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure costs incurred by local authorities as a result of the covid-19 outbreak do not lead to reductions in the provision of (a) youth work, (b) youth services and (c) other non-statutory services.

This government has provided local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, including over £4.8bn in funding for?spending?pressures. On Monday 12 October, the Prime Minister confirmed around £1bn of new funding will be made available to councils across England to support them during this unprecedented time.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to secure youth services to young people under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, and the government expects them to fulfil that duty.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on grassroots sports clubs of the covid-19 outbreak; and what estimate he has made of the level of financial support those clubs require.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic. We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help enable youth clubs to re-open to support vulnerable young people as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

This department recognises the unprecedented impacts the pandemic has had on young people, and on the vital support that youth services provide particularly for those most vulnerable.

Youth centres are being permitted to re-open on 4th July, to ensure our young people have access to not only the support they need, but opportunities to engage in safe activities over the summer period. We know that youth workers are already supporting young people through detached youth work, and we have supported the National Youth Agency to produce guidance for youth organisations on operating safely during Covid19.

DCMS is engaging regularly with young people and key youth organisations to understand how best to support the re-opening of youth centres over the coming weeks and months.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had on extending financial support to self-employed workers in the sport and recreation sector during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

It is vital that the sport and physical activity sector is supported to come through this difficult period and it has a crucial role in supporting the nation back into activity once the pandemic has abated.

The Government has announced a comprehensive package of measures to support businesses and the self-employed. This includes the Self-employment Income Support Scheme which allows those that are self-employed to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

The Government is having regular discussions with sector and industry bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sport and physical activity and to discuss what additional support might be needed.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many youth services have closed as a result of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

Government does not hold data on the number of youth services that have closed as a result of covid-19.

This department recognises the unprecedented impacts the pandemic has had on the youth sector, and on the vital services it provides for young people. DCMS is engaging regularly with key youth organisations and other government departments to understand options for addressing this and the path for reopening services as lockdown measures are eased and when the science allows.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the provision of youth services as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

This department recognises the unprecedented impacts the pandemic has had on the youth sector, and on the vital services it provides for young people.

DCMS is in ongoing discussions at both Ministerial and official level with colleagues from other government departments including the Home Office, MHCLG, and the Department for Education, as well a variety of youth organisations at local and national level.

7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government plans to take to support children reliant on youth services as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

This department recognises the unprecedented impacts the pandemic has had on the youth sector, and on the vital services it provides for young people. DCMS is engaging regularly with key youth organisations and other government departments to understand options for addressing this and the path for reopening services as lockdown measures are eased and when the science allows.

Organisations working with young people are also eligible for a number of Government and Arm Length Bodies funds, in addition to the wider HM Treasury support packages.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the closure of the BBC Red Button Teletext service on people's access to information on sport.

Responsibility for assessing the potential effect of the closure of the BBC Red Button service on people’s access to information on sport is for the BBC, which is editorially and operationally independent of the Government. The Government welcomes the BBC's decision to pause the closure of the Red Button service, ahead of its review of the impact of the closure on the most vulnerable including the elderly, and deaf and blind licence fee payers.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jan 2020
BBC
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to review the (a) TV licence fee and (b) BBC Charter; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has no plans to review the BBC Charter ahead of the next Charter Review, which is due to take place ahead of 2027.

The government has committed to maintain the licence fee funding model for the BBC until 2027 for the duration of this 11 year Charter period.

The Prime Minister has indicated that the Government will consider the licence fee funding model in the long term.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to tackle educational inequalities for disadvantaged white boys, following the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparity published in April 2021 and the Education Select Committee Report entitled The forgotten: how White working-class pupils have been let down, and how to change it, published in June 2021.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was launched to conduct a detailed, data-led examination of inequality across the entire population, and to set out a positive agenda for change. We thank Dr Tony Sewell and each of the commissioners for generously giving their time to lead this important piece of work. It is now right that the government considers their recommendations in detail and assesses the implications for future government policy. The government remains fully committed to building a fairer Britain and taking the action needed to address disparities wherever they exist.

We also thank the Education Select Committee for its report and have been considering its findings and recommendations carefully. We will publish the government’s response to the report in due course.

The government is committed to levelling up across the UK and is funding particularly disadvantaged areas through the National Funding Formula, Pupil Premium and our Schools Capital programmes.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of men in primary teaching.

The Government aims to attract and retain highly skilled and talented individuals, including men, through effective pay structures, financial incentives, and by ensuring that teaching remains a sustainable and rewarding career.

The teacher pay increases in recent years are making a substantial difference to the competitiveness of the early career pay offer. This academic year, starting salaries have already increased by 5.5%, with the majority of other teachers receiving 2.75%. The Department is also committed to increasing starting salaries nationally to £30,000.

Alongside this, the Department is introducing a new application service for teacher training, which has been designed and extensively tested with a diverse range of potential applicants, to ensure it helps remove barriers to potentially great teachers, including men, applying for initial teacher training (ITT) courses.

The Department’s ‘Every Lesson Shapes A Life’ recruitment campaign is targeted at audiences of students, recent graduates, and potential career changers inclusive of all genders, and we take every effort to ensure that our advertising is fully reflective of this across the full range of marketing materials we use.

As well as recruiting new teachers, it is important the Department retains male teachers in primary schools. To do this, we are working to make sure that all new entrants to teacher training have the best possible start to the early stage of their career.

This is why, from September 2020 onwards, new trainee teachers will be entitled to at least three years of evidence-based professional development and support, starting with ITT, based on the new ITT Core Content Framework (2019). The new ITT Core Content Framework sets out a core minimum entitlement for all trainees describing the fundamental knowledge and skills that all new entrants to the profession need to effectively teach and support all children.

Following on from their training, from this September all new teachers will be entitled to two years of funded high-quality professional development including the support of a dedicated mentor, through the Early Career Framework reforms. Schools will receive additional funding so new teachers can spend time away from the classroom for this extra training and mentoring. Together, these reforms will ensure that all new teachers will develop the skills, expertise and confidence they need to thrive in the classroom.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

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

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

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on school engagement with (a) race equality and (b) other charities.

External agencies, including charities, can provide speakers, tools, and resources to enhance and supplement a school’s curriculum and wider activities. It is important when using external agencies that schools take particular care that the agency and any materials used are appropriate and in line with their legal duties.

Schools must not promote partisan political views and should ensure the balanced treatment of political issues. Schools should also ensure that speakers, tools and resources do not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding allocated to the pupil premium to cover a potential increase in the number of pupils becoming eligible for free school meals in 2021.

On 17 December, the Government announced that the pupil premium will continue in 2021-22 with the same per pupil funding rates as in 2020-21. The rates are £1,345 per eligible primary pupil, and £955 in secondary.

We will use the October 2020 census to calculate individual school-level allocations. This will ensure that children who have become eligible for free school meals as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will attract pupil premium funding from April 2021. As a result, pupil premium funding is expected to increase to over £2.5 billion in 2021-22.

We are committed to levelling up opportunities to make sure everyone has a fair chance to realise their potential and no-one is left behind. The pupil premium furthers this objective by helping schools improve the academic attainment and wider outcomes of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to issue guidance on the provision of sport and exercise in the covid-19 catch-up plan.

The Department is working to ensure that schools are fully supported as they welcome more children back to school and schools are able to give pupils opportunities to take part in physical education and be physically active during the school day. Schools are free to organise and deliver a PE curriculum that suits the needs of all their pupils whilst following COVID-19 government guidelines. The Department has now published guidance on plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September, which covers the provision of PE and school sport: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department has made £650 million available to state-funded schools to support pupils to catch-up following extended school closure. The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance to encourage schools to use this funding on evidence-led interventions, one of which might be summer catch-up activity. It is a matter for schools to decide how to spend the funding, based on their individual circumstances and brokering local partnerships with Voluntary and Community Sector organisation and other organisations to help them deliver. Precise details of how the catch up premium will be delivered will be confirmed shortly and we will confirm the timetable for publishing institution-level allocations in due course.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the School sport and activity action plan, when the pilot areas for schools to work with sport providers and local organisations to put in place a coordinated offer of sport, competition and activity in and outside school will be selected.

In the school sport and activity action plan, published in July 2019, the Government announced its intention to set up regional pilots to trial new and innovative approaches to drive up activity levels, and particularly focus on engaging the least active pupils.

The Department is working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England to design the pilots, drawing on information from schools and sport and physical activity providers. The Department will confirm the nature and process for the pilots later in the year, taking into account how they can fit with other initiatives that aim to increase access to activities for pupils.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support working class boys to close the attainment gap.

Educational achievement is at the heart of this Government’s commitment to ensure no young person is left behind because of the place or circumstances of their birth. Due to our reforms, 86% of pupils attend a Good or Outstanding school compared with 66% in 2010.

‘Working class’ is not a description recognised or measured by the Department. We measure the outcomes of those pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by the benefit-related definition for ‘disadvantaged’. We recognise that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – including those currently or formerly claiming free school meals and currently or formerly looked after - may face extra challenges in achieving their potential at school. We introduced the pupil premium in 2011 and have invested over £15 billion – and another £2.4 billion this year – so that schools have the resources to provide extra support for disadvantaged pupils of all abilities. White disadvantaged boys and girls constitute the largest group of eligible pupils and so benefit significantly from this extra support.

Against a background of rising standards, disadvantaged pupils are catching up with their peers. The attainment gap index shows that since 2011, the gap at the end of primary school has narrowed by 13% and the gap at the end of secondary school has narrowed by 9%. This indicates better prospects for a secure adult life for disadvantaged pupils. Our reforms, and the focus provided by the pupil premium, have supported this improvement.

The Department recognises there is more to do for disadvantaged pupils. Our ambition is to halve the number of children who finish Reception without the communication and reading skills they need to thrive. Our £72 million Opportunity Areas programme will focus resource on areas with low social mobility. We have also dedicated £24 million to Opportunity North East to address the specific challenges in that region.

The Department’s establishment of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) with a £137 million grant has ensured that schools have access to high quality, evidence-based, effective practice drawn from hundreds of trials across England. We recommend that schools consult the EEF’s resources, particularly its recent ‘Pupil Premium Guide’, when they are considering how best to support their pupils and close the attainment gap.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people in coalfield communities are not disproportionately economically affected by the proposed ban on coal.

As stated when we consulted on our proposals, we want to ensure that our measures achieve environmental and health benefits but do not have an adverse impact on vulnerable groups. Our response to the consultation on the cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood, published on 21 February, reflects this approach.

We know that the burning of coal for domestic purposes is harmful to human health and the environment. That is why we will be working to help households that currently burn the most polluting solid fuels to shift to the most suitable, cleaner alternative for them. We will use the phased transition period to work alongside coal merchants to advise and educate their direct delivery customers on the benefits of alternative fuels. Analysis has been carried out that shows cleaner alternative fuels, such as Manufactured Solid Fuels (MSFs), are more energy efficient than coal, making them cheaper to burn. MSFs are available to be purchased in all areas of England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2020
What progress she has made in securing a free trade agreement with the US.

The fifth UK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiating round finished 30 October. I'm happy to report that substantial progress has been made, with almost all chapter areas are now in the advanced stages of talks, and a significant proportion of legal text has been agreed across multiple chapters.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of reinstating HGV licences for drivers who have recently retired to help support key industries experiencing driver shortages.

The Government takes road safety very seriously and the UK has some of the safest roads in the world. It is important that drivers with Category C and C+E entitlement on their driving licences fully meet the requirements for those returning to HGV driving. This includes a driver medical and renewing their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

A joint DfT/industry letter will be sent to HGV licence holders this week to encourage those who have left the profession to return.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using existing cameras on the Highway network to enforce littering laws and in issue fines.

We want to see a road network free from litter, and we agree that there is more we can all do to keep the Strategic Road Network (SRN), the motorways and principal A-roads managed by National Highways (formerly Highways England), clear of litter. National Highways continuously seeks to improve the operational effectiveness of litter picking and influencing littering behaviour through communication campaigns and raising awareness of the increased possibility of being caught littering and fixed penalty notices.

National Highways is keen to use technology to help ensure our strategic roads are part of a modern network that supports a modern country. It is in ongoing discussions with technology companies and Litter Authorities about how technology and other enforcement tools can help reduce littering at the source. Footage from cameras can already be used as evidence of roadside littering and it is for the Local Authority to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to enforce fixed penalty notices or prosecute. National Highways is working to improve the evidence it provides to Local Authorities to assist them in prosecution.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether applications made to the Pinch Points Fund will be automatically resubmitted to the Levelling Up Fund.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund announced at the 2020 Spending Review will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities, including investing in local transport schemes across the UK.

The Fund will supersede existing local growth funding streams in England including the Local Pinch Points Fund. Projects previously submitted to the Local Pinch Points Fund will not be automatically resubmitted into the Levelling Up Fund.

Department officials have written to local authorities asking them whether they would like any Local Pinch Points Fund Expression(s) of Interest submitted to the DfT to be considered for funding through the Levelling Up Fund in 2021/22 and local authorities in England are encouraged to consider prioritising these projects for the first round of the Fund. These will be subject to the same assessment process as set out in the technical guidance published on the UK Government website on 26 March.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of companies' covid-19 risk assessments including provision of covid-19 fogging equipment.

COVID-19 risk assessments fall under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) remit. As each workplace is different, it is for an employer to identify, as part of their risk assessment, how to control COVID-19 transmission. Guidance has been produced by HSE that gives advice and information to employers on how to do such an assessment and manage the risk from COVID-19 in a proportionate manner. Risk assessment - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk)

Frequent surface cleaning is one of several control measures that can be implemented to manage the transmission risk. Fog, mist, vapour or UV (ultraviolet) treatments may be suitable options to help control the spread of coronavirus and disinfecting a larger space or room when people are not present. Any use of these treatments for these purposes should form part of your COVID-19 risk assessment. Users must be competent and properly trained. HSE provides guidance on its website as to when using these systems may be appropriate. Airborne disinfection does not remove the need for surface cleaning and surfaces that are dirty can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectant applied by airborne dispersion.

HSE and public health bodies in England, Wales and Scotland have agreed joint advice for dutyholders considering using walk-through spraying or misting disinfecting systems to reduce transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Spraying people with disinfectants in this way is not recommended under any circumstances (including in a tunnel, cabinet, or chamber). For further information see: Disinfecting using fog, mist and other systems during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - HSE news

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she takes to assess the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service; and how frequently she makes that assessment.

The Department measures the effectiveness of the Service through regularly assessing data on the Service’s performance. This includes compliance of paying parents on paying their maintenance, the amount of money the service collects for the children and our measures of enforcement.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment her Department has made of the effect that the decision of the High Court on 1 December 2020, on requiring informed consent for giving puberty blockers and hormones to children aged under 16, will have on the safety and protection of children.

The NHS has previously recognised the need for a review of how to best meet the needs of children and young people with gender incongruence, which is why in September 2020, Dr Hilary Cass was asked to carry out an independent review of the gender identity development service. The review will be wide-ranging in scope, with a focus on how care can be improved for children and young people. The Tavistock is also required to undertake a number of urgent actions in response to the CQC’s recent finding that its child gender-identity service is ‘inadequate’.

The Tavistock and Portman appeal is subject to ongoing legal proceedings, as such the Government is unable to comment on the specifics of the case at this time. However, we will follow the proceedings closely and continue to review its impact on policy related to this area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the (a) effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service and (b) level of consistency that service provides to both parties.

As of June 2020, 741,200 children are covered by Child Maintenance Service arrangements; the majority of cases use Direct Pay, where parents arrange maintenance payments between themselves.

During the quarter ending June 2020, £238.4 million in child maintenance was paid through the Collect & Pay service, or due to be paid through Direct Pay.

When measuring the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service, the Service collects data on the rate of compliance of paying parents using the Collect & Pay service. The most recent quarterly statistics show that 74 per cent of all paying parents due to pay through the Collect & Pay Service cleared some of their child maintenance.

At the end of June 2020, 41,800 Paying Parents on the Collect & Pay service had a Deduction from Earnings Order / Request in force. £27.1m was collected from these Paying Parents during the quarter. In the quarter ending June 2020, £2.6m was deducted directly from Paying Parents’ bank accounts.

These figures are published quarterly as part of the Child Maintenance Service experimental statistics, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-june-2020-experimental/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-june-2020-experimental

The Child Maintenance Service offers an accessible, impartial and secure service for all clients. The Department and Ministers continue to meet stakeholders regularly, and maintain an open dialogue on how to improve the service.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of recording covid-19 as the sole cause of death on the death certificates of former coal miners with industrial lung conditions on the (a) pensions and (b) entitlements of the wives of those former miners.

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

In instances in which an individual was not assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) during life, or a retrospective request either is not possible or successful, a claim can be made under CIPCS, if pneumoconiosis appears on the Death Certificate.

IIDB which is usually claimed by employees who become disabled as a result of a prescribed disease or accident caused by their employment, can be claimed posthumously, by the dependants of anyone who dies whilst suffering from a prescribed disease, provided they do so within one year of the issue of the deceased’s death certificate.

Any evidence a family can provide that confirms or suggests that the deceased was suffering from a prescribed disease prior to their death would be considered as part of a posthumous claim. This includes claimants who may have died as a result of COVID-19, and no mention of the prescribed disease was on their death certificate.

For an award to be made, the death does not need to be in respect of the prescribed disease but may be from any cause, including for example where COVID-19 was a contributory factor. Payments to dependants usually equate to up to 3 months’ worth of benefit, but may sometimes be higher.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled National Food Strategy: part one, published in July 2021, what plans his Department has to engage with the food and drink manufacturing industry ahead of publication of the Government’s Food Strategy White Paper.

The Department plans to engage with the food and drink manufacturing industry where appropriate. We will also engage with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as it develops its white paper on the National Food Strategy.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of PFI repayments on the budget of the Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust; and what support is available to help the Trust with those repayments.

Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust has submitted a balanced financial plan, which takes into account its Private Finance Initiative (PFI) payments, for the first half of the year. Officials from the Department’s PFI team are working closely with the Trust and NHS England and NHS Improvement to support their activities to manage the contract effectively.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support people whose mental health has deteriorated as a result of (a) the covid-19 outbreak and (b) having contracted long covid.

We published ‘COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing recovery action plan’, to ensure that we have the right support in place this year to respond to the impact of the pandemic on mental health and those affected by ‘long’ COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s ‘Long COVID: the NHS plan for 2021/22’ states that those with ‘long’ COVID-19 who are experiencing persistent mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be considered for referral to an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service. Referral into other specialist mental health services should be considered where adults or children and young people present with serious mental illness. Psychologists should be part of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, providing individual and group input and advice to other staff.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of hydroxyl free radical air purification technologies to prevent the primary cause of covid-19 transmission via aerosol and water droplets.

The Innovation and Partnerships team NHS Test and Trace concluded that there is a limited evidence base on the effectiveness of air cleaners which use hydroxy radicals as a method of purification against COVID-19. They also found that these cleaners may generate undesirable secondary chemical products that could lead to health effects such as respiratory or skin irritation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Impact Assessment entitled Introducing a 2100-0530 watershed on TV advertising of food and drink that are high in fat, salt and sugar products and similar protection for children viewing adverts online, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of a ban on online advertising of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar with the finding by his Department that such a ban would reduce a child’s annual calorie intake by 700 calories a year.

The impact assessment for further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) shows a positive net value, meaning the health benefits outweigh the costs to business and the Government. It also presents the number of calories removed from a child’s diet each day as a result of the restrictions. This is a population wide estimate and does not reflect that this policy could most benefit children from lower income households who are more exposed to HFSS advertising and those who are already overweight or obese.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2021 to Question 16206 on Coronavirus: Disease Control, if he will publish the first quarterly report by the University of St Andrews on the progress of the trials on evaluating the efficacy of viricidal Far-UVC light technology and its ability to inactivate virus in droplets, aerosols and on surfaces in simulated public locations.

The quarterly report is intended for future publication alongside the final report on the trials in spring 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 10614 on Coronavirus: Disease Control, how representatives of industry can participate in such efficacy trials; and what steps (a) his Department and (b) the Health and Safety Executive is taking to explore the potential merits of using (i) photohydroionisation and (ii) other technologies to decontaminate single use FFP3 masks to extend their use.

At the start of 2020, a review of technologies to decontaminate single use personal protective equipment (PPE) was undertaken. UVC was among the technologies assessed as it is used for sterilisation of pathogens in other settings. However, there are no regulatory approvals for UVC in healthcare settings, so HPV was selected for the pilot phase. This pilot found HPV was not effective, so further testing was stood down.

Given the resilience we have built through on-shore production of single use PPE and the piloting of reusable PPE, there are no current plans for further investigative work.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 April 2021 to Question 179491 on Food: Marketing, what his timeframe is for the laying before Parliament of secondary legislation on restrictions on the promotion and placement of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar; whether his Department plans to introduce those restrictions in April 2022; and what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the food and drink industry on those timeframes.

We are awaiting confirmation of a date for laying this secondary legislation.

We have engaged closely with industry on the detail of the policy and to ensure the regulations are practical and fit for purpose. We have been careful to consider the views of stakeholders and experts as we develop our plans for implementing our obesity strategy and we will continue to listen. This includes feedback from stakeholders and a wide range of experts in response to our public consultations on specific policy proposals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide details of all roles performed for his Department by Axel Heitmuller.

Axel Heitmueller worked for NHS Test and Trace in the following roles: Director of Innovation and Partnerships; Director of Testing Strategy and Policy; and Director for overall Strategy and Innovation for NHS Test and Trace.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2021 to Question 12283 on Air Pollution: Coronavirus, whether his Department has plans to make an assessment of the ability of photohydroionization technology to prevent covid-19 transmission via aerosol and water droplets.

There are no plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out the (a) value and (b) purpose of each contract awarded by his Department to Imperial College Health Partners since March 2020.

The Department has not awarded any contracts with Imperial College Health Partners since March 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been awarded to the University of St Andrews for research into whether ultraviolet-C light is effective against covid-19; what the terms of reference for that research are; and what estimate he has made of when the findings will be reported to Government and published.

A total of £136,000 has been awarded to the University of St Andrews under the

provisions of NHS Act 2006 Para 13 Schedule.

The terms of reference are as follows:

- The trials and assessment will be carried out by the University of St. Andrew;

- The Funding Period started on 1 March 2021 and ends on 28 February 2022 unless terminated earlier in accordance with this Grant Funding Agreement; and

- The Grant Recipient shall provide the Authority with a quarterly report on the progress of the trials on evaluating the efficacy of viricidal Far-UVC light technology and its ability to inactivate virus in droplets, aerosols and on surfaces in simulated public locations.

Initial results are expected in Quarter 4 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of NHS East England on their purchase of photohydroionization (PHI) technology to prevent covid-19 transmission via aerosol and water droplets.

We have had no specific discussions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of photohydroionization (PHI) technology to prevent covid-19 transmission via aerosol and water droplets.

We have made no specific assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020 to develop impartial guidance for consumers to allow them to identify appropriate air cleaning devices and technologies to combat SARS-CoV-2, what steps his Department has taken in response to the provision of that advice.

The advice from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies was discussed 5 November 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Health and Safety Executive are responsible for determining future policy and regulatory action.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020 to undertake rapid research to evaluate likely consumer response to use of air cleaning technologies and understand their level of knowledge and potential behavioural actions, what steps his Department has taken in response to the provision of that advice.

The advice from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies was discussed 5 November 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Health and Safety Executive are responsible for determining future policy and regulatory action.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the purpose was of establishing NHS Test and Trace Innovations and Partnerships; what it accomplished; and why and when it was dissolved.

The Innovation and Partnerships team forms part of NHS Test and Trace’s central customer office and was established in summer 2020. The purpose of the team is to engage with universities and companies to consider new ways of delivering NHS Test and Trace’s programme’s aims. The team works with the main research and industry networks in the United Kingdom, as well as international partners to identify new technologies and methodologies Where any of these are adopted by NHS Test and Trace, the team provides guidance and support before handing over to one of the operation delivery teams ahead of deployment. The team has previously accomplished the identification of lateral flow devices and wastewater technologies capable of detecting COVID-19.

The team has not been dissolved and continues to operate as part of NHS Test and Trace. An organogram showing the structure of the Innovations and Partnership’s team is attached. The team is comprised of Departmental staff, secondees from other Government departments and arm’s length bodies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) role and responsibilities, (b) formation date, (c) structure and (d) membership is of NHS Test and Trace Innovations and Partnerships.

The Innovation and Partnerships team forms part of NHS Test and Trace’s central customer office and was established in summer 2020. The purpose of the team is to engage with universities and companies to consider new ways of delivering NHS Test and Trace’s programme’s aims. The team works with the main research and industry networks in the United Kingdom, as well as international partners to identify new technologies and methodologies Where any of these are adopted by NHS Test and Trace, the team provides guidance and support before handing over to one of the operation delivery teams ahead of deployment. The team has previously accomplished the identification of lateral flow devices and wastewater technologies capable of detecting COVID-19.

The team has not been dissolved and continues to operate as part of NHS Test and Trace. An organogram showing the structure of the Innovations and Partnership’s team is attached. The team is comprised of Departmental staff, secondees from other Government departments and arm’s length bodies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) pilots announced by his Department in September 2020, which two UK suppliers have been selected; what application process was used to select those two suppliers; and what the results of those pilots were.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated whether hydrogen peroxide could be used to decontaminate single use FFP3 masks to extend their use. Inivos and Bioquelle were selected as the two suppliers for the trial as they could establish the pilots quickly and had the necessary equipment needed within trusts.

Swatches were used to monitor bacteria growth. There were a significant number with bacterial growth that had been incubated post-decontamination. Therefore, the approach of using hydrogen peroxide vapour was unsuccessful.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the advice given to the Government by the SAGE Environmental and Modelling Group of 4 November 2020 to take urgent action to support industry and consumers in ensuring that they are selecting and using air cleaning technologies safely and effectively, what steps his Department has taken in response to the provision of that advice.

The advice from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies was discussed 5 November 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Health and Safety Executive are responsible for determining future policy and regulatory action.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's Tackling obesity strategy published in July 2020, for what reason restrictions on the promotion and placement of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar proposed in that strategy are (a) set out separately from the proposed restrictions on advertising of those products and (b) not contained in the Health and Care Bill.

We have been careful to consider the views of stakeholders and experts as we developed our plans for implementing the healthy weight strategy, including restrictions on advertising and promotions. This process will continue as these measures pass through Parliament ensuring there is adequate time for scrutiny. Different legislative approaches being pursued reflect the current legislative framework and implementation routes available to the Government. For the promotions restrictions, we intend to use powers in the Food Safety Act (FSA) 1990 to lay secondary legislation before Parliament by mid-2021. The statutory instrument will be subject to the affirmative parliamentary procedure.

Subject to the outcome of the consultations on further advertising restrictions on TV and online, we intend to legislate through the Health and Care Bill. For online advertising restrictions primary legislation has to be used because there is no existing legislation on which to build. The decision was taken that the TV aspect should also be implemented through primary legislation because the two policies are closely aligned.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure opportunities for parliamentary scrutiny of the proposed restrictions on the (a) promotion and placement of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar that will be introduced as secondary legislation under the Food Safety Act 1990 and (b) advertising of those products that will be introduced in the Health and Care Bill.

We have been careful to consider the views of stakeholders and experts as we developed our plans for implementing the healthy weight strategy, including restrictions on advertising and promotions. This process will continue as these measures pass through Parliament ensuring there is adequate time for scrutiny. Different legislative approaches being pursued reflect the current legislative framework and implementation routes available to the Government. For the promotions restrictions, we intend to use powers in the Food Safety Act (FSA) 1990 to lay secondary legislation before Parliament by mid-2021. The statutory instrument will be subject to the affirmative parliamentary procedure.

Subject to the outcome of the consultations on further advertising restrictions on TV and online, we intend to legislate through the Health and Care Bill. For online advertising restrictions primary legislation has to be used because there is no existing legislation on which to build. The decision was taken that the TV aspect should also be implemented through primary legislation because the two policies are closely aligned.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2021 to Question 169025 on Food: Marketing, whether the Government will make it its policy to introduce the proposed restrictions on foods high in fat, salt and sugar in ways other than secondary legislation, in order to permit additional parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

Non-regulatory options have been considered as insufficient to reduce the excess purchasing and therefore overconsumption of products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). Previous voluntary actions by retailers, including through measures such as the public health responsibility deal, had limited impact. Businesses have also stated that voluntary action on promotions is not feasible.

We want to create a level playing field in which stores that make voluntary progress are no longer penalised. The response to the consultation on restricting promotions of HFSS food and drink made clear the Government’s intention to use powers in the Food Safety Act (FSA) 1990 to lay secondary legislation before Parliament by mid-2021. That position remains.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) investment in the UK food manufacturing sector and (b) employment in that sector of the restrictions proposed on promotions, placement and advertising to reduce the rates of obesity in the UK in the policy paper Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives, and if he will make a statement.

‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’, published on 11 February 2021, confirmed the Government’s intention to introduce further advertising restrictions to prohibit advertisements for products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) being shown on TV before 9pm. In November and December 2020, we consulted on how to go further and implement an online restriction for HFSS advertisements. Depending on the outcome of this consultation, it is our intention to take forward further online advertising restrictions simultaneously in this legislation.

We carefully consider all views and potential impacts of our measures to reduce obesity. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts and stakeholders on specific policy proposals and in response to our public consultations. The final impact assessments on the proposals to restrict the promotion of foods HFSS by location and by volume is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt

The developmental impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online was published alongside the 2019 consultation on this policy. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

An evidence note was published alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for HFSS products. This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

We will publish the final impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online alongside the full response to the consultation shortly and this will feed into the wider impact assessment for the Health and Care Bill.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what provisions will be made in the NHS Reform Bill to ensure that the effect on businesses is considered in the restriction on advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt; and if he will make a statement.

‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’, published on 11 February 2021, confirmed the Government’s intention to introduce further advertising restrictions to prohibit advertisements for products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) being shown on TV before 9pm. In November and December 2020, we consulted on how to go further and implement an online restriction for HFSS advertisements. Depending on the outcome of this consultation, it is our intention to take forward further online advertising restrictions simultaneously in this legislation.

We carefully consider all views and potential impacts of our measures to reduce obesity. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts and stakeholders on specific policy proposals and in response to our public consultations. The final impact assessments on the proposals to restrict the promotion of foods HFSS by location and by volume is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt

The developmental impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online was published alongside the 2019 consultation on this policy. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

An evidence note was published alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for HFSS products. This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

We will publish the final impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online alongside the full response to the consultation shortly and this will feed into the wider impact assessment for the Health and Care Bill.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to ensure that there will be appropriate opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny of the proposed restrictions on the promotion and placement of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

The Government intends to use powers in the Food Safety Act 1990 to lay secondary legislation before Parliament by mid-2021. Subject to progress in Parliament, we will then allow at least a six-month implementation period before the restrictions come into force in April 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Feb 2021
What assessment he has made of the effect of the obesity strategy on the cost of living.

The Healthy Weight Strategy is not about making food more expensive or restricting people’s choices, but helping people eat healthier with the money they have.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will announce a timetable for the re-introduction of close contact care home visits in England.

In the face of a new variant of the virus we have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and while advising how visits can go ahead safely in some form. As set out in updated visiting guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently advised. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to meet their loved ones safely. We are looking to enable a wider range of visiting arrangements available when it is safe to do so. We will publish updated guidance as this period of national restrictions ends.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment he has undertaken on the potential effect on the food and drinks industry of the Government's proposed strategy on tackling obesity.

We carefully consider all views and potential impacts of our measures to reduce obesity and its effects on individual health and the National Health Service. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts and stakeholders on specific policy proposals and in response to our public consultations.

The final impact assessment on mandating calorie labelling of food and drink in out-of-home sector is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903712/Calorie_Labelling_-_Impact_Assessment.pdf

The final impact assessments on the proposals to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) by location and by volume is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt

The developmental impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online was published alongside the 2019 consultation on this policy. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

An evidence note was published alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for HFSS products. This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

We will publish the final impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online alongside the full response to the consultation shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of his obesity strategy on (a) costs for consumers and (b) the level of jobs in the food and drinks industry.

We carefully consider all views and potential impacts of our measures to reduce obesity and its effects on individual health and the National Health Service. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts and stakeholders on specific policy proposals and in response to our public consultations.

The final impact assessment on mandating calorie labelling of food and drink in out-of-home sector is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903712/Calorie_Labelling_-_Impact_Assessment.pdf

The final impact assessments on the proposals to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) by location and by volume is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt

The developmental impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online was published alongside the 2019 consultation on this policy. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

An evidence note was published alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for HFSS products. This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

We will publish the final impact assessment on further advertising restrictions on TV and online alongside the full response to the consultation shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to develop Government policy on improving men's mental health.

We know that men are less likely to seek help or talk about suicidal feelings and some are often reluctant to engage with health and other support services.

The National Suicide Prevention Strategy highlights men, and especially middle-aged and young men, as a group at high risk of suicide, and in January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government suicide prevention workplan. It includes sections on tailoring prevention approaches towards reducing suicide risk in high-risk groups such as men.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve mental health support for men in order to reduce levels of male suicide.

We know that men are less likely to seek help or talk about suicidal feelings and some are often reluctant to engage with health and other support services.

The National Suicide Prevention Strategy highlights men, and especially middle-aged and young men, as a group at high risk of suicide, and in January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government suicide prevention workplan. It includes sections on tailoring prevention approaches towards reducing suicide risk in high-risk groups such as men.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve addiction support services in the most disadvantaged communities.

The Government will provide additional funding over 2020/21 to 2021/22 to drug and alcohol treatment in targeted local authorities to individuals experiencing rough sleeping, including those currently in emergency accommodation following the COVID-19 response. The second phase of Dame Carol Black’s independent review on drugs focusing on prevention, treatment services and recovery, will be made available to Ministers later this year and will feed into wider Government work to tackle the serious harms caused by substance misuse.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that supply chains of (a) medicines and (b) vaccines related to the treatment of covid-19 can continue in the event that no deal is reached with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system to help ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products, including medicines and vaccines related to the treatment of COVID-19, to the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period.

As set out in a letter from the Department to industry of 17 November, we are implementing a multi-layered approach, that includes asking suppliers of medicines, vaccines and other medical products to the UK from or via the European Union to get trader ready, reroute their supply chains away from any potential disruption and stockpile on UK soil where this is possible. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-17-november-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of whether there has been a recent increase in referrals of girls to the Tavistock gender clinic; and what assessment his Department has made of whether there is a connection between (a) mental health problems and (b) autism and such referrals.

Since 2005, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust reported that the number of girls (sex assigned at birth) referred to the services has been consistently greater than the number of boys (sex assigned at birth) referred.

In 2019, the National Institute for Health Research awarded Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust £1.3 million to fund a Longitudinal Outcomes of Gender Identity in Children (LOGIC) study looking into providing a better understanding of the development of gender identity in children and young people in the United Kingdom.

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, where the covid-19 testing centres will be located in (a) Mansfield and (b) Ashfield; and what the timetable is for opening those testing centres.

We have expanded test accessibility by increasing the number of home test kits that are couriered to and from the home. These are available to book by eligible individuals using the self-referral portal. We have also increased mobile testing, with 96 units currently operational (8 May 2020). Mobile test units are being deployed to areas that have a pressing need for testing by individuals who cannot access regional test sites. Local Resilience Forums coordinate with local partners to inform the Department of where a unit is required.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are running a campaign as part of the national COVID-19 campaign to encourage people to access NHS services for non-COVID-19 related conditions.

This will include raising awareness of the symptoms of heart attack and of the need to immediately call 999. These campaign assets will be made available for all National Health Service organisations to publish through their public facing channels.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of fast-tracking access to mental health services for veterans.

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, veterans should receive priority treatment where it relates to a condition which results from their time in the armed forces, subject to clinical need.

In England, the National Health Service have implemented this by offering veterans access to both mainstream and bespoke veterans mental health services. This means that veterans are often seen faster than the general public.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) improve the equity of funding and support between primary and secondary care services for training doctors and (b) ensure that primary care receives adequate support to train and educate GPs.

The Department is working with Health Education England and other key stakeholders to review the funding of undergraduate medical training placements in primary and secondary care. The aim of this work is to ensure that the distribution of the available funding supports delivery of high quality placements irrespective of setting and ensures that learners develop the skills and knowledge they require to meet their respective professional competencies.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving pharmacists access to patient records to reduce the demand for GP appointments.

No assessment has been made on access to patient records in relation to demand for general practitioner (GP) appointments.

However, in some areas medical records are already shared between professionals to support locally commissioned services. Pharmacists have access to a patient’s summary care record (SCR) and where the patient has consented, the SCR allows access to much of the patient’s primary care record. The SCR already supports the newly commissioned Community Pharmacy Consultation Service and a range of other services and advice offered in community pharmacy. These services are designed to make pharmacies the first port of call for minor illness and health advice and to reduce pressure on other parts of the National Health Service, including GPs.

In other areas, work is progressing to improve access to patient records, including increased interoperability between pharmacy and GP systems.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with NHS Property Services on under-occupancy of the NHS estate; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of selling unoccupied NHS property to fund capital investment in the Health Service.

NHS Property Services aims to reduce vacant space in its estate by engaging with tenants to make sure that their accommodation meets their operational needs. NHS Property Services has introduced more flexible occupancy options; and incentives to more quickly identify opportunities for the re-let or sale of properties. By March 2019, NHS Property Services had reduced vacant space across its portfolio to 6.9% from 12% in April 2017.

NHS Property Services works closely with local clinical commissioning groups and National Health Service providers to optimise the estate and where appropriate to release properties for sale which are surplus to local healthcare requirements. Where properties are vacant for over six months without a defined future healthcare use, NHS Property Services will seek to market the property to mitigate ongoing costs locally.

The current policy is that capital receipts from the sale of surplus sites are reinvested in backlog maintenance in the NHS Property Services estate, according to needs and priorities on a national basis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the forthcoming roll-out of proactive lung screenings by NHS England in the Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group area are accompanied with sufficient local resources to adequately deal with the potential increase in conditions that are diagnosed as a result of those screenings.

The NHS Long Term Plan Implementation Framework asks local systems to create five-year strategic plans to deliver the commitments in the plan. NHS England and NHS Improvement is working with the 14 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) involved in the first wave of Targeted Lung Health Checks, including Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, to ensure they commission appropriate services for their population. This includes meeting any demand for diagnosing and treating disease where the programme identifies previously undiagnosed disease.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans she has to ensure the effectiveness of the Equalities Hub in tackling discrimination and disadvantage resulting from socio-economic circumstances or geography, which are not covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Hub is at the heart of Government decision-making in the Cabinet Office, and brings together the Government Equalities Office, the Disability Unit and the Race Disparity Unit. It has a key role in driving Government priorities on equality and opportunity.

The Hub has a particular focus on improving the quality of evidence and data about disparities and the types of barriers different people face, ensuring that fairness is at the heart of everything we do. Key to this is looking beyond a focus solely on the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010, to ensure we understand how different issues interact, including in socio-economic and geographic inequality.

The Equality Hub will be key to driving progress on the Government’s commitment to levelling up opportunity and ensuring fairness for all.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether her Department collects data on the effect of the Equality Act 2010 on heterosexual white males.

Data is not collected routinely or centrally on the effect of the Equality Act 2010 on different groups. Individual public authorities are responsible for conducting Public Sector Equality Duty assessments of new measures and collecting and using data to ensure that the impact of policies on all groups, including men and heterosexual people, is adequately considered.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of including all grassroots sports clubs in the list of exemptions in relation to the use of Red Diesel.

Following last year’s consultation on reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel announced at Budget 2020, the Government accepted the arguments made by representatives from the sports sector that removing the entitlement to use red diesel would increase costs on amateur sports clubs, which would be passed down to members, and that this could affect people’s ability to participate in sport and impact on health and well-being. The Government therefore announced at Budget 2021 that amateur sports clubs will qualify for continued use of red diesel beyond April 2022 if they are registered as community amateur sports clubs (CASCs), which are non-profit organisations that can benefit from a range or tax reliefs. There are over 7,300 clubs registered with HMRC as CASCs, and relying on this definition of an amateur sports club will aid HMRC to ensure compliance.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to further extend the cut off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in response to the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown measures, to allow people who have changed jobs between October and January to be eligible for support from that scheme.

For all eligibility decisions under CJRS, the Government must balance the need to support as many jobs as possible with the need to protect the scheme from fraud.

Under the CJRS extension, an employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. The use of RTI allows HMRC to verify claims in the most efficient and timely way, ensuring payments can be made quickly while reducing the risk of fraud. Without the use of RTI returns it would be difficult to verify claims without significant additional checks, which would delay payment for genuine claims.

The 30 October 2020 cut-off date allowed as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, while balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public. Extending the cut-off date further would have significantly increased the risk of abuse because claims could not be confidently verified against the risk of fraud by using the data after this point.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether businesses that are closed as a result of Tier 3 local covid-19 alert level restrictions will be eligible for the Job Retention Bonus in January 2021.

The Chancellor has always been clear that the Government would keep the situation under review, adapting its approach as the context evolved. The purpose of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) was to encourage employers to keep previously furloughed staff in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB falls away. As such, the JRB will not be paid in February. The Government will instead redeploy a retention incentive at the right time.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire on the potential for an East Midlands Freeport based around East Midlands Airport.

As part of the consultation process, the Government has been engaging widely with ports, businesses and local communities – including events attended by the LEP for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire - to hear stakeholders’ views on our Freeports proposals. The Freeport consultation is currently open, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in Freeports to submit a response through the gov.uk portal before it closes on 13 July.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to introduce a visa scheme to allow employers to recruit overseas workers to customer-facing roles.

The Department for Work and Pensions should be the first port of call for employers seeking to fill vacancies, rather than the Home Office.

On advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government broadened the eligibility of Skilled Worker visas from graduate jobs only to include jobs skilled to RQF level 3 (roughly equivalent to A-levels) and lowered the salary threshold to £25,600 enabling employers to recruit in more customer facing roles than was possible under the previous immigration system.

Yet where a job needs only a short period of training or time to acquire the qualifications necessary the focus should be on recruiting from the domestic labour market, especially given the economic impact of the global pandemic means many may be looking for new employment or to change careers.

Immigration policy cannot be seen as an alternative to improving training and career pathways or tackling issues such as unattractive pay and working conditions for those undertaking customer-facing roles. Given this we will not be introducing a general migration route allowing employers to recruit at or near the minimum wage, with no work-based training requirements, including to such roles.

More broadly, the Government’s Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and getting back into work as part of the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, with the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leading work on the overall UK labour market and skills.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that unskilled labour vacancies are being filled since the UK left the EU.

The Department for Work and Pensions should be the first port of call for employers seeking to fill vacancies, rather than the Home Office.

We do not view any job as “unskilled”, the difference is how long it takes to train for or gain the necessary qualifications for it. Where a job needs only a short period of training or time to acquire the qualifications necessary the focus should be on recruiting from the domestic labour market, especially given the economic impact of the global pandemic means many may be looking for new employment or to change careers.

Immigration policy cannot be seen as an alternative to improving training and career pathways or tackling issues such as unattractive pay and working conditions. Given this we will not be introducing a general migration route allowing employers to recruit at or near the minimum wage, with no work-based training requirements.

More broadly, the Government’s Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and getting back into work as part of the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, with the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leading work on the overall UK labour market and skills.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with representatives from Amazon on the sale of Blue Lives Murder merchandise in the UK; and what steps she is taking to prevent the sale of such merchandise.

Unless prohibited by UK legislation, decisions around the sale of merchandise are for retailers to make. The Home Secretary and I are appalled at the existence of the Blue Lives Murder merchandise and strongly support the Police Federation’s campaign to encourage retailers to stop selling it.

Our remarkable police courageously serve our country and keep us safe - they deserve our utmost respect and support.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) the Premier League, (b) the English Football League and (c) other national sports governing bodies on ensuring that the new immigration system meets the requirements of elite sports.

Home Office officials are in regular contact with each of the recognised Sports Governing Bodies, annually reviewing the criteria that applies to each sport. This process of review ensures we strike the right balance between enabling top level international sportspeople to come to the UK, whilst protecting opportunities for resident sportspeople.

The Home Office approved Sports Governing Bodies are listed at Appendix M of the Immigration Rules: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-m-sports-governing-bodies.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether applications to the Levelling Up Fund are required to have planning permission in place and be ready to begin implementation immediately; and if he will make a statement.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund (LUF) will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

Applications to the LUF must meet the pass/fail gateway criterion where bids will be assessed against whether they can deliver some LUF expenditure in 2021-22 and demonstrate how they fit with the criteria set out in the prospectus and technical guidance.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department is holding discussions with local authorities in Nottinghamshire on the potential benefits of reform to local government in that county.

My Department and I regularly have discussions with local authorities, including those in Nottinghamshire, on a wide range of issues including local government reorganisation. We are always ready to discuss with councils proposals for local government reorganisation that can improve services, increase efficiency, give rise to savings, result in stronger local accountability and leadership, and genuinely empower towns, parishes, and communities. We intend to bring forward further plans on this in our Devolution White Paper this Autumn.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the backlog in Nottinghamshire's family courts.

The protection of children, particularly those who are most vulnerable, is a priority for this government and this has never been more important than during this period. The family courts were quick to respond to the pandemic and I am extremely grateful for the dedication of family justice professionals at this unprecedented time.

Record levels of judicial sitting days have been listed at the family court in Nottingham throughout the pandemic and these high levels of sittings continue. The court is utilising the new powers introduced via Practice Direction 36, which enables suitable cases to be dealt with via alternative methods other than a court hearing.

In March this year, we launched the £1m Family Mediation Voucher Scheme, to encourage and support separating parents to explore mediation before coming to court. In August, ministers confirmed an additional £800,000 would go towards the scheme, helping around 2000 more families. We want to ensure that every parent is able to resolve their case in the most effective way, including through mediation where safe and appropriate.

We continue to focus on reducing the outstanding caseload by investing in more judicial sitting days and increasing the overall level of disposals. Cases with the most significant safeguarding issues remain our priority, and where suitable, cases are being heard remotely to continue maximising our use of our estate.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the equity of service delivered by family courts to both parties.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) works with an independent judiciary to provide a fair, efficient and effective family justice system. Details of how we achieve this and our future plans for improvement can be found in the Ministry of Justice Single Departmental Plan and in the HMCTS Business Plan 2019/2020.

The business plan describes how HMCTS aims to run an efficient and effective courts and tribunals system, enabling the rule of law to be upheld, and providing access to justice for all. The plan also details how HMCTS is responsible for:

  • providing the supporting administration for a fair, efficient and accessible courts and tribunal system
  • supporting the independent judiciary in the administration of justice

Further information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministry-of-justice-single-departmental-plan/ministry-of-justice-single-departmental-plan--3

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819783/HMCTS148_Business_Plan_2019_A4P_External_RGB.PDF

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)