Damian Hinds Portrait

Damian Hinds

Conservative - East Hampshire

Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

(since August 2021)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation
10th Mar 2020 - 19th Oct 2021
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 19th Oct 2021
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jan 2018 - 24th Jul 2019
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2016 - 8th Jan 2018
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th May 2015 - 15th Jul 2016
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Education Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 5th Nov 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Friday 3rd December 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 59 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 1 Noes - 79
Speeches
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Draft Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (Continuation) Order 2021

I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the draft Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (Continuation) Order …

Written Answers
Monday 12th July 2021
Housing: South of England
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Damon P De Laszlo
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Damian Hinds has voted in 321 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Damian Hinds Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(6 debate interactions)
Oliver Dowden (Conservative)
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(28 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(20 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Damian Hinds has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Damian Hinds's debates

East Hampshire Petitions

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

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

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

Damian Hinds has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Damian Hinds

Damian Hinds has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Damian Hinds, 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.


Damian Hinds has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Damian Hinds has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Damian Hinds has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Damian Hinds has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


71 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
20th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the pilot of covid-19 testing at large-scale events, whether the Government plans to implement testing protocols for weddings to (a) enable the maximum number of guests to be increased from 30 May 2021 and (b) help that sector recover during its main summer season.

The Events Research Programme aims to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely. To achieve this, the programme will explore how a combination of testing and non-pharmaceutical interventions (actions that people can take to mitigate the spread of coronavirus) can inform decisions on safely lifting restrictions at events from Step 4. The initial research pilots have already started and are taking place throughout May.

At Step 4, which will be no earlier than 21 June, the Government aims to remove all limits on weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme and the Social Distancing Review. Further guidance will be issued ahead of Step 4.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of long term trends in the level of zero-hours contracts, casual labour, piece work, commission-only sales and other types of non-guaranteed-hours employment as (a) people's sole or primary and (b) additional employment.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 100935 on Housing: East Hampshire, if he will undertake an assessment of affordability ratios for homes inside (a) South Downs National Park and (b) other National Park boundaries relative to neighbouring areas.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department holds on the (a) residence-based and (b) workplace-based house price to income ratios for (i) East Hampshire parliamentary constituency and (ii) East Hampshire district local authority area disaggregated by the area (A) inside and (B) outside the South Downs National Park in all years where data is available.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding by the Centre for Social Justice in its report entitled Collecting dust, published in April 2020, that the personal debt owed to the Government and public bodies under the remit of his Department is £13.5 billion.

We welcome the Centre for Social Justice’s report, which highlights that progress has been made in government debt management and suggests further areas for improvement. The Centre for Social Justice report notes the work of the government Fairness Group, the Breathing Space policy and reduction in the rate of benefit deductions as recent advances.

The Government Debt Management Function will be launching a Call for Evidence in due course to gather views on the current debt management approach.

I would encourage the Centre for Social Justice, along with other interested parties to also submit evidence through the Call for Evidence.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the May 2019 Fairness Group Joint Public Statement, what progress he has made in applying Fairness Principles to government debt management.

The government recognises the importance of providing the right support for people who are vulnerable or in financial hardship during the debt recovery process. This position was emphasised by the joint public statement, drafted in partnership with the debt advice sector and other consumer groups.

The government’s Fairness Principles are aligned with the Financial Conduct Authority’s Treating Customers Fairly Principles. These provide a best practice framework that has been embedded into the Government Debt Strategy and the Government Debt Standard.

Debt management in local government is undertaken in line with specific legislation. When a customer is identified as being vulnerable, there is support available, tailored to individual circumstances. This includes longer repayment terms and consideration of payment holidays. Government has a duty to balance this against the need to recover money owed to taxpayers.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what time series data sets her Department holds of average earnings (a) by sector, (b) by region and (c) for people consistently in employment before and since 2007-08; and for how many years those data sets have been collated.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government is providing to the development of hydrogen technologies.

Government is currently investing up to £108m in a range of innovation programmes to explore and develop the potential of low carbon hydrogen. This includes:

  • Up to £20m to develop novel clean hydrogen supply methods,
  • Up to £20m to test the potential for switching to hydrogen (and other low carbon fuels) across a range of industrial sectors,
  • £25m to develop the safety of using 100% hydrogen in the home;
  • £23m to support deployment of hydrogen vehicles and growth of refuelling infrastructure.

Government also announced the £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund in August 2019. The Fund aims to help deploy low carbon hydrogen production capacity to enable its greater use as a decarbonisation option across the energy system.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support the Government plans to provide to the UK Safer Internet Centre.

The UK Safer Internet Centre plays an important role in improving online safety in the UK, particularly for children.

The Centre has been successful in its bid for further funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme for the calendar year of 2021, for which the government provided a letter of support. Officials are in regular engagement with the Centre on its future funding position.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to increase the volume of marketing spend in key (a) development and (b) other source markets in the upcoming Tourism Recovery Plan.

The Global Travel Taskforce last year committed the Government to publish a Tourism Recovery Plan in support of the sector, which will include plans for a marketing campaign to welcome visitors back to the UK as soon as it is safe to do so. We will publish this document in the Spring.

When holidays are permitted again, we will work with VisitBritain, VisitEngland and local partners to champion the UK’s diverse tourism offer once again - just as we did with last year’s Enjoy Summer Safely and Escape The Everyday campaigns.

A successor to the Global Travel Taskforce will report by 12 April with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants of concern. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May. The Government will align the timing and details of its marketing plans with the outcome of the report.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether it remains Government policy for 130,000 more hotel rooms to be built by 2025; and what progress has been made against that target to date.

The UK Government will publish a Tourism Recovery Plan in the Spring. Given the significant impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, we now face different challenges to when the Tourism Sector Deal was published. The Recovery Plan will build on the foundations of the Sector Deal.

We are continuing to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s long term recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what data his Department holds on the (a) number of hours of school-age educational programmed content on the BBC and (b) amount of online content on BBC bitesize in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The department does not hold this information. The BBC may hold more information on this topic.

Page 115 of the BBC’s Annual Report for 2019-20 sets out some information on how the BBC has performed on its public purpose to support learning for people of all ages. The report also states that the BBC offered 14 weeks of educational programmes and lessons during the summer term and that, by the end of the term, the BBC had published nearly 2,000 curriculum-led ‘Bitesize Daily Lessons’ online.

Further, on 5 January 2021, the BBC also announced its education offering for the UK’s third national lockdown. The announcement included three hours of primary school programming each week day on CBBC, and at least two hours of secondary school content each day on BBC 2. It also included an expansion of BBC bitesize online content for primary and secondary school pupils. The full announcement can be found on the BBC website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/2020/bbc-launches-biggest-education-offer-ever

I also refer the Hon Member to my answer to PQs 136489 and 136491 where I set out Ofcom’s figures for the education provision by Public Service Broadcasters collectively.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what data and information his Department holds on trends in the level of (a) original programming hours and (b) broadcast hours produced as (i) Programmes for schools and colleges and (ii) other educational content for school-age children by (A) the BBC, (B) ITV and (C) other broadcasters.

The department does not hold this information.

Ofcom data indicates that in 2018, public service broadcasters (PSBs, in this context the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) collectively broadcast 125 hours of content in 2018 meeting the description of “formal education”. Of this, 65 hours were considered original content.

This output was supplemented by content available on-demand, online, on podcasts and radio, as well as less formal educational content such as documentaries and broader children’s content.

Between 2010 and 2018, the total amount of educational content broadcast by PSBs fell considerably (2010: 725 hours). Over the same period, the amount of original educational content broadcast by PSBs remained relatively constant (2010: 70 hours), albeit with considerable year-to-year fluctuation. Data covering 2019 and 2020 is not yet available.

Ofcom data suggests that commercial multi channels broadcast 40 hours of original content classified as ‘other’ in 2018 (2014: 0 hours). This classification includes formal education.

Further information can be found on Ofcom’s website.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the extent of (a) misinformation and (b) disinformation on social media on the covid-19 outbreak to date; who the originators of the most widespread messages are; and what assessment he has made of the motivations behind such messages.

The Government takes the issue of disinformation very seriously. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it continues to be vitally important that the public has accurate information about the virus, and DCMS is leading work across Government to tackle disinformation.

That is why we stood up the Counter Disinformation Unit up on 5 March to bring together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities. The Unit’s primary function is to provide a comprehensive picture of the extent, scope and impact of disinformation and misinformation regarding Covid-19 and to work with partners to ensure appropriate action is taken.

Misinformation and disinformation can come from a range of sources, however it would not be appropriate for us to provide a running commentary on the amount of misinformation or disinformation seen to date. Throughout the pandemic, we have been working closely with social media platforms to quickly identify and help them respond to potentially harmful content on their platforms, including removing harmful content in line with their terms and conditions, and promoting authoritative sources of information.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of implementing the recommendation in the Duty of Care in Sport independent report to Government by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, published in April 2017, that the Government should create a sports ombudsman or sports duty of care quality commission, with powers to hold national governing bodies to account for the duty of care they provide to all athletes, coaching staff and support staff.

It is important that the systems elite sports have for dealing with concerns about athlete welfare are as effective as possible, regardless of whether any new service - be that an ombudsman or a different model - is developed. All sports and clubs should have appropriate procedures in place, and when formal channels have been exhausted and a matter remains unresolved, investigations should be conducted independently through an appropriate organisation such as Sport Resolutions UK.

The Code for Sports Governance came into force around the same time as the Duty of Care report was published in April 2017. This imposes clear requirements on all funded sports organisations to have appropriate whistleblowing and safeguarding policies and procedures in place. In addition, UK Sport have proactively worked to strengthen the existing systems, structures and responsibilities for dispute resolution within the high performance system, and introduced numerous measures in the 12 months following the report’s publication. These actions included mandating an independent element in discipline and grievance procedures, establishing a dedicated integrity unit, and introducing an annual Culture Health Check survey that monitors athlete welfare and enables issues to be picked up and addressed.

My department will continue to work closely with UK Sport and keep this issue under review, looking to strengthen provision wherever necessary.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
What steps her Department is taking to improve (a) broadband and (b) mobile phone coverage in rural areas.

The government’s £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme is already supporting rollout of gigabit broadband in rural areas.

The government has also pledged £5bn of funding for Gigabit broadband in the ‘hardest to reach’, predominantly rural, areas of the UK.

The government announced in-principle support in October 2019 for the Mobile Network Operators’ Shared Rural Network proposal. It aims to collectively increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the United Kingdom to 95% by 2025.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason his Department has decided not to proceed with developing a T Level in Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attractions.

In July 2020, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education took the decision to halt development of the T Level in Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attractions (CHVA). The Institute consulted extensively before making this decision, both with organisations from the sector as well as employers involved in the creation of relevant occupational standards.

The Institute concluded that a T Level in CHVA would have limited employer demand and insufficient interest from students, and that the needs of the sector could be met through other T Levels. For example, feedback from employers suggested that T Levels in business and administration were well placed to develop the skills that are relevant to many occupations within the Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attraction sector. Students would then be able to tailor their programme by taking their industry placement with a relevant employer in the sector.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the availability of printers in pupils’ homes by (a) phase of education, (b) free school meals eligibility, and (c) any other division of data available.

The Department does not have data or estimates of the availability of printers in pupils’ homes.

Schools can provide printed resources, such as textbooks and workbooks, to structure learning. We expect schools to work to overcome any barriers experienced by pupils in accessing remote education. This could include distributing school owned laptops or supplementing digital provision with different forms of remote education such as printed resources or textbooks. This should be supplemented with other forms of communication to keep pupils and students on track or answer questions about work.

The Government is supporting access to remote education and online social care services, through an investment of over £400 million that includes securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people who do not have access to their own device. Over 800,000 laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities by 17 January.

We have also partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Support is available for schools to get set up on Google or Microsoft platforms. These platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. As of 5 January 2021, 6,900 schools have applied for a digital education platform.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish data on relative usage levels for Oak National Academy in the current covid-19 lockdown compared to previous periods.

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, Oak National Academy was very quickly brought together by over 40 teachers, their schools and other education organisations. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is also available.

The number of users to have visited the Oak National Academy platform (correct as of 12 January 2021) can be found in the following table:

Average users/ day

Total users

April- July 2020

200K-250K

4.7M

September- December 2020

50-100K

2.3M

4 – 12 January 2021

950K-1M

3.5M

Oak will remain a free optional resource for 2020-21.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made from previous periods of remote learning of the level of use by (a) schools, (b) pupils and (c) families of (i) Oak National Academy learning, (ii) third party online virtual learning environments, (iii) schools’ own materials, (iv) broadcast TV, (v) BBC Bitesize and (vi) others.

Given the critical importance of ensuring that all children and young people continue to learn during the national lockdown, we have updated the remote education guidance for schools and colleges to clarify and strengthen expectations while on-site attendance is restricted, drawing on our evolving understanding of best practice in remote education.

Schools are expected to provide a set number of hours of remote education for pupils – increased from the government’s previous minimum expectations – that includes time for independent study and also either recorded or live direct teaching. Pupils will be set between three and five hours per day of remote education depending on their age, with daily check-ins on their engagement, and involving the effective use of digital education platforms.

To help schools and colleges meet the remote education expectations set out in guidance, the Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services. A comprehensive package of support is available to help schools meet these expectations which can be accessed through the Get Help with Remote Education page on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-remote-education.

The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Since the start of the autumn term, 2,280,706 users have visited the Oak National Academy platform and 12,998,483 lessons have been viewed (as of 4 January 2021). For schools that do not already have a full remote education curriculum or resources in place or where staffing capacity is challenging, we strongly recommend that they consider using Oak National Academy or other high-quality resource providers. We have also published guidance on accessing and buying remote education resources, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-with-accessing-and-buying-resources-for-remote-education.

Support is also available for schools to get set up on Google or Microsoft platforms. These platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. As of 5 January 2021, 6900 schools have applied to the DfE Digital Platforms programme that forms part of the Get Help With Technology programme.

In addition, the BBC has adapted their education support for the spring term 2021 and will be making educational content available on the television. Bitesize Daily primary and secondary will also air every day on BBC Red Button as well as episodes being available on demand on BBC iPlayer. This TV offer is in addition to the BBC’s online offer, which parents, children, and teachers can access when and where they need it.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what comparative assessment he has made of trends in the number of people (a) expressing an interest in foster parenting and (b) completing the foster parent application process in the last five years.

The Department for Education does not collect this data. This data is currently captured by Ofsted.

Ofsted have seen an increase in enquires to independent fostering agencies (IFA) between the financial year 2015-2019, but in the same period enquiries have decreased for local authorities. At the end of March 2020, we have seen an increase in applications compared to 2015. However, application rates have remained fairly static over the past 2 years.

Ofsted estimate that there were around 137,200 initial enquiries from prospective fostering households in the year ending 31 March 2020. This was an increase of around 7% compared to the financial year 2018 to 2019. The reported figure of 135,075, from the data provided by 94% of all eligible agencies, was itself an increase on the previous year (127,850).

Ofsted estimate that around 76% enquiries received were within the IFA sector, up from 72% in 2018 to 2019. This results from a 14% increase in enquiries to the IFA sector, and a 10% decrease for local authorities, compared with last year.

A breakdown of enquiries received over the past 5 years are as follows:

Year

Total number of enquiries received

2015/16

101,795

2016/17

114,425

2017/18

117,335

2018/19

127,850

2019/20

135,080

In relation to applications approved, across the sectors, the conversion rate of applications received to applications approved was very similar. Around 1 in 4 applications were approved in both sectors. However, IFAs accounted for both more applications and approvals than local authorities.

A breakdown of applications received and approved by local authorities are as follows:

Year

Total number of applications received

Total number of applications approved

2015/16

4,525

1,150

2016/17

4,940

1,140

2017/18

4,710

985

2018/19

4,390

1,020

2019/20

3,570

905

A breakdown of applications received and approved by IFAs are as follows:

Year

Total number of applications received

Total number of applications approved

2015/16

4,060

1,140

2016/17

4,405

1,260

2017/18

5,830

1,455

2018/19

5,350

1,395

2019/20

5,235

1,230

Among local authorities, 43% of completed applications were approved, while 35% were approved among IFAs. The difference is mostly accounted for by a higher proportion of withdrawals by applicants among IFAs (49% compared to 36% for local authorities).

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of take-up among schools and colleges of the period products programme; and what steps his Department is taking to publicise that programme.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

Our delivery partner, phs Group, reported in August that since the scheme launched, almost 40% of eligible organisations have placed orders for period products and we are continuing to monitor the scheme closely.

The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and we continue to work with phs Group to encourage engagement with the scheme.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made, for each region of England, of the proportion of households with children attending schools in more than one local authority area.

The information requested is not held centrally.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment in the autumn term of the effect on children's progress of exposure during the covid-19 lockdown to different types and amounts of education technology and online learning.

Understanding the effect of time outside of the classroom, what factors have driven lost attainment and how quickly it is being recovered and how it is recovered over the next academic year is a key research priority for the Department to inform strategic policy for supporting the school system.

To help schools provide effective online teaching, the Department has supported sector led initiatives such as Oak National Academy, which covers curriculum for every year group from reception through to year 11. The Department has also published guidance based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders so that other teachers can learn from examples of teaching practice during the COVID-19 outbreak as they develop their own approaches to providing remote education. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department recognises that barriers to online access can make engaging with remote education more difficult, which is why we have committed £100 million to fund devices and 4G connectivity to help pupils overcome them.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the level of student enrolment for T Levels courses starting in September 2020.

Despite the challenges, 44 high performing colleges, schools and other providers will teach the first T Levels from this September. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of staff in these organisations. We have worked closely with the providers to support them over the summer as recruitment moved online and to monitor predicted student numbers.

We will receive confirmed enrolment figures once the September recruitment has been formally reported. All indications are that recruitment has progressed well in the circumstances and a viable cohort of young people will benefit from taking these new, high quality qualifications, leaving them in a great position to move into skilled employment or further training.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the level of preparedness of schools for the provision of mandatory relationships, sex and health education from September 2020.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for East Hampshire to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660.

The Department has worked extensively with schools, teachers and experts throughout the development of these subjects. This has included over 150 interviews and multiple surveys which informed our support programme to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

The support programme will include online training modules to enable subject leads to train non-specialist teachers in their schools, an implementation guide, and case studies from early adopter schools. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. The first training module for teachers, covering mental wellbeing, is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content, including teacher training modules covering online safety, internet harms and media literacy will be added in the coming months.

Regarding the review of the teaching online safety in school guidance, the guidance is framed around current curriculum requirements in a number of subjects, and we have no plans to update it before September 2020. We will keep the guidance under review to make sure it remains relevant to curriculum requirements.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the availability of effective teaching materials to support the guidance entitled, Teaching online safety in school guidance – supporting schools to teach their pupils how to stay safe online, within new and existing school subjects.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for East Hampshire to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660.

The Department has worked extensively with schools, teachers and experts throughout the development of these subjects. This has included over 150 interviews and multiple surveys which informed our support programme to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

The support programme will include online training modules to enable subject leads to train non-specialist teachers in their schools, an implementation guide, and case studies from early adopter schools. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. The first training module for teachers, covering mental wellbeing, is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content, including teacher training modules covering online safety, internet harms and media literacy will be added in the coming months.

Regarding the review of the teaching online safety in school guidance, the guidance is framed around current curriculum requirements in a number of subjects, and we have no plans to update it before September 2020. We will keep the guidance under review to make sure it remains relevant to curriculum requirements.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to review the guidance entitled, Teaching online safety in school Guidance – supporting schools to teach their pupils how to stay safe online, within new and existing school subjects, before September 2020.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for East Hampshire to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660.

The Department has worked extensively with schools, teachers and experts throughout the development of these subjects. This has included over 150 interviews and multiple surveys which informed our support programme to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

The support programme will include online training modules to enable subject leads to train non-specialist teachers in their schools, an implementation guide, and case studies from early adopter schools. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. The first training module for teachers, covering mental wellbeing, is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content, including teacher training modules covering online safety, internet harms and media literacy will be added in the coming months.

Regarding the review of the teaching online safety in school guidance, the guidance is framed around current curriculum requirements in a number of subjects, and we have no plans to update it before September 2020. We will keep the guidance under review to make sure it remains relevant to curriculum requirements.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the distribution of GCSE Attainment 8 results was for (a) children eligible for free school meals, (b) children not eligible for free school meals and (c) all children in (i) London and (ii) England in the last 12 months for which data are available.

The distribution of GCSE Attainment 8 results split by free school meal status for London and for England for the year 2018-19 are provided in the accompanying table.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 96849, on Seasonal Workers: Pilot Schemes, when he plans to (a) conclude and (b) publish the findings of the evaluation of the Seasonal Workers Pilot.

We intend to publish the findings from the first year of the Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme in the coming months.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the measures in place to protect against Equine Herpes Virus-1 outbreaks in the UK.

The Government is working closely with the equine sector to ensure owners are aware of the risks and are taking the necessary precautions to keep their animals safe. Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is not a notifiable disease and isolation of sick animals is the best protection against infection. There is no public health risk. Horse owners are advised to contact their private vet if they observe any respiratory illness, abortion or neurological signs in horses or ponies in their care or would like to discuss options for vaccination against the disease.

All horses imported into the UK are required to be certified as being fit to travel and not to have originated from premises where disease is known to be present. Any horses imported into the UK should be placed in isolation for at least ten days before allowing them to mix with other equines.

Comprehensive industry advice and guidance on biosecurity and vaccination is available online and the Animal and Plant Health Agency international trade team is, on behalf of Defra, writing to anyone wishing to import any equine from Europe to remind them of this guidance and strongly recommend that it is followed.

Current biosecurity protocols and guidance are known to be effective at controlling the spread of EHV-1 and have been successful in preventing its spread into the UK during the current outbreak. We continue to work with and support the industry in containing the threat to the UK horse population.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to update the Countryside Code after covid-19 restrictions have been lifted and The Countryside Code - short Covid-19 online version, last updated on 2 July 2020, has been stood down.

Natural England (NE) has a statutory duty to produce and promote the Countryside Code which provides three levels of information: short and long versions for the public plus additional information for land managers and owners for areas of open country. NE is currently undertaking a review and refresh of the Code.

The launch of the refreshed version of the Countryside Code at Easter will be the first step in a much longer campaign both to promote the Code and begin an associated campaign running throughout 2021. This will include a broader conversation with stakeholders about what a ‘post-Covid’ Code for the 21st century would look like and how we can, as a sector, promote more positive behaviours and awareness. The aim is that it can be used flexibly across multiple platforms to reach a much greater diversity of audiences and NE will be setting out more about this work in due course.

Alongside this development work an updated video has been produced to promote the Code and respecting the countryside. This has been posted across Defra’s and Natural England’s social media channels as well as being available to stakeholders to use on their social channels with a complementary package of additional content. We also plan to publicise the video on the Government’s ‘Nextdoor’ channel and on our Instagram accounts this week.

We are continuing to work on a wider communications plan and will be developing additional social media content to respond to potential upcoming issues over the coming months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to promote the Countryside Code: short covid-19 version more widely.

Natural England (NE) has a statutory duty to produce and promote the Countryside Code which provides three levels of information: short and long versions for the public plus additional information for land managers and owners for areas of open country. NE is currently undertaking a review and refresh of the Code.

The launch of the refreshed version of the Countryside Code at Easter will be the first step in a much longer campaign both to promote the Code and begin an associated campaign running throughout 2021. This will include a broader conversation with stakeholders about what a ‘post-Covid’ Code for the 21st century would look like and how we can, as a sector, promote more positive behaviours and awareness. The aim is that it can be used flexibly across multiple platforms to reach a much greater diversity of audiences and NE will be setting out more about this work in due course.

Alongside this development work an updated video has been produced to promote the Code and respecting the countryside. This has been posted across Defra’s and Natural England’s social media channels as well as being available to stakeholders to use on their social channels with a complementary package of additional content. We also plan to publicise the video on the Government’s ‘Nextdoor’ channel and on our Instagram accounts this week.

We are continuing to work on a wider communications plan and will be developing additional social media content to respond to potential upcoming issues over the coming months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help protect sheep from attacks and harassment by dogs.

My department takes the issue of livestock worrying very seriously, recognising the distress this can cause farmers and animals, as well as the financial implications.

All reported crimes should be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 provides a specific offence of allowing a dog to worry livestock with a maximum fine of £1,000. In addition, the police can and do take action under the Dogs Act 1871 where there are dogs that are out of control and dangerous to other animals. Section 2 of the 1871 Act allows a complaint to be made to a Magistrate’s court by any individual, the police or local authorities, where a dog is “dangerous and not kept under proper control”. The court may make any Order it considers appropriate to require the owner to keep the dog under proper control, or if necessary, that it be destroyed. The court may specify measures to be taken for keeping the dog under proper control, such as muzzling and remaining on a lead when in public.

Guidance is available to educate owners about handling their dogs responsibly in the vicinity of livestock, in order to prevent the occurrence of attacks or chasing.

The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs provides owners with information on how to provide for their dog’s natural needs as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The Code of Practice clearly sets out that all dogs need to be trained to behave well, ideally from a very young age and should be introduced gradually and positively to different environments, people and animals. If owners become aware of changes in behaviour, or their dog is fearful of, or aggressive, towards other dogs and people, they should avoid the situations which lead to this and seek veterinary advice. The Code asks owners to ensure that they prevent their dogs from chasing or attacking any other animals, including livestock and horses; for example, through use of a lead or avoidance of such situations.

Recent reports on livestock worrying, including by the National Chiefs’ Police Council, have recommended reforming the 1953 Act to address current enforcement challenges and ensure it remains fit for purpose. We are currently engaging closely with key stakeholders to improve our understanding of the scale of the issue and the views of both livestock keepers and dog owners.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what impact assessment he has undertaken on the introduction of the ban on neonicotinoids.

Restrictions prohibiting the outdoor use of three neonicotinoids were put in place from late 2018. The Government supported these restrictions because, based on the scientific evidence, we were not prepared to put our pollinator populations at risk. The evidence on the toxicity of these chemicals to bees and their persistence in the environment means that the clear advice of scientific advisers is that these restrictions are justified.

The Government recognises that the loss of neonicotinoids has made it harder for farmers to control certain pests in emerging crops. Some growers of crops including oilseed rape and sugar beet aphids have faced significant yield losses because of these difficulties.

The Government considered these impacts in deciding its approach, but did not carry out a formal impact assessment. This was because neither the benefits nor the costs of restrictions on neonicotinoids are amenable to precise quantification.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the levels of (a) honey production, (b) the total bee population and (c) the wild bee population in the last 10 years.

UK honey production has recovered over the past few years to around 6,500 tonnes in 2019, following a significant drop earlier in the decade. A range of factors affect production, predominantly weather, levels of pests and disease and numbers of large-scale commercial bee farmers. No formal assessment is made of honey production trends but the National Bee Unit has a key role in supporting the sector by ensuring that levels of pests and disease are kept to a minimum. This is achieved through delivery of our apiary inspection programme and the provision of education and training for beekeepers.

Honey bee numbers are dependent upon the numbers of colonies managed by beekeepers and bee farmers. In the last ten years, numbers of colonies recorded on the National Bee Unit’s BeeBase website have doubled from around 110,000 to around 220,000. It should be recognised, however, that this increase is due in part to new registrations of existing beekeepers, and not entirely to additional colonies or beekeepers.

Each year, the Government publishes an indicator of trends in populations of wild bees and other pollinators in the UK, measuring changes in the distribution of almost 400 pollinating insect species since 1980, including 137 species of bees. The indicator shows an overall decline since 1980. However, there are encouraging, but not yet definitive signs of improvement for some species. For example, from 2013 onwards, there is evidence of an overall increase in the distribution of the 137 wild bee species, although other insect pollinators have continued to decline. The annual update of the indicator was published on 15 October 2020.

Defra works with a range of partners to implement a National Pollinator Strategy to address declines in wild pollinators and concerns about bee health, alongside more specific action to support honey bees and beekeeping in the Healthy Bees Plan. This has included establishing a UK-wide pollinator monitoring and research partnership in collaboration with research institutes and volunteer organisations to gather further data on the status of UK pollinators.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in (a) acreage of oilseed rape, (b) imports of oilseed rape and (c) imports of oilseed rape substitutes in the last 10 years.

The Oilseed rape area increased from 269 thousand hectares in 1984, reaching a peak of 756 thousand hectares in 2012. Since then the area has decreased each year (apart from 2018 when an increase to 583 thousand hectares was seen). The provisional figure for 2020 shows a further decrease to 388 thousand hectares.

Total area planted for Oilseed rape in hectares for the last ten years

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Thousand hectares

705

756

715

675

652

579

562

583

530

388*

*2020 figure is current estimate based on Defra survey

Total Oilseed rape imports over the same period are shown below

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Thousand tonnes

64

18

177

87

87

63

345

206

354

Total other Oilseed (excl Rape but including Soya, Nut, Sunflower, Linseed) imports over the same period are shown below

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Thousand tonnes

1,016

991

842

1,013

998

903

954

1,012

851

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timescale is for responding to the Glover Landscapes Review published in September 2019.

The Government is committed to ensuring our Protected Landscapes flourish as havens for nature and are places that everyone can visit and enjoy.

The Glover Landscapes Review set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We welcome this ambition and consider it important that we actively engage with stakeholders to inform and develop our response.

We are working on our response to the Review, with a focus on those recommendations requiring collective action and new ways of working nationally. The Government will come forward with firm proposals for implementing the Glover Landscapes Review in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the Seasonal Workers Pilot.

Defra and the Home Office have been working closely to ensure the successful operation of the Seasonal Workers Pilot, and to undertake an effective assessment. The evaluation of the Seasonal Workers Pilot is ongoing and the results will be published in due course. The expansion of the Pilot in 2020 will enable the Government to carry out a more extensive evaluation of the systems and process in place to access labour from non-EEA countries, ahead of any decisions being taken of how the future needs of the sector may be addressed.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will conduct and publish an analysis of the monthly costs of ownership and operation of electric cars compared to petrol and diesel cars, based on indicative model types and scenarios of usage.

The Government has no current plans to publish such regular analysis. The monthly cost of electric vehicle ownership will depend on the vehicle type, the driver’s recharging pattern and usage.

We will continue to support industry and motorists to make the switch to zero emission vehicles. Phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 will put the UK on course to be the G7 country that will decarbonise cars and vans fastest. We expect total cost of ownership to reach price parity during the 2020s, compared to petrol and diesel cars.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 98205 on roads: noise, when his Department plans to publish the results of the initial trials of a prototype acoustic camera.

Due to the pressures on the Department arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the necessity to temporarily redeploy staff, consideration of the research on the initial trials of a prototype acoustic camera has been re-phased.

The Government anticipates the results will be published in the summer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what data his Department holds on trends and patterns in (a) vehicle noise measurements and (b) complaints about vehicle noise.

The Department does not hold data on trends and patterns in vehicle noise measurements, but commissioned research in 2018 to better understand the prevalence of excessive vehicle noise and the options for reducing it.

The Department has seen an increase in the number of enquiries about vehicle noise over the past three years. It should be noted that this trend cannot be reliably linked to a change in individual vehicle noise levels or to the prevalence of excessively noisy vehicles due to the subjective nature of vehicle noise complaints.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the transition to electric vehicles in rural areas.

This Government is going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. We want people across the country to have the opportunity to make the move to electric vehicles. The Government had already committed £1.5 billion to support the early market and remove barriers to electric vehicle ownership. Alongside the new phase out dates we have pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This support is available in both urban and rural areas across the UK

Today, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid?chargepoint?anywhere along England’s motorways and major A roads. Local authorities in rural areas are able to take advantage of the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which assists them with the cost of installing chargepoints on residential streets. The Government will continue to monitor market developments to determine whether any significant gaps in charging infrastructure provision emerge where there may be a case for further measures.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to amend the Air Navigation Directions 2017 to require the Civil Aviation Authority when considering airspace change proposals to undertake an assessment of the available safety data regarding all airspace users and publish a statement on how proposals satisfy the requirements of the operators and owners of all aircraft; and whether the post-implementation review of the airspace change proposal that came into force at Farnborough Airport in February 2020 will include an analysis of safety data.

The Air Navigation Directions 2017 are kept under review but there are no immediate plans to amend them.

When undertaking the post-implementation review of the Farnborough Airport airspace change, the Civil Aviation Authority will consider the safety and operational characteristics of this proposal, including available flight data, and then determine whether the proposal has met its regulatory requirements.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 63308 on roads: noise, what plans his Department has for the further development and testing of noise camera technology.

The Department’s initial trials of a prototype acoustic camera have concluded, and the results will be published shortly. The outcome of the trial is currently being considered, including what further development would be required to enable the technology to be used for more targeted and efficient enforcement.

Some of the challenges include blending of noise from other vehicles and the surrounding environment, and the effect of changing ambient conditions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 63308 on roads: noise, what assessment his Department has made of the potential deployment of noise cameras in rural environments which do not have complex traffic and environmental scenarios.

The Department recognises that simpler traffic scenarios and road layouts can be found in rural environments but there are still difficulties in measuring vehicle noise in an uncontrolled environment.

Before the acoustic camera can be recommended for wider use, we will need to establish confidence that the camera can detect excessive noise offences to avoid penalising law-abiding motorists and motorcyclists. This will require further development of the instrument.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the results were from his Department's trials of roadside noise cameras in Hampshire and elsewhere; and what plans he has for the further deployment of such cameras.

The acoustic camera trial is complete and preliminary indications are that the device can identify individual vehicles in certain circumstances and assign noise levels to them, but further development is needed to improve accuracy.

The technology has the potential to identify excessively noisy vehicles; however, there are still difficulties in measuring noise in an uncontrolled environment to be overcome. As a result, further development and testing will be required before it could be recommended for wider scale roll out, especially if the camera is to be deployed in urban environments where complex traffic and environmental scenarios are common.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to the development of hydrogen-powered transport.

Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, which has potential to support the UK’s efforts to decarbonise transport and meet the 2050 net zero target. The UK is well placed to be a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell powered transportation due to our high-quality engineering and manufacturing capability in relevant supply chains. We are supporting innovation in the hydrogen supply chain from production to end use and investigating potential synergies between transport and other sectors.

In road transport, hydrogen is eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation following changes made to the scheme in April 2018. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Advanced Propulsion Centre are funding a wide range of development projects in hydrogen vehicles across technology readiness levels. We are also supporting the technology through the £23m Hydrogen for Transport programme and £2m FCEV fleet support scheme. In addition, the Clean Maritime Plan recognised hydrogen as one of a number of the key fuels on a pathway to zero-emission shipping

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2020
What steps she is taking to ensure that universal credit claimants benefit financially from moving into work.

The Government has made significant investment to improve work incentives including: the reduction in the Universal Credit taper rate from 65% to 63% in 2017, and an extra £1.7 billion a year put into work allowances for working parents and disabled claimants to increase them by £1,000 a year from April 2019. This is providing a boost to the incomes of the lowest paid and result in 2.4 million families keeping an extra £630 per year of what they earn.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the trend in the ratio of unemployment benefit recipients, including job seeker's allowance and universal credit to ILO-definition unemployment in the last five years.

Over the last five years, the ratio between the Alternative Claimant Count (ACC) measure of claimant unemployment[1], and the ONS official measure of unemployment (based on the International Labour Organisation’s definition of unemployment)[2], has increased. This is shown in the table below and chart attached.

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic: unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

1,545

2,044

0.76

Aug-15

1,299

1,838

0.71

Aug-16

1,219

1,691

0.72

Aug-17

1,194

1,500

0.80

Aug-18

1,195

1,446

0.83

Aug-19

1,263

1,374

0.92

The two measures of unemployment should not be expected to match:

  • Some individuals who are unemployed according to the ACC measure of claimant unemployment may be working but with low earnings (and thus would continue to receive support). They would then be included in the ACC measure of claimant unemployment but not the ONS official measure of unemployment.
  • Some individuals who are unemployed according to the ONS official measure may not be eligible for means-tested support, or may not wish to claim the support available. They would then be included in the ONS official measure of unemployment but not the ACC measure of claimant unemployment.

The tables below show how the ratio between the two measures of unemployment has varied over the last five years, for different ages, genders and regions. The variation by previous occupation is not available.

Age

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

16-24

284

210

830

570

0.34

0.37

25-34

388

322

411

263

0.94

1.22

35-49

490

398

474

263

1.03

1.52

50+

384

334

339

278

1.13

1.20

Gender

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Men

844

672

1,125

764

0.75

0.88

Women

702

591

919

609

0.76

0.97

Region

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

NE

89

75

122

77

0.73

0.97

NW

191

167

223

166

0.86

1.01

Y&H

163

119

207

116

0.79

1.02

E Mids

107

83

139

113

0.77

0.73

W Mids

170

147

205

124

0.83

1.18

East

113

91

164

113

0.69

0.81

London

251

206

302

233

0.83

0.88

SE

141

122

216

156

0.65

0.78

SW

90

75

135

80

0.67

0.94

Wales

85

63

104

59

0.81

1.06

Scotland

144

115

174

113

0.83

1.02

For nearly all of the categories (with the exception of East Midlands), the ratio of ‘ACC claimant unemployment’ to ‘ONS official unemployment’ has increased between 2014 and 2019. This is predominantly due to a decrease in the ONS official measure of unemployment.

[1] Alterative Claimant Count: Provides a consistent measure of claimant unemployed by modelling what the Claimant Count would have been had Universal Credit been fully rolled-out.

[2] ILO-definition of unemployment: Individuals without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks, and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of variations in the ratio of unemployment benefit recipients, including job seeker's allowance and universal credit to ILO-definition unemployment by (a) age group, (b) region, (c) previous occupation and (d) other segmentation in the last five years.

Over the last five years, the ratio between the Alternative Claimant Count (ACC) measure of claimant unemployment[1], and the ONS official measure of unemployment (based on the International Labour Organisation’s definition of unemployment)[2], has increased. This is shown in the table below and chart attached.

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic: unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

1,545

2,044

0.76

Aug-15

1,299

1,838

0.71

Aug-16

1,219

1,691

0.72

Aug-17

1,194

1,500

0.80

Aug-18

1,195

1,446

0.83

Aug-19

1,263

1,374

0.92

The two measures of unemployment should not be expected to match:

  • Some individuals who are unemployed according to the ACC measure of claimant unemployment may be working but with low earnings (and thus would continue to receive support). They would then be included in the ACC measure of claimant unemployment but not the ONS official measure of unemployment.
  • Some individuals who are unemployed according to the ONS official measure may not be eligible for means-tested support, or may not wish to claim the support available. They would then be included in the ONS official measure of unemployment but not the ACC measure of claimant unemployment.

The tables below show how the ratio between the two measures of unemployment has varied over the last five years, for different ages, genders and regions. The variation by previous occupation is not available.

Age

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

16-24

284

210

830

570

0.34

0.37

25-34

388

322

411

263

0.94

1.22

35-49

490

398

474

263

1.03

1.52

50+

384

334

339

278

1.13

1.20

Gender

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Men

844

672

1,125

764

0.75

0.88

Women

702

591

919

609

0.76

0.97

Region

ACC: claimant
unemployment level (thousands)

ONS National Statistic:
unemployment level (thousands)

Ratio: ACC / Unemployment

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

Aug-14

Aug-19

NE

89

75

122

77

0.73

0.97

NW

191

167

223

166

0.86

1.01

Y&H

163

119

207

116

0.79

1.02

E Mids

107

83

139

113

0.77

0.73

W Mids

170

147

205

124

0.83

1.18

East

113

91

164

113

0.69

0.81

London

251

206

302

233

0.83

0.88

SE

141

122

216

156

0.65

0.78

SW

90

75

135

80

0.67

0.94

Wales

85

63

104

59

0.81

1.06

Scotland

144

115

174

113

0.83

1.02

For nearly all of the categories (with the exception of East Midlands), the ratio of ‘ACC claimant unemployment’ to ‘ONS official unemployment’ has increased between 2014 and 2019. This is predominantly due to a decrease in the ONS official measure of unemployment.

[1] Alterative Claimant Count: Provides a consistent measure of claimant unemployed by modelling what the Claimant Count would have been had Universal Credit been fully rolled-out.

[2] ILO-definition of unemployment: Individuals without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks, and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will publish the timeframe for each category of recipients of (a) legacy benefits and (b) tax credits that will be migrated to universal credit.

Universal Credit is now available in every Jobcentre across the country, with a caseload of 2.7 million claimants, growing every month. This means more claimants than ever accessing the additional support and flexibilities it offers.

Currently, most people move to Universal Credit because they have had a significant change in their circumstances which would previously have led them to make a new claim to a legacy benefit. Claimant circumstances within the legacy benefit system are diverse and interact with a range of benefits in different ways. Eligibility for Universal Credit is dependent on individuals’ circumstances, the specific nature of the change and rules for access to legacy benefits.

The Move to Universal Credit pilot commenced, as scheduled, in the area served by Harrogate Jobcentre in July 2019.

The Department has already committed to updating Parliament and stakeholders on progress. We expect to provide our first update in the Spring. We will also set out an evaluation strategy, developed in consultation with stakeholders, before coming to Parliament in the Autumn with the findings and our proposals for the next phase of the delivery of Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 4578 on exploring prioritisation of immunocompromised individuals for the planned autumn booster covid-19 vaccine programme, what key clinical studies will be considered in the decision-making process for that programme; and when the data used to inform decisions will be published.

The Department has asked the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to consider the need for and timing of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The JCVI will consider available evidence from a range of sources in its deliberations but is not able to confirm which studies will be available at this stage. The JCVI’s deliberations will be published in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the merits of prioritising immunocompromised individuals for the planned autumn booster covid-19 vaccine programme.

To ensure ongoing protection for the United Kingdom population, particularly the most vulnerable, we are preparing for a potential booster vaccination programme. While we are planning for several potential scenarios, final decisions on the timing and scope of the booster programme will not be taken until later this year, in line with results from key clinical studies. This includes the OCTAVE study, which will examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups, including patients with certain immunocompromised conditions. Any decision on a booster vaccination programme will be informed by independent advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of proposals to offer immunocompromised patients their second dose of the covid-19 vaccine sooner than 12 weeks.

The Government currently has no plans to reduce the length of time between the provision of first and second vaccine doses for people deemed to be clinically immunocompromised as a group.

However, there are a small number of patients who are about to receive planned immunosuppressive therapy and where clinically appropriate, should be considered for vaccination at least two weeks prior to commencing therapy, when their immune system is better able to respond. Where possible, it is also preferable for both first and second doses to be completed prior to commencing immunosuppression. Therefore, to provide maximum benefit, this may entail offering such patients the second dose at the recommended minimum for that vaccine.

On 14 May 2021, the Government accepted new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and announced that appointments for a second dose of a vaccine would be brought forward from 12 to eight weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups who have yet to receive their second dose. This is to ensure people across the United Kingdom have the strongest possible protection in response to the B1.617.2 variant of concern. As a result, immunosuppressed patients waiting for their second dose may be invited for to book an appointment within this revised timeframe.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether treatments for community acquired pneumonia have been used to treat patients with covid-19 on the NHS; and whether he plans to stockpile those treatments to prepare for a rise in cases of covid-19.

Guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advises that antibiotic treatments for community acquired pneumonia are ineffective for COVID-19 related viral pneumonia unless there is a bacterial co-infection though the guidance allows for antibiotic prescription in certain circumstances, accommodating local antimicrobial prescribing preferences.

The Government continues to hold stockpiles of medicines, including those used in the treatment of community acquired pneumonia, to cope in a range of scenarios, and robust contingency planning continues to ensure that the country is prepared for a possible second peak of COVID-19 infections.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the working relationship will be between social prescribing link workers and (a) her Department's work coaches and (b) non-NHS public agencies.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to support implementation of the social prescribing link worker model, including how they work with emerging roles like work coaches. Social prescribing link workers will work with local partners (such as local public and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise agencies) to develop substantial support offers which address people’s health and wellbeing needs, including access to employment support.

As local social prescribing schemes develop, we would expect to see link workers establishing important relationships with local health and care professionals and a wide range of community groups and services to maximise the impact of social prescribing. Further information is outlined in the summary best practice guided published by NHS England and NHS Improvement in January 2019 at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/social-prescribing-community-based-support-summary-guide.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what figures are available from HMRC's (a) Real Time Information data or (b) other data sources on the average wage at which previously unemployed people move into employment.

Unfortunately, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not hold sufficient information on unemployment within the Real-Time Information (RTI) system or other datasets. Therefore, HMRC are not able to provide information on previously unemployed persons.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy for all consumer deferred payment programmes to come under the regulatory oversight of the Financial Conduct Authority, whether or not an interest charge is payable.

In 2014, the Government transferred regulatory responsibility for the consumer credit market to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In November 2019, the FCA published rules to address consumer harm in the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market. However, not all BNPL products fall under the FCA’s regulatory oversight. Exempt agreements include those where no interest or charges are payable, and where credit is repaid in fewer than 12 months and no more than 12 payments.

The Government carefully considered this exemption at the time of transfer and decided this exemption achieved the right balance between ensuring that burdens on firms are proportionate whilst maintaining the appropriate level of consumer protection.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the average wage of people in employment who had been unemployed in the latest period for which figures are available.

The welfare system ensures that work pays and supports claimants through the transition into work. Employment is at a record high and there are 3.9 million more people in work than in 2010. Wages have outpaced inflation for almost a year and a half.

The lowest earners have seen their real wages grow by 11% between April 2015 and April 2019 and on April 1, following the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission, the Government will increase the National Living Wage by 6.2% to £8.72 an hour.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle dog theft.

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to the answer I gave to a question from the Hon Member for Newport East (UIN 142846).

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to make a decision on whether to continue the Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme under the new points-based immigration system.

We are working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Work and Pensions to evaluate and consider the findings of the Pilot, including balancing measures to recruit in the UK Labour Market with any access to overseas labour.

We will publish further details in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to provide independent legal guardianship for (a) separated, (b) unaccompanied and (c) trafficked children in the UK.

This Government takes its responsibility for the welfare of unaccompanied, trafficked and asylum-seeking children very seriously and has stringent safeguards in place.

Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including separated, unaccompanied and child victims of modern slavery. Unaccompanied children looked after by local authorities are entitled to the same services as any other looked-after child. Under these arrangements, unaccompanied children are assessed with regard to their individual needs and provided with access to education, accommodation and health services. They will be assigned a social worker and an independent reviewing officer, who are responsible for overseeing their care arrangements.

In addition, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in England are able to access independent advice and assistance on the asylum process and their interactions with other central and local government agencies, through the Refugee Council’s Children’s Advice Project. Scotland and Northern Ireland also provide separate guardianship services.

Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the support they require. In addition to statutory support, the Government has successfully expanded Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) this year, so that ICTGs are operational in one third of all local authorities in England and Wales. ICTGs are an additional source of advice and support for all trafficked children, irrespective of nationality, and somebody who can advocate on their behalf.

These arrangements ensure unaccompanied children are provided with the support and advice that they need.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of (a) an ageing population, (b) average household size, (c) net immigration and (d) other relevant factors on housing demand in the south of England.

A number of different factors influence housing demand, and officials monitor a wide variety of indicators to assess trends in housing demand, both at a national and sub-national level. We have previously published analysis on the determinants of house price changes which shows the scale of the effect of, for example, household growth:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/699846/OFF_SEN_Ad_Hoc_SFR_House_prices_v_PDF.pdf

My officials regularly liaise with the Office for National Statistics, who provide estimates of population and household formation which take account of factors such as population demographics.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information he holds on monthly housing costs as a proportion of income (a) in each region, (b) among different types of tenure and (c) in other categories; and what assessment he has made of trends in the level of that proportion in those categories.

MHCLG routinely reports housing costs as a proportion of income by tenure in the English Housing Survey (EHS) Headline Report. The most recent data are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2017-to-2018-headline-report (see Annex Table 1.13)

The latest assessment of housing costs as a proportion of income by region and other characteristics can be found in the following reports: