Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
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).
These initiatives were driven by Chris Loder, 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.
Chris Loder has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Chris Loder has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to make provision about the mode of trial and maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.
Chris Loder has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out in his Ditchley Speech, the Government is determined to ensure the Civil Service is better distributed across the country. The Places for Growth Programme is working with departments and public bodies to firm up relocation plans and further details will be announced in due course. The Places for Growth programme is exploring opportunities across the whole of the UK.
Post Office has not prosecuted any cases relating to its Horizon system since 2015. According to Post Office’s records, no-one is currently imprisoned as a result of its historical prosecutions.
Records of cases prosecuted by the UK’s public prosecution agencies which may also relate to Horizon will be kept by the Crown Prosecution Service, Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland respectively.
Post Office has made those agencies aware of the concerns relating to Horizon and Judge Fraser’s findings in the recent Horizon court case.
On 15 July, the Government launched its website to help the public mark the 75th anniversary of Victory Over Japan Day on 15 August. Further information on how to get involved will be made available shortly at https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/
My department works with a number of network operators to deliver improved broadband to rural areas. This includes Openreach and their work in West Dorset.
We are also working closely with Openreach and other operators to prepare our £5 billion “Outside In” programme, as announced in the Spring Budget.
This programme will focus on delivering gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest to reach premises in the UK, which are mainly in rural areas.
Education providers use their government funding on qualifications that are approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The list of qualifications approved for funding includes 18 qualifications that involve preparation for uniformed service (sometimes referred to as Military Preparation Diplomas).
The funding providers receive for qualifications approved by the ESFA is based on a range of factors detailed in our guidance published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-rates-and-formula.
All qualifications at level 3 and below (excluding A levels, T Levels, GCSEs and Functional Skills) are subject to a review in which we will decide which qualifications will be available for public funding in future. As part of the review, we have recently published a consultation and call for evidence. Respondents are welcome to give views on the role and purpose of specific qualifications, including those designed to prepare students for the military.
The Seafood Response Fund did not have restrictions based on minimum vessel size but did utilise a minimum sales threshold of £10,000 recorded on sales notes supplied by registered buyers and sellers of fish between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019. The scheme was targeted in this way to ensure that Defra only supported businesses that participated in the seafood sector on a fulltime basis. Wider government support was available for businesses impacted by COVID-19, and the £10,000 threshold ensured the fisheries scheme represented value for money and was targeted at commercial fishing businesses that were reliant on seafood as their main source of income.
The Government remains committed to supporting the seafood sector, including small fishing vessels, and at the last Spending Review we announced £32.7 million in funding to support the sector. In England some of this funding is being used to deliver the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme, which will provide grant funding for projects that help seafood businesses of all sizes adapt to new export conditions, recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and achieve other sector priorities. Businesses outside England should contact their own fishing administrations to see what other support may be available.
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has a number of schemes which provide financial support to the rural economy. The three main land schemes, which offer an annual payment, are Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Countryside Stewardship (CS) and the Environmental Stewardship Scheme (ES).
Famers submitting a valid claim under these schemes will normally receive a payment between 1 December and 30 June the following year.
For 2019 we released by 30 June:
o BPS 2019 – 84,225 (99.9%) payments worth £1.79bn
o CS 2019 – 10,899 (94.2%) worth £88.46m
o ES 2019 – 12,020 (97.7%) worth £182.22m
There are several reasons for why payments may be delayed beyond the 30 June such as ongoing discussions with claimants, the resolution of probate, or ongoing fraud investigations.
Payments for 2020 claims began in December and are ongoing. The RPA delivered its best ever December payment performance, paying around 98% of BPS claims by the end of the year, despite the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The new dairy response fund opened for applications on 18 June 2020. Full details of the application process can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/dairy-response-fund-2020. The funding will provide eligible dairy farmers in England with up to £10,000. Payments will commence from 6 July 2020. The scheme will help those dairy farmers most in need of support to sustain their businesses by maintaining production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.
Our trade policies will open global markets for UK farmers and lower their input costs. We have successfully rolled over EU FTAs but now want to give farmers enhanced access to countries with whom the EU could not or would not do a deal. We are giving farmers a stronger voice in trade policy, putting the Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing and we have just launched a major promotion campaign for the industry.
This Government recognises and values the vital contribution made by carers each and every day in supporting some of the most vulnerable in society including pensioners and those with disabilities. The support that carers provide has been even more vital during the Covid-19 pandemic when other support services may have been reduced or even closed and the caring role became even harder due to the need to self-isolate or shield the person they care for.
Unpaid carers may be able to apply for Carer’s Allowance if they meet the qualifying conditions, such as providing 35 hours of care a week. To ensure that carers already in receipt of Carer’s Allowance do not inadvertently stop receiving it because of changes to patterns of care, we have allowed emotional support to count towards the 35 hours of care being provided by the carer as well as relaxing the rules around breaks in care. We have extended these provisions until 12 May 2021 in recognition that carers need extra flexibility in the way they provide care during the current emergency.
Between 2020/21 and 2025/26 real terms expenditure on Carer’s Allowance is forecast to increase by nearly a third (around £1 billion). By 2025/26, the Government is forecast to spend just over £4bn a year on Carer’s Allowance.
As of May 2020, there were 1008 carers in the West Dorset constituency that were receiving Carer’s Allowance and in 2019/20 we spent approximately £3.6 million on Carer’s Allowance there. A further 673 carers had a claim to an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance.
Carers have access to the full range of social security benefits according to their circumstances. Income replacement benefits help people and households on lower incomes, and can include a carer premium, currently £37.50 a week. An equivalent additional amount applies in Pension Credit. Universal Credit also includes a carer element at the rate of £162.92 per monthly assessment period. These amounts recognise the additional contribution and responsibilities associated with caring and mean that lower-income carers can receive more money than others who receive these benefits. Between the existing carer-specific support, and the temporary Covid-19 uplift, 270,000 carer households receiving Universal Credit have benefitted from up to an extra £2,990 this financial year.
During the pandemic, the Government has also, for example:
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors
Those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination in priority group six.
The UK is aware of reports that Hizballah continues to amass an arsenal of weapons within Lebanon, in direct contravention of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). The UK Government regularly raises this at the UN Security Council, and we call on the Lebanese authorities to abide by provisions of the relevant UNSCRs. Hizballah's destabilising influence threatens regional stability and endangers Lebanon and its people.
The House of Bishops revised their guidance on access to churches on the 5th May 2020.
The new guidance can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings
Government guidance states that ‘a minister of religion or worship leader may leave their home to travel to their place of worship’. In most cases, they will do so in order to pray or to stream a service of worship. If clergy wish to mark VE Day by ringing a church bell or flying a flag from their church buildings, that is within government guidance. This advice does not extend to bell-ringers, sextons or other church officers or volunteers.
The parish church would usually be central to local commemorations of events such as Victory in Europe Day, but for this anniversary they will be honouring the sacrifice of all those who were involved in World War Two in a new way. Archbishops, Bishops and clergy will be participating in local and national virtual services to mark VE Day. The Church of England has released national resources for worship and prayer which can be used by local communities: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/worship-resources-ve-day-2020
Additional resources have been released by Westminster Abbey to help churches shape their services over the anniversary weekend which can be found here: Service of Thanksgiving to mark the 70th Anniversary of VE Day
The latest Performance Data on Heathrow Queue times can be found on the link below:
Border Force is confident that resources to meet anticipated overall operational requirements are in place with Border Force recruiting sufficient additional frontline staff and continuing to build staffing levels during 2020/2021 across all critical ports.
Resource and staffing requirements at every port, including Heathrow, are continually reviewed by Border Force working with airport operators including Heathrow Airport Ltd, and resources are deployed flexibly as and when they are required.
Nationally, Border Force recruited over 1,000 additional officers in preparation for the end of transition and continues to ensure maximum flexibility in their recruitment and deployment approach.
Wait times in airports can be caused by a number of factors, not just related to resourcing. This includes the volume of immigration case working, additional support and checks in relation to Covid-19, and specific security activity. Our teams seek to balance this range of tasking each day. Whilst mindful of passenger wait times and experience, our primary objective is to ensure the security of the border and that all mandated security activity is carried out to keep the country safe.
UK Armed Forces, led by the Light Dragoons, joined the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, in December 2020. UK troops are fulfilling tasks mandated by the UN Security Council as a unit under UN command. In response to the Mission’s capability requirements, the UK task group is delivering a specialist reconnaissance capability for MINUSMA, improving the mission’s situational awareness and overall performance, particularly its ability to protect civilians. The UK contingent is enabling intelligence-led operations in support of the mission’s mandate, offering crucial support to the mission to better understand threats and to shape the mission’s response. The UK deployment to MINUSMA reflects our continued commitment to, and leadership in, multilateralism, and international peace and security. It also forms part of HMG’s wider efforts in Mali and the Sahel, alongside diplomatic and development activity in support of regional stability.
The Secretary of State set out his vision for the Armed Forces when he launched the Defence Command Paper "Defence in a Competitive Age" on 22 March 2021. As he made clear, a transformation such as this requires significant reorganisation of force structures.
The Army will therefore in the next several months refine and test the designs, capabilities and structure of Army units before more detailed announcements can be made. Future announcements will include the Reserve Forces 2030 review, which builds on the work already done on utilising our reserves to make sure the whole force is better integrated and more productive.
I can however in the interim confirm that, as the Defence Secretary said, 4th Battalion The Rifles, currently a Specialised Infantry Battalion, will be one of the four battalions which seeds the new Ranger Regiment, carrying through its historic character and ethos to the benefit of the new unit.
There are no plans to expand the Pathway in the South West.
HQ South West continue to engage in regional Youth Outreach projects.