Christian Wakeford Portrait

Christian Wakeford

Conservative - Bury South


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
09:30
Education Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Accountability hearings
23 Jun 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP - Secretary of State at Department for Education
Ian King - Chief Financial Officer (joint role) and Director of Operational Finance, Operations Group at Department for Education
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Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Information Commissioner (Remuneration)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 359 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 2
Speeches
Monday 21st June 2021
Planning Decisions: Local Involvement

I thank my hon. Friend and neighbour for giving way on this point. Does he agree that while Labour Members …

Written Answers
Friday 11th June 2021
Palestinians: Schools
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 1st June 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Until 6 May 2021, Councillor, Lancashire County Council, County Hall, Preston PR1 8XJ. From 1 July 2020 onwards, I received …
EDM signed
Monday 11th January 2021
Holocaust Memorial Day 2021
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Christian Wakeford has voted in 296 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Christian Wakeford voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Christian Wakeford voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Christian Wakeford voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Christian Wakeford voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Christian Wakeford 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(24 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(13 debate interactions)
Ben Everitt (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(19 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Christian Wakeford's debates

Bury South 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

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

Every year more and more people, animals and wildlife get hurt by fireworks. It’s time something was fine to stop this. There are enough organised firework groups around for us to still enjoy fireworks safely so please help me stop the needless sale of them to the public!


Latest EDMs signed by Christian Wakeford

30th December 2020
Christian Wakeford signed this EDM on Monday 11th January 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered; commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust; further notes that the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 …
97 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 31
Conservative: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
23rd November 2020
Christian Wakeford signed this EDM on Thursday 3rd December 2020

VAT Retail Export Scheme

Tabled by: Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
That this House expresses its concern at the Government's decision to abolish the VAT Retail Export Scheme, otherwise known as tax-free shopping, from 1 January 2021 with inaccurate determinations having been made of the impact of that decision; acknowledges that since that decision was announced, businesses have been facing the …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Dec 2020)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 14
Conservative: 11
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Labour: 1
Independent: 1
View All Christian Wakeford's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Christian Wakeford, 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.


Christian Wakeford has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Christian Wakeford has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Christian Wakeford has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Christian Wakeford has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


144 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
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish an updated list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries.

The full list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries, updated 1 October 2020, can be found on gov.uk.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Sep 2020
What steps his Department is taking to tackle climate change.

We are taking action now to meet our net zero target by delivering world-leading clean growth. This year, the government has set out over £5 billion for our low-carbon economy. We will be bringing forward sectoral decarbonisation plans, including an Energy White Paper, to stay on track as we lead global climate action through our COP26 and G7 Presidencies.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps his Department is taking to restrict the availability of firework sales on high streets.

The sale of fireworks is already restricted to seasonal periods unless a retailer is specifically licensed by their Local Authority to sell outside those periods.

Without a licence, retailers can only sell fireworks from 15th October to 10th November; the 3 days prior to and including Chinese New Year, Diwali; and the 6 days up to and including New Year. There is also a ban on the sale of fireworks to any person under the age of 18.

There are no plans for further restrictions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to (a) prevent and (b) tackle firework noise complaints during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government expects the public to use fireworks in a responsible and law-abiding way and to be considerate of their neighbours, particularly during the response to CoVid19.

The law sets noise limits for fireworks, available for consumers to buy. There is also a curfew on their use between 11pm and 7am, except for 5th November, Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year when this is extended to 12 am and 1 am.

Local Authorities are continuing to deal with any noise complaints during this period including any caused by inconsiderate use of fireworks.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps he is taking to establish lower noise level fireworks at (a) public events and (b) on private property.

Existing legislation limits noise from fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has engaged with a wide range of views to develop a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks including noise, as well as anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This builds a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether any further action is appropriate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking with telecommunications companies to provide IT equipment for people who are isolated, with no access to a phone or computer.

My Department has been promoting the DevicesDotNow campaign, which is working with community organisations to distribute devices to vulnerable adults and help them get online. As part of this, I have also written to a number of industry Chief Executives of organisations to ask them to donate devices and funding to the DevicesDotNow campaign. to help vulnerable and digitally excluded adults.The aim is to enable elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those who are shielding, to communicate with the outside world and get access to vital services.

As part of Government’s response to Covid-19, we have already agreed a package of measures with the UK’s major fixed and mobile providers to support and protect consumers with their connectivity needs. This package was agreed on 29 March 2020, with further companies signing up on 18 May. As part of the commitments, providers have agreed to provide new and generous offers to their vulnerable customers, ranging from free mobile data boosts to free landline calls.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that businesses are included in his Department's plans for a literacy recovery strategy.

The Department recognises that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education. We are committed to helping pupils make up education lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To address this challenge, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to working with parents, teachers, schools and colleges to develop a long-term plan to help schools and colleges support pupils to make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has appointed Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on the development of the long-term recovery plan. Sir Kevan will engage with parents, pupils, and teachers in advising on the development of this plan and review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on education. Further details will be shared in due course.

On literacy specifically, the Government is committed to continuing to raise literacy standards, ensuring all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding. The Government will continue to work closely with a wide range of organisations, including businesses, to achieve this aim, and values the contribution of businesses to supporting children’s education. For example, in June 2020 we announced a £1 billion catch-up package, including a National Tutoring Programme and a catch-up premium for this academic year. In February 2021, we committed to further funding of £700 million to fund summer schools, the expansion of our tutoring programmes, and a recovery premium for the next academic year. Funding will support pupils across nurseries, schools, and 16-19 colleges.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report by Serenity Welfare entitled Lives transformed, potential fulfilled, published in April 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the finding in that report that adequate provision of care and early interventions for vulnerable children and young people by local authorities could unlock £7 billion by 2030.

The department has received a copy of the report and will study the findings with interest.

The report highlights that local authorities can make savings through reducing the number of children in care. I am committed to enabling as many children as possible to stay at home, in safe and stable family environments, so that fewer children are taken into care. That is why the 'Strengthening Families, Protecting Children' programme is investing £84 million over five financial years, from 2019-20 to 2023-24, to support 17 local authorities with high or rising numbers of children in care. These local authorities will be supported to embed one of three models, developed by Leeds, Hertfordshire, and North Yorkshire, that have the most promising evidence from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme of safely reducing the number of children being taken into care.

We are also investing a further £17 million through the 'Supporting Families: Investing in Practice' programme, enabling local authorities to help keep families safe by embedding Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, Family Group Conferencing, and the Mockingbird Family Model. We are working with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to evaluate the impact of these programmes. The findings from these programmes, alongside the recommendations made by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care – which was launched on 15 January 2021 to take a fundamental look at the needs, experiences, and outcomes of the children it supports – will inform our future strategy for children’s social care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his department collects on the handcuffing or restraining of children in the care system.

All children’s homes, including secure children’s homes, are governed by the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 which have provisions around behaviour and restraint.

The regulations and the quality standards require homes to have a behaviour management policy that focuses on establishing positive relationships with young people, encourages acceptable behaviour and sets out the acceptable restraint measures.

There is a requirement for homes to record any incidents of restraint under Regulation 35 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015. There is also a requirement under Regulation 40 of the same regulations for the Registered Person to inform Ofsted of any incident in relation to a child that they consider to be serious. We are clear that restraint is only permissible in a very narrow range of circumstances as set out in Regulation 20 and must always be necessary and proportionate.

In 2019, the government published guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812435/reducing-the-need-for-restraint-and-restrictive-intervention.pdf. The department does not collect any information on the use of handcuffs for children in the care system.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to increase funding for the mentoring of vulnerable children in or on the edge of care.

Local authorities set their own children’s services budget from their core spending power, based on local need and priorities.

An additional £300 million has been provided to local authorities this year for the social care grant, giving councils a total grant of £1.7 billion for children’s and adults’ social care in the financial year 2021-22. This is part of the total £51.3 billion core spending power available to local authorities this year for their services, including services for vulnerable children and those on the edge of care. The government has increased core spending power by 4.6% this year.

Local authorities will also receive an additional £1.55 billion of grant funding to support COVID-19 expenditure pressures this year, including children’s services. This funding is un-ringfenced, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide on where to allocate resources, and is on top of the £4.6 billion of grant funding which the government has already provided to support councils through the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department for Education will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Her Majesty's Treasury ahead of the next Spending Review, which will establish funding levels across the government.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase the funding available for technical support on accessing remote education platforms.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support remote education, including by providing laptops and tablets and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer training and support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of technology.

There is budget remaining to continue to provide technical support to help schools set up accounts for Google and Microsoft to access remote education during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Microsoft and Google platforms were chosen as they are free to use to the education sector and had the unified technology and support to set up and deliver effective remote education provision.

Google and Microsoft are not only free to use but offer a number of features and functionalities that are suitable for school needs.

We want to ensure all schools are set up with a remote learning platform and are keeping this under constant review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department used in making its policy to include (a) Microsoft and (b) Google but not other commonly used platforms in its list of suggested providers in the Constituency framework: education and childcare setting (excluding universities) guidance.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support remote education, including by providing laptops and tablets and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer training and support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of technology.

There is budget remaining to continue to provide technical support to help schools set up accounts for Google and Microsoft to access remote education during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Microsoft and Google platforms were chosen as they are free to use to the education sector and had the unified technology and support to set up and deliver effective remote education provision.

Google and Microsoft are not only free to use but offer a number of features and functionalities that are suitable for school needs.

We want to ensure all schools are set up with a remote learning platform and are keeping this under constant review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department conducted that resulted in the inclusion of (a) Microsoft and (b) Google and not other commonly used platforms in the Constituency framework: education and childcare setting (excluding universities) guidance.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support remote education, including by providing laptops and tablets and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer training and support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of technology.

There is budget remaining to continue to provide technical support to help schools set up accounts for Google and Microsoft to access remote education during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Microsoft and Google platforms were chosen as they are free to use to the education sector and had the unified technology and support to set up and deliver effective remote education provision.

Google and Microsoft are not only free to use but offer a number of features and functionalities that are suitable for school needs.

We want to ensure all schools are set up with a remote learning platform and are keeping this under constant review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of schools that have joined the Risk Protection Arrangement by (a) multi-academy trust and (b) local authority-maintained school and (c) financial year since 2014-15.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of academies either part of multi academy trusts or themselves single academy trusts and Local Authority Maintained Schools (LAMS) that have joined the risk protection arrangement (RPA) by financial year, accounting for opt-outs. Please note that RPA for LAMS was only made available to them to join from 1 April 2020.

Table 2 in the attachment shows the loss ratio (claims made plus adjustment expenses divided by total membership fee) for the RPA in each financial year since 2014-15. The current incomplete financial year has not been provided.

Government Actuary’s Department undertake a bi-annual review of the RPA provisions which assess the development of RPA claims over time. These reports are publicly available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-summary-provisioning-analysis.

The total cost to date of COVID-19 related travel cancellation claims made by RPA members is £45,207,903.11 which equates to 5,658 of claims.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the loss ratio for the Risk Protection Arrangement in each financial year since 2014-15.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of academies either part of multi academy trusts or themselves single academy trusts and Local Authority Maintained Schools (LAMS) that have joined the risk protection arrangement (RPA) by financial year, accounting for opt-outs. Please note that RPA for LAMS was only made available to them to join from 1 April 2020.

Table 2 in the attachment shows the loss ratio (claims made plus adjustment expenses divided by total membership fee) for the RPA in each financial year since 2014-15. The current incomplete financial year has not been provided.

Government Actuary’s Department undertake a bi-annual review of the RPA provisions which assess the development of RPA claims over time. These reports are publicly available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-summary-provisioning-analysis.

The total cost to date of COVID-19 related travel cancellation claims made by RPA members is £45,207,903.11 which equates to 5,658 of claims.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on the Exchequer of long-tail liability risks from the Risk Protection Arrangement.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of academies either part of multi academy trusts or themselves single academy trusts and Local Authority Maintained Schools (LAMS) that have joined the risk protection arrangement (RPA) by financial year, accounting for opt-outs. Please note that RPA for LAMS was only made available to them to join from 1 April 2020.

Table 2 in the attachment shows the loss ratio (claims made plus adjustment expenses divided by total membership fee) for the RPA in each financial year since 2014-15. The current incomplete financial year has not been provided.

Government Actuary’s Department undertake a bi-annual review of the RPA provisions which assess the development of RPA claims over time. These reports are publicly available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-summary-provisioning-analysis.

The total cost to date of COVID-19 related travel cancellation claims made by RPA members is £45,207,903.11 which equates to 5,658 of claims.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the total cost of covid-19 related travel cancellation claims for schools which are covered by the Risk Protection Arrangement.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of academies either part of multi academy trusts or themselves single academy trusts and Local Authority Maintained Schools (LAMS) that have joined the risk protection arrangement (RPA) by financial year, accounting for opt-outs. Please note that RPA for LAMS was only made available to them to join from 1 April 2020.

Table 2 in the attachment shows the loss ratio (claims made plus adjustment expenses divided by total membership fee) for the RPA in each financial year since 2014-15. The current incomplete financial year has not been provided.

Government Actuary’s Department undertake a bi-annual review of the RPA provisions which assess the development of RPA claims over time. These reports are publicly available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-summary-provisioning-analysis.

The total cost to date of COVID-19 related travel cancellation claims made by RPA members is £45,207,903.11 which equates to 5,658 of claims.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children in care have been recorded by his Department as being placed in (a) handcuffs and (b) other restraints whilst being transported in the most recent period for which figures are available; and how many of these journeys were between secure settings.

The information requested is not held centrally by the department.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding from the catch-up premium introduced by the Government in response to the covid-19 outbreak is being spent on pastoral support by schools; what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of that funding to support all pupils’ mental health and wellbeing needs during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a resilience fund for the 2020-21 academic year to enable schools to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Access to mental health support has been more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. To ensure that staff were equipped to support wellbeing as children and young people returned to schools and colleges, we made it a central part of our guidance on the return to school. The Department supported this with a range of training and materials, such as webinars and accelerating training on how to teach about mental health as part of the new Relationships, Sex and Health curriculum, so that all pupils can benefit from this long-term requirement.

The Government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a catch-up premium worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. School leaders have discretion over how to use this funding to best support the needs of their students, but we expect them to prioritise those who need the most catch up support. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) COVID-19 Support Guide is clear that interventions, including those focused on behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, are likely to be important to support those who have fallen furthest behind. The EEF guidance is available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

We will not be assessing how schools use their catch-up premium, but understanding the impact of COVID-19 disruption on attainment and progress is a key research priority for the Government. We have commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to consider catch up needs and monitor progress over the course of the year.

The £1 billion catch-up package is on top of the £2.6 billion increase this year in school budgets that was announced last year, as part of a £14 billion three year funding settlement, recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up. Additionally, the national funding formula (NFF) continues to target funding to areas which have the greatest numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. This year, the NFF will allocate £6.3 billion in funding for pupils with additional needs, or 18% of the formula’s total funding.

To provide further support during the autumn and spring terms the Department has worked with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England and Public Health England, as well as key voluntary sector organisations, to launch Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, will train local experts to provide additional training, advice and resources to schools and colleges, to help support pupil and student wellbeing, resilience, and recovery. It will give staff the confidence to support pupils and students, their parents, carers and their own colleagues, and know how and where to access appropriate specialist support where needed.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches in order to provide quicker access to NHS specialist support.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of the pilot Summer 2020 Holiday Activities and Food programme; and whether he plans to roll that programme out across the UK.

This summer, our £9 million Holiday Activities and Food Programme worked across 17 local authority areas, providing thousands of children with access to healthy meals and enriching activities and building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes. Future policy and spending decisions will be set following completion of the current Spending Review.

Our evaluation of the 2018 and 2019 programme will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that schools are able to reopen safely during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear that all pupils, in all year groups, should return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term. The Department published guidance to help schools prepare for this on 2 July. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above guidance sets out measures which provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, whilst also ensuring that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress.

This includes the public health advice schools must follow to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The public health advice in the guidance makes up a PHE endorsed system of controls, building on the hierarchy of protective measures that have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. When implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

All staff, pupils and their families will continue to have access to testing if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, and every school and college that has been attended by someone who tests positive will receive direct support and advice from their local PHE health protection team. Schools and colleges are also being provided with an initial supply of home testing kits to provide to children and staff who develop symptoms while on site and who may otherwise be unable to access a test, as well as a delivery of PPE, provided free of charge by the Department of Health and Social Care for the small number of instances where this is needed.

School employers and leaders are required by law to undertake a risk assessment to identify the risks the staff and pupils face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising they cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. School employers must make sure that a risk assessment has been undertaken to identify the measures needed to reduce the risks so far as is reasonably practicable and make the school COVID secure. General information on how to make a workplace COVID secure, including how to approach a COVID-19 risk assessment, is provided by the Health and Safety Executive guidance on working safely. This is available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/index.htm.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance the Government has provided to local authorities on summer school provision during the covid-19 outbreak for children of (a) key-workers, (b) low-income families and (c) all children.

Holiday clubs and out-of-school clubs for children will be able to restart over the summer, with safety measures in place. These clubs will be part of Step 3 of the recovery strategy (from 4 July). We have provided guidance for the sector on how to implement the protective measures necessary to minimise the risk to children, teachers and parents who attend their schools by reducing the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19, as well as advice to parents and carers on the precautions they should be taking if they are thinking of sending their child to any provision over the summer period.

Whilst we are not asking schools to open over the summer holidays and there is not the expectation that schools should open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers over this period, we are aware that some headteachers may be considering using their catch-up premium to provide summer school activities for their pupils. Where this is the case, they have the flexibility, discretion and autonomy to decide how they want to do this. To support schools in planning how to use the catch-up premium, the Education Endowment Foundation has produced a guide which includes advice on summer schools and contains a link to a Teach First toolkit specifically focused on summer schools.

On 22 June, we also announced the 17 local authority areas that our Holiday Activities and Food programme will operate in this summer, providing thousands of disadvantaged children with access to healthy meals and holiday activities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will set out a timeframe for requiring newly-built schools to be fitted with sprinkler systems.

Sprinklers must be fitted in schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

We are currently updating Building Bulletin 100 (BB100), the Department’s guidance on fire safety design in schools. A revised version of BB100 will be the subject of a full public consultation in due course.

All schools have to follow strict fire safety regulations, including having a fire risk assessment designed to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average cost to the public purse has been of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires in each financial year since 2015-16.

The Department does not collect information on the average cost of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires, although additional transport and travel costs would typically be covered through the business interruption element of a school’s insurance cover.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of a fire on the attainment of pupils at the school and does not make assessments of the effect of fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Department attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings. Schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, a fire alarm and regular fire drills.

Schools are fundamentally safe environments and the relevant data is published by the Home Office. This data shows, among other things, that in the five years up to 2018-19, there are approximately six fires per year that spread to a whole building, in a school estate of around 60,000 buildings (0.01% of buildings). The data can be viewed at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#incident-level-datasets.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of a school building fire on the attainment of pupils at the school.

The Department does not collect information on the average cost of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires, although additional transport and travel costs would typically be covered through the business interruption element of a school’s insurance cover.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of a fire on the attainment of pupils at the school and does not make assessments of the effect of fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Department attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings. Schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, a fire alarm and regular fire drills.

Schools are fundamentally safe environments and the relevant data is published by the Home Office. This data shows, among other things, that in the five years up to 2018-19, there are approximately six fires per year that spread to a whole building, in a school estate of around 60,000 buildings (0.01% of buildings). The data can be viewed at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#incident-level-datasets.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department makes assessments of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Department does not collect information on the average cost of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires, although additional transport and travel costs would typically be covered through the business interruption element of a school’s insurance cover.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of a fire on the attainment of pupils at the school and does not make assessments of the effect of fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Department attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings. Schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, a fire alarm and regular fire drills.

Schools are fundamentally safe environments and the relevant data is published by the Home Office. This data shows, among other things, that in the five years up to 2018-19, there are approximately six fires per year that spread to a whole building, in a school estate of around 60,000 buildings (0.01% of buildings). The data can be viewed at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#incident-level-datasets.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend the National School Breakfast Programme to the May half term holidays.

Alongside our national approach to supporting free school meal pupils who are not attending school, we are committed to supporting schools and children who benefit from our breakfast club programme. This programme operates during term time periods.

Our suppliers, Family Action along with Magic Breakfast, are in contact with schools on the programme, where possible, and are working closely with them to target the children most in need to continue to provide them with a healthy breakfast.

Family Action have reported that over 1000 schools in disadvantaged areas are registered to receive breakfast deliveries from this programme during the coronavirus outbreak. These schools are located nationwide across England.

Schools on the programme can choose to support target children in the way which works best for them; this may include parents collecting food parcels from open schools or breakfast food ‘drop offs’ to target families. This should be arranged alongside the school’s wider support for children on free school meals, and follow social distancing guidelines.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that disadvantaged students have access to (a) computers and (b) other essential equipment so that they can access e-learning and not fall behind on school work during the covid-19 lockdown.

On 19 April 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that laptops and tablets will be provided for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receive support from a social worker, or are a care leaver. Local authorities, trusts and other organisations overseeing schools have been given guidance on how to order devices for children and young people.

This forms part of a much wider package of support, which aims to help schools get set up on cloud-based education platforms and provide remote education. 4G wireless routers will be provided to help disadvantaged children with a social worker in secondary school, and care leavers and Year 10s to access the internet. New online education resources will also be made available for teachers and children from the Oak Academy and the BBC.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to review the method by which (a) GCSE and (b) A-level grades are calculated as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the decision to cancel this summer’s examinations, the independent qualifications regulator, Ofqual, is working with the examination boards to develop a robust process for awarding GCSE and A level grades in summer 2020. Schools and colleges will produce fair and objective examination centre grades, which will be externally standardised to ensure consistency. These arrangements aim to deliver the fairest possible outcomes for students.

Ofqual will evaluate the outcome of this process in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) universities are providing e-learning to students during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 19 April 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that laptops and tablets will be provided for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receive support from a social worker, or are a care leaver. Local authorities, trusts and other organisations overseeing schools have been given guidance on how to order devices for children and young people.

This forms part of a much wider package of support, which aims to help schools get set up on cloud-based education platforms and provide remote education. 4G wireless routers will be provided to help disadvantaged children with a social worker in secondary school, and care leavers and Year 10s to access the internet. New online education resources will also be made available for teachers and children from the Oak Academy and the BBC.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the supermarket vouchers that his Department has announced will be offered to children eligible for free school meals during school closures will cover the costs of breakfast.

While schools are closed to the majority of pupils, they are able to provide meals or vouchers to children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. More information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance.

In addition to this, we are working to consider options to support children who currently receive a free breakfast through the department’s contract with Family Action and Magic Breakfast. Family Action with Magic Breakfast will liaise directly with the schools involved in the programme.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the National School Breakfast Programme on the educational attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The department is investing up to £35 million in the National Schools Breakfast Programme to kick-start or improve sustainable breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas. This includes the recently announced extension to the programme which will support up to an additional 650 schools with up to £11.8 million being invested in 2020-21.

An Education Endowment Foundation evaluation between 2014 and 2017 found that supporting schools to run a free of charge, universal breakfast club before school delivered an average of 2 months of additional progress for pupils in Key Stage 1. Breakfast club schools also saw an improvement in pupil behaviour and attendance.

We monitor management information from the programme on an ongoing basis and will review the effectiveness of the programme fully once it concludes.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on banning the sale of fur in the UK.

We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, and that is both a source of pride and a clear reflection of UK attitudes towards animals.

Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 and since 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are restrictions on some skin and fur products which may never be legally imported into the UK. These include fur and products from cats and dogs, and seal skins and products from commercial hunts.

The Government is considering any further steps it could take in relation to fur.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) the US, (b) China and (c) other countries that permit mink farming on the plans that they have in place to stop the spread of covid-19 in fur farms.

Defra is monitoring the situation carefully and working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Public Health England. Our Chief Veterinary Officer and officials have regular contact with our European neighbours who farm mink for fur and with the USA where cases have also been reported.

We have not had any direct contact with China. Our FCDO colleagues are looking into the situation as we know China is one of the global leaders in farming animals for fur.

We have published a cross-Government risk assessment for the UK on this situation.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/hairs-risk-assessment-on-sars-cov-2-in-mustelinae-population

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on banning the sale of fur in the UK.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to hold a consultation on banning the sale of fur in the UK.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of banning the sale of fur in the UK at the end of the transition period.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to review the potential merits of a ban on fur in response to evidence from Spain that mink fur farms can act as a reservoir for covid-19.

The Government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare. Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 (2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland). While fur farming is legal in some EU countries, there are strict rules in place to ensure that animals kept for fur production are farmed, trapped and killed humanely.

During the transition period, it is not possible to introduce restrictions relating to the fur trade. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the Government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales.

In relation to the outbreaks of COVID-19 on mink farms in Europe, keepers are taking this seriously and implementing disease control measures, which include culling the animals on affected farms and ensuring that these animals will not be used for fur.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that religious exemptions for the slaughter of meat and poultry are (a) maintained and (b) protected.

The Government accepts the right of Muslims and Jews to eat meat killed in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Since 1933 there have been provisions in UK law that permit the slaughter of animals without prior stunning in order to meet Jewish and Islamic religious requirements.

The Government has adopted stricter national regulations over the years which ensure extensive protections for animals slaughtered without stunning in accordance with religious rites. These are set down in the Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015. These regulations continue to ensure that religious exemptions are maintained and protected.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress is being made on the George Eckert Institute's interim report on its independent review of Palestinian textbooks.

Following UK calls for action, our European Partners commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to conduct an independent review of Palestinian textbooks, which is currently underway.

We understand the report has been delayed due to COVID-19. We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the review and we continue to encourage them to finalise the interim report as soon as possible.

The UK will continue to raise our concerns about incitement in education, as I did most recently with the PA Minister for Education just last month. We welcome the PA's work to revise its textbooks and their intention to publish updated versions for the start of the school year in September.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the recommendations of the George Eckert Institute's interim report on its independent review of Palestinian textbooks are implemented before the start of the new academic year in September 2020.

Following UK calls for action, our European Partners commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to conduct an independent review of Palestinian textbooks, which is currently underway.

We understand the report has been delayed due to COVID-19. We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the review and we continue to encourage them to finalise the interim report as soon as possible.

The UK will continue to raise our concerns about incitement in education, as I did most recently with the PA Minister for Education just last month. We welcome the PA's work to revise its textbooks and their intention to publish updated versions for the start of the school year in September.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to support developing countries in Africa to tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK is playing a leading role in the global response to COVID-19, working with international partners to slow its spread. We are using UK aid to mitigate new health, humanitarian and economic risks across Africa and have pledged £744 million of UK aid globally to end the pandemic. The UK continues to work with partners, including the United Nations, to ensure aid reaches those most in need. We have provided health experts in key African countries and organisations. This includes a team at the WHO’s AFRO regional office in Brazzaville.

The UK is also providing up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment Relief Trust to help developing countries, including many in Africa, meet their debt repayments so that they can focus available resources on tackling COVID-19. The UK has worked closely with G20 creditors and the Paris Club on a temporary suspension of debt repayments from countries that request relief, further boosting response capacities.

Finally, the UK is urgently redirecting existing programmes right across Africa to respond to COVID-19, prioritising health, humanitarian, growth and trade as well as education and nutrition, recognising that these components are vital for response and longer term recovery.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) economic and (b) employment benefits of the policies which will be set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The economic and employment benefits of the policies set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan are under active consideration. Their assessment is being carried out in line with existing analytical frameworks and approaches, including for instance using the Government’s Energy Innovation Needs Assessment (EINAs) methodology to estimate the GVA and jobs opportunities for road transport1, and considers analysis and evidence from external sources, including for example the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Maritime UK. Further details will be provided in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan which we expect to publish this spring.

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-innovation-needs-assessments

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out quantified emissions reductions pathways for decarbonising the transport sector.

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) will provide quantified estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission projections based on implementation of the policies in the Plan, including estimates of uncertainty. The Plan will also include projections broken down by transport sub-sectors.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to reduce overall travel through the upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out a bold and ambitious pathway for decarbonisation. The Plan will take a holistic and cross-modal approach to decarbonising the entire transport system, and as part of this will include measures to accelerate modal shift to public and active transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Dec 2020
What steps his Department is taking to improve the condition of England’s roads.

The Department is providing over £2.7 billion for the maintenance of England’s local highway network, outside of London, over 2020/21 and 2021/22, and £4.1 billion for capital renewals on the strategic road network in England over the next 5 years.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps High Speed Two Ltd is taking with (a) further and (b) higher education institutions to employ apprentices.

HS2 Ltd and its supply chain continue to work closely with higher education institutions to support degree level apprenticeships as well as a range of other employer and outreach work, and are working closely with both further education (FE) institutions (including Derby, Moulton, Solihull, and Walsall colleges, and the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure) and higher education (HE) institutions (such as Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Birmingham Metropolitan, Coventry, Loughborough, Sheffield Hallam, and Wolverhampton Universities) to meet the aims of the HS2 Skills, Employment and Education Strategy

As part of their contractual requirements, HS2 Ltd’s supply chain is contractually required to deliver skills, employment and education outputs. As well as creating apprenticeships, these include supporting unemployed people into work; creating opportunities for work placements; and delivering school engagement actives including school age work experience. In much of this work there is a focus on supporting individuals from under-represented groups.

Recent activities have included:

  • Attending career and apprenticeship fairs across the country at various institutions this year (pre-lockdown);

  • HS2 Ltd assisting in the development of the T level qualification in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning;

  • Supporting Aston University’s Diversity in the Commercial World event in February 2020;

  • HS2 td and Tier 1 contractors sitting on the Employer and Partnership Boards of various educational institutions;

  • Balfour Beatty Vinci (Main Works Contractor) working with Walsall College to deliver their first T level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning;

  • HS2 Ltd with Tier 1 contractors working with Coventry University’s Director for Quantity Surveying, Commercial Management and Construction Management degrees to develop a package of support for undergraduates;

HS2 Ltd has worked closely with the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (previously National College for High Speed Rail). Since 2017, they have sent 69% of their apprentices to the college to study level 4 and 5 programmes in Project Management and Leadership & Management. A number of their supply chain companies, including BBV, LM, Systra, CSjv, Align, WSP, ACI, Arup, Jacobs, Bechtel and Atkins have apprentices at the College.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with stakeholders in the North West on the Integrated Rail Plan.

I have held a series of regional roundtables with political and business leaders, including those from the North West, inviting them to set out their priorities for rail in their areas. I will continue to seek views from regional representatives as work on the Integrated Rail Plan continues over the coming months.

The Integrated Rail Plan will also be informed by a ‘Rail Needs Assessment’ from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), which is now considering evidence from stakeholders across the Midlands and the North.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the economic benefits of High Speed Two to Manchester.

The full business case for High Speed 2 Phase One ‘Moving Britain Ahead’ was published in April 2020. This sets out the latest assessment of the economic impacts of HS2.

Previous analysis suggested that around 18% of the overall transport user benefits will be distributed to passengers from the North West with the full HS2 network in place (HS2 Ltd’s ‘Economic case advice for the DfT’ publication in 2017).

Passengers from Manchester and across the North West will benefit from improved connectivity and reduced journeys times to and within the North. Better connectivity promotes wider economic growth and potential gains from regeneration and local growth strategies supporting the levelling up of the UK economy.

As part of the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands we will look at how best to integrate HS2 Phase 2b and wider transport plans in the north and Midlands as well as how best to reduce costs.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking with local government to tackle road congestion to aid the regeneration of town centres in Greater Manchester.

The Government works closely with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester to support local transport measures which are specifically designed to address congestion, promote alternative modes of transport to the car and regenerate town centres.

The Government is committed to ensuring that local highway infrastructure is well maintained to facilitate smoother and safer journeys, with better connections. The Secretary of State has recently announced a £1.7 billion Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund to improve roads, repair bridges and fill in millions of potholes. Greater Manchester’s share of this is £64.2 million.

In addition, Greater Manchester was awarded £312.5 million from the Transforming Cities Fund which is being used to fund schemes aimed at better connecting communities, in a sustainable way, and promoting cycling and walking as an alternative to using cars. In addition, over £660 million of Local Growth funding has been awarded to Greater Manchester in the three rounds of Growth deals to invest in transport schemes across the region and fund town centre improvements.

Most recently, Government has provided significant financial support to essential bus and Metrolink services throughout the Covid19 pandemic to increase public transport services for key workers and to help restart the economy. On 27 May, it was announced that Greater Manchester had also been given an indicative allocation of £3.2 million from the Emergency Active Travel Fund, to ensure that active travel is a viable alternative to using the car, as well as providing a safe space to do so in the town and district centres.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Government will extend the expiration date of driving theory tests for people who are not able to take driving lessons or driving tests as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The two-year validity period of the theory test certificate is set in legislation. This is so the candidate’s theoretical knowledge remains current. To extend the validity period would require legislative change. To do this, the relevant parliamentary process would need to take place. This situation is being given urgent attention.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th May 2021
What assessment she has made of the effect of pension auto-enrolment on levels of retirement savings among people in Bury South constituency.

In Bury South, 10,000 employees now have an automatically enrolled workplace pension, saving 8% per annum and I would encourage more to do the same.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
What steps she has taken to strengthen protections for pension savers.

The Government is committed to safeguarding pension savings.

The Pension Schemes Act 2021, notably Section 125, will strengthen rules around pension transfers and
introduce new criminal offences for unscrupulous employers who mismanage schemes. These measures will protect savers in Bury South and across the United Kingdom

Many pension scams are initiated and perpetuated online, and that is why I am meeting with Google on 10 March to explore what action is being taken against online pension fraud
and persuade them to stop fraudsters using their site.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people living in the Bury South constituency have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment by telephone or in person between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

The Money and Pensions Service publishes data on pension wise appointments across 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people living in Greater Manchester have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment by telephone or in person between April 2019 and March 2020.

The Money and Pensions Service publishes data on pension wise appointments across 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people had a Pension Wise guidance appointment (a) by telephone and (b) in person between April 2019 and March 2020 in each region of the UK.

The Money and Pensions Service publishes data on pension wise appointments across 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people living in Greater Manchester have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment by telephone or in person in the last 12 months.

The Money and Pensions Service published annual data on pension wise appointments for 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf.

This records that there were over 97k face to face and around 62k telephone appointments in 2019-20. This is the latest available annual published data.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment by telephone or in person in the last 12 months, by UK region.

The Money and Pensions Service published annual data on pension wise appointments for 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf.

This records that there were over 97k face to face and around 62k telephone appointments in 2019-20. This is the latest available annual published data.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to commence the impartial pensions guidance rules provided for in sections 18 and 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018.

We intend to commence the guidance rules soon.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what take-up targets she has set for Pension Wise guidance usage when non-advised savers access defined contribution pension benefits in relation to sections 18 and 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018.

We will continue to monitor the use of advice and guidance when accessing pension savings.

We want to increase awareness of Pension Wise guidance, by presenting taking guidance as a natural part of the customer journey, and making it easier to book an appointment - following sections 18 and 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act. Based on the results of the Stronger Nudge trials, we expect this would lead to an increase in the take up of Pension Wise guidance.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the impartial pensions guidance rules covered by Clauses 18 and 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 are planned to be introduced.

We will be publishing a statement of policy intent shortly which will set out how we plan to implement the stronger nudge (Section 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act) for occupational pensions.

Following this, we will consult on draft Regulations which will come into force at the earliest opportunity.

We are working closely with the FCA who will consult on rules for personal and stakeholder pensions, which will also come into force at the earliest opportunity

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to clauses 18 and 19 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, what take-up targets are being set for Pension Wise guidance usage when non-advised savers access defined contribution pension benefits, in the context of the findings of the Money and Pension Service’s stronger nudge trials.

We want to increase awareness of Pension Wise guidance, present taking guidance as a natural part of the customer journey, and make it easier to book an appointment. Based on the results of the stronger nudge trials, we would expect that implementation of the nudge would lead to an increase in the take up of Pension Wise guidance.

We do not intend to set a target for the number of Pension Wise guidance sessions, or the number of members accessing pension savings in a given period who receive Pension Wise guidance. We will continue to monitor the use of advice and guidance when accessing pension savings, and take further action to encourage their use if appropriate.

This is part of a number of measures aimed at increasing awareness of Pension Wise, which includes advertising campaigns and engagement with employers both nationally and locally.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department has issued to (a) sole traders, (b) freelancers and (c) small business holders on changes to employment support allowance; and if she will make a statement.

There are no recent changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that affect sole traders, freelancers and small business holders.

A self-employed person can make a new claim for New Style ESA. In order to qualify they will need to satisfy the basic entitlement and National Insurance contribution conditions.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on (a) sole traders, (b) freelancers and (c) small business holders of the recent changes to employment support allowance.

There are no recent changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that affect sole traders, freelancers and small business holders.

A self-employed person can make a new claim for New Style ESA. In order to qualify they will need to satisfy the basic entitlement and National Insurance contribution conditions.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability of Health Education England to achieve the objectives of the Cancer Workforce Plan by 2021; and if he will outline the steps he is taking to develop that plan after 2021.

Health Education England (HEE) will publish an assessment of progress on the diagnostic radiography ambition once National Health Service Hospital and Community Health Service workforce statistics for March 2021 have been published by NHS Digital and analysed by HEE.

In 2021/22 HEE will continue implementation of the cancer workforce plan, including training grants for cancer nurse specialists and chemotherapy nurses, support for reporting radiographers and an increase in postgraduate medical training places across the key cancer medical professions of clinical radiology, oncology, histopathology, and gastroenterology.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Cancer Workforce Plan, what progress Health Education England has made on achieving its target of FTE 2227 diagnostic radiographers in place by 2021.

Health Education England (HEE) will publish an assessment of progress on the diagnostic radiography ambition once National Health Service Hospital and Community Health Service workforce statistics for March 2021 have been published by NHS Digital and analysed by HEE.

In 2021/22 HEE will continue implementation of the cancer workforce plan, including training grants for cancer nurse specialists and chemotherapy nurses, support for reporting radiographers and an increase in postgraduate medical training places across the key cancer medical professions of clinical radiology, oncology, histopathology, and gastroenterology.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of the annual NHS cancer budget is allocated to the provision of training and development for the cancer workforce.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review's patient reference group was established with the aim of discussing the (a) three interventions in that review, valproate, mesh and primodos, and (b) future of patients and their welfare within the health system.

The Department has not established any groups or sub-groups on sodium valproate or medications in pregnancy.

The Department has established a Patient Reference Group (PRG) consisting of patients and patients’ representatives, including those involved in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and those with a wider interest in patient safety. The purpose of the PRG is to discuss all recommendations set out in the Review and to provide challenge, advice and scrutiny to the work to develop the Government’s response. The scope of the PRG does not extend beyond the recommendations in the Review.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has established groups on sodium valproate and medications in pregnancy. The Sodium Valproate Expert Working Group of the Commission on Human Medicines was convened in February 2014 to advise the Commission on Human Medicines on the risks of valproate in pregnancy and on measures to minimise risk. The MHRA convened the Valproate Stakeholder Network in January 2016 to support communications around the valproate toolkit to raise awareness among women of the risks. It is now focused on consistent UK-wide implementation of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme and monitoring compliance.

In July 2019 the Commission on Human Medicines established a new Expert Working Group on Optimising Data on Medicines used in Pregnancy. The Expert Group was to advise on better ways to collect and monitor data on the safety of medicines during pregnancy. The report and recommendations of the Expert Group were published in January 2021.

NHS England and Improvement has established groups on sodium valproate and the IMMDS Review. The National Director of Patient Safety set up a clinically-led Valproate Safety Implementation Group in June 2020, with 3 further subgroups.

The Pelvic Floor Health Oversight Group continues the work of previously established stakeholder groups responsible for setting and communicating the conditions of the national pause on vaginal mesh insertion procedures in July 2018 and has also been considering the pelvic mesh related recommendations from the IMMDS Review. A subgroup has also been established to support delivery against data and registry related conditions of the national pause and is considering data related actions from the Review on pelvic mesh. An expert reference group steering the establishment of perinatal pelvic health services is also considering actions related to postnatal pelvic physiotherapy from the Review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and the publication of its report in July 2020, how many (a) groups and (b) sub groups have been established in respect of (i) sodium valproate, (ii) medications in pregnancy, (iii) the IMMDS Review and (iv) the recommendations of that review since the publication of the valproate toolkit in 2015.

The Department has not established any groups or sub-groups on sodium valproate or medications in pregnancy.

The Department has established a Patient Reference Group (PRG) consisting of patients and patients’ representatives, including those involved in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and those with a wider interest in patient safety. The purpose of the PRG is to discuss all recommendations set out in the Review and to provide challenge, advice and scrutiny to the work to develop the Government’s response. The scope of the PRG does not extend beyond the recommendations in the Review.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has established groups on sodium valproate and medications in pregnancy. The Sodium Valproate Expert Working Group of the Commission on Human Medicines was convened in February 2014 to advise the Commission on Human Medicines on the risks of valproate in pregnancy and on measures to minimise risk. The MHRA convened the Valproate Stakeholder Network in January 2016 to support communications around the valproate toolkit to raise awareness among women of the risks. It is now focused on consistent UK-wide implementation of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme and monitoring compliance.

In July 2019 the Commission on Human Medicines established a new Expert Working Group on Optimising Data on Medicines used in Pregnancy. The Expert Group was to advise on better ways to collect and monitor data on the safety of medicines during pregnancy. The report and recommendations of the Expert Group were published in January 2021.

NHS England and Improvement has established groups on sodium valproate and the IMMDS Review. The National Director of Patient Safety set up a clinically-led Valproate Safety Implementation Group in June 2020, with 3 further subgroups.

The Pelvic Floor Health Oversight Group continues the work of previously established stakeholder groups responsible for setting and communicating the conditions of the national pause on vaginal mesh insertion procedures in July 2018 and has also been considering the pelvic mesh related recommendations from the IMMDS Review. A subgroup has also been established to support delivery against data and registry related conditions of the national pause and is considering data related actions from the Review on pelvic mesh. An expert reference group steering the establishment of perinatal pelvic health services is also considering actions related to postnatal pelvic physiotherapy from the Review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure people who are needle phobic have access to a covid-19 vaccine through the development of alternative vaccination methods.

Vaccinators at vaccine sites have received the appropriate training to make sure everyone feels safe. The process is overseen by clinicians who if required would be able to provide further assistance. We recommend that individuals with a needle phobia contact the vaccination centre directly prior to attendance to determine what mitigations they have for relevant patients, and to see if any special arrangements could be identified to help the recipient feel more comfortable.

Currently there is one route of administration of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 141632, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of a laddered approach to the Nutrient Profile Model that looks more favourably on products that are closer to scoring as healthy.

Public Health England was asked by the Department to review the United Kingdom Nutrient Profiling Model 2004/5 to bring it in line with current UK dietary recommendations. Full detail on the review will be available once published shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to exempt products that are (a) high in protein and (b) low in sugar in its ban of online advertising for unhealthy foods.

The current proposal for what food and drink is classed as in scope of further advertising restrictions online and on TV, is to use the categories originally put forward by Public Health England (PHE) as part of the calorie reduction programme, sugar reduction programme and the soft drinks industry levy overlaying this with the 2004/05 Nutrient Profiling Model. Officials are considering the final list put forward by PHE as well as views fed in as part of the consultation process to come to a final decision on what products are in scope and will publish our full response to the consultation shortly.

In December 2020 we published our response to the 2019 consultation on restricting promotions of products that are high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) by location and price. The response confirmed the categories in scope of the restrictions and that the 2004/05 Nutrient Profiling Model will be used to define whether a product in these categories is HFSS.

The Nutrient Profiling Model uses a simple scoring system where points allocated for ‘C’ nutrients (fruit, vegetables and nut content, fibre and protein) are subtracted from ‘A’ nutrients (energy, saturated fat, total sugar and sodium). Foods scoring four or more points, and drinks scoring one or more points, are classified as ‘less healthy’ and will be subject to the restrictions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to include an exemption for products (a) high in protein and (b) low in sugar in its plans to restrict promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt by location or price.

The current proposal for what food and drink is classed as in scope of further advertising restrictions online and on TV, is to use the categories originally put forward by Public Health England (PHE) as part of the calorie reduction programme, sugar reduction programme and the soft drinks industry levy overlaying this with the 2004/05 Nutrient Profiling Model. Officials are considering the final list put forward by PHE as well as views fed in as part of the consultation process to come to a final decision on what products are in scope and will publish our full response to the consultation shortly.

In December 2020 we published our response to the 2019 consultation on restricting promotions of products that are high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) by location and price. The response confirmed the categories in scope of the restrictions and that the 2004/05 Nutrient Profiling Model will be used to define whether a product in these categories is HFSS.

The Nutrient Profiling Model uses a simple scoring system where points allocated for ‘C’ nutrients (fruit, vegetables and nut content, fibre and protein) are subtracted from ‘A’ nutrients (energy, saturated fat, total sugar and sodium). Foods scoring four or more points, and drinks scoring one or more points, are classified as ‘less healthy’ and will be subject to the restrictions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on that country’s covid-19 vaccination strategy.

The Department is regularly in discussions with other countries, including Israel, on a wide range of COVID-19 issues, to share learnings and collaborate internationally on the vaccination programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on human health of mink fur farming since the outbreak of a coronavirus variant linked to Danish mink farms.

Public Health England has made no assessment of the effect on human health of mink fur farming since the outbreak of a coronavirus variant linked to Danish mink farms.

Fur farming has been banned in the United Kingdom since 2000.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional funding has been made available to community pharmacies to help them deal with increased demand for their services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has put in place an unprecedented financial package during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to all businesses, including community pharmacies. We have also made £370 million in advance payments to alleviate cash flow pressures and have provided extra funding to cover the costs of Bank Holiday opening, a new medicine delivery service for shielded patients, and measures taken by community pharmacy to support social distancing. For June to September 2020, there has also been an increase of £15 million per month to reimbursement prices of the most commonly prescribed generic medicines.

Additional funding, for costs incurred during the peak of the pandemic, is being actively discussed with the sector. We will also carefully consider other representations on how we can further support community pharmacy so they can continue to deliver.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding he has allocated to (a) GPs and (b) technicians to support the prescribing and monitoring of Sodium Valproate to women of child-bearing potential.

In 2019/20 a Quality and Outcomes Framework Quality Improvement (QI) domain on safer prescribing ran in general practice. It aimed to improve engagement with women of child-bearing age and pregnancy prevention for these patients. This QI module was worth around £44 million in 2019/20 nationally.

As part of a Pharmacy Quality Scheme community pharmacies were asked to complete a valproate safety audit. Pharmacists were asked to check the records of girls and women of childbearing potential for whom a prescription is dispensed for valproate, to ensure they have been advised on the risks of taking valproate in line with all the requirements as detailed in the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s Drug Safety Update 2018.

The valproate audit was one of three parts of the Medicines Safety Audits domain and each part had to be delivered to earn the points available. The 25 points available were then worth £1843.5 per pharmacy who completed this domain.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the GP to patient ratio for female patients between the ages of 15 and 45 years old with epilepsy in Bury South constituency.

Data on the general practitioner (GP) to patient ratio for female patients between the ages of 15 to 45 years old with epilepsy is not available at national or regional levels.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information NHS England holds on prescribing rates of sodium valproate to women and girls of childbearing age in each clinical commissioning group; and if he will make it his policy to routinely publish that data.

The information on prescribing of sodium valproate is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to recent World Health Organisation updates and the addition of fetal valproate spectrum disorder to the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, what steps he is taking to (a) integrate that disorder into treatment and (b) ensure its diagnosis on the NHS.

NHS England currently does not provide specialised treatment or a diagnostic service for patients suffering with symptoms of fetal valproate syndrome - treatment and diagnosis are integrated into existing services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability in Bury South constituency for restored cancer services to deliver personalised cancer care commitments.

On 8 June 2020, the National Cancer Director and the National Clinical Director for Cancer issued further guidance to National Health Service cancer services on the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 for cancer services. The states that the work for local systems and Cancer Alliances to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer should now be well advanced, so that referrals, diagnostics and treatment can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand. Cancer Alliances should work with their regional teams to provide these essential services.

This includes focussing on reducing the number of over 62-day waiters on cancer pathways, particularly rescheduling diagnostic procedures or treatment for those who have had their care delayed by the pandemic.

The NHS is now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services. We are encouraging anybody with symptoms that could be indicative of cancer to contact their general practitioner (GP).

GPs will continue to refer on to cancer pathways in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance so that patients can be managed appropriately.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all personalised care and support should continue by telephone, video, online or by post if face-to-face appointments and group sessions have not been possible. As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, these interventions will be implemented where appropriate for every person diagnosed with cancer by 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that cancer treatment is provided in coronavirus-free hubs with the required (a) equipment, (b) covid-19 testing and (c) staff resources in (i) Bury South constituency and (ii) England.

On 8 June 2020, the National Cancer Director and the National Clinical Director for Cancer issued further guidance to National Health Service cancer services on the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 for cancer services. The states that the work for local systems and Cancer Alliances to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer should now be well advanced, so that referrals, diagnostics and treatment can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand. Cancer Alliances should work with their regional teams to provide these essential services.

This includes focussing on reducing the number of over 62-day waiters on cancer pathways, particularly rescheduling diagnostic procedures or treatment for those who have had their care delayed by the pandemic.

The NHS is now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services. We are encouraging anybody with symptoms that could be indicative of cancer to contact their general practitioner (GP).

GPs will continue to refer on to cancer pathways in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance so that patients can be managed appropriately.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all personalised care and support should continue by telephone, video, online or by post if face-to-face appointments and group sessions have not been possible. As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, these interventions will be implemented where appropriate for every person diagnosed with cancer by 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will put in place a plan to rebuild cancer services in Bury South to rapidly reduce the treatment backlog and avoid worsening outcomes for people living with cancer.

On 8 June 2020, the National Cancer Director and the National Clinical Director for Cancer issued further guidance to National Health Service cancer services on the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 for cancer services. The states that the work for local systems and Cancer Alliances to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer should now be well advanced, so that referrals, diagnostics and treatment can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand. Cancer Alliances should work with their regional teams to provide these essential services.

This includes focussing on reducing the number of over 62-day waiters on cancer pathways, particularly rescheduling diagnostic procedures or treatment for those who have had their care delayed by the pandemic.

The NHS is now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services. We are encouraging anybody with symptoms that could be indicative of cancer to contact their general practitioner (GP).

GPs will continue to refer on to cancer pathways in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance so that patients can be managed appropriately.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all personalised care and support should continue by telephone, video, online or by post if face-to-face appointments and group sessions have not been possible. As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, these interventions will be implemented where appropriate for every person diagnosed with cancer by 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support he plans to provide for end-of-life care in community settings to support families and carers in (a) Bury South constituency and (b) England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The funding and commissioning of end-of-life care is a local matter, over which individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have responsibility. CCGs are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and to commission services accordingly. During the pandemic, a range of additional support for end-of-life care in community settings has been put in place. This is to help commissioners and clinicians support patients with palliative and end-of-life care needs, as well as their families and carers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to make available face masks from clear material to assist people in lip reading who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Government recognise concerns about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly face masks when it comes to people who lip read. The United Kingdom Government’s PPE procurement team has been working extremely hard to source clear facemasks which comply with UK safety standards and have signed a contract to supply stocks of clear masks into health and social care settings, to support those who need to lip read.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of patients affected by the backlogs in cancer (a) screening, (b) diagnostic tests and (c) other treatments that have accrued as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK National Screening Committee is undertaking work to estimate the impact of temporary suspension to screening programmes, including cancer screening. This work is currently in its early stages and the results will be reported as soon they are available.

The National Health Service has continued to provide urgent and emergency services throughout the outbreak and has run the ‘Open for Business’ media campaign to encourage people with potentially serious health issues, such as cancer, to continue to seek medical advice and attend essential appointments. Cancer Alliances and Cancer Hubs have identified (COVID-19 free) surgical and diagnostic capacity to meet demand for cancer services and treatments at this time.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of postponing the dental retention fee paid by dentists during the covid-19 outbreak.

The General Dental Council (GDC) is an independent regulator and is therefore responsible for determining the level of the annual fee it charges for registration.

On 20 May 2020, the Chair of the GDC wrote to all registrants to advise that the GDC would not be making any changes to its Annual Retention Fee, or introducing an emergency payment by instalments scheme, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GDC uses the income from fees to carry out its statutory duties. In October 2019, the GDC reduced its Annual Retention Fee for all dental professionals following a strategic review of its operating processes and costs and a public consultation on its three-year costed plan.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support patients who are waiting for cancer (a) screening, (b) follow-up tests and (c) treatment that has been postponed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken a range of actions to support patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with providers to ensure that any screening appointments that have been delayed due to the pandemic are rescheduled as soon as is safely possible. Services are focused on restoring appointments for the highest-priority patient populations first, including those already some way along the screening pathway.

In addition, COVID-19 protected cancer hubs were set up in 21 Cancer Alliances across England to provide cancer surgery and to keep patients safe during the outbreak. Diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer has been ring-fenced so that referrals, diagnostics and treatment can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity. Particular emphasis has been given to ensuring that patients are confident and feel safe in accessing these services.

The National Cancer Director wrote to Cancer Alliances on 8 June to outline these measures at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/06/C0511-second-phase-of-nhs-response-to-covid-19-for-cancer-services-letter.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to allocate additional funding for mental health support for victims of domestic abuse.

We provided a £5 million grant to Mind and the Mental Health Consortia to administer a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund to mental health voluntary and community sector organisations across England to promote mental health and wellbeing services. This complements NHS services and support those struggling with their mental health, including vulnerable people such as victims of domestic abuse. We announced a further £4.2 million to support mental health charities as part of our United Kingdom-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector announced in April. This package of support also includes £28?million?to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether officials in his Department have held discussions with representatives of Israeli medical technology companies on the (a) use and (b) importation of medical technologies developed in that country to tackle the covid-19 outbreak in the UK.

The Department is regularly in discussions with other countries on a wide range of issues of issues relating to COVID-19, including Israel. COVID-19 presents a global challenge which requires a collaborative response. The Department will continue to work with other countries throughout the crisis and beyond.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) funding and (b) other resources the Government is allocating to the search for (a) a vaccine and (b) different treatment options for covid-19.

The Government has announced a total of £42.5 million to support clinical trials of vaccines being developed at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. This funding is in addition to the £25 million committed through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Covid-19 Rapid Response Research Call1. The NIHR and UKRI have also jointly launched a Rapid Response rolling call for proposals to address evidence gaps and needs on COVID-19, which builds on the earlier NIHR-UKRI COVID-19 research initiatives.

Building on existing trial capability, national platform trials have been expanded to test the most promising therapeutics candidates as large Phase III clinical trials. This currently includes the PRINCIPLE, RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials which cover primary, acute and intensive care settings.

A cross-Government Vaccines Taskforce has been established to coordinate and accelerate the development and manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine, in partnership with academia and industry, and look at other therapeutic options.

The Government has also contributed £250 million of United Kingdom aid, the biggest donation of any country, to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to support ongoing work to rapidly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

Note:

1 https://www.ukri.org/news/covid-19-research-boosted-by-new-projects/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to increase the provision of testing for people experiencing symptoms of covid-19.

The Government has met the commitment to carry out 100,000 tests for COVID-19 every day by the end of April set out in the Government’s Testing Strategy and carried out over 122,000 tests on 30 April.

On 27 May it was announced that COVID-19 testing was being extended in the United Kingdom to anyone with symptoms.

Demand for testing may fluctuate daily but we expect overall to see it continue to increase.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to prevent the dissemination of disinformation on covid-19.

The Government takes the issue of disinformation very seriously. We have brought together existing cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities to provide the most comprehensive picture possible about the extent, scope and impact of disinformation and misinformation linked to COVID-19.

We are working with strategic communications experts to ensure that we are prepared to respond to disinformation campaigns where necessary. As part of this work, we are regularly engaging with the social media platforms.

We are also working with industry to support the introduction of systems and processes that promote authoritative sources and reduce dangerous advice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of people being tested for covid-19.

The Government has met the commitment to carry out 100,000 tests for COVID-19 every day by the end of April set out in the Government’s Testing Strategy and carried out over 122,000 tests on 30 April.

On 27 May it was announced that COVID-19 testing was being extended in the United Kingdom to anyone with symptoms.

Demand for testing may fluctuate daily but we expect overall to see it continue to increase.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to create a vaccine for covid-19.

Supported by United Kingdom funding, a number of potential COVID-19 vaccines are currently under development and efforts are being made to get any viable vaccines from sequencing of the virus to clinical testing in under a year. Governments around the world could then work with pharmaceutical companies to get vaccines into production and use.

As of 6 March, the UK’s total investment into COVID-19 vaccine research stands at £65 million.

This includes a £50 million contribution to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the process of producing the content for the Palestinian Authority’s school curriculum.

It is essential to have a strong and thriving Palestinian education system to provide opportunities for the next generation. We have been clear that incitement to hatred or violence is unacceptable and has no place in education.

Following the UK's calls for international action, our European partners agreed to lead an independent review. We understand the review is in the final stages. We will study its findings carefully before deciding on any next steps. We remain in close dialogue with our European partners and continue to press for completion and publication of the review as soon as possible.

In financial year 2020/21 we provided £20m in funding to the Palestinian Authority to support the salaries of education workers in the West Bank.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK monitors teacher training programmes for teachers in the Palestinian Territories whose salaries are paid for by UK aid.

It is essential to have a strong and thriving Palestinian education system to provide opportunities for the next generation. We have been clear that incitement to hatred or violence is unacceptable and has no place in education.

Following the UK's calls for international action, our European partners agreed to lead an independent review. We understand the review is in the final stages. We will study its findings carefully before deciding on any next steps. We remain in close dialogue with our European partners and continue to press for completion and publication of the review as soon as possible.

In financial year 2020/21 we provided £20m in funding to the Palestinian Authority to support the salaries of education workers in the West Bank.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications of his policies of the February 2021 International Criminal Court ruling on the scope of the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

We closely follow the important work of the International Criminal Court and are looking at the implications of this decision.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the International Criminal Court’s ruling of 5 February 2021 that the Court has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Palestinian territories.

We closely follow the important work of the International Criminal Court and are looking at the implications of this decision.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government’s policy is on long-term funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency.

The UK is a long-term supporter of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across the region.?We have consistently been a top donor to UNRWA, providing £51 million in 2020. As announced on 26 November, in order to maximise our strategic focus in the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) next year, the Foreign Secretary will lead a short cross-government process to review, appraise and finalise all of the UK's ODA allocations. Decisions on support for UNRWA will be taken as part of this process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2020 to Question 91204 on UNRWA: Finance, how much funding the UK has allocated to the UN Relief and Works Agency in 2020.

The UK has allocated £51 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for 2020.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding the UK has provided to the UN Relief and Works Agency in each of the last five years.

The amount of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for the requested calendar years is given in the table below. Data is published each year in the Statistics on International Development (SID) publication.

£ (millions)

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total UK ODA to UNRWA per calendar year

65.9

54.4

51.1

65.4

65.6

Source: based on Statistics for International Development but adjusted as SID is reported in line with OECD reporting directives, which classifies some UNRWA emergency and project funding separately. Therefore, the figures in the table have been adjusted from the SID data for 2018 and 2019 to show £5 million additional funding per year which the UK disbursed for the UNRWA emergency appeal for Gaza. The table has also been adjusted to include an additional £1.9m disbursement to UNRWA in 2015 as part of a CSSF programme in Lebanon. In addition, the 2018 SID data captures a £5m disbursement to UNRWA's Syria Appeal made in 2018.This payment contributed to UNRWA's 2019 appeal and is therefore captured in the 2019 figures above. The figures above reflect actual total UK funding to UNRWA, including emergency appeals.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 July 2020 to Question 76939 on Palestinians: Textbooks, what mechanisms are in place for scrutiny of the updated Palestinian Authority curriculum for the academic year in September 2020.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about allegations of incitement in the Palestinian Authority's (PA) curriculum. Anti-Semitism, violence and hate have no place in society. We repeatedly raise our concerns with the highest levels of the PA. The Foreign Secretary did so with the Palestinian Prime Minister and Minister for Education on his most recent visit. We welcome the PA's work to revise its textbooks and their intention to publish updated content for the start of the school year in September 2020.

Following UK calls for action, our European Partners commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to conduct an independent review of Palestinian textbooks, which is currently underway. We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the review and continue to encourage them to finalise the report as soon as possible. We await the findings of the review, due later this year.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37825, if Iran is now compliant with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the referral to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of that Plan.

With France and Germany, we triggered the JCPoA Dispute Resolution Mechanism in January in response to Iran breaking key limits in the nuclear deal. We continue to work closely with the remaining parties to the deal, including Iran, to find a diplomatic way forward.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37825, whether there is a deadline for Iran to return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

With France and Germany, we triggered the JCPoA Dispute Resolution Mechanism in January in response to Iran breaking key limits in the nuclear deal. We continue to work closely with the remaining parties to the deal, including Iran, to find a diplomatic way forward.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37825, when his Department most recently raised Iran's non-compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the governments of (a) Iran, (b) France, (c) Germany, and the US Administration.

With France and Germany, we triggered the JCPoA Dispute Resolution Mechanism in January in response to Iran breaking key limits in the nuclear deal. We continue to work closely with the remaining parties to the deal, including Iran, to find a diplomatic way forward.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support UK nationals that are stranded abroad as a result of the covid-19 outbreak that cannot afford (a) medication and (b) other essential items.

Our posts are providing British nationals who are unable to get home with consular support when requested. We can help them maintain contact with family members; help them understand the local situation, and advise how to secure medication in the country in question, or signpost them appropriately. All our individual country travel advice pages include advice on how to access local medical care and prescriptions. In many countries, it is possible to make an appointment with a local doctor to arrange an alternative prescription. We recognise that local measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 are presenting challenges for some people and are working with authorities in each country to resolve these. In addition, The Association of British Insurers has announced that UK-Based insurers will look to extend travel insurance policies for 60 days to ensure British travellers stranded abroad will be covered for any emergency medical treatment they might need. In countries with which we have reciprocal agreements, British travellers will be able to benefit from those. The specifics of these arrangements vary from country to country but broadly cover emergency medical treatment for UK resident British nationals.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the status is of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the decision by the E3 to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism on 14 January 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), as the best means of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We have worked hard with our partners to preserve the deal and believe that it remains in our national security interests. We, along with France and Germany, have met our obligations under the deal, including by lifting sanctions on Iran, and have gone beyond our JCPoA commitments by establishing INSTEX to help support legitimate trade. Iran's reductions in nuclear compliance, as confirmed by successive International Atomic Engergy Angency reports, have raised serious proliferation concerns, leaving the E3 with no choice but to trigger the JCPoA Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) on 14 January 2020, formally referring Iran to the Joint Commission. We are clear that we want to use the DRM to resolve these concerns, and bring Iran back into compliance with the JCPoA. The UK continues to work closely with all JCPoA parties, including Iran, to find a diplomatic way forward.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the rates charged on soft drinks that are eligible for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy, like all taxes, is kept under regular review, and the impact of any potential changes to its rates is considered through the Budget process.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the forthcoming plastic tax has an equitable administrative and economic effect on businesses in the bioeconomy.

On 12 November, the Government published the summary of responses to the recent consultation on the detailed design and implementation of the Plastic Packaging Tax. This included confirming the consultation proposal to include compostable and bio-based plastic packaging in the scope of the tax. As set out in the consultation, all packaging, including that which is 100% compostable, will be in scope of the tax if plastic is the predominant material by weight.

As set out in the summary of responses to the consultation, the Government believes that alternative plastics can play a role in addressing plastic waste if used in the right circumstances. However, further evidence is needed on the impact of widespread adoption of such materials, and it is right to include them within scope of the tax at this stage. As part of the Bioeconomy Strategy, the Government is working with industry and the research community to better understand the impact of using bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics. Following the conclusion of the Bioeconomy Strategy, the Government will consider further the treatment of these plastics in relation to Plastic Packaging Tax.

The Government carefully considered the impacts of the tax when making the decisions set out in the summary of responses to the consultation. More information on impacts is available in the Tax Information and Impact Note - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-a-new-plastic-packaging-tax/introduction-of-a-new-plastic-packaging-tax. To support businesses, HMRC will develop clear guidance and other tools to help businesses understand and meet their obligations.

Alongside the summary of responses to the consultation, draft legislation for the Plastic Packaging Tax was also published. The Government continues to engage with businesses involved in the manufacture and import of plastic packaging to ensure the legislation is fit for purpose and the tax can be successfully introduced in April 2022.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to extend the stamp duty waiver to allow people who have started but may not complete the house buying process within the existing deadline to benefit from that policy.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax temporary rates apply to transactions completed or substantially performed between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021. A transaction is substantially performed where the buyer has paid 90% of the purchase price, or where they have possession of the whole or substantially the whole of the property.

Changing the point at which a transaction is eligible to receive the relief to include anyone who has started the process of buying a house before 31 March could lead to uncertainty and confusion among home buyers. This lack of certainty would also mean that such a trigger point would be open to abuse.

As with all tax policy, the Government continues to monitor the impact of the SDLT temporary rates. However, the Government is not minded to extend the relief further than 31 March.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to strengthen the Equalities Act 2010 to prevent discrimination by financial businesses in relation to home mortages for prospective borrowers over the age of 75 who are nearing or post retirement age.

The requirements relating to lending beyond retirement age aim to protect consumers from carrying unaffordable debt into retirement. Where older consumers have the means to support repayments (as many do through employment, pensions, or other sources of income such as investments) the rules do not prevent them from accessing mortgages.

The Equalities Act (2010) allows financial services providers, including mortgage lenders, to use an individual’s age in designing, pricing and offering products. This includes allowing lenders to set age limits on customers to whom they will lend. The Government believes that it is important for financial services companies to be able to factor in a person’s age in their assessment of risk, pricing, and willingness to lend if there is evidence to justify the different treatment.

However, the Government is clear that mortgage lenders should not discriminate against borrowers due to their age, if they are able to demonstrate they can repay their mortgage over the course of a term and based on their income. The Government has worked with industry to ensure that products are available for older borrowers including the introduction of the Retirement Interest Only (RIO) mortgage, and the availability of Lifetime Equity Release products.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the new taper is for the Small Brewers Relief.

The Government has not yet made decisions about the new taper for Small Brewers Relief. This will be subject to consultation later this Autumn.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government is putting in place to help the 3 million people who are not entitled to Government covid-19 support.

The Government has provided a comprehensive economic response that is one of the most generous of its kind in the world, taking unprecedented steps to support families, businesses and the most vulnerable. As well as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), this package includes Government-backed loans and grants to businesses, tax deferrals, rental support and mortgage and consumer credit holidays.

This package also includes extra funding for the welfare safety net to help those through this outbreak who are unable to access other forms of support. The temporary welfare measures include increases to Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance, a relaxation of the Universal Credit minimum income floor, and making Statutory Sick Pay easier to access.

Now, the Government’s new Plan for Jobs will support, protect and create jobs. This plan will make available up to £30 billion to help kickstart the nation’s economic recovery ahead of a fuller package of medium-term recovery measures in the forthcoming Autumn Budget and Spending Review.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) sole traders and (b) people working in the gig economy are not adversely affected by changes to IR35 legislation.

The off-payroll working rules (IR35) do not apply to people who are self-employed, such as sole traders.

The Government is committed to working with organisations to ensure that changes to the rules are implemented correctly. HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations prepare for the reform.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons a UK citizen living in the UK is charged a fee for the citizenship applications process to bring their non-UK citizen spouse to the UK and a EU citizen living in the UK is able to bring their spouse to the UK through the settled status scheme.

The Immigration Act 2014 gives the Home Office statutory powers to set fees for applications for entry or residence documentation issued under our domestic Immigration Rules and fees currently charged to non-EU citizens, including the dependants of British citizens, take into account wider factors within primary legislation.

At the end of the transition period, we will introduce a new fairer immigration system. This new points-based immigration system, to be implemented from 1 January 2021, will focus on the skills migrants possess and the contribution they can make to the UK, not where their passport comes from. Our intention is to align the immigration arrangements for newly arriving EU citizens with those for migrants from the rest of the world, including in respect of family reunion. Further details of the new system will be set out in due course.

The EU Settlement Scheme reflects our obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU in relation to EU citizens resident in the UK by the end of the transition period and their family members. British nationals living in the UK are not exercising free movement rights and therefore need to sponsor family members under the UK’s immigration rules.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether immigrants entering the UK via crossing the English Channel illegally are being tested for covid-19 upon arrival.

We continue to work in line with Public Health England guidance; people arriving by small boats are not specifically tested for coronavirus but are assessed upon arrival for any medical needs and are monitored for symptoms. If symptomatic, individuals will be referred for testing and treatment if appropriate.

All people arriving by small boat are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigrants who crossed the English Channel illegally have been returned to their home countries since 1 January 2018.

We remain committed to removing those with no right to be in the UK, and who do not comply with our immigration laws.

The Home Office continues to work closely with EU Member State partners to enact transfers as soon as possible and ahead of the six-month timeframe for a return.

There are a number of factors that have affected returns, including the inflexibility of Dublin Regulations and last-minute legal challenges from activist lawyers, alongside practical and logistical difficulties as a result of the pandemic. We are working at pace to reduce the number of older cases in the system and increase the number of removals - and we are in active discussions with countries to make that happen.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin Regulation

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F885622%2Fdublin-regulation-datasets-mar-2020.xlsx&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355702880&sdata=vaSspWJbkCtn8xcTawc2wFnj9D1kOXdQfFYbX8AD1F0%3D&reserved=0

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fstatistical-data-sets%2Fasylum-and-resettlement-datasets&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355702880&sdata=lQm%2B%2Faz5MK1EfybmyRPb8JjSvt5VbRTt2bXNvIj3oD8%3D&reserved=0

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F849497%2Fasylum-summary-sep-2019-tables.xlsx&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355712874&sdata=6AWUyArHORIe%2Ftd4Hz5zEMMZlR2ne5Dlfm8ww4EFar0%3D&reserved=0

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that immigrants who cross the English Channel illegally return safely to their home countries.

We remain committed to removing those with no right to be in the UK, and who do not comply with our immigration laws.

The Home Office continues to work closely with EU Member State partners to enact transfers as soon as possible and ahead of the six-month timeframe for a return.

There are a number of factors that have affected returns, including the inflexibility of Dublin Regulations and last-minute legal challenges from activist lawyers, alongside practical and logistical difficulties as a result of the pandemic. We are working at pace to reduce the number of older cases in the system and increase the number of removals - and we are in active discussions with countries to make that happen.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin Regulation

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F885622%2Fdublin-regulation-datasets-mar-2020.xlsx&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355702880&sdata=vaSspWJbkCtn8xcTawc2wFnj9D1kOXdQfFYbX8AD1F0%3D&reserved=0

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fstatistical-data-sets%2Fasylum-and-resettlement-datasets&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355702880&sdata=lQm%2B%2Faz5MK1EfybmyRPb8JjSvt5VbRTt2bXNvIj3oD8%3D&reserved=0

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F849497%2Fasylum-summary-sep-2019-tables.xlsx&data=02%7C01%7C%7C45a74cb48ae24878e4a308d806ee2df2%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637266967355712874&sdata=6AWUyArHORIe%2Ftd4Hz5zEMMZlR2ne5Dlfm8ww4EFar0%3D&reserved=0

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigrants who have crossed the English Channel illegally since 1 January 2018 remain in the UK.

Details on the number of people who have crossed the Channel in small boats between January 2018 and June 2020 was published, via a letter from the Home Secretary to the Home Affairs Select Committee, in September 2020. The information is available at:https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2333/documents/22962/default/

We remain committed to removing those with no right to be in the UK, and who do not comply with our immigration laws.

The Home Office continues to work closely with EU Member State partners to enact transfers as soon as possible and ahead of the six-month timeframe for a return.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the greenbelt in (a) Bury South constituency and (b) Greater Manchester is protected from development.

Planning for the future proposes significant changes to the focus and processes of planning – to secure better outcomes in terms of land for homes, beauty and environmental quality. One key proposal is that local plans place all land into one of three categories: areas for Growth, Renewal or Protection. The Government has made clear that we expect local authorities to categorise Green Belt as an area for Protection. The protections for the Green Belt set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, and the strong encouragement to prioritise re-use of suitable brownfield land, will remain in place, in line with our manifesto commitments.

We also propose to transform how communities engage with plan-making, using new digital tools to make it easier for many more people to understand, engage with and influence development policies and proposals.

After carefully considering all the responses to Planning for the future, the Government will publish its conclusions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that local authorities provide up to date local housing figures in Greater Manchester.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government produce statistics in accordance with the statutory and other arrangements described in the guide to national and official statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/how-national-and-official-statistics-are-assured.

Each year local authorities are supplied with comprehensive guidance to ensure that there is a common understanding of what information is to be supplied.

In recognition of the pressures and resource challenges faced by local authorities during the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19), and in order to focus our joint efforts on priority analysis and statistics, we have published a statement detailing the steps we are taking to produce our local housing statistics, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-housing-communities-and-local-government/about/statistics.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Traveller populations in the UK are relocated to (a) safe and (b) appropriate areas during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working hard to ensure all communities receive the support they need during this pandemic. It is for local authorities to determine how best to support vulnerable groups, in line with their public health responsibilities.

To enable compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance, access to basic amenities, including water, sanitation and waste disposal facilities is essential.

My Noble Friend, the Minister for Communities, wrote to local authorities to highlight the potential vulnerabilities of Gypsy & Traveller communities, noting that local authorities may conclude that some families may require alternative places to stop where access to essential facilities is provided or can be made temporarily available. A copy of the letter is available at the following link:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882564/COVID-19_-_mitigating_impacts_on_gypsy___traveller_communities.pdf

Local authorities are best-placed to determine when it is appropriate to use their powers to evict unauthorised encampments under Sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) during the pandemic. Unauthorised encampments can cause harm to the local environment, and the rights of settled residents must be respected.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government plans to take to provide additional funding for housing assistance to help ensure that victims of domestic abuse and their children continue to be protected while covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

My Department’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running, so victims of domestic abuse and their children can access support and safe accommodation when they need it.

On 7 May, my Department launched a £10 million fund to support safe accommodation charities providing vital accommodation and support for victims of domestic abuse and their children. On 5 June, we announced the outcome of the first wave of this Emergency Domestic Abuse Fund, with 103 successful applications receiving £8.15 million and covering 147 organisations. This funding will help to reopen 291 bedspaces and create an additional 1210 bed spaces during the pandemic.

The Fund has now reopened for further bids to allocate the remaining £1.85 million, giving charities the flexibility to apply to support more victims.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that clear statutory guidance is issued to help local authorities and charities carry out their duty to (a) support and (b) meet the needs of victims of domestic abuse (i) during and (ii) after the covid-19 lockdown.

My Department’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running, so victims can access support and safe accommodation.

The Government has made available clear quality standards for domestic abuse services through the Violence Against Women and Girls National Statement of Expectations, as well as my Department’s Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services which were updated in 2018. The Priorities are clear that local areas should respond to the needs of all domestic abuse victims, including those from isolated and/or marginalised communities, those with complex needs, BAME, LGBT+, disabled and male victims and older people.

My Department has also issued PHE-approved guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation providers in support of their service delivery in these unprecedented times. The guidance will help protect victims and their children residing in safe accommodation and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-domestic-abuse-safe-accommodation-provision.

There is currently no statutory duty on local authorities or charities in regard to the delivery of support for victims of domestic abuse, or any requirement in legislation to provide guidance in regard to support for victims.

However, we are continuing the progression of the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill through Parliament including the introduction of a statutory duty on local authorities aimed at ensuring that all victims, including children, have access to safety and support within safe accommodation, when they need it. The duty will be underpinned by robust statutory guidance, clearly setting out expectations on local authorities in meeting their duty which is planned to come into force from April 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has for regenerating high streets when lockdown restrictions are lifted after the covid-19 outbreak.

Government appreciates that all high streets, big or small, are a crucial part of our communities and local economies, creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and injecting billions of pounds into our economy. We want to see fruitful hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time, and that includes a welcoming and safe night-time economy.

Government recognises that this is a challenging time for everyone in the country and Covid-19 is having a significant impact on our high streets and town centres. That is why we have provided a £330 billion package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support builds on an ongoing programme of initiatives put in place to support our high streets and town centres in the long term, including:

  • An accelerated £1 billion Future High Streets Fund as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund to support local areas in England to renew and reshape town centres and high streets;
  • The High Streets Task Force, supporting local leaders in their work revitalising their high streets and town centres by providing proactive support to local areas to develop data-driven innovative strategies and connect local areas to relevant experts;
  • Permitted development rights to support change of use on the high street.

On 25 May, Government announced a new £50 million fund, Reopening High Streets Safely Fund. Councils across England will share the additional funding to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas. The money will allow local authorities to put in place additional measures to establish a safe trading environment for businesses and customers, particularly in high streets. Expenditure for reimbursement under this grant will be eligible from 1 June 2020 and the project will run to the end of March 2021. This funding comes on top of the Government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to protect the green belt and countryside from social and environmental damage cause by over-development.

The National Planning Policy Framework provides strong protections for the Green Belt. If a local authority proposes to release Green Belt land for development, the ‘exceptional circumstances’ test requires evidenced justification that it has examined all other reasonable options for meeting its development needs. The Framework also expects that, where the Green Belt has to be de-designated, there should be improvements to the quality of the environment in the remaining Green Belt. Additionally, the Framework encourages local authorities to prioritise brownfield land wherever practicable.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that food parcels being distributed among Jewish and Muslim communities during the covid-19 outbreak are culturally appropriate and in line with the dietary requirements of those communities.

The offer has been developed at pace in response to the Covid emergency. The shielding cohort is diverse and we recognise some of the boxes contain products that may not be permitted culturally or for faith reasons by some groups.

In the standardised box which is delivered to individuals there is a note which explains that, should the individual have any allergies, or any religious or cultural dietary requirements, and are not able to eat some of the food and feel that the remaining contents of the package are not enough supplies for one week, they should contact their local authority.

The packages include tinned meat and tinned tuna, but as the product is packaged there is no risk of individuals having to touch foodstuffs that are unsuitable.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to support local authorities to provide (a) free parking, (b) exemptions from local congestion charges and (c) other incentives to increase the number of people visiting (i) high streets and (ii) town centres.

In line with the Government’s position on localism, parking is the responsibility of local authorities and it is for them to determine what is appropriate in their own area. However, central government does have an interest in how car parks are managed and recognises the important link between parking provision and the vitality of our high streets and town centres.

More broadly, this Government is delivering an accelerated £1 billion Future High Streets Fund to support local areas in England to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability. The Government is also providing support to local areas with a?High Streets Task Force,?giving high streets and town centres expert advice to adapt and thrive by providing hands-on support to local areas to develop data-driven innovative strategies and connect local areas to relevant experts. In addition, we have introduced permitted development rights for the change of use to enable businesses to adapt and diversify to respond to emerging consumer demands with a wider range of retail, leisure, residential and other uses.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to tackle (a) antisemitism and (b) other hate crimes in (i) Bury South constituency and (ii) the UK.

All hatred including antisemitism, is completely unacceptable and has no place in our society, which is why we’re taking a strong lead in tackling it in all its forms.

We recognise that there has been an increase in reported religiously motivated hate crime incidents across the country.

We are also aware that Greater Manchester had the highest?number of antisemitic incidents outside Greater London over the last 10 years (2008-2018) according to the?Community Security Trust,?who are one of our key partners in tackling antisemitism and the main body reporting on the number of incidents each year.

That is why?we became the first country in the world to adopt the working definition of antisemitism as set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.?We?are?making sure the police record hate crimes disaggregated by faith?and our refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan reaffirms our commitment to combating antisemitism and our support for Jewish communities. We?also are providing?£14 million?this?year, and provided over £65 million to date, for the Protective Security Grant to protect Jewish schools and?community buildings.

We have committed?just over £1.5 million for projects to tackle racially and religiously motivated hatred from 2018 to 2020, and have just launched a new Faith, Race and Hate Crime Grant Scheme to promote integration and tackle hate crime, including antisemitism. We have also committed £200,000 of Home Office funding for a new national police hub to tackle the emerging threat of online hate crime.? The hub went live in January 2018.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many children in custody have been reported by his Department as being placed in (a) handcuffs or (b) restraints in each of the last twelve months; under what circumstances those children were handcuffed or restrained; and in which local authority these incidents took place.

Data on the use of force and restraint on children in the youth custodial estate is recorded and collated locally in incident reports at each custodial establishment. This data is aggregated annually in the “Youth Justice Statistics” report which are included in the Youth justice statistics series. The latest report for 2019/20 was published on 28 January: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2019-to-2020.

Information on use of force, broken down by establishment and reason, can be found in the supplementary tables. The total number of Restrictive Physical Interventions (RPIs), are broken down by month in table 8.1. This provides figures on all restraints of young people that satisfy the definition of being RPI, and the relevant line of table 8.24 provides the subset of those that involve handcuffs.

For ease of reference, the number of times that handcuffs have been used to restrain children is also provided in the attached table. It should be noted that this does not take place in secure children’s homes.

The use of restraint and force is only ever used as a last resort to protect children from further harm.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what data his Department collects on the (a) handcuffing or (b) restraining of children in custody.

Data on the use of force and restraint on children in the youth custodial estate is recorded and collated locally in incident reports at each custodial establishment. This data is aggregated annually in the “Youth Justice Statistics” report which are included in the Youth justice statistics series. The latest report for 2019/20 was published on 28 January: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2019-to-2020.

Information on use of force, broken down by establishment and reason, can be found in the supplementary tables. The total number of Restrictive Physical Interventions (RPIs), are broken down by month in table 8.1. This provides figures on all restraints of young people that satisfy the definition of being RPI, and the relevant line of table 8.24 provides the subset of those that involve handcuffs.

For ease of reference, the number of times that handcuffs have been used to restrain children is also provided in the attached table. It should be noted that this does not take place in secure children’s homes.

The use of restraint and force is only ever used as a last resort to protect children from further harm.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what data his Department collects on the practice of (a) handcuffing and (b) restraining children in the criminal justice system.

The Government is clear that the use of restraint on children needs to be proportionate and reasonable.

The Home Office publishes annual statistics on the use of force by police in England and Wales including a breakdown by age - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-use-of-force-statistics.

Data on the use of force and restraint on children in the youth custodial estate is recorded and collated locally in incident reports at each custodial establishment and this is aggregated annually in the “Youth Justice Statistics” report - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2018-to-2019.

(current published data details incidents up to March 2019; the next data sets are due to be published in January 2021, for the period of April 2019 to March 2020).

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made in its review of the means test; and when he plans to bring forward proposals.

The comprehensive review of the legal aid eligibility regime commenced in February 2019. The review is exploring how the current arrangements, including the existing financial thresholds, adequately protect access to justice, particularly for the vulnerable. Whilst the Government had previously committed to complete the review by Summer 2020 and to mark this with publication of a consultation paper, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis has meant this work has been temporarily paused and a revised timetable for delivery of the review will be announced shortly.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Jun 2020
What additional financial support he is providing to help protect victims of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have announced an unprecedented £76 million extra funding to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence, modern slavery and vulnerable children and their families. This includes £28 million for victims of domestic abuse.

This funding will help front line charities to provide support to those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services.

This funding is part of comprehensive measures to support vulnerable people through the pandemic and we are working closely with local bodies, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)