Christopher Pincher Portrait

Christopher Pincher

Independent - Former Member for Tamworth

First elected: 6th May 2010


Christopher Pincher is not a member of any APPGs
Committee of Selection
22nd Feb 2022 - 13th Jul 2022
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
9th Feb 2022 - 30th Jun 2022
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Sep 2021 - 9th Feb 2022
Building Safety Bill
9th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Feb 2020 - 19th Sep 2021
Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
25th Jul 2019 - 13th Feb 2020
Selection Committee
11th Jan 2018 - 4th Sep 2019
Committee of Selection
11th Jan 2018 - 4th Sep 2019
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
9th Jan 2018 - 25th Jul 2019
Committee of Selection
12th Sep 2017 - 14th Nov 2017
Selection Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 14th Nov 2017
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
15th Jun 2017 - 5th Nov 2017
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
17th Jul 2016 - 15th Jun 2017
Regulatory Reform
12th Oct 2015 - 16th Jan 2017
Energy and Climate Change Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Armed Forces Bill Committee
17th Jan 2011 - 8th Mar 2011


Division Voting information

Christopher Pincher has voted in 2395 divisions, and 14 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jan 2018 - Electoral Commission - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative Aye votes vs 40 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 46 Noes - 77
11 Mar 2015 - Ark Pension Schemes - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 122 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 113
27 Oct 2014 - Recall of MPs Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 110 Conservative Aye votes vs 135 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 166 Noes - 340
28 Apr 2014 - High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 221 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 50 Noes - 451
28 Apr 2014 - High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 25 Conservative No votes vs 220 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 452 Noes - 41
10 Feb 2014 - Children and Families Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 99 Conservative No votes vs 127 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 376 Noes - 107
26 Jun 2013 - High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 199 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 330 Noes - 27
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 48 Conservative No votes vs 139 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 391 Noes - 57
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 56 Conservative Aye votes vs 136 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 375
5 Feb 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 131 Conservative Aye votes vs 139 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 400 Noes - 175
10 Jul 2012 - House of Lords Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 89 Conservative No votes vs 192 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 462 Noes - 124
13 Oct 2011 - Procedure Committee Reports - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 206
7 Sep 2011 - Health and Social Care (Re-committed) Bill - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Conservative Aye votes vs 115 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 368
15 Jun 2010 - Backbench Business Committee - View Vote Context
Christopher Pincher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 75 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 171 Noes - 263
View All Christopher Pincher Division Votes

All Debates

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
Mike Amesbury (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(83 debate interactions)
Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary
(58 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(95 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(81 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Building Safety Act 2022
(7,827 words contributed)
Business and Planning Act 2020
(4,954 words contributed)
Fire Safety Bill 2019-21
(3,641 words contributed)
Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022
(1,500 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Christopher Pincher's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Christopher Pincher

Christopher Pincher has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Christopher Pincher, 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.


Christopher Pincher has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Christopher Pincher

Tuesday 1st April 2014

Christopher Pincher has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Christopher Pincher has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


131 Written Questions

(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
6 Other Department Questions
10th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what her policy is on the future of the Renewables Obligation Scheme.

The Renewables Obligation (RO) has been the main financial mechanism since 2002 for incentivising deployment of large-scale renewable electricity generation in the UK. It has succeeded in increasing amounts of renewable capacity from 3.1GW in 2002 to 24.2 GW in 2014, and increasing the level of renewable electricity in the UK from 1.8% in 2002 to 19.2% in 2014 [1].

The RO closes to new capacity on 31 March 2017 as we transition to the Contract for Difference (CfD) regime which is capable of providing support for low-carbon generation in a more cost-effective way. However, to drive forward delivery of our manifesto pledge to end new subsidies for onshore wind, we announced on 18 June plans to introduce primary legislation to close the RO to new onshore wind projects from 1st April 2016 – a year earlier than planned. In order to control costs, we also closed the RO to solar capacity of 5MW and over in April this year.

[1]Figures for 2014 are provisional. Source ‘Energy Trends’ (March 2015).

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps his Department has taken with Ofgem to achieve a Price Average Reference (PAR) of 1MWh in future Capacity Market auctions; and when he expects that PAR to be implemented.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to Question 224767.

Under their Electricity Balancing Significant Code Review, Ofgem have committed to implement a 1MWh Price Average Reference (PAR) measure for imbalance (“cash out”) prices. Although this does not relate directly to the Capacity Market, Ofgem intend to implement changes to cash out ahead of 2018/19:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/87782/electricitybalancingsignificantcodereview-finalpolicydecision.pdf.

It is likely that expected changes to the Price Average Reference will already have been factored into Capacity Market auction bids.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on consumers' electricity bills of reducing the Price Average Reference to 1MWh by 2018.

The information requested is a matter for Ofgem.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of reducing the Price Average Reference to 1MWh by 2018 on the cost of running future Capacity Market auctions.

Under their Electricity Balancing Significant Code Review, Ofgem have committed to implementing a move to a 1MWh Price Average Reference (PAR) measure by 2018/19, the first delivery year by the Capacity Market:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/87782/electricitybalancingsignificantcodereview-finalpolicydecision.pdf.

It is therefore expected that this modification has been already factored into Capacity Market auction bids, by current and potential future participants.

Other things being equal, a more cost-reflective wholesale electricity price would be expected to lower bids in the CM; greater revenues earned through the electricity market would offset revenues sought via the Capacity Market. Please see Ofgem’s Impact Assessment on implementation of EBSCR changes for further details:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/87787/electricitybalancingsignificantcodereview-finalpolicydecisionimpactassessment.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how many of his Department's (a) officials and (b) senior officials working on the development of the Energy Act 2013 left the Department in (i) 2012, (ii) 2013 and (iii) since 18 December 2013.

The number of Civil Servants who were leading on the development of the Energy Act 2013 for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and who have subsequently left the department permanently are shown in the table below.

Year

Number

1 January – 31 December 2012

Nil

1 January – 17 December 2013

7

18 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

3

There were other Civil Servants who contributed to various aspects of the development but were not part of the core team. We do not hold central records of these people and to contact line managers for this information would incur disproportionate costs.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate of the number of public houses in rural areas that have closed in the latest period for which data is available; and what steps his Department is taking to help support rural public houses.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 18 October is attached.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of granting deep sea mining licences on deep sea marine life.

The UK is continuing to develop a better understanding of the impacts of deep-sea mining. Through Government sponsorship of academic research and existing exploration licences, over 70 peer-reviewed publications supporting a greater understanding of environmental issues have already been produced, with more to come. We have also commissioned an independent evidence review into the potential risks and benefits of deep-sea mining, and this has been published in line with our commitment to transparency and developing the global evidence base in relation to deep-sea mining.

Further and detailed environmental impact assessments would be required in advance of any exploitation licence being issued by the UK.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when the delayed Alternative Fuel Payment will be paid to recipients; and if he will make a statement.

Most eligible households will start to receive the Alternative Fuel payment (AFP) automatically via their electricity supplier which begun 6 February. Payments are expected to be completed within February - although this will depend on customers’ suppliers and how they pay their bills. Delivery mirrors the methods used to provide support under the government’s other energy bill support schemes. Most households will not need to take any action to receive the support.

A small proportion of households will need to apply for the AFP. These households will be able to do so in February, through a GOV.UK portal which will include an overview of eligibility and what applicants need to do to apply for support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the sustainable warmth scheme competition held in 2021; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of repeating the competition for local authorities to win funds to help insulate energy inefficient homes in 2023.

Sustainable Warmth projects from 2021 are currently in delivery and Local Authorities (LAs) have until 31 March 2023 to complete these projects. The Government monitors delivery through monthly reporting scheme delivery data. Once the scheme concludes, the Government will carry out an evaluation of its impact.

The Sustainable Warmth competition was given a finite period for delivery and will not be repeated in the same form for 2023. Several policies are available enabling LAs to access funding for energy efficiency beyond March 2023 including £1.5bn through the Home Upgrade Grant and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. The Energy Company Obligation scheme also allows LAs to refer households to energy suppliers for energy efficiency upgrades.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 October 2022 to Question 62806 on Cannabis: Medical Treatments, with reference to the Government's Life Sciences Vision, published 6 July 2021, if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of the decision not to assess the potential economic merits of establishing a British-based medical cannabis industry with the UK's aspiration to be the world leader for the development, testing, access and uptake of new and innovative treatments and technologies; and if he will make a statement.

In developing the UK's Life Science Vision we have conducted wide engagement across the sector, including those involved with a wide range of therapeutic modalities, to understand matters of regulation, access and uptake of new products.

The Government is confident that it’s broad based strategy, focussed on improving the competitiveness of every aspect of the UK Life Science environment, is the correct approach, and will enhance the UK’s competitiveness across all therapeutic modalities.

As part of BEIS work on regulation for innovation we are reviewing the TIGRR report and will be continuing delivery plans in due course.

3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's policy paper entitled Life Science Vision, published on 6 July 2021, what discussions he has had with representatives of the domestic medical cannabis sector on the speed of uptake of proven products and potential barriers to the spread of new technologies.

We developed the Life Sciences Vision with wide engagement across the sector, including those involved with a wide range of therapeutic modalities. As part of this we considered carefully matters of regulation, access and uptake of new products – but not specifically with medicinal cannabis producers. We were careful to consider wider work on this issue, including the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform report.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the (a) adequacy of the UK's oil refining capacity and (b) potential opportunities for refining (i) bio oils and (ii) other greener products.

The UK remains well-supplied from a diverse range of sources and refining capacity is assessed as adequate. UK demand for diesel is met by a combination of domestic production and imports. There is an oversupply of petrol and the UK is a net exporter. BEIS continually monitors the fuel supply market to remain aware of current supply levels and publishes weekly national average forecourt stock levels. All UK refinery operators are in the process of exploring opportunities to move to greener products and transition towards the Government’s net zero target.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of (a) the implications for his policies of rising energy costs for park homes and (b) the potential merits of providing support for park home residents with installing insulation.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to help households with the cost of living crisis. This includes support of £400 for energy bills for households who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents. The Government is working with a range of organisations to finalise the details of the Alternative Funding and have the process up and running for applications this winter. Park homes are eligible for support with insulation from the Energy Company Obligation and Sustainable Warmth scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the BBC on ensuring that (a) all Licence Payers and (b) pensioners receive value for money.

DCMS Ministers meet with the BBC regularly to discuss a range of issues, including how the BBC is delivering value for money. The BBC’s Mission makes clear the BBC has a duty to serve all audiences and the government expects the BBC to ensure its substantial licence fee income is used to deliver value for all licence fee payers, including pensioners.

The NAO is responsible for auditing the BBC accounts and ensuring value for money in the way the BBC uses its funds. This ensures that there is appropriate scrutiny of how the BBC spends its public funding.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the Project Gigabit broadband rural rollout; and what steps she is taking to ensure that rural communities in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire benefit from the programme.

We are making excellent progress with Project Gigabit. By the end of March 2022, we had delivered gigabit-capable broadband to 741,000 premises, ahead of our target of 720,000 premises. Combined with commercial gigabit delivery, we are on track to hit our target of 85 per cent UK gigabit coverage by 2025.

We have now launched procurements with a value of over £700 million to deliver gigabit connections to hard-to-reach homes and businesses across the UK, and we recently signed our first contracts in North Dorset, Teesdale and North Northumberland.

In Staffordshire, almost 500 premises have benefitted from our gigabit broadband voucher scheme, which provides a subsidy for eligible homes and businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. More than 320 additional premises are awaiting completion, for a combined total of over £1.9 million of support. Staffordshire County Council has also committed £1 million in top-up funding to support the delivery of vouchers across the county, providing an additional £2,000 for eligible premises experiencing speeds below 30Mbps.

Building Digital UK’s recent market engagement did not identify sufficient supplier interest in the planned regional procurement for Staffordshire at this time. This procurement has been deferred and BDUK is now working on an additional procurement approach to deliver gigabit connectivity to hard-to-reach parts of Staffordshire.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing capital funding to support the establishment of local art galleries including in Tamworth.

The Government’s position towards the creation of new museums, as set out in the action plan following The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England, is that public funding should only support the creation of new museums in areas and communities with a demonstrable need for them. Instead we have focused on investment in existing museums and galleries through capital programmes such as the DCMS / Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund and the Museum Estate and Development Fund, and our direct sponsorship of fifteen museum arm’s length bodies (encompassing 48 museum sites).

Arts Council England is our arm’s-length body providing wider support and funding for museums and galleries, and its Museum Development services can provide guidance to organisations on how to open a new museum. They can help develop thinking on how the proposed museum fits within the ecology of arts, culture and heritage in the local area, including determining the scale and interest of the potential audience, and advise on potential avenues for capital funding.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of access to school (a) playgrounds, (b) playing fields and (c) play areas for children with disabilities; and what steps she is taking to increase that access.

The department does not collect information on the adequacy of access to school playgrounds, school playing fields, or school play areas for children with disabilities. The department has published area guidelines for schools in Building Bulletin 103, and specific guidance for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) schools and alternative provision (AP) sites in Building Bulletin 104. These documents include guidance and expectations around size, type, and design of outdoor PE space, informal and social areas, and the use of habitat areas.

Schools must also comply with their duties under the Equality Act 2010. This includes making reasonable adjustments and carrying out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. Schools must prepare and implement accessibility plans, which should include plans for improving the physical environment of schools to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities, and services provided. Ofsted may review a school’s accessibility plan as part of school inspections.

In March 2022, the department announced High Needs Provision Capital Allocations (HNPCA) amounting to over £1.4 billion of new investment. This funding is to support local authorities to deliver new places for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years, and to improve the suitability and accessibility of existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require AP.

It is ultimately up to local authorities to determine how to best prioritise their funding to address their local priorities, including improving the accessibility of school play areas. Local authorities can work with any school in their local area to do so.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of teacher training for identifying pupil eating disorders; and if she will introduce an eating disorder toolkit for teachers.

The Department is committed to ensuring teachers have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and resources they need to promote and support mental health and wellbeing, including being able to identify the potential early signs of an eating disorder.

The Department has published guidance and signposting to external sources of mental health and wellbeing support for teachers and others in contact with children and young people, which includes sources of help and advice for children and young people suffering with an eating disorder. This information can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mental-health-and-wellbeing-support-in-schools-and-colleges.

To support the effective use of training and guidance on supporting and promoting mental health in schools, including identifying need, the Department is funding all schools and colleges in England to train senior mental health leads who can put in place whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing. This approach should encompass robust processes for identifying students, or specific groups, who need additional mental health support. Two thirds of schools and colleges will have been able to access funding by April 2023, backed by £10 million in the 2022/23 financial year.

There are also currently 287 mental health support teams in place in around 4,700 schools and colleges across the country, offering support to children experiencing common mental health issues and with the potential to spot eating disorders early on. These teams now cover 26% of pupils, a year earlier than originally planned. This will increase to 399 teams, covering around 35% of pupils, by April 2023 with over 500 planned to be up and running by 2024.

It is important to recognise teachers are not mental health professionals and should not be expected to diagnose mental health issues. If a child or young person is suffering with an eating disorder or problem, evidence-based treatment should be accessed via their general practitioner or local Psychological Therapies services.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of access to school play areas for children with disabilities; and what plans she has to improve access for disabled children.

The department does not collect information on the adequacy of access to school play areas for children with disabilities. The department publishes area guidelines for schools in Building Bulletin 103: Area Guidelines for Mainstream Schools, and specific guidance for special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools and alternative provision (AP) sites in Building Bulletin 104: Area Guidelines for SEND and alternative provision, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905692/BB103_Area_Guidelines_for_Mainstream_Schools.pdf and here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905693/BB104.pdf.

These documents include guidance and expectations around size, type, and design of outdoor PE space, informal and social areas, and the use of habitat areas.

Schools must also comply with their duties under the Equality Act 2010, including making reasonable adjustments and carrying out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. Schools must prepare and implement accessibility plans which should include plans for improving the physical environment of schools to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided. Ofsted may review a school’s accessibility plan as part of school inspections.

In March 2022 the department announced High Needs Provision Capital Allocations amounting to over £1.4 billion of new investment. This funding is to support local authorities to deliver new places for academic years 2023/24 and 2024/25, and improve the suitability and accessibility of existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require AP. It is ultimately up to local authorities to determine how to best prioritise their funding to address their local priorities, including improving the accessibility of school play areas, and they can work with any school in their local area to do so.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps his Department has taken to help support the building of leadership skills for school management in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

The Department is creating a world-class teacher development system by transforming the training and support teachers and headteachers receive at every stage of their career.

Each career stage is underpinned by evidenced-based frameworks that set out what teachers will learn and know after completing the programme. The frameworks build on and complement one another and have been independently reviewed by the Education Endowment Foundation to ensure they draw on the best available evidence of high-quality teaching and school leadership.

This ‘golden thread’ of high-quality support and training begins with Initial Teacher Training based on the new ITT Core Content Framework, progresses through an extended free training entitlement over the first 2 years of a teacher’s career through the Early Career Framework reforms and leads to our suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) which support teachers and headteachers to develop their leadership skills at each stage of their career. This golden thread helps establish strong professional development cultures both within individual schools and across the country, elevating the quality of teaching and leadership and ultimately improving pupil outcomes. In addition, we continue to fund the High Potential Initial Teacher Training and Leadership Development Programme (HPITT), delivered by Teach First which aims to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils by recruiting, placing and training outstanding graduates and experienced professionals in disadvantaged schools.

The suite of NPQs includes four leadership qualifications that support professionals to develop the knowledge, behaviours, and networks they need to be a high-performing teacher at different levels. The Early Headship Coaching offer is also available to professionals in their first five years in headship. This offer is a targeted support package which provides structured unassessed support based on the best available evidence about what makes an effective headteacher.

As part of the Government’s long-term education recovery plan, £184 million of new funding will enable 150,000 education professionals employed at state-funded organisations across the sector to access fully funded training scholarships for NPQs. This support will be available in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years to help more professionals than ever before to access the qualifications.

The Department also announced on 26 May 2022 that the School-Led Development Trust would establish the National Institute of Teaching (NIoT). The NIoT will be an exemplary provider of our teacher development programmes, including NPQs and the National Leaders of Education programmes, ensuring high quality support to struggling and vulnerable schools by raising standards and building their leadership capacity. It will also utilise cutting-edge research and disseminate best practice to further improve the quality of teacher and leadership training nationwide.

5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will increase transport provision for children with SEND requirements who live within three miles of their schools and are over 8 years old.

The government’s home to school transport policy aims to ensure that no child is unable to access education because of a lack of transport. Local authorities must provide free home to school transport for children of compulsory school age who attend their nearest suitable school and live beyond the statutory walking distance (2 miles for children under 8, and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over) or live within the walking distance but would not be able to walk there because of their special educational needs or disability, or because the route is unsafe.

A child who attends their nearest suitable school and would not be able to walk there because of their special educational needs or disability will be eligible for free home to school transport even if they live less than the statutory walking distance from their school. Where a child has an education, health and care plan, the school named in the plan will usually be considered to be their nearest suitable school for transport purposes. Home to school travel and transport guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-to-school-travel-and-transport-guidance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what education funding per pupil was in (a) Staffordshire and (b) Brent in each year since 2009-10.

The total per pupil revenue funding figures for financial years 2009-10 to 2012-13 for Staffordshire and Brent are provided in the table below.The figures are for all funded pupils aged 3-15 and are in cash terms:

Average revenue per pupil funding
(Dedicated schools grant (DSG) + grants cash £)

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Staffordshire

4,460

4,720

4,650

4,650

Brent

5,990

6,280

6,240

6,240


Notes:

1. For financial years 2009 to 2011 this covers funding through the dedicated schools grant, school standards grant, school standards grant (personalisation) and standards fund; it excludes grants which are not allocated at local authority level.

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £10.

3. In financial year 2011 to 2012, most separate grants were mainstreamed in to the DSG. The exceptions were grants that were time-limited and planned to end in financial year 2010 to 2011.

4. Figures do not include pupil premium. Details of which are shown separately.

5.The DSG plus grants figures for financial years 2009-10 to 2010-11 do not include funding from the Young People's Learning Agency to ensure that figures are on the basis of funding for pupils aged 3 to 15 and are comparable with figures for financial years 2011-12 to 2012-13.

6. Sources: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131216163513/http:/www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131216163513/http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding/archive/a0014213/dedicated-schools-grant-allocations-for-2008-11


The DSG plus grants figures for financial years 2009-10 to 2010-11 do not include funding from the Young People's Learning Agency to ensure that figures are on the basis of funding for pupils aged 3 to 15 and are comparable with figures for financial years 2011-12 to 2012-13.

In financial year 2013-14, the DSG was reformed to allocate funding to local authorities in three blocks (schools, early years and high needs) and so figures are not comparable to previous years. The schools block per pupil unit of funding (SBUF), which does not cover funding for early years or high needs, was £4,310 for Staffordshire and £5,066 for Brent. The early years block per pupil units of funding in 2013-14 were £3,515 for Staffordshire and £5,930 for Brent. In 2013-14, high needs funding was no longer allocated on a per-pupil basis. However total high needs block funding for the year was £57.483 million for Staffordshire and £53.7 million for Brent.

In addition, since financial year 2011-12 schools have received pupil premium per qualifying pupil, which targets funding at pupils from the most deprived backgrounds to help them achieve their full potential. In 2012-13, coverage was expanded to include pupils known to have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years. The amounts per pupil for each type of pupil are shown in following table in cash terms:



Pupil premium per pupil (£)

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

Free school meal secondary pupils and looked-after children

488

623

900

Free school meal primary pupil

488

623

953

Service children

200

250

300

11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she will take to ensure water companies provide adequate plant and technology to abstract polluting nitrates from watercourses.

The Government is taking action to ensure that the water industry tackles nitrogen pollution.

A large programme of monitoring has been undertaken to establish whether elevated nitrogen is giving rise to eutrophication in estuaries and coastal waters that exceed their numerical nitrogen standards. Where this is the case, water companies have been required to put in place more stringent nutrient removal treatment at wastewater treatment works. This can see the level of nitrate in wastewater effluent reduced by 70-80%.

This investment forms part of the total £2.5 billion that water companies are investing in measures to reduce nutrient pollution (nitrogen and phosphorus) from 2020 to 2025.

Beyond this, the Government has introduced new provisions to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that will place a new statutory duty on water and sewerage companies in England to upgrade wastewater treatment works to the highest technically achievable limits by 2030 in areas currently under nutrient neutrality advice. This will see further investment at wastewater treatment works discharging to areas of the country particularly impacted by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of plastic and tin deposit return schemes; and when she plans to set out the Government's position on such schemes.

In its 2019 manifesto, the Government committed to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers. We expect the introduction of a DRS to deter littering of in-scope containers; increase recycling of in-scope containers; provide higher quality recyclate for reprocessors; and change consumer behaviours with potential knock-on effects to other environmental activities. Further details on when a Deposit Return Scheme will be introduced will be set out in due course in the Government consultation response.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of (a) the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in tackling fly tipping and (b) the adequacy of support available to help local authorities obtain CCTV footage in roadside areas.

This year, as part of the Fly-Tipping Interventions grant scheme, we provided over £450,000 across 11 councils to help them implement a range of measures to tackle fly-tipping.

Many of the projects are utilising CCTV to support enforcement activity, such as Artificial Intelligence enabled CCTV and the integration of CCTV with a digital education tool. Initial feedback from these projects is positive and case studies will be made available on the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group website in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) national water infrastructure and (b) steps being taken by water companies to reduce leaks.

HM Government recognises the need to improve the resilience of our water supplies and is committed to a twin track approach to improving water resilience. This involves investing in new supply infrastructure and action to reduce water company leaks and improve water efficiency.

The National Framework for Water Resources, published in March 2020, sets out the strategic water needs for England to 2050 and beyond. The Framework sets out how we will reduce demand, halve leakage rates, develop new water supply infrastructure, move water to where itis needed, increase drought resilience of water supplies, and reduce the need for drought measures.

Before the end of this year, water companies will publish their statutory draft Water Resources Management Plans for consultation, that will set out how they will improve drought resilience, secure water supplies, reduce leakage and improve water efficiency in the long term.

HM Government expects water companies to take action to reduce levels of leakage and has consistently challenged them on their performance. Water companies have committed to a government endorsed target to reduce leakage by 50% sector-wide by 2050. As a first step, Ofwat has set requirements for water companies to cut leaks by 16% and reduce mains bursts by 12% by 2025. In July, Ofwat reported that industry wide leakage has reduced by 11% since 2017-18.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any (a) financial incentive and (b) other support is available to farmers for clearing (i) drainage ditches and (ii) storm drains with the aim of reducing flood risk on (A) their land, (B) public land and (C) community areas.

All farmers and land managers are encouraged to manage the land in a way that supports and enhances the environment whilst reducing impacts on others, such as climate risks.

Where this is a watercourse, they are known as riparian landowners and are required, under common law, to keep the watercourse clear of anything which could cause an obstruction to the flow of water on their land, or downstream if washed away. This includes maintenance of the bed and banks, as well as any trees or shrubs growing on the banks. They must also ensure that any structures such as culverts, trash screens, and mill gates are cleared of debris and allow the flow of water.

In addition, landowners and/or occupiers owe a duty of care to their neighbours, undertaking those works that readily lie within their capability and their means to limit any potential flood impact on neighbouring land or buildings. In some circumstances the beneficiaries of any work may be reasonably expected to contribute towards the costs.

HM Government is introducing 3 new schemes that reward environmental land management: the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes. Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers will be supported to improve the environment and help manage environmental hazards, such as flood risk.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of air pollution control residues were recovered into end-of-waste products in 2015; into what types of products those residues were returned back into the environment; how those products can be traced in case of recall; and what estimate she has made of the number of tonnes of air pollution control residues that will be recovered into end-of-waste products in 2016.

We do not collect statistics relating to materials that meet end of waste criteria. We do not hold information on the number of tonnes of air pollution residues recovered into end of waste products, nor have we made predictions for 2016. We provide opinions on whether materials have met end of waste or not when requested by companies. If a material ceases to be waste the Environment Agency has no further role regarding the regulation or monitoring of that non waste product.

24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, upon what criteria she plans to decide whether to remove the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive which currently allows air pollution control residues, which have been recovered from municipal waste to energy incineration facilities, to be treated and disposed to hazardous landfill sites.

The derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria was originally granted because there was a lack of alternative treatment capacity at the time to either treat certain wastes to levels meeting normal waste acceptance limits, to treat the wastes via alternative treatment technologies or to recycle or recover the residues. The availability of sufficient alternative treatment capacity and the costs of that treatment are therefore the two central criteria that the government will use to decide whether or not to remove the derogation.

The Government is making an assessment of the quantity of air pollution control residues produced at energy from waste facilities to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

The Government is making an assessment of the costs of the different forms of treatment for air pollution control residues, including their mixing into concrete blocks and their disposal to hazardous waste landfill, to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will estimate the costs to local authorities of (a) mixing a tonne of air pollution control residues into concrete blocks and (b) disposing of a tonne of air pollution control residues to secure hazardous waste landfill.

The derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria was originally granted because there was a lack of alternative treatment capacity at the time to either treat certain wastes to levels meeting normal waste acceptance limits, to treat the wastes via alternative treatment technologies or to recycle or recover the residues. The availability of sufficient alternative treatment capacity and the costs of that treatment are therefore the two central criteria that the government will use to decide whether or not to remove the derogation.

The Government is making an assessment of the quantity of air pollution control residues produced at energy from waste facilities to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

The Government is making an assessment of the costs of the different forms of treatment for air pollution control residues, including their mixing into concrete blocks and their disposal to hazardous waste landfill, to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will publish the (a) most recent environmental risk assessment for bound use of air pollution control residues in concrete blocks, (b) exposure levels of dioxins and heavy metals in the air when the blocks were cut, drilled or crushed in buildings and (c) scientific methodology used for measuring these levels.

In 2012 the Environment Agency’s Definition of Waste panel gave a positive end of waste opinion to the company Carbon8 for the use of air pollution control residues in concrete blocks. The company’s submission included their own risk assessment for safety and environmental impacts. We have not published, and do not intend to publish, information on the risks or the methodology relating to the binding of air pollution control residues in concrete blocks.

24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of air pollution control residues were captured at municipal energy from waste incineration facilities in 2015; and what estimate she has made of the total tonnes of air pollution control residues that will be generated by municipal energy from waste incineration facilities in 2016.

The derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria was originally granted because there was a lack of alternative treatment capacity at the time to either treat certain wastes to levels meeting normal waste acceptance limits, to treat the wastes via alternative treatment technologies or to recycle or recover the residues. The availability of sufficient alternative treatment capacity and the costs of that treatment are therefore the two central criteria that the government will use to decide whether or not to remove the derogation.

The Government is making an assessment of the quantity of air pollution control residues produced at energy from waste facilities to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

The Government is making an assessment of the costs of the different forms of treatment for air pollution control residues, including their mixing into concrete blocks and their disposal to hazardous waste landfill, to inform its decision on whether or not to remove the derogation to allow the landfilling of air pollution control residues that are three times above normal waste acceptance criteria. These figures will be available following the announcement of that decision.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to improve protection for ancient woodland in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that planning permission should be refused for any proposed development resulting in the loss or deterioration of ancient woodland unless the need for and benefits of the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.

The Government is considering the recent recommendations of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the NPPF, including those on revising the wording relating to ancient woodlands and the potential for designating more ancient woodlands as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We will respond in due course. However, Natural England is working on identifying further ancient woodland suitable for designation as SSSI.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support her Department is giving to Natural England for its work to update the Ancient Woodland Inventory in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire.

The Government provides funding and other support to Natural England to enable it to pursue its statutory functions and other responsibilities. This includes the work that it is currently undertaking with partners to update and improve the Ancient Woodland Inventory. The Inventory currently identifies all ancient woodlands in England larger than two hectares, and the majority of those in the south east that are less than two hectares as well. It is hoped that in time the Inventory will cover ancient woodlands of less than two hectares across the rest of the country, including Staffordshire.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the amount of municipal waste in England and Wales that will be disposed at energy from waste facilities in 2014-15.

The latest statistical data published by Defra this November, which can be found at the link below, shows that local authority managed waste going for incineration with energy recovery was 6.2 million tonnes in 2013/14 in England. This could increase to around 7.6 million tonnes in 2014/15 based on capacity that is operational or in construction. Defra does not hold the equivalent data for Wales.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/375945/Statistics_Notice_Nov_2014_Final__3_.pdf

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the capacity of the waste recovery industry to recover end-of-life products from air pollution control residues in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16.

The Environment Agency has not carried out an assessment of the capacity of the waste recovery industry to recover products that may contain air pollution control residues.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the amount of air pollution control residues that will be captured in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16 by energy from waste facilities.

Defra has made no estimate of the amount of air pollution control residues that will be captured in 2014-15 and 2015-16 by energy from waste facilities.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the amount of air pollution control residues that will be disposed of by an alternative route in 2015-16 in the event that the Government proceeds with the removal of the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive that allows air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill.

No information has been collected to inform an estimate of waste producers’ plans for managing their air pollution control residues (APCr) in future.

The Environment Agency consulted on proposals to remove derogations from landfill site permits that allow disposal of APCr which do not meet waste acceptance criteria at landfill sites for hazardous waste. This consultation also sought information on available and planned recovery and disposal capacity.

Current capacity for treating/disposing of APCr is estimated at around 400,000 tonnes. Of this capacity, 47% was for disposal in landfill for hazardous waste.

Based upon the consultation responses, capacity for treating/disposing of APCr is estimated to rise to more than 700,000 tonnes by the end of 2016, 38% of which would be for disposal in landfills for hazardous waste.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will estimate the amount of dioxin and furan that would be dispersed into the domestic built environment from recovered air pollution control residues as a consequence of the Environment Agency accepting End of Waste status for use in breeze blocks if the derogation in the waste framework directive allowing air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill is removed.

The Environment Agency considers that some concrete block products from a particular process containing air pollution controls residues (APCr) are no longer waste. The environmental risk assessment for this was for a bound use of the APCr in blocks, rather than unbound. Research supporting the case showed that, bound within the block, measurable levels were not released. Where blocks were drilled, the exposure level of dioxins into the air was below World Health Organisation exposure limits.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the projected total cost to local authorities in England and Wales of disposing municipal waste at energy from waste incineration facilities in 2015-16; and what estimate she has made of that cost if the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive allowing air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill is removed.

No estimates have been made of either the projected total cost to local authorities in England and Wales of disposing municipal waste at energy from waste incineration facilities in 2015-16, or the cost if the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive allowing air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill is removed.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the cost to the waste recovery industry of building capacity to recover end-of-life products from air pollution control residues in 2015-16 if the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive allowing air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill is removed.

Defra has not made any estimate regarding the cost to the waste recovery industry of the withdrawal of this derogation. Should there be any proposal to remove the derogation, this would be subject to an impact assessment.

1st Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the tonnes of air pollution control residues that will be recovered as an end-of-life product in 2015-16 if the derogation in the Waste Framework Directive allowing air pollution control residues to be disposed to hazardous landfill is removed.

The current capacity in England to recover air pollution residues into end of waste products is approximately 40,000 tonnes.

The EA does not collect the commercial information required to make an estimate.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support the Government is providing to enable developing countries to harness mobile phone technology.

Our partnership with mobile phone operator group, the GSMA, has used mobile technology to improve the reach, delivery and affordability of basic energy, water and sanitation services for 1.3 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and many of our other programmes in health, education and other sectors use mobile technology.

12th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what programmes and activity her Department undertakes in Bangladesh.

DFID funds a wide range of programmes to reduce poverty and support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh. Our programmes are improving the provision of basic services, supporting private sector development and helping to reduce risks to development, including from natural disasters. We are also focussed on improving working conditions and building safety in the garment sector.

10th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of plans by HS2 Ltd to put back the development of Phase 1 of the route on communities where preparatory work has begun.

The Government announced to Parliament its plans for rephasing some elements of the HS2 scheme on 9 March 2023. The plans were developed in consultation with HS2 Ltd and prioritise opening HS2 services between Old Oak Common in west London and Curzon Street in Birmingham.

My Department is continuing to work through the implications of the funding settlement with HS2 Ltd. If any further decisions are made, they will be announced in due course.

HS2 Ltd will of course continue to engage with affected residents in line with the principles set out in its Community Engagement strategy and will involve, inform, consult and respond to residents as necessary

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if it remains his Department's policy not to reinstate hard shoulders on smart motorways

We have paused the rollout of new smart motorways to collect more safety and economic data to make informed decisions on next steps. We will consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network. The Government has acted to improve smart motorway safety, ordering a stocktake in 2020 and investing £900 million to equip them with stopped vehicle detection, enforcement cameras, additional signs and emergency areas.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the number of railway stations in England that do not have disabled access to (a) public lavatories and (b) all platforms.

The 2021 Plan for Rail committed to a comprehensive accessibility audit of all stations in Great Britain which will include disabled access to lavatories and all platforms. Over 85% of stations have now been audited and we expect to finish this work by Spring 2023.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment she has made of the punctuality of trains at railway stations in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands, (c) Tamworth and (d) Lichfield District; and what steps she is taking to help improve punctuality.

Rail performance ‘On Time’ statistics, measuring the percentage of services arriving at stations within a prescribed time limit are published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) at England and Wales level and at train operator level (rather than station level).

Table 1: The percentage of recorded station stops arrived at within 59 seconds per quarter, in England and Wales

Quarter

Trains arriving within 59 seconds (percentage)

Jan to Mar 2019

67.0

Apr to Jun 2019

69.4

Jul to Sep 2019

64.8

Oct to Dec 2019

59.3

Jan to Mar 2020

65.6

Apr to Jun 2020

86.7

Jul to Sep 2020

79.6

Oct to Dec 2020

75.1

Jan to Mar 2021

80.5

Apr to Jun 2021

78.2

Jul to Sep 2021

74.6

Oct to Dec 2021

68.2

Jan to Mar 2022

72.5

Apr to Jun 2022

72.4

Source: ORR Train punctuality at recorded station stops by operator (Table 3133)

Tamworth railway station is served by Avanti West Coast Trains, CrossCountry and West Midlands Trains while the two-railway stations in Lichfield District (Lichfield City Centre and Lichfield Trent Valley) are served by Avanti West Coast Trains and West Midlands Trains. Table 2 shows the percentage of recorded station stops arrived at within 59 seconds per quarter for those selected three train operators.

Table 2: The percentage of recorded station stops arrived at within 59 seconds per quarter, in England and Wales by relevant operator

Quarter

Avanti West Coast

CrossCountry

West Midlands

Jan to Mar 2019

50.1

52.9

62.5

Apr to Jun 2019

44.4

51.6

58.9

Jul to Sep 2019

38.9

46.6

52.5

Oct to Dec 2019

34.7

40.5

45.0

Jan to Mar 2020

40.4

49.2

54.7

Apr to Jun 2020

69.7

79.3

79.7

Jul to Sep 2020

60.9

67.4

73.0

Oct to Dec 2020

57.8

61.3

68.8

Jan to Mar 2021

60.7

69.1

77.6

Apr to Jun 2021

60.1

66.8

72.8

Jul to Sep 2021

55.8

60.5

67.8

Oct to Dec 2021

45.3

52.6

59.3

Jan to Mar 2022

51.0

60.4

65.1

Apr to Jun 2022

46.5

58.6

63.5

Source: ORR Train punctuality at recorded station stops by operator (Table 3133)

The Department is continuing to work closely with industry to develop and drive through important performance improvement initiatives.

As the pandemic has changed travel habits, operators are using this opportunity to reassess their services to ensure they provide rail timetables that meet new passenger travel patterns, are fit for the future, and carefully balance cost, capacity and performance.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps her Department is taking to improve facilities for HGV drivers on the M42, including around Tamworth.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring hauliers have access to appropriate services and facilities.

That is why we are investing £52.5 million in roadside facilities in England for HGV drivers on the road. The funding will go towards supporting operators to make improvements such as improving security, sanitary and eating facilities as well as possibly increasing parking spaces for lorry drivers.

We have commissioned a ‘National Lorry Parking Survey’ which commenced in January 2022 and will be used as our primary evidence base to understand what improvements are most needed and where they are needed. The M42 including the area around Tamworth is included in this survey and its output will be used to set criteria for government funding. In addition, once published, the Survey will be available to support planning applications for new lorry parking.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of its E-scooter trials as of 5 September 2022; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that (a) the police and (b) local authorities can enforce and encourage responsible E-scooter use.

The Department for Transport has in place a national monitoring and evaluation programme for the e-scooter trials. This programme is drawing from ​a range of data, including surveys with rental e-scooter users and residents. The findings report from this evaluation is due to be published later this year.

It is our intention to use the powers in the Transport Bill to legalise e-scooter use in the future, with robust technical requirements and clear expectations on users. A more appropriate regulatory regime ​for e-scooters will allow the police to enforce regulations more effectively and focus on those using e-scooters in a way that endangers themselves and other road users or pedestrians. The Bill will also include provisions that will subsequently permit local authorities to manage cycle and e-scooter rental schemes, so that they can tailor services to their local area while still ensuring a baseline national standard of service provision.

No decisions have been made on the details of the regulations for e-scooters or rental cycle and e-scooter schemes, and we will consult before any new arrangements come into force.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to better support (a) all new entrants to the railway operation market and (b) open access rail operators.

The Department is supportive of the principles and the benefits of competition that open access can bring, such as greater choice and lower fares for some passengers. Open access operators have helped to provide new services for passengers and grow new rail markets.

However, these benefits must be set against the need to reduce the overall cost of the railway to taxpayers and balanced against the potential to abstract passenger revenue from franchised operators.

Decisions on granting access rights to operate railway services are the responsibility of the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). ORR does not normally approve access rights for new competing services, including open access services, which would not generate at least 30p of new revenue for every £1 abstracted from existing operators. ORR also takes account of the total amount of abstraction from franchised operators in order to consider the effect this may have on the funds available to the Secretary of State for the purposes of his functions in relation to railways and railway services.

The Department is continuing to develop the franchising approach and to engage with prospective operators about the opportunities within the railways in England and Wales. The pre-qualification process, which is the first stage operators face in the franchising competition process, is designed to ensure a field of appropriately qualified operators to meet the requirements of passengers and the Department; the process has been recently adapted to specifically encourage new entrants and partnerships.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many new open access rail operations have been approved since May 2010; and how many such operations were approved between May 2005 and April 2010 under the previous administration.

Approval of track access agreements is a statutory function of the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). The Department for Transport does not intervene in their decision making.

The Department does not hold this information but the ORR lists all current licence holders on its website.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has issued to the Office of Rail Regulation on supporting more competition between franchised rail operators and open access rail operators where capacity and appropriate conditions exist.

The Secretary of State issued statutory guidance to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in July 2012. Paragraph 24 provided guidance on access rights. A copy of the guidance is attached and can also be viewed on the GOV.UK website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3642/sos-guidance-to-orr.pdf

In August 2013 the Department responded to the ORR’s consultation, “Periodic Review 2013. On-rail competition: Consultation on options for change in open access”. A copy of the letter is also attached and it can be viewed on the ORR’s website at:

http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/3752/on-rail-competition-dft.pdf

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve capacity utilisation on the East Coast and West Coast main lines in order to allow more open access services to compete with the franchised operator.

Government is investing heavily in the rail network to increase strategic capacity for the benefit of passengers and £38bn will be spent on enhancing and maintaining the network between 2014 and 2019. Specific plans to upgrade the East Coast Mainline are set out in the Rail Investment Strategy and £9bn was spent on upgrading the West Coast Mainline. Decisions about the available capacity and the access rights to utilise it, including that that will be provided by the infrastructure enhancements as a result of the Rail Investment Strategy, are made by the Office of Rail Regulation.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to lower barriers to greater open access rail competition (a) in general and (b) on the West Coast and East Coast main lines.

The Department is supportive of the principles and the benefits of competition that open access can bring, such as greater choice and lower fares for some passengers. Open access operators have helped to provide new services for passengers and grow new rail markets.

However, these benefits must be set against the need to reduce the overall cost of the railway to taxpayers and balanced against the potential to abstract passenger revenue from franchised operators.

Decisions on granting access rights to operate railway services are the responsibility of the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). ORR does not normally approve access rights for new competing services, including open access services, which would not generate at least 30p of new revenue for every £1 abstracted from existing operators. ORR also takes account of the total amount of abstraction from franchised operators in order to consider the effect this may have on the funds available to the Secretary of State for the purposes of his functions in relation to railways and railway services.

The Department is continuing to develop the franchising approach and to engage with prospective operators about the opportunities within the railways in England and Wales. The pre-qualification process, which is the first stage operators face in the franchising competition process, is designed to ensure a field of appropriately qualified operators to meet the requirements of passengers and the Department; the process has been recently adapted to specifically encourage new entrants and partnerships.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on the future role of open access operators on the rail network.

The Department is supportive of the principles and the benefits of competition that open access can bring, such as greater choice and lower fares for some passengers. Open access operators have helped to provide new services for passengers and grow new rail markets.

However, these benefits must be set against the need to reduce the overall cost of the railway to taxpayers and balanced against the potential to abstract passenger revenue from franchised operators.

Decisions on granting access rights to operate railway services are the responsibility of the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). ORR does not normally approve access rights for new competing services, including open access services, which would not generate at least 30p of new revenue for every £1 abstracted from existing operators. ORR also takes account of the total amount of abstraction from franchised operators in order to consider the effect this may have on the funds available to the Secretary of State for the purposes of his functions in relation to railways and railway services.

The Department is continuing to develop the franchising approach and to engage with prospective operators about the opportunities within the railways in England and Wales. The pre-qualification process, which is the first stage operators face in the franchising competition process, is designed to ensure a field of appropriately qualified operators to meet the requirements of passengers and the Department; the process has been recently adapted to specifically encourage new entrants and partnerships.

8th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people likely to take up the alternative cash offer under the High Speed 2 compensation scheme.

The Department recognises that the alternative cash offer is a new approach to compensating those who will be affected by the railway and we therefore do not have the evidence to estimate the number of people likely to take it up. We have instead modelled a range of possible take-up rates, up to 75%. In order to strengthen our understanding of the potential impact of this policy, we have commissioned an independent social research company to gather further evidence and we will also be able to draw upon responses from the current consultation.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what provision he has made for the enforcement of child maintenance payment orders where the subject of the order is a director of a private limited company and receives their income payments in dividends.

Where a paying parent becomes the Director of their limited liability company, they are legally an employee of that company and are treated the same as any other employee for child maintenance purposes. If the receiving parent believes that the paying parent has additional income as a result of their employment status, for example, dividends they can apply for a variation.

The Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) will look into suspected fraudulent behaviour and check the accuracy of information the CMS is given. There are some paying parents who are determined to avoid their responsibility to pay for their children. These are difficult cases to pursue, however, the CMS will continue to use all available powers and tools to collect what is owed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will introduce a standardised assessment of affordability of debt repayments for people on benefits.

DWP remains committed to working with anyone who is struggling with their repayment terms.

The department has a well-established process for working with individuals to support them to manage their debts. Our agents will always look to negotiate affordable and sustainable repayment plans.

This includes working with individuals to review their financial circumstances and, in most instances, a temporary reduction in their rate of repayment can also be agreed.

There is no minimum amount that a claimant has to pay, and we have recently extended the time period for any reduced repayment to remain in place.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of (a) the adequacy of the standard compensation payment paid to benefits claimants for errors made by his Department and (b) whether that payment always covers the full cost to claimants of errors.

The department’s discretionary special payment scheme allows us to award redress to our customers for the impacts of departmental errors. As the impact may differ, in accordance with each customer’s circumstances, we consider each case on its own merits and any payment made will reflect the individual circumstances. For more details of the scheme, please see the guidance: Financial Redress for Maladministration.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress his Department has made on implementing the new liberty protection safeguards process.

The implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) has been delayed beyond this Parliament.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the availability of qualified healthcare scientists in areas where there is a backlog in fitting hearing aids to patients; and whether he plans to take steps to increase the level of recruitment of those qualified healthcare scientists.

No assessment has been made. It is the responsibility of individual National Health Service employers to ensure appropriate staffing levels and recruit the number of staff required to meet service need.

To support the workforce as a whole we have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan, including projections for the numbers of doctors, nurses, and other key professionals required over the next five, ten and fifteen years. The plan is for the whole of the NHS workforce; it will not provide detailed workforce assessments for individual services or for every staff group.

17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of (a) the incidence and (b) rate of misdiagnosis of Hereditary Angioedema in England; and if he will make a statement on boosting awareness of the condition in the medical profession.

Information on the incidence and rate of misdiagnosis of hereditary angioedema (HAE) is not held by the National Health Service at a national level.

A survey of centres providing care for people with HAE in the last three years conducted by the HAE community found that there are approximately 1150 patients with identified HAE in England, with 90% of centres responding.

Raising awareness of rare diseases, including HAE, among healthcare professionals is one of the four priorities of the 2021 UK Rare Diseases Framework. Significant progress was made in 2022 against commitments in England’s first Rare Diseases Action Plan to increase awareness of rare diseases. This includes the development and expansion of innovative digital resources on genomics and rare diseases, specifically aimed at healthcare professionals.

A new action in England’s second action plan, published in February 2023, will see rare diseases incorporated in the educational strategies for the nursing and midwifery, pharmacy and primary care workforce. Progress made over the year ahead will be detailed in England’s 2024 Rare Diseases Action Plan.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the extent of the awareness of men's eating disorders; and if he will take steps to improve awareness of the support available.

We are aware of the research carried out by the eating disorder charity Beat which estimates that one in four people living with an eating disorder in the United Kingdom are thought to be male, and the majority of those who took part in that research felt that raising awareness would help more men to get treatment sooner.

Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions that can affect people of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. We know that people with eating disorders can face stigma around their disorder, which can stop them from reaching out for help and support. To support early identification, the Government recognises that raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with eating disorders and other mental health conditions is paramount. It is good to see Parliamentarians playing an important part in raising awareness of eating disorders in men through the debates and questions in both Houses this week, which is National Eating Disorders week.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the number of children affected by the infected blood scandal; and if he expand the scope of compensation related to that scandal to the children of those affected.

The Department does not currently hold the information requested. The Infected Blood Inquiry is reviewing the support provided to those infected and affected. It is expected to report in 2023 and we will consider its recommendations.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions she has had with the Department of Education on the potential merits of providing NHS support available to people with dyslexia; and whether she plans to bring forward proposal to help more adults get tested for dyslexia.

Ministers regularly discuss a range of issues with Cabinet colleagues. There are no plans to take forward proposals to increase dyslexia testing for adults.

The ‘SEND review: right support, right place, right time’ green paper was published on 29 March 2022 for consultation. It includes proposals to improve earlier intervention for children and young people with special educational needs and disability.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to give the same priority to mental health as physical health.

Investment in National Health Service mental health services continues to increase each year from approximately £11 billion in 2015/16 to £15 billion in 2021/22.

The Health and Care Act 2022 includes clarification of the meaning of ‘health’ to include ‘mental health’; provisions to strengthen accountability and transparency on decisions and spending relating to mental health; and ensuring integrated care boards have an appropriate skill mix and experience necessary to deliver its functions, including mental health services.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that people in Tamworth constituency have access to local and adequate mental health inpatient care.

NHS England has advised that Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board, which provides inpatient care for the Tamworth constituency, is developing a long-term solution for inpatient mental health services. This is based on an enhanced community mental health model, in line with the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan.

This includes providing enhanced crisis support, more personalised care to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and discharge pathways which assist people to stay in the community and prevent readmission and maintain bed capacity for patients who require admission.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to reimburse friends and family members who travel long distances to visit NHS patients whose care has been moved to a new location.

The Government has no plans to do so.

19th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the case of tuberculosis diagnosed at Young Offender Institution Swinfen Hall in October 2014 is directly linked to the three cases identified at the same site between March and May 2015.

An investigation led by Public Health England was undertaken at HMP & YOI Swinfen Hall into the possibility that a case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) diagnosed in a prisoner in October 2014 was epidemiologically linked to three cases subsequently diagnosed during 2015. The outcome of the investigation has suggested that the cases could be linked, which has informed subsequent contact screening, and on-going efforts on raising awareness and early recognition of TB symptoms not only in this prison, but across the prison estate especially those receiving transfers from HMP & YOI Swinfen Hall.

19th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether individuals who were released from Young Offender Institution Swinfen Hall since October 2014 have been identified and screened for tuberculosis.

People in close contact with a prisoner diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in HMP & YOI Swinfen Hall in October 2014, during the period of time when the prisoner was infectious, were identified, assessed and offered testing for signs of infection.

Collaborative work between the National Offender Management Service and Public Health England (PHE) allowed the identification of 49 individuals who were subsequently transferred to another prison, as well as 32 released back to the community. Testing and follow up of individuals continues and has been coordinated between PHE centres and local TB services in their area of residence.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of bank branch closures in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Tamworth in the last five years; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure people have reasonable access to local banking services.

The way people bank in the UK continues to develop at pace, with more consumers and businesses than ever enjoying the convenience, security, and speed of digital banking. In 2021, 86% of UK adults used a form of remote banking, such as an app, online or on the phone. Banking customers have never had more choice in how they fit their banking into their everyday lives.

The Government believes that all customers, wherever they live, should have appropriate access to banking services. However, decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial issue for banks and building societies. The Government does not intervene in these decisions or make direct assessments of these branch networks.

As part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022, the Government has introduced legislation to protect access to cash. The Bill protects access to cash by establishing the Financial Conduct Authority as the lead regulator and providing it with appropriate powers to ensure reasonable provision of withdrawal and deposit facilities. The powers provided to the Financial Conduct Authority relate to cash access only and do not extend to the provision of wider banking services.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has had discussions with representatives of Barclays on its decision to close the bank branch in Tamworth.

Treasury ministers and officials regularly engage with Barclays UK on a variety of key policy issues.

Decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial decision for banks and building societies.   However, the Government firmly believes that the impact of branch closures should be understood, considered, and mitigated where possible so that all customers, wherever they live, continue to have appropriate access to banking services.

The largest banks and building societies have been signed up to the Access to Banking Standard since 2017, which commits them to ensure that customers are well informed about branch closures, the bank’s reasons for closure and options for continued access to banking services.

Guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority also sets out its expectation of firms when they are deciding to close branches or the number of free-to-use ATMs. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This ensures that the implementation of closure decisions is undertaken in a way that treats customers fairly.

Alternative options for access can be via telephone banking, through digital means such as mobile or online banking, and the Post Office. The Post Office Banking Framework allows 99% of personal banking and 95% of business banking customers to deposit cheques, check their balance and withdraw and deposit cash at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether officials in his Department have had discussions with representatives of Barclays Bank on that bank's decision to close its Tamworth branch.

Treasury ministers and officials regularly engage with Barclays UK on a variety of key policy issues.

Decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial decision for banks and building societies.   However, the Government firmly believes that the impact of branch closures should be understood, considered, and mitigated where possible so that all customers, wherever they live, continue to have appropriate access to banking services.

The largest banks and building societies have been signed up to the Access to Banking Standard since 2017, which commits them to ensure that customers are well informed about branch closures, the bank’s reasons for closure and options for continued access to banking services.

Guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority also sets out its expectation of firms when they are deciding to close branches or the number of free-to-use ATMs. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This ensures that the implementation of closure decisions is undertaken in a way that treats customers fairly.

Alternative options for access can be via telephone banking, through digital means such as mobile or online banking, and the Post Office. The Post Office Banking Framework allows 99% of personal banking and 95% of business banking customers to deposit cheques, check their balance and withdraw and deposit cash at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Apr 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) people with savings and (b) home ownership.

400,000 people have already opened a Help to Buy: ISA to buy their first home. At Budget 2016 the Chancellor also announced a Lifetime ISA which can be used by people under 40 to save for their first home and retirement.
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2023 to Question 190790 on Visas: Foreign Investment in UK, for what reason her assessment of the impact of the assessment of the tier one investor visa scheme was different to that provided in the Answer of 7 June 2023 to Question 188255 on Visas: Foreign Investment in UK.

The question presented (190790) specifically asked for details as to what the poor economic outcomes of the Tier 1 (Investor) route were, which is why the reply of 30 June drew particular attention to the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee’s previous report into the operation of the route. That reply appears to have been incomplete and should have added that there is little evidence that this type of passive investment programme offers an effective model for delivering material value to the UK economy.

Notwithstanding the closure of the Tier 1 Investor visa, the UK retains a strong immigration visa offer that supports inward investment into the UK. We have a world leading offer to ensure that overseas businesses that wish to expand into the UK market and need to transfer key personnel in order to do so can obtain work visas for that purpose, this is the type of visa programme that really matters to those making serious and impactful investments in the UK, and the sort of programme that creates real jobs and opportunities for UK citizens and it is here therefore that this government has focused its efforts.

22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June to Question 188255 on Visas: Foreign Investment in UK, what the poor economic outcomes of the tier 1 investor visa scheme were.

The Migration Advisory Committee’s 2014 inquiry found that it had marginal economic benefits to the UK economy, and there is little evidence.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of reintroducing the tier one investor visa scheme for entry to the UK.

The Tier 1 (Investor) route was closed in February 2022 because the programme offered a route of entry to people whose wealth had been obtained through illicit means, was vulnerable to fraud and delivered poor economic outcomes.

We have seen no evidence to suggest there was any error in this original assessment and the direction of travel has been for other comparator countries to announce the closure of their equivalent programmes citing similar findings.

There are no plans to reintroduce the route.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress she has made on moving asylum seekers from unsuitable temporary hotel accommodation; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office aims to end the use of hotels and move asylum seekers to less expensive and more suitable accommodation.

To support this, we are bringing into use large disused military’s sites and vessels, which will provide adequate, safe, and secure, non-detained accommodation for asylum seekers.

Additionally, the funding for dispersal accommodation has changed; for existing dispersed accommodation and beds in hotels, the government will provide local authorities with a one off retrospective £750 payment for each asylum seeker in Home Office accommodation on the 1 of April 2023; up from £250 last year. Furthermore, a new pilot will be introduced to offer local authorities an additional one off payment of up to £3,000 for new dispersal beds which are brought on and occupied quickly.

The Home Office are also making more efficient use of existing hotels. By asking people to share rooms, where it’s appropriate to do so, we’ve found an additional 11,500 places which will save taxpayers an extra £250 million a year.

29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) guidelines and (b) service level targets her Department has issued to Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages on issuing a (a) death certificate and (b) certificate for burial to a deceased person's next of kin once the death has been registered.

The General Register Office for England and Wales provides written guidance to registrars that details the procedures to follow on the registration of a death.

The statutory timescale to register a death that is not subject to coronial investigation, is five days. Death certificates are available as soon as a death has been registered and, in most cases, they are requested by informants at the time of registration. Similarly, the certificate for burial is normally issued immediately following a registration.

24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of asylum seekers housed in temporary accommodation in (a) Tamworth district, (b) Lichfield district, (c) Staffordshire and (d) England who have been refused leave to remain in the UK since January 2021 remain in the UK as of 22 February 2023.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of supported asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at Asylum and resettlement datasets Asylum and resettlement datasets – GOV.UK under the document Asylum seekers in receipt of support (second edition): Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Home Office publish data on the number of people who have been granted and refused asylum in the UK and this can be found in the Asy_04 tab of the quarterly Immigration Statistics release:

Immigration statistics data tables, year ending December 2022 - GOV.UK (List of tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers are housed in temporary accommodation in (a) Tamworth district, (b) Lichfield district, (c) Staffordshire and (d) England.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of supported asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at Asylum and resettlement datasets Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets opens in a new tab), under the document Asylum seekers in receipt of support (second edition). Data are published on a quarterly basis, with the next quarterly figures are due to be released 23 February 2023.

22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of asylum seekers housed in temporary accommodation in (a) Tamworth district, (b) Lichfield district, (c) Staffordshire and (d) England have been granted leave to remain in the UK.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of supported asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at Asylum and resettlement datasets Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK under the document Asylum seekers in receipt of support (second edition):

Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Home Office publish data on the number of people who have been granted and refused asylum in the UK and this can be found in the Asy_04 tab of the quarterly Immigration Statistics release:

Immigration statistics data tables, year ending December 2022 - GOV.UK (List of tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many sub-contractors are managed by SERCO in respect of (a) housing, (b) clothing and (c) feeding asylum seekers who are resident in temporary hotel accommodation as of 22 November 2022; and if she will make an assessment of whether those sub-contractors have adequate (i) skills and (ii) experience to meet her Department's requirements for these services.

The Home Office expects the highest standards from our accommodation providers, who are contractually obliged to provide adequate accommodation and to conduct regular quality assurance checks across the asylum estate. The standards of accommodation and service are set out within the Asylum Accommodation & Support Contracts (AASC). Details of the AASC can be found at: New asylum accommodation contracts awarded - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab)

Robust compliance and governance protocols exist to ensure that the providers’ operational delivery and overall performance consistently meet the required standards. If any issues are identified providers are required to redress concerns.

22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November to question 77411 on Refugees: Afghanistan, what steps she is taking to process asylum seekers she housed in temporary hotel accommodation (a) at the Holiday Inn Tamworth and (b) elsewhere to ensure that (i) those with valid claims for asylum are given leave to remain and accommodated in long term accommodation and (ii) those whose claims are invalid are speedily removed.

All asylum claims are considered on a case by case basis and in line with published policy.  As such, claims by Afghan nationals will be considered in the same way as claims from any other nationality.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of the people who were evacuated from Afghanistan in 2021 are in hotel accommodation as of 2 November 2022.

Through Operation Warm Welcome, Afghans resettling in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) are being supported in accessing accommodation alongside the vital health, education, and support into employment they need, to fully integrate into society.

As stated in the recently published, 'Afghan Resettlement: Operational Data' factsheet, at 12 Aug 2022:

  • The UK has welcomed 21,450 people to the UK from Afghanistan - or a neighbouring country - since June 2021.
  • Of these, around 15,000 individuals were evacuated during the Operation Pitting military evacuation in August 2021.
  • Since the end of Op PITTING, we have brought around 5,000 more individuals, affected by the crisis in Afghanistan, to the UK.
  • The UK is currently providing temporary accommodation for 9,667 people in hotels while they await settled accommodation.

The factsheet will be updated every quarter – with the next iteration scheduled for publication on 24 November 2022.

The Home Office will also include Afghan resettlement statistics in its quarterly Immigration Statistics publications, in due course.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made a recent assessment of the adequacy of the support services provided by SERCO to asylum seekers housed in hotels; and if she will make a statement.

We expect the highest standards from our contractors and monitor them closely to ensure these are met. The standards of accommodation and service are set out within the Asylum Accommodation & Support Contracts (AASC). Details of the AASC can be found at: New asylum accommodation contracts awarded - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).

The introduction of the AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting & Eligibility) service has provided more independent and transparent oversight of standards through clearer complaints mechanisms for service users and supporting data that allows more intelligent targeting of performance improvement. All asylum seekers have access to the Advice, Issue Reporting & Eligibility (AIRE) service provided by Migrant Help, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through which they can raise any concerns regarding their asylum support accommodation or support services.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the trends in the level of catalytic converter theft in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire; and whether she will make such theft a specific criminal offence.

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the number of theft offences, arrests and charges. However, we do not hold data centrally on the number of catalytic converter thefts, as data is collected at offence group level only and cannot be broken down further.

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on metal theft offences, broken down by police force area. The latest figures, to the year ending March 2022 are published here:https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/focusonpropertycrimeappendixtables.

Theft is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of seven years. There is sufficient clarity and sentencing power within existing legislation and there are no plans to make catalytic converter theft a specific offence. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 also made it a criminal offence for a dealer to buy scrap metal for cash, including a requirement for scrap metal dealers to verify the identity of those selling scrap metal and record details of metal received. Enforcement of the Act is key to tackling catalytic converter theft.

This Government remains committed to tackling these thefts, including through providing seed corn funding in 2020/21 to establish the NICRP, which is ensuring national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle metal theft. The NICRP (National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership) has co-ordinated a number of multi-agency national weeks of action, resulting in 92 arrests, over 2,000 site visits, over 1,000 stolen catalytic converters recovered, and forensic marking of the catalytic converters of over 3,000 vehicles. This has helped promote awareness, with over 1,000 officers trained in enforcement powers.

5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has considered further steps to effectively remove activists who have set up permanent protest camps in areas (a) where they are trespassing and (b) in Historic Environment Character Zones.

There is a range of civil and criminal remedies available to remove trespassers from land. Where a criminal offence is committed, the police have the powers they need to respond.

Under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, the government broadened the range of circumstances in which the police can use their powers to direct trespassers to leave. The broader powers capture all forms of damage, disruption and distress. This will improve the police’s abilities to respond to certain protest camps. Additionally, the Public Order Bill will criminalise tactics such as tunnelling, on both public and private land, which cause serious disruption as well as substantial damage to land.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle anti-social behaviour arising from traveller sites; and what powers local police forces hold to help tackle illegal encampments.

This Government recognises the misery that unauthorised encampments can cause and that is why we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to give police the powers they need to tackle those people on unauthorised encampments who cause harm.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in April, we strengthened the police’s powers to arrest and seize the vehicles and other property of those who set up unauthorised encampments and cause damage, disruption or distress.

The measures also extend the powers of the police to direct trespassers to leave land.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to help tackle unauthorised encampments established by travellers.

This Government recognises the misery that unauthorised encampments can cause and that is why we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to give police the powers they need to tackle those people on unauthorised encampments who cause harm.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in April, we strengthened the police’s powers to arrest and seize the vehicles and other property of those who set up unauthorised encampments and cause damage, disruption or distress.

The measures also extend the powers of the police to direct trespassers to leave land.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle anti-social behaviour arising from traveller sites; and what powers her Department have given to the police to help tackle illegal encampments.

This Government recognises the misery that unauthorised encampments can cause and that is why we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to give police the powers they need to tackle those people on unauthorised encampments who cause harm.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in April, we strengthened the police’s powers to arrest and seize the vehicles and other property of those who set up unauthorised encampments and cause damage, disruption or distress.

The measures also extend the powers of the police to direct trespassers to leave land.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Act is already having a significant impact. All victims of modern slavery can now access the support they need. In 2015 alone, the police and CPS prosecuted 12 defendants using the new modern slavery offences and used Slavery and Trafficking Prevention and Risk Orders on at least 12 occasions. Over 100 businesses have published slavery and human trafficking statements. And the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner is spreading best practice and helped to secure the UN’s first ever Goal to end modern slavery.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Veterans' ID card scheme for (a) those who left the Armed Forces before 2018 and (b) other veterans.

The Veterans’ Recognition Scheme has a two-phase rollout. Phase one is complete, with Service leavers receiving a HM Armed Forces Veterans’ Recognition Card as part of the discharge process since December 2018. Phase two will extend the scheme to existing veterans so they can more quickly, easily and securely prove they served in the UK Armed Forces. The Government remains committed to delivering Veterans’ Recognition Cards and will advise of a timescale for the final delivery of phase two when this work is complete


The ID card is just one way to recognise veterans for their service to the UK. The further roll-out of cards will also help services and charities confirm veteran status quickly and effectively.

The Ministry of Defence is confident that the ID cards supplied to veterans effectively fulfil their purpose. In order to measure their effectiveness, the Office for Veterans’ Affairs are conducting a ‘Veteran ID Card Use and Experience’ survey which was launched in October, the results of which will be published in due course.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2023 to Question 190610 on Private Rented Housing: Surveys, if he will publish the 2022 English Private Landlord Survey.

The English Private Landlord Survey is a biennial survey, with the most recent in 2021.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to commission an updated English Private Landlord Survey.

The Government introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill to Parliament on 17 May 2023.

The department's main source of data on private landlords is the English Private Landlord Survey. The most recent 2021 English Private Landlord Survey, alongside a range of other data, is used to support policy development.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April to Question 177791 on Private Rented Housing: Sales, if he will take steps to ensure that data collected from the next English Private Landlord Survey informs the drafting of the Renters Reform Bill.

The Government introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill to Parliament on 17 May 2023.

The department's main source of data on private landlords is the English Private Landlord Survey. The most recent 2021 English Private Landlord Survey, alongside a range of other data, is used to support policy development.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to ensure pre legislative scrutiny of the proposed Renters Reform Bill.

The Renters (Reform) Bill was introduced on 17 May 2023. Ahead of introduction, we undertook comprehensive consultation with stakeholders from across the sector and published the 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper which outlined our reforms. The Bill will undergo legislative scrutiny during its passage through Parliament and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders.

17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to reduce council tax for people whose estate management and litter cleaning services reside with a management company rather than with the local council.

The information on planning applications that is collected and published by the department does not contain the level of detail required to answer this question.

Decisions on the level of council tax are for local councils who have powers to offer discretionary discounts where they consider that appropriate.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
27th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of Birmingham City Council's decision to use of bed and breakfast facilities at significant distances from that city to accommodate homeless families; and if he will make a statement.

Legislation is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and all members of their household. This requires an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation, including location.

We are clear that local authorities should, as far as possible, avoid placing households out of their borough. Placing households in temporary accommodation outside of the local area should be a last resort.

Applicants may request a review of their TA if they feel it is unsuitable. If an applicant is not satisfied with how the council has handled their case, they may complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or take legal action in the courts.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the MMC Definition Framework, published March 2019, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Modern Methods of Construction Categories (a) 5, (b) 6, and (c) 7 on the production of new homes in England.

The Government is committed to supporting the development and use of modern methods of construction (MMC) which has the capability of unlocking a range of benefits including increased energy efficiency, quicker delivery of new homes and improving the diversity of the housing sector.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the consequences for his policies of the use of Modern Methods of Construction categories (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3 and (d) 4 in the production of new homes in England since March 2019.

The Government is committed to supporting the development and use of modern methods of construction (MMC) which has the capability of unlocking a range of benefits including increased energy efficiency, quicker delivery of new homes and improving the diversity of the housing sector.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2023 to Question 166199 on Private Rented Housing: Sales, if he will make an estimate of the proportion of properties sold by small landlords that are purchased by (a) private buyers for personal residential use, (b) renters, (c) other UK-based landlords for rental purposes, (d) overseas-based landlords for rental purposes, (e) domestic buyers for development purposes and (f) overseas buyers for development purposes; and if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of each of these types of the buyers buying properties.

The department does not hold the data requested


The department's main source of data on private landlords is the English Private Landlord Survey. As part of the English Private Landlord Survey, we collect data on landlords' plans for their portfolio.

It is important we have a housing market that works for everyone. The Government is driving up the supply of new homes by diversifying the market; investing in affordable housing; and increasing land supply for new homes by investing in infrastructure.

15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many and what proportion of properties sold by small landlords were purchased by (a) private buyers for personal residential use, (b) renters, (c) other UK-based landlords for rental purposes, (d) overseas-based landlords for rental purposes, (e) domestic buyers for development purposes and (f) overseas buyers for development purposes in the latest period for which data is available; and if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the profile of the buyers of these properties.

The information requested is not held.

9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has made an assessment of the impact of a reduction in the size of the private rented sector on renters, including (a) students, (b) workers requiring short term accommodation and (c) low income families without local connections.

The Renters Reform Bill will deliver a package of reforms for the Private Rented Sector. We are conducting a detailed impact assessment which will be published in due course.

While the government is committed to helping people to own their own home, a healthy housing market is built upon the co-existence of a range of tenures, including the private rented sector, to meet individual needs and requirements The Private Rented Sector is an important part of the housing market for the 4.6 million households who live there.

The department monitors the market and uses a range of data to support our understanding of the Private Rented Sector. This includes department-commissioned research, such as the annual English Housing Survey and the English Private Landlord Survey. We have carried out extensive engagement with stakeholders and we will continue to monitor the impact of our reforms on the sector.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to take steps to reduce the size of the private rented sector relative to the social housing and private housing sectors.

The Renters Reform Bill will deliver a package of reforms for the Private Rented Sector. We are conducting a detailed impact assessment which will be published in due course.

While the government is committed to helping people to own their own home, a healthy housing market is built upon the co-existence of a range of tenures, including the private rented sector, to meet individual needs and requirements The Private Rented Sector is an important part of the housing market for the 4.6 million households who live there.

The department monitors the market and uses a range of data to support our understanding of the Private Rented Sector. This includes department-commissioned research, such as the annual English Housing Survey and the English Private Landlord Survey. We have carried out extensive engagement with stakeholders and we will continue to monitor the impact of our reforms on the sector.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of proposals within the policy paper entitled A fairer private rented sector, published in June 2022, CP 693, on (a) smaller landlords and (b) trends in the number of properties owned by smaller landlords.

The Renters Reform Bill will deliver a package of reforms for the Private Rented Sector. We are conducting a detailed impact assessment which will be published in due course.

While the government is committed to helping people to own their own home, a healthy housing market is built upon the co-existence of a range of tenures, including the private rented sector, to meet individual needs and requirements The Private Rented Sector is an important part of the housing market for the 4.6 million households who live there.

The department monitors the market and uses a range of data to support our understanding of the Private Rented Sector. This includes department-commissioned research, such as the annual English Housing Survey and the English Private Landlord Survey. We have carried out extensive engagement with stakeholders and we will continue to monitor the impact of our reforms on the sector.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of virtual planning inquiries on the timescales for work undertaken by planning inspectors in the Planning Inspectorate.

During the height of the Pandemic holding planning inquiries virtually ensured those cases progressed without undue delay during lockdowns. Since September 2021 the Planning Inspectorate has moved to a 'mixed model' where the appointed Inspector on a case decides the most appropriate format for hearing oral evidence, taking the views of the parties on the case into consideration. In practice this often means holding some of the inquiry in person and complementing it with virtual elements. Given the wide range of factors that influence the timing and lengths of inquiries and the mix of formats used, it has not been possible so far to separate out a specific link between format and timescales for decision.

Local planning authorities are required to publish all planning applications on their planning register and to undertake a formal period of public consultation of no less than 21 days, prior to deciding an application. Where an application straddles the boundaries of two or more local planning authorities, publicity should be undertaken separately in each local planning authority area. Local planning authorities will need to agree between themselves whether publicity beyond the statutory minimum in each area is appropriate. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will increase the opportunities for involvement in the planning system to ensure development is brought forward in a way that works best for local people. Alongside traditional forms of engagement, digital engagement will remove barriers to engagement and provide new opportunities for local people to engage. We are clear that communities must have a say on development that affects them and they will retain the right to comment on planning applications.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of local authority enforcement of (a) selective licensing designations and (b) other existing measures against landlords in the private rented sector for (i) HMOs and (ii) other private rented accommodation, since 2015.

The Department continues to monitor private rent levels using the Office for National Statistics' Index of Private Rents and biannual publications on absolute rent levels by local authority and number of bedrooms. The Department also tracks the stock of private rented properties using the English Housing Survey and other market data to assess the availability of private rented accommodation and financial resilience of unwaged renters. People who need help to make their rent payments may be eligible for a range of financial support through the welfare system. The government has maintained the Local Housing Allowance at its increased rate for 2021/22 and 2022/23, and for those most in need Discretionary Housing Payments are available to help meet a shortfall in housing costs and the Household Support Fund has been extended to help with the cost of essentials.

The Government's commitment to abolish Section 21 evictions will mean tenants enjoy greater security and feel empowered to challenge poor practice and unreasonable rent rises. We want as many tenants as possible to benefit from these reforms, including students living in the private rented sector. We expect most students will continue to move in-line with the academic year. We will continue to consider the impact of our reforms as we move towards legislation and will publish an impact assessment in due course. The Government's 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper set out our intention to bolster national oversight of local councils' enforcement, including by exploring requirements for councils to report on their housing enforcement activity and sharing of best practice.

The 2021 National Audit Office report into regulation of the private rented sector (PRS), and the subsequent Public Accounts Committee report set out several recommendations to improve the PRS, including a number concerning landlords, to which the department has responded. We are also currently assessing the recommendations from the 2019 Independent Review into the effectiveness of selective licensing and will respond in due course. We will work with local authorities to gather more information about their selective licensing schemes to ensure they are continuing to deliver the intended outcomes and to help share best practice. There are additional regulatory standards for HMOs than other privately rented accommodation. Duties for the landlords of HMOs are set out in HMO management regulations. We reformed HMO licensing in 2018, requiring that HMOs with five or more tenants must be licensed.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 on the student housing market.

The Department continues to monitor private rent levels using the Office for National Statistics' Index of Private Rents and biannual publications on absolute rent levels by local authority and number of bedrooms. The Department also tracks the stock of private rented properties using the English Housing Survey and other market data to assess the availability of private rented accommodation and financial resilience of unwaged renters. People who need help to make their rent payments may be eligible for a range of financial support through the welfare system. The government has maintained the Local Housing Allowance at its increased rate for 2021/22 and 2022/23, and for those most in need Discretionary Housing Payments are available to help meet a shortfall in housing costs and the Household Support Fund has been extended to help with the cost of essentials.

The Government's commitment to abolish Section 21 evictions will mean tenants enjoy greater security and feel empowered to challenge poor practice and unreasonable rent rises. We want as many tenants as possible to benefit from these reforms, including students living in the private rented sector. We expect most students will continue to move in-line with the academic year. We will continue to consider the impact of our reforms as we move towards legislation and will publish an impact assessment in due course. The Government's 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper set out our intention to bolster national oversight of local councils' enforcement, including by exploring requirements for councils to report on their housing enforcement activity and sharing of best practice.

The 2021 National Audit Office report into regulation of the private rented sector (PRS), and the subsequent Public Accounts Committee report set out several recommendations to improve the PRS, including a number concerning landlords, to which the department has responded. We are also currently assessing the recommendations from the 2019 Independent Review into the effectiveness of selective licensing and will respond in due course. We will work with local authorities to gather more information about their selective licensing schemes to ensure they are continuing to deliver the intended outcomes and to help share best practice. There are additional regulatory standards for HMOs than other privately rented accommodation. Duties for the landlords of HMOs are set out in HMO management regulations. We reformed HMO licensing in 2018, requiring that HMOs with five or more tenants must be licensed.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to ensure that local communities in neighbouring local authorities have an opportunity to contribute their views to development proposals where those developments are proposed on the borders of the neighbouring authority.

During the height of the Pandemic holding planning inquiries virtually ensured those cases progressed without undue delay during lockdowns. Since September 2021 the Planning Inspectorate has moved to a 'mixed model' where the appointed Inspector on a case decides the most appropriate format for hearing oral evidence, taking the views of the parties on the case into consideration. In practice this often means holding some of the inquiry in person and complementing it with virtual elements. Given the wide range of factors that influence the timing and lengths of inquiries and the mix of formats used, it has not been possible so far to separate out a specific link between format and timescales for decision.

Local planning authorities are required to publish all planning applications on their planning register and to undertake a formal period of public consultation of no less than 21 days, prior to deciding an application. Where an application straddles the boundaries of two or more local planning authorities, publicity should be undertaken separately in each local planning authority area. Local planning authorities will need to agree between themselves whether publicity beyond the statutory minimum in each area is appropriate. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will increase the opportunities for involvement in the planning system to ensure development is brought forward in a way that works best for local people. Alongside traditional forms of engagement, digital engagement will remove barriers to engagement and provide new opportunities for local people to engage. We are clear that communities must have a say on development that affects them and they will retain the right to comment on planning applications.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the pilot scheme for voluntary right to buy from housing associations; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is grateful for the participation of the Midlands housing associations in piloting the Voluntary Right to Buy. The Midlands pilot was independently evaluated by RSM Consulting, which was published in 2021 here.

Since 1980 Right to Buy has enabled over two million social housing tenants to become homeowners.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the impact of the building of modular homes on (a) the economy, (b) the (i) speed and (ii) cost of house building and (c) the provision of affordable homes; and if he will take steps to encourage the building of more modular homes.

The Government is committed to supporting the development and use of modern methods of construction (MMC) which has the capability of unlocking a range of benefits including increased energy efficiency, quicker delivery of new homes and improving the diversity of the housing sector. Government support includes building at least 25% of properties through the Affordable Homes Programme using MMC and providing financial support through our Levelling Up House Building Fund.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the availability of private rented accommodation to the unwaged.

The Department continues to monitor private rent levels using the Office for National Statistics' Index of Private Rents and biannual publications on absolute rent levels by local authority and number of bedrooms. The Department also tracks the stock of private rented properties using the English Housing Survey and other market data to assess the availability of private rented accommodation and financial resilience of unwaged renters. People who need help to make their rent payments may be eligible for a range of financial support through the welfare system. The government has maintained the Local Housing Allowance at its increased rate for 2021/22 and 2022/23, and for those most in need Discretionary Housing Payments are available to help meet a shortfall in housing costs and the Household Support Fund has been extended to help with the cost of essentials.

The Government's commitment to abolish Section 21 evictions will mean tenants enjoy greater security and feel empowered to challenge poor practice and unreasonable rent rises. We want as many tenants as possible to benefit from these reforms, including students living in the private rented sector. We expect most students will continue to move in-line with the academic year. We will continue to consider the impact of our reforms as we move towards legislation and will publish an impact assessment in due course. The Government's 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper set out our intention to bolster national oversight of local councils' enforcement, including by exploring requirements for councils to report on their housing enforcement activity and sharing of best practice.

The 2021 National Audit Office report into regulation of the private rented sector (PRS), and the subsequent Public Accounts Committee report set out several recommendations to improve the PRS, including a number concerning landlords, to which the department has responded. We are also currently assessing the recommendations from the 2019 Independent Review into the effectiveness of selective licensing and will respond in due course. We will work with local authorities to gather more information about their selective licensing schemes to ensure they are continuing to deliver the intended outcomes and to help share best practice. There are additional regulatory standards for HMOs than other privately rented accommodation. Duties for the landlords of HMOs are set out in HMO management regulations. We reformed HMO licensing in 2018, requiring that HMOs with five or more tenants must be licensed.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the disabilities facilities grant and the speed of disbursement of the grants to their recipients.

The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 requires local authorities to make decisions on Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) applications within six months of receipt, and adaptations must be completed within 12 months of the DFG approval date.

On 28 March this year the Government published new guidance for local authorities in England on effective delivery of the grant. This includes information on how local authorities can speed up DFG delivery. A link to the guidance is available on GOV.UK here.

Additionally, Government provides funding to Foundations, the national body for DFGs and home improvement agencies, to promote best practice in the delivery of home adaptations. Foundations analyse annual voluntary data returns from local authorities in England on their DFG delivery, including unaudited data on DFG approval and completion times. Their most recent report for 2020-21 can be found here. This indicates an average DFG delivery time of 89 days from approval to completion.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the number of homeless ex-service personnel in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire.

Data on households who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, for England show levels of veteran homelessness are low but there is no room for complacency and Government is committed to doing more. Annual Statutory Homelessness Data 2021-22, published in September 2022, shows that 1,850 households in England owed a homelessness duty had a member of the household with a support need due to service in the Armed Forces. This represents less than 1% of all households owed a homelessness duty.

Data for all local housing authorities within Staffordshire can be found within the annual data publication available here (Table A3). This shows 13 households across 5 local authorities included a member with a support need to service in the Armed Forces with 4 local authorities with zero households.

The Government is committed to reducing veteran homelessness. In September 2022, we published our 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good' strategy. This ensures local areas can provide tailored support, including for veterans, where required.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he will take in the development of Investment Zones across an Upper Tier Local Authority to ensure that individual lower tier authorities are properly consulted.

This Government recognises that local consent is critical to the success of Investment Zones and will not be imposing a Zone on any area of the country.

Authorities submitting an Investment Zone proposal are required to demonstrate and provide evidence that the Local Planning Authority is supportive of the proposal, and that they have consulted local stakeholders. Any proposal that does not demonstrate consent from the lower tier authority will not be taken forward from the Expression of Interest process.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the effect of Investment Zones on those local authorities neighbouring Investment Zones; and what steps he will take to ensure that those neighbouring local authorities are not adversely affected economically by those Zones.

We want to empower places to deliver proposals that are right for their area. Places were required to set out the local economic impact of their plans and how they would avoid displacement, in the EOI.

While DLUHC is currently assessing those proposals received, the precise number of Zones will depend on factors, such as their overall geographic spread and the fiscal cost of the programme.

Further information will be set out in due course.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what progress has been made on establishing a taskforce on older people's housing.

In February the Levelling Up White Paper announced a new taskforce on older people’s housing to explore how we can improve the choice of and access to housing options for older people.

We continue to work with in partnership with DHSC, colleagues across government and with housing, health and social care stakeholders to look at how we can further support the growth of a thriving older people’s housing sector.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to ensure that levelling up funding, such as the Future High Street Fund, helps to ensure adequate provision of electric charging infrastructure for (a) cars and (b) mobility scooters in towns.

This department is committed to the net zero strategy that was published in 2021. The ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution includes the commitment of accelerating a shift to zero emission vehicles. Our levelling up funds support this commitment.

As part of our £3.6 billion Towns Fund, we have encouraged towns to develop interventions to increase resilience and prosperity and contribute to the United Kingdom's overarching goal to be zero carbon by 2050. This includes funding electric charging infrastructure like the £400,000 investment into providing 20 additional charging spaces in Newcastle under Lyme.

In addition, through our £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund we are investing in transport projects to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, cut congestion, support economic growth, and improve the safety, security and overall experience of transport users. Bids for the second round of funding closed on 2 August 2022 and we welcome the wide range of bids we have received which will help improve and support communities across the United Kingdom. These are currently being assessed and we expect an announcement on successful bids later this year.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent steps his Department has taken to help support local authorities to tackle unauthorised encampments established by travellers.

Local authorities and the police have a wide range of powers that enable them to work in partnership and take action against unauthorised encampments. Additional police powers to tackle trespassers who set up camp illegally on other people’s land or in local communities came into force on 28 June 2022.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department holds data on the average time taken for a funeral to take place following a death in England.

The Government does not have operational responsibility for the provision of funeral services and as such does not collate the information centrally.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate he has made of the backlog in court cases; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of setting up temporary courts to help reduce the backlog in cases.

The Government is committed to supporting the recovery of the courts and our decisive action kept justice moving during the pandemic. As a result, the outstanding caseload in the Crown Court had reduced from 60,400 cases in June 2021 to 57,900 cases at the end of March 2022. However, since April 2022 the caseload has been increasing again and it stood at 61,200 at the end of August. In the Magistrates' Courts, the criminal caseload has fallen from 445,000 in July 2020 to 360,611 in August 2022 – a reduction of over 20%.

Now that barristers have returned to work, we can work together to drive down the backlog and ensure victims see justice served sooner.

Nightingale courts were essential in keeping the wheels of justice turning throughout the pandemic. They opened across the estate to provide additional capacity for the Crown Court either directly or by hosting other work which made space for jury trials in the existing estate when social distancing restricted our ability to carry out face-to-face hearings. Since social distancing restrictions have been lifted, we have been able to re-open courtrooms. There is now 500 Crown courtrooms available, which is higher than pre-pandemic levels, and the need for additional capacity has been reduced.

We are currently operating 30 temporary Nightingale courtrooms, with the decision to extend these based on regional operational need and venue availability.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)