David Evennett

Conservative - Bexleyheath and Crayford

1 APPG membership (as of 14 Jul 2021)
Sustainable Resource
1 Former APPG membership
River Thames
European Statutory Instruments Committee
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
European Statutory Instruments
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
22nd Jan 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Selection
12th Sep 2017 - 11th Jan 2018
Selection Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 11th Jan 2018
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
6th Sep 2012 - 9th Jan 2018
Committee of Selection
17th Jun 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jan 2016 - 17th Jul 2016
Administration Committee
28th Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Committee of Selection
9th May 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
19th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Opposition Whip (Commons)
10th May 2005 - 19th Jan 2009
Education & Skills
12th Jul 2005 - 16th Jan 2006
Education, Science & Arts
8th Apr 1986 - 16th Mar 1992


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Information Commissioner (Remuneration)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 359 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 2
Speeches
Thursday 8th July 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

What steps the Government are taking to implement their levelling-up agenda. (902413)

Written Answers
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Public Health: Bexley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated to the London …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th April 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 28 July 2019, Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party. (Registered 13 January 2020; updated 19 May 2020)
EDM signed
Tuesday 22nd January 2019
150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL
That this House congratulates the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on its sesquicentennial anniversary; expresses its appreciation of the members …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, David Evennett has voted in 288 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Education
(10 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
(10 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(30 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(17 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all David Evennett's debates

Bexleyheath and Crayford 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).

Petitions with highest Bexleyheath and Crayford signature proportion
Petitions with most Bexleyheath and Crayford signatures
David Evennett has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by David Evennett

22nd January 2019
David Evennett signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd January 2019

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

Tabled by: Margaret Beckett (Labour - Derby South)
That this House congratulates the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on its sesquicentennial anniversary; expresses its appreciation of the members of the Office, both past and present, for their contribution to the drafting of legislation and the legislative process; and notes that the Office, now under the leadership of Elizabeth …
26 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Mar 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 15
Labour: 5
Scottish National Party: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
22nd January 2019
David Evennett signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd January 2019

CENTENARY OF THE GOVERNMENT CHIEF WHIP'S OFFICE

Tabled by: Lord McLoughlin (Conservative - Derbyshire Dales)
That this House congratulates the Office of the Government Chief Whip on reaching its centenary year; further congratulates Sir Roy Stone, Principal Private Secretary, on his knighthood in the 2019 New Year's Honours list; notes that Sir Roy is only the fourth person since 1919 to hold the position of …
35 signatures
(Most recent: 12 Feb 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 27
Labour: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All David Evennett's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David Evennett, 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.


David Evennett has not been granted any Urgent Questions

David Evennett has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

David Evennett has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

David Evennett has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


83 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of small businesses that have closed in (a) Greater London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each of the last five years.

Data on business closures by size of business are not available. The data provided in the table below cover all registered business closures for the years specified.

98.1% of all registered business are small (0 to 49 employees), according to the business counts published in 2020 by the Office for National Statistics in UK business: activity, size and location, so the vast majority of business closures are very likely to be small businesses.

Where available, data on business closures for all registered businesses over the last 5 years for each of the 3 geographies are shown in the table below:

Table: Number of business closures, all registered businesses, 2016 to 2020

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Greater London

64,385

80,875

71,225

76,770

93,570*

Bexley Borough

1,025

1,380

1,220

995

**

Bexleyheath and Crayford Constituency

**

**

**

**

**

Sources:

Office for National Statistics ‘Business Demography: 2019’

Office for National Statistics ‘Business Demography, quarterly experimental statistics, UK

* Data from Office for National Statistics ‘Business Demography, quarterly experimental statistics, UK’. This may not be directly comparable to other data in the table which comes from Office for National Statistics ‘Business Demography: 2019’.

** No data available

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the hospitality sector of support provided by the Government since the start of 2021.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the hospitality sector since the start of the year. We keep these measures under close review and as a result my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in the Budget a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses (including the hospitality sector), with extensions to furlough, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts – bringing total fiscal support to over £407 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to businesses that are adversely affected by the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

My Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on the 5th January a further package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Business that are mandated to close may be eligible for grants of up to £4,500 for every six weeks of closure through the Local Restrictions Support Grant Addendum: 5 January Onward. The Closed Business Lockdown Payment is a one-off payment of up to £9,000 to support business during the difficult Spring period.

A further £500 million of discretionary funding has been made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant, this may be used to support business who have not been mandated to close but had their trade severely affected by restrictions.

We have extended the application deadline for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme until 31 March 2021. Bounce Back Loan borrowers will also be able to top-up their loan, extend their loan term to ten years and take advantage of repayment holidays

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of April 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much financial support has been provided to the hospitality sector in (a) tier 1, (b) tier 2 and (c) tier 3 local covid alert level areas since the introduction of those restrictions.

We are providing hospitality sector in Tiers 2 and 3 with a wide package of support to help them through the current crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants and additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses. On 1 December, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of pubs that have closed in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough, (c) London and (d) England in each of the last 10 years.

The ONS data below shows the overall number of public houses and bars in Bexleyheath and Crayford, Bexley Borough, London and England in each year from 2011 to 2020. Numbers of business closures specifically (VAT de-registrations) are not available at this level of industrial and geographical detail.

Number of Public House and Bar Local Units

Date

Bexleyheath and Crayford

Bexley

London*

England

2011

95

40

3,795

36,455

2012

95

40

3,795

35,900

2013

95

35

3,685

34,670

2014

85

35

3,635

34,255

2015

90

40

3,690

34,215

2016

90

40

3,630

33,585

2017

95

40

3,545

33,045

2018

90

35

3,560

32,960

2019

85

35

3,550

33,305

2020

85

35

3,590

33,125

Source: ONS Business Counts. *Series break due to London geographical boundary change in 2016

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

As of 31 May, 699,354 loans have been approved under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), with a total value of £21.29 billion.

The Scheme has received 873,192 applications. The applications figure includes: approved applications; applications that are still to be processed; applications that have been declined; and applications that may turn out not to be eligible or cases where customers will decide not to proceed.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the average loan application is for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

As of 31 May, 699,354 loans have been approved under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), with a total value of £21.29 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions his Department has had with the banking sector to ensure applications for the Business Interruption Loan Scheme are dealt with in a timely manner.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is part of a comprehensive package of support for SMEs. The Government held discussions with the banking industry prior to the launch of CBILS. The Business Secretary continues to hold a regular dialogue with the largest CBILS lenders to monitor its implementation.

The Government has responded to feedback from stakeholders on CBILS, which includes the time taken by lenders to process applications, by:

  • Removing the ability for lenders to ask for personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and reducing the personal guarantee for loans over £250,000 to 20% of the outstanding balance after recoveries;
  • Introducing technical changes to ensure that applications will be processed faster;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test; and
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap.

The Government will continue to monitor the scheme and introduce amendments as appropriate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have benefitted from the covid-19 Small Business Grant in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough, (c) London and (d) England.

The Government has made £12.3 billion available to businesses under the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. Local authorities are contacting businesses directly to deliver these grants.

As of 3 May, 696,970 business premises in England have received grants across the two schemes, totalling £8.595 billion, with more money delivered to businesses every day. In the London Borough of Bexley, grant payments have been made to 2,464 business premises, with a total number of 79,886 business premises benefiting from the two schemes in London. We do not hold information at constituency level, however, a full breakdown of grant funding allocated to and distributed by each local authority is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

This breakdown is updated on a weekly basis.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many business start-ups there were in (a) Bexley, (b) London and (c) England in each year since 2010.

The table below provides ONS data on new business registrations for VAT and/or PAYE (ONS Business Demography 2018 – Enterprise births, deaths and survivals).

To Note: Data is not available for periods earlier than 2013 or later than 2018.

Region

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Bexley

1,340

1,455

1,605

1,640

1,410

1,300

London

83,600

88,580

100,920

102,135

92,300

97,300

England

308,565

312,920

344,065

373,580

339,345

340,045

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the financial effect of the outbreak of covid-19 on businesses to date.

The Government is extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks; we are taking all necessary precautions to protect the public, including engaging with industry and the business community to discuss their preparedness planning. We have been receiving regular information from our stakeholders and continue to work together to keep on top of the situation.

The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy, as well as individual businesses and supply chains. For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support should still be gov.uk and the Department is scaling up its Business Support Helpline so businesses of all sizes can pick up the phone for guidance.

The Department is also working with Her Majesty’s Treasury to actively look at ways to support businesses, especially small-and medium-sized businesses, through this temporary period of disruption.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to help businesses create highly skilled jobs in London.

Through the Government’s Growth Deals for 2015 to 2021, we have awarded the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) £435.28 million to support large-scale local growth programmes across London.

LEAP brings entrepreneurs, businesses, the Mayoralty, and London Councils together to strategically support job creation in the capital. LEAP’s capital investment programme for further education providers in London will ensure facilities are available to support first-class training that meets employers’ needs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to support small business growth in (a) Bexley Borough, (b) London and (c) the UK.

We want to make sure that the UK is the best place in the world to work and grow a business. That’s why we are backing businesses right across the country, with 381,000 new businesses starting last year, and the government-owned British Business Bank currently supports more than £7bn to over 91,000 smaller businesses.

The British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme provides loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their own businesses. Since 2012 the programme has delivered more than 69,000 Start-Up Loans, providing more than £558m of funding, in every part of the United Kingdom. Since 2012:

  • The constituency of Bexleyheath and Crayford received 72 loans worth over £661,000;
  • In London 15,642 loans were issued worth over £126m.

In addition to its lending and investment activity, the British Business Bank’s online Finance Hub helps business owners to find the right finance options for their needs.

Government has also taken a number of steps in recent years to support the growth of small businesses across the UK, including cutting corporation tax to 19 per cent and increasing the employment allowance from £2,000 to £3,000 to benefit around 1m businesses. Reforms and reliefs to business rates, since Budget 2016, are worth £13 billion over the next five years.

All businesses in England including your constituency and London, can access support through our Gov.uk website, the Business Support Helpline (0300 456 3565) and through their Local Growth Hubs.

As well as an online support, London has recently opened five main physical sites (that will be staffed) in Vauxhall, Woolwich, Tottenham, Hammersmith and Corydon, and 4 satellite sites (to ensure a wide coverage of the sub regions) in Harrow, Wood Green, Brixton and Ilford to deliver surgeries and workshops. These are led and governed by London’s Local Enterprise Partnership, LEAP. Growth Hubs provide a free, impartial, ‘single point of contact’ to help businesses in these areas identify and access the right support for them at the right time no matter their size or sector. In 2018-2019 the London Growth Hub supported 4,651 businesses.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made on providing support for the culture and heritage sector through the Culture Recovery Fund in (a) Greater London, b) the London Borough of Bexley and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

Over £1bn from the Culture Recovery Fund has been distributed to over 3000 organisations across England.

Across recovery grants, repayable finance, and capital awards so far, support for London (including Greater London) in the first round of funding was over £300m.

Across recovery grants, repayable finance, and capital awards so far, support for Bexley Borough in the first round of funding was approximately £340,000.

Across the arts and heritage recovery grants, support for Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency was approximately £310,000.

This included funding for councils and local government owned assets including museums, theatres and music venues. Organisations and sites including museums; archives; historical areas; designed landscapes; buildings; monuments and industrial transport also received support.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding from the Culture Recovery Fund has been allocated to the culture and heritage sector in (a) Greater London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency since that fund was established.

As of 11 December, £1bn from the Culture Recovery Fund has been distributed to over 3000 organisations across England.

Across the arts and heritage recovery grants, repayable finance, and capital awards so far, support for London (including Greater London) was approximately £300m

Across the arts and heritage recovery grants, support for Bexley Borough was approximately £340,000.

Across the arts and heritage recovery grants, support for Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency was approximately £310,000.

This included funding for councils and local government owned assets including museums, theatres and music venues. This also included funding for organisations and sites including museums; archives; historical areas; designed landscapes; buildings; monuments and industrial transport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Government support to the live events industry on that industry.

No estimate is available currently for this but we will analyse the impact of the funds we have already announced. We are continuing to meet with live events stakeholders to provide support and guidance for venues to re-open and stage live events.

The Secretary of State announced an unprecedented £1.57 billion support package for the cultural sector which will benefit the live events sector by providing support to venues and many other cultural organisations to stay open and continue operating. On Monday 12 October, the Government announced an investment of £257 million in 1,385 organisations including venues, festivals, theatres, museums and cultural organisations, through the first tranche of Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme, administered by the Arts Council. Over the coming weeks further Culture Recovery Fund awards will be announced - including round two of Grants under £1 million, grants over £1 million, and the Capital Kickstart and Repayable Finance programmes.

The Chancellor has announced the Winter Economy Plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, once the existing Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme come to end. We are also offering businesses who face a drop in demand for their services and possible cash flow issues generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans.

We continue to engage with the sector to discuss the on-going challenges facing the industry.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made on the effect of government support to the hospitality sector on that sector.

My Department is in regular contact with Her Majesty’s Treasury to closely assess the impact of COVID-related support measures on the hospitality industry.

Hospitality businesses can continue to make use of the Government’s comprehensive support package - including the various loan schemes, a significant cut to VAT until the end of March, plus business rates relief for eligible hospitality, retail and leisure businesses.

When it launches in November, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will help protect jobs within businesses facing lower demand due to COVID-19. We have also announced an expansion of the JSS to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Covid-19 restrictions

We continue to engage with stakeholders through the Visitor Economy Working Group to assess how we can most effectively support employers and employees within the hospitality sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help reduce the covid-19 infection rate among secondary school children.

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England to develop and refresh the system of controls, which are available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance#system-of-controls. These include cleaning hands thoroughly more often than usual, minimising contact between individuals, and keeping occupied spaces well ventilated to reduce the risk of transmission in schools. Testing regimes and the system of controls, when implemented in line with schools’ own workplace risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. The way to control the COVID-19 outbreak is the same, even with the current new variants.

On 8 June the Government announced an enhanced support package for any areas affected by local outbreaks. The package includes specialist rapid response teams, surge testing and enhanced contact tracing, military support, specialist communication, supervised in school testing, and discretion to reintroduce face coverings in communal areas in schools if directors of public health decide it is appropriate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding is allocated per pupil in (a) high and (b) primary schools in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

Schools in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency are receiving £82.8 million in 2021/22 through the National Funding Formula (NFF) – a 2.4% cash increase. This reflects an increase of 3.4% in pupil-led funding compared to 2020/21. In Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, primary schools are attracting an average of £4,471, while secondary schools are attracting an average of £6,218 per pupil funding via the NFF. We do not provide final allocations at the constituency level. The amount that Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency attracts for schools will depend on Bexley’s local funding formula and up to date pupil numbers and characteristics from the October 2020 census.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to encourage the uptake of apprenticeships in (a) the London Borough of Bexley and (b) Greater London.

Apprenticeships provide people with the opportunity to earn and learn the skills needed to start an exciting career in a wide range of industries, including artificial intelligence, archaeology, data science, business management, and banking. We want more people to benefit from high-quality apprenticeships. Since May 2010, there have been 7,190 apprenticeship starts in Bexleyheath and Crayford (constituency).

We are supporting employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities by increasing the incentive payment to £3,000 for every new apprentice hired between 1 April and 30 September 2021 as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. We continue to work with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable Kickstart placements to turn into apprenticeships where that is the right thing for the employer and the young person.

In addition, we are supporting the largest-ever expansion of traineeships and are working with employers to develop new occupational traineeships in rail, construction and engineering which will create a pathway for young people to progress into apprenticeships or other employment. The government confirmed an additional £126 million at Budget to fund a further 43,000 traineeship places in the 2021/22 academic year, and we have extended the £1,000 incentive payments for employers who offer traineeship work placement opportunities to July 2022.

To encourage more young people to consider apprenticeships, we are promoting apprenticeships in schools across the country through our Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge programme. This free service provides schools and teachers with resources and interventions to help better educate young people about apprenticeships. In the Skills for Jobs white paper, published in January 2021, we announced that we will be introducing a 3-point-plan to enforce the Baker Clause, our requirement that all maintained schools and academies provide opportunities for providers of technical education and apprenticeships to visit schools to talk to all year 8 to 13 pupils. This includes creating clear minimum legal requirements, specifying who is to be given access to which pupils and when. This is an important step towards real choice for every pupil.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been requested by schools in (a) Greater London, (b) the London Borough of Bexley and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown to date.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, by securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 920,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and Further Education providers by 1 February 2021, who are responsible for distributing them onward to disadvantaged children and families.

All schools, trusts and local authorities have now been given the opportunity to order devices. Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities to lend to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Figures on the number of devices delivered, broken down by local authority and academy trust are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data/2021-week-5. This includes 39,374 delivered to Greater London local authorities, 742 of which delivered were to Bexley. Regional figures for delivery of devices are currently not available for the period requested and figures by Parliamentary constituency are also not available.

Where schools need additional devices, above their allocations, they should contact the Department’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 who require support and an explanation of how they have gathered this evidence.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of school closures during the covid-19 outbreak on social mobility.

The government is committed to the levelling up agenda and spreading opportunity throughout the country – every child should have the same opportunity to express their talents and make the most of their lives.

We know that receiving face-to-face education is best for children’s mental health and for their educational achievement. We have resisted restrictions on attendance at schools since the first lockdown but, in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country, and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to reduce all our social contacts wherever possible. Limiting attendance during the national lockdown is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have expected schools to remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, whilst limiting attendance for the majority of children to help slow the spread of the virus. Schools have also been offering wraparound provision, such as breakfast and afterschool clubs, for those children eligible to attend. Resuming this provision is important to ensure that parents and carers who are critical workers can continue to work, as well as to provide enriching activities for vulnerable children that improve their wellbeing or support their education. We know this has been a challenging time for pupils and their families.

For children who are not attending education settings in person we expect schools to provide remote education. We have updated the remote education guidance to clarify and strengthen expectations while on-site attendance is restricted. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remote-education-good-practice/remote-education-good-practice.

To make up for lost teaching time and stop pupils and students falling behind, our £1 billion catch up package remains in place, including the £650 million catch-up premium and in-school support through the National Tutoring Programme for the most disadvantaged.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to announce the start date of the claims window for schools to make a claim from his Department for the exceptional costs that they incurred from March 2020 to July 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The first claims window for the COVID-19 schools fund closed on 21 July. Schools have received payments of over £100 million for all claims within the published scope of the fund.

There will be a further opportunity later in the year for schools to claim for exceptional costs that fell between March and July, in the same approved categories as for the first window. Schools will be able to use this second window to claim for any costs in the approved categories, for which they did not claim during the first window. The Department will confirm the date of the second claims window shortly.

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. This will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff and meet their other regular financial commitments.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the level of financial support provided to the early years sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are continuing to fund childcare at the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak, until the end of the calendar year, giving nurseries and childminders another term of secure income, regardless of how many children are attending. Early years settings will continue to benefit from a planned £3.6 billion funding in the 2020-21 financial year to deliver free early education and childcare places.

In addition to this, the government has provided a package of support for individuals and businesses which are directly benefitting providers of childcare. This includes business rates relief and grants, the extended Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which will remain open until March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Our survey of childcare and early years providers and COVID-19, published on 26 October, contains information on early years providers’ use of the CJRS and how many childminders applied for and received government support:

  • At the time of the survey (July 2020), 76% per cent of open group-based providers and 14% of open school-based providers responding reported having made use of the CJRS at any point.
  • At the time of the survey, all childminders were asked whether they had applied for any financial support from the government due to loss of income, for example via the SEISS or the Small Business Grant Scheme. The majority of all childminders (86%) reported having applied for financial support from the government. Of these, 80% have received support and 6% had applied for but not (yet) received support.

Further information on the survey is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-childcare-and-early-years-providers-and-covid-19-coronavirus.

We continue to work closely with both local authorities and the early years sector organisations to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the sector. We continue to look at the costs associated with the outbreak and to secure the best and most appropriate support for the sector.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to support primary schools in enabling the parents of prospective students to attend open days before the primary school admissions deadline in January 2021.

Local authorities are required, through the School Admissions Code and the School Information (England) Regulations 2008, to provide parents with information about all schools in their area ahead of application deadlines, through publishing a composite prospectus.

Traditionally, schools have also held open events and arranged visits for prospective parents in the autumn term. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have also had to consider how to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.

On 2 July 2020, the Department published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. This guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

This sets out a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children, staff and visitors. In addition, under the current national restrictions only certain kinds of gatherings are allowed, including gatherings that are reasonably necessary for the purposes of education or training. As a result, face to face open events and visits are unlikely to be possible and schools are considering alternatives. The national restrictions guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.

The provision of information to parents remains an important part of enabling them to make an informed choice about the schools they wish their children to attend. The Department recognises that many schools have worked creatively to do this, for example, by making videos or holding virtual events. If a school does decide to hold a face to face event, it is essential that a risk assessment is carried out and appropriate control measures are put in place, in line with the guidance and the law.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the recruitment of more male teachers.

The Department is working to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce. In October 2018, we published our Statement of Intent, setting out the Department's commitment to increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce. The Department wants to see improved pathways and a workforce that supports the progression and retention of all teachers, regardless of their gender.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) male and (b) female teachers there were in state secondary schools in each of the last five years in (i) England, (ii) Greater London and (iii) Bexley Borough.

Information on the number of teachers by gender in state funded primary and secondary schools for both National and Greater London regions can be viewed at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/8017d78a-c356-4a23-9f5d-84837bae3930.

Information on the number of teachers by gender in all state funded schools in the Bexley local authority is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/babdd0b6-86b0-4a7c-be31-612a913d2ea1.

The breakdown by school phase is not explicitly summarised in the publication. It can, however, be calculated from the individual school records which are published as part of the Schools Workforce Statistics Collection. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-workforce.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) male and (b) female teachers there were in state primary schools in each of the last five years in (i) England, (ii) Greater London and (iii) Bexley.

Information on the number of teachers by gender in state funded primary and secondary schools for both National and Greater London regions can be viewed at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/8017d78a-c356-4a23-9f5d-84837bae3930.

Information on the number of teachers by gender in all state funded schools in the Bexley local authority is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/babdd0b6-86b0-4a7c-be31-612a913d2ea1.

The breakdown by school phase is not explicitly summarised in the publication. It can, however, be calculated from the individual school records which are published as part of the Schools Workforce Statistics Collection. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-workforce.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to retain male teachers in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

The Department is working to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce. In October 2018, we published our Statement of Intent, setting out the Department’s commitment to increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce. The Department wants to see improved pathways and a workforce that supports the progression and retention of all teachers, regardless of their gender.

In January 2019, the Department launched the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, which set out several priorities for reform and investment. This included commitments to reduce workload; improved continuing professional development for teachers; and greater opportunities for flexible working. It also included the biggest teaching reform in a generation: the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms, which will ensure that all new teachers have a mentor and dedicated time set aside to focus on developing the knowledge, practices and working habits to set them up for a fulfilling and successful career in teaching. Early roll-out of the ECF reforms started in Autumn 2020, with full national roll-out starting in Autumn 2021.

In addition, one of the Department’s top priorities is to ensure that we continue to attract the high-quality teachers we need, regardless of their gender. We have announced plans for salaries for new teachers to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23. This will make starting salaries significantly more competitive in the graduate labour market.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support schools that experience outbreaks of covid-19.

On 2 July, the Department published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term. This includes how schools should manage confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst the school community. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Anyone with any of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and access a test as soon as possible. We are continuing to improve the testing system to ensure teaching staff can get priority access when they have symptoms.

The Department is also supplying COVID-19 test kits directly to schools and further education (FE) colleges for both staff and students who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test through existing routes. We have emailed all schools and FE colleges with details of how to access additional test kits via an online portal that opened on 16 September. Home testing kits will be supplied in boxes of 10, with one box provided per 1,000 students. A new order may be placed 21 days after the last order was dispatched.

When a test kit has been issued to a symptomatic staff member, who subsequently tests negative and is not a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 cases, the member of staff can return to work as soon as they feel well enough. Schools and FE colleges were prioritised for the distribution of these test kits to support their full re-opening from the autumn term.

Schools must take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended school has tested positive for COVID-19. There is a new dedicated advice line to help schools, colleges or early years settings to implement the most appropriate public health measures, once a case is confirmed. A team of advisors will inform education settings what action is needed in response to a positive case based on the latest public health advice, and work through a risk assessment.

For individual or groups of pupils who need to self-isolate, remote education plans should be in place. Where a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or local restrictions require pupils to remain at home, we expect schools to have the capacity to offer immediate remote education. On 1 October, the Department announced a package of remote education support designed to help schools and colleges build on and deliver their existing plans in the event that individuals or groups of pupils are unable to attend school because of COVID-19. Schools will be able to access a new central support hub, where resources and information on remote education will be housed. This support has been co-designed with schools and includes a range of school-led webinars and resources intended to share good practice.

The Department is also investing £1.5 million of additional funding to expand the EdTech Demonstrator programme – a peer support network offering advice, guidance and training to schools and colleges in effective use of technology, including how it can support remote education.

The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20 and for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide free video lessons for reception up to year 11. It provides lessons across a broad range of subjects and includes specialist content for pupils with SEND. The support package can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many suspected covid-19 related school absences there were in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough, (c) London and (d) England in September 2020.

Keeping close track of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools is a priority for the Government. Public Health England (PHE) leads in holding data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall. PHE have published data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational institution. This data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports (page 16).

The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis, as well as gathering information from local areas and following up with individual settings to confirm that procedures for requiring pupils to isolate are well understood and that necessary decisions are made on the basis of public health advice.

The Department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have either sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures, or have staff shortages due to COVID-19 related absences. The Department is currently looking at the quality of that data with a view to publishing it as part of the official statistics series. The series includes published data on school openings and attendance, which shows that at a national level approximately 93% of state funded schools were fully open on 1 October. Of all schools that responded to the survey, 7% said they were not fully open due to suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 1 October. Approximately 90% of all children on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance on 1 October. Equivalent estimates have not been made at more local levels, including Bexley, London and Bexleyheath and Crayford. More information is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department has provided to vulnerable and disadvantaged children during the covid-19 outbreak.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable children is a top priority for the government. Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why educational establishments have remained open for these children throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has written to all education settings and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children.

Approximately 112,000 of the children in attendance on 18 June had an education, health and care (EHC) plan or a social worker, up from 92,000 on 11 June. We estimate this represents 22% of all children classified as ‘children in need’ or who have an EHC plan, up from 18% on 11 June. Approximately 101,000 of the children in attendance on 18 June were classified as ‘otherwise vulnerable’, up from 83,000 on 11 June.

My right hon, Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and supporting services for vulnerable children and young people throughout this period. Officials from the department and re-deployed Ofsted inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England. The department has issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending a nursery, school or further education setting, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

We are also providing digital devices (laptops and tablets) and/or internet access (4G hotspot devices) to some vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people who do not currently have access to them from other sources, such as their school. The department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. We are working to provide these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities began in May and have continued throughout June. As of 14 June, we have shipped over 100,000 laptops and 20,000 4G routers.

Furthermore, due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we recognise families will face increased pressure on household budgets over the coming months. That is why we are launching a Covid Summer Food Fund which will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period.

We have also supported charities that provide vital services for vulnerable children and young people. This includes providing £1.6 million for the NSPCC to expand its helpline so that adults can report their concerns about any child’s wellbeing. We have invested more than £7 million to Barnardo’s for the See, Hear, Respond service that offers targeted help to vulnerable children, young people and their families affected by COVID-19 with measures put in place to stop its spread. The Vulnerable Children National Charities Strategic Relief Fund opened in June, and is a £7.6 million joint Department for Education and Home Office fund for national children’s charities that offer services to safeguard vulnerable children that have financially suffered due to the impact of COVID-19. We have also announced more than £12 million for 14 innovation projects in social services, each taking a holistic, family-based approach to addressing the increased risk some children and young people are facing.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been provided to disadvantaged children for homeworking during the covid-19 outbreak in (a) London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

The Department is providing laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and distribute the laptops and tablets to children and young people who need devices. The Department invited local authorities to order devices for the most vulnerable children first - children with a social worker and care leavers.

Devices are being delivered to local authorities daily and will continue to be distributed throughout June as planned.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many families with children that are eligible for free school meals have received vouchers under the national voucher scheme in (a) the London Borough of Bexley, (b) Greater London and (c) England during the covid-19 outbreak.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, alternative voucher arrangements or provision through the national voucher scheme.

Edenred has reported that over £70 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the national voucher scheme as of Tuesday 12 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We do not collect data on the scheme at pupil level.

The number and proportion of students who qualify for free school meals is published in the ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics’ publication and its underlying data files. As of the 2019 school census, there are 2,833 primary school students in Bexley who were eligible for and claiming free school meals, 184 special school students, and 2,323 secondary school students. Statistics for the 2020 school census are not yet available. The 2019 publication is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2019.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils are eligible for free school meals in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London Borough of Bexley.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, alternative voucher arrangements or provision through the national voucher scheme.

Edenred has reported that over £70 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the national voucher scheme as of Tuesday 12 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We do not collect data on the scheme at pupil level.

The number and proportion of students who qualify for free school meals is published in the ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics’ publication and its underlying data files. As of the 2019 school census, there are 2,833 primary school students in Bexley who were eligible for and claiming free school meals, 184 special school students, and 2,323 secondary school students. Statistics for the 2020 school census are not yet available. The 2019 publication is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2019.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote apprenticeships as an alternative to university.

Our reforms to apprenticeships have fundamentally changed what apprenticeships are. They are now longer and more rigorous with new standards being designed and driven by industry.

We are continuing to promote all apprenticeships as a genuine, high-quality alternative to traditional academic only study for people of all ages and from all backgrounds. We launched the third phase of our apprenticeships marketing campaign, Fire it Up, in January, which promotes how apprenticeships can provide opportunities for ambitious young people.

Our 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) took place in February. Nearly 900 events were held across the country, aiming to change perceptions of apprenticeships, promoting them as a high quality alternative to academic study.

In January 2018 we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the opportunity to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships, so that young people hear about the alternatives to academic routes. We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support they need to enable them to promote apprenticeships, including higher and degree apprenticeships, to their students. In the last academic year, the ASK Programme reached over 300,000 students.

We have also worked with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to support employers to raise awareness of their apprenticeship opportunities to prospective employees through an online higher and degree apprenticeship vacancy listing. We also attended 30 UCAS exhibitions in 2019 to promote apprenticeships, engaging with around 10,000 young people, their parents and careers advisers.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of funding for further education institutions.

The government’s Spending Round in August 2019 identified the need to increase funding for 16 to 19 year olds’ education to ensure that they fulfil their potential and develop the skills that the country needs. That is why we are investing an extra £400 million in 16 to 19 education in 2020-21.

We will increase the base rate of funding by 4.7%, from £4,000 to £4,188, for the academic year 2020/21. This is the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010, with funding increasing faster for education for 16 to 19 year olds than in 5 to 16 schooling for 5 to 16 year olds.

Our manifesto committed to spending £1.8 billion on upgrading the further education college estate and we will make further announcements relating to this funding in due course. In addition, we have made available £38 million of capital funding to T level providers in 2020 to ensure they have the facilities and equipment they need to deliver high quality, industry relevant programmes. We have recently announced a further £95 million in capital funding for T level providers in 2021.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department has allocated to schools in Bexley in each financial year since 2009-10.

The revenue funding allocated for schools for financial years 2009-10 to 2018-19 for Bexley local authority (LA) is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Bexley LA (£ millions)

2009-10

177.7

2010-11

188.4

2011-12

192.0

2012-13

196.5

2013-14

208.7

2014-15

218.4

2015-16

228.3

2016-17

230.1

2017-18

236.7

2018-19

242.9

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve the attainment of white British boys who are in receipt of free school meals.

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

The Department recognises that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – including those currently or formerly claiming free school meals and currently or formerly looked after - may face extra challenges in achieving their potential at school. We introduced the pupil premium in 2011 and have invested over £15 billion – and another £2.4 billion this year – so that schools have the resources to provide extra support for disadvantaged pupils of all abilities. Our data shows that 95% of the pupils attracting the pupil premium do so on the basis of free school meal claims. White disadvantaged male pupils constitute the largest pupil group of eligible pupils and so benefit significantly from this extra support.

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

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support and improve stuck schools; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the January 2020 Ofsted report, Fight or flights? How stuck schools are overcoming isolation.

The Department is committed to tackling entrenched underperformance in schools wherever it exists. For inadequate maintained schools, this includes becoming an academy to benefit from the support of a strong sponsor; or for inadequate academies, transferring them to a stronger academy trust if necessary.

In addition, last September, following confirmation of the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade, totaling an additional £14 billion over three years, the Department announced that we will provide more support to “stuck” schools from high-performing, experienced school leaders, and these mechanisms are now being put in place.

We also confirmed that we would work with Ofsted so that it can provide more detailed analysis on areas for improvement for these schools. We have been doing so and will be confirming details in due course. This announcement can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-drive-to-continue-boosting-standards-in-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to reduce delays on the roads approaching the M25 to cross the Dartford Crossing.

Both the Department and Highways England are committed to improving traffic flows and journeys for road users around the Dartford Crossing. A Road User Charge (RUC) has been place at the Crossing since 2003 to manage high demand for its use, after a 2001 study reported that traffic levels would be 17% higher if the charge was removed.

The Department committed £10 million for improvements to tackle congestion surrounding the Crossing. This has been used to upgrade the M25 Junction 2 to improve journey times for traffic using the junction south of the Crossing, design an improvement scheme to widen the west-bound link on the A206 bridge across the A282 at Junction 1a to increase capacity and reduce queuing; and has supported co-operation with Kent Police to provide improved enforcement of traffic violations in this area, including of yellow box markings on the A282 at Junction 1b.

Additionally, the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) will ease congestion on the Dartford Crossing, by almost doubling road capacity across the Thames east of London through the longest road tunnel in the UK. Highways England is continuing to develop its plans for the LTC and intends to re-submit its Development Consent Order application later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the creation of Great British Railways on rail services in south east London.

Rail services in south east London will benefit from the creation of Great British Railways. Great British Railways, will provide strong unified leadership across the rail network, bringing ownership of the infrastructure, fares, timetables and planning the network under one roof.

Passenger-focused reforms will bring in improved services, with new Passenger Service Contracts focused on getting the trains running punctually and reliably.

In London and the South East, a new strategic partnership will be established to support housing, economic growth and the environment across the highly interconnected transport network in that part of the country. This will bring together Great British Railways, TfL and local authorities and businesses to coordinate timetabling and investments and to provide a consistent passenger experience in areas such as accessibility, ticketing and communications.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve rail services in south-east London.

Several projects to improve rail services are currently ongoing or are in development across south-east London including schemes of work at Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye and Lewisham station, which will improve the experience of passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps are being taken to tackle inappropriate use of e-scooters.

Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of e-scooters is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers of police in conjunction with local policing plans. They decide what offences may be appropriate in individual cases, taking into account the circumstances. A range of offences may apply, including those relating to speeding and dangerous driving, drink and drug driving, as well as insurance and licensing. Users can be fined up to £300, have 6 points put on their driving licence, and the e-scooter can be impounded.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much revenue was received in tolls for travelling over the Dartford Crossing in each of the last five years.

The Dartford Crossing receives zero income from tolls. Tolls have not been in operation since 2003 when the debts associated with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and the tunnels were fully discharged. A Road User Charge was introduced in 2003 to manage high demand for the crossing.

Revenue from the Road User Charge for the last five years is set out below:

2019/2020

£135,619,000

2018/2019

£120,625,000

2017/2018

£115,427,000

2016/2017

£111,801,000

2015/2016

£107,983,000

The crossing’s full revenue is higher for each year owing to additional income from enforcement, abnormal load fees and other rental income. Full accounts are published each year and can be accessed in the above table.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vouchers have been allocated under the Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme in (a) Greater London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency to date.

As of the 25th November 2020, there were 104,898 vouchers in total issued to addresses across England. Of this total, 18,919 vouchers were issued to addresses in Greater London; of which 394 were to addresses in the London Borough of Bexley; of which 171 vouchers to addresses in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to improve public transport in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

The responsibility for transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London and delivered by Transport for London.

Ministers and officials in the Department for Transport hold regular discussions with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Transport for London, Network Rail and Train Operating Companies on a range of transport matters, including improvements to the public transport network across London.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Mayor of London’s management of Transport for London finances since 2016.

My Department works closely with Transport for London to ensure essential services continue to operate in the capital. The Mayor of London’s fares freeze has cost TfL an estimated £640m over the last four years and during this time TfL’s debt has increased by almost 30%.

However, the financial impact of COVID on TfL has been significant. That is why the Government has recently agreed a further funding package for TfL of up to £1.7bn to ensure the continuation of public transport services.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) Transport for London on the timescale for Crossrail becoming fully operational.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the Mayor of London, covering a variety of subjects, including progress in delivering Crossrail.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the number of crossings made on the Dartford Crossing during the covid-19 outbreak on air quality in the surrounding areas.

Highways England continuously monitor air quality on the Dartford Crossing and operate two automatic air quality stations either side of the A282. Monitoring station ID51 is located next to the northbound carriageway and monitoring station ID52 is next to the southbound carriageway.

The measured monthly average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations between January and August (covering the COVID-19 lockdown period) for 2019 and 2020 are provided in Table 1.

Table 1 Air Quality Monitoring Data

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Average March to July

Site 51 NB

2019

38.3

39.6

26.4

42.5

30.8

32.8

28.9

30.1

32.3

2020

21

13.6

16.7

20.2

25

24

18.6

30.7

20.9

Site 52 SB

2019

71.6

67.9

61.7

46.5

55.3

53.2

55.1

50.2

54.4

2020

58.1

51.8

43

32.7

35.3

38.4

42.4

42.7

38.4

As shown in Table 1 the impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has led to a reduction in measured NO2 concentrations between March and July 2020 (bold figures), which corresponds to a reduction in traffic flows between the same time period.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the proposals submitted by Southeastern to introduce flexibility in rail ticketing.

Government recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviours.

In response, the Department for Transport has proactively worked with the rail industry, and is currently considering proposals received from train operators, including from Southeastern, to try to ensure better value and convenience for part-time and flexible commuters.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to covid-19 lockdown restrictions, what recent assessment he has made of the level of compliance of people wearing face coverings on public transport.

  • Regular reports from Network Rail and the train operating companies continue to suggest high rates of compliance. The Office for National Statistics weekly survey which tracks the proportion of people declaring they use a face covering on public transport also suggests high levels of compliance with the regulation. Latest data (collected 8-12 July) shows 82% of public transport users in England used a face covering - a significant increase in compliance from 57% in the first week of June. Not all people can wear or are required to wear a face covering and so we would not expect compliance rates to be 100%.

  • We have implemented a significant communications campaign, and have been working with transport operators on raising public awareness and encouraging all groups of passengers to comply with the requirement to wear a face covering. We are aware of lower levels of compliance in some areas and are working with local transport authorities to understand and tackle the reasons for such variance. British Transport Police, Transport for London enforcement officers and local police forces are working hard to encourage compliance and, where necessary have been fining passengers who fail to comply.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for announcing the successful bidder of the South Eastern Rail Franchise.

Following the decision to cancel the South Eastern Franchise competition, the Department is developing a solution to deliver benefits to passengers as quickly as possible. In the immediate term, the Department is considering the most appropriate route to contract the franchise after 1 April 2020. This could be in the form of either another Direct Award with the incumbent operator, or the transfer of the franchise to the Operator of Last Resort. A decision, that puts passengers interests first, will be made in March.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays to Crossrail on the viability of the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet infrastructure proposal.

The Department has not made any recent assessment of proposals for transport enhancements between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet as these remain under development.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on the further delays to Crossrail.

The Department for Transport has regular discussions with Transport for London and Crossrail Limited regarding the Crossrail project.

On 10 January 2020, Crossrail Limited issued its latest update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line and confirmed that it plans to open the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood in summer 2021.

Although progress is being made, Crossrail Limited have been clear that risks and uncertainties remain across the programme. Crossrail Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the support available to people who have been made redundant as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Rapid Response Service (RRS) is all about working in partnerships to address the effects of job losses on individuals and on the local community. Our aim is to work with employers to deliver flexible, timely, and appropriate support for them and their employees and help individuals secure a job or move into self-employment quickly and ideally without the need to claim welfare benefits.

RRS is available to private and public employers. Third sector employers are also eligible where the job losses affect paid workers. RRS support can start when people are under threat of redundancy or during the period of notice.

Where individuals have not found alternative work before they lose their job, RRS support can continue for a further 13 weeks whether they make a claim for benefits or not.

This is in addition to the ongoing support provided by DWP for claimants moving them forward in their journey closer to/back into employment.

We continually review this support to ensure it meets the needs of those people who access this type of support.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many jobs have been made available through the Kickstart Scheme in (a) the London Borough of Bexley, (b) Greater London and (c) England as at 17 May 2021.

Delivering the Kickstart Scheme at pace has led to a limited data set which makes it harder to accurately present a snapshot of a smaller geographical area.

We are continuing to develop our data, which may help in sharing local authority level information in due course.

We are able to provide, however, that in the ONS defined region of London, as of 6 May 2021 around 22,740 jobs had been made available for young people to apply for and around 4,500 jobs started by young people on the Kickstart Scheme.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the level of youth unemployment in (a) the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Greater London.

The Department regularly publishes statistics on the Alternative Claimant Count, and these are available by local authority and constituency, this includes information defined by different age groups and is available on StatXplore, please see link below:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the level of unemployment in (a) London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

The latest ONS headline figures for unemployment published in July for the quarter ending May 2020, remain at 3.9%.

DWP publishes, via its Stat Xplore website, official statistics on the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits by parliamentary constituency and local authority area (the ‘Alternative Claimant Count’).

Estimates of the number of people who are unemployed are compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS).

The LFS provides national and regional unemployment estimates whilst the APS, which is a modified version of the LFS, allows sub-regional analysis.

Estimates are based on a sample of cases and therefore subject to sampling uncertainty. Unemployment estimates at sub-regional geographies such as local authorities and parliamentary constituencies are especially uncertain.

The latest figures from the LFS estimate that in the quarter March-May 20 there were 256,000 people unemployed in London. This equates to an unemployment rate for London of 5.1% - an increase of 0.6 %pts on the December-February 20 quarter.

All estimates of unemployment used in this answer are publicly available on the NOMIS website (https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/). All estimates of Alternative Claimant Count used in this answer are publicly available on the StatXplore website (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/alternative-claimant-count-statistics-january-2013-to-may-2020).

ONS considers its estimate of unemployment in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency to be statistically unreliable as the sample size is based on fewer than 10 people.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure applications for universal credit are dealt with in a timely manner throughout the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to unprecedented numbers of new claims, my Department has ensured that getting benefit payments made on time is its priority. In this period we expect over 90% of UC new claimants to be paid in full and on time.

The Department has mobilised robust business continuity plans to ensure we can do just that. We have redeployed a significant number of DWP staff—about 8,000 so far—and staff from other Government Departments, about 500 so far, to process these claims, as well support from the private sector.

We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes. People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call the Department as part of the process. Once they have completed their online application we will call them if we need to check any of the information they have given us.

The Universal Credit system is facing extraordinary pressures exerted by the unprecedented volume of new claims, but it is standing up to this challenge. The agility of the system means that capacity can be built rapidly and this has enabled it to cope in the face of demand which would have overwhelmed the complex legacy benefit regime.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the Public Health Grant settlement for the London Borough of Bexley compared with other London boroughs.

As for all local authorities, the London Borough of Bexley’s allocation is primarily based on historical National Health Service spend prior to 2013. Since 2019/20, adjustments have been made to the grant to take account of estimated cost pressures arising from an NHS Agenda for Change pay deal and the launch of routine pre-exposure prophylaxis commissioning. Differing levels of need and funding between local authorities has been taken into account when determining allocations. All local authorities received a cash increase in both 2020/21 and 2021/2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated to the London Borough of Bexley through the Public Heath Grant settlement in each of the last five years.

The information requested is shown in the following table:

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

£9,951,000

£9,695,000

£9,439,000

£9,861,460

£9,990,146

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been provided to London boroughs on average through the Public Health Grant settlement in each of the last five years.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

£20,156,818

£19,638,515

£19,119,939

£19,927,704

£20,408,896

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people experiencing long covid symptoms in (a) England, (b) Greater London and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

We do not currently have the data requested at Greater London or constituency level. The Office for National Statistics that as of 27 December 2020, 301,000 people in England were living with COVID-19 symptoms that had persisted for between five and 12 weeks.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the rollout of the covid-19 vaccination programme for the housebound.

No specific assessment has been made. However, for these individual patients, general practitioners will determine the best approach to vaccination alongside the community teams, based on their knowledge of the patient and circumstances. Some of these patients may be able to attend Primary Care Network (PCN) designated sites with assistance and discussion should be held with the family and/or carer to facilitate this process. PCNs have established mobile vaccination teams, which will also focus on people who are housebound.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of adapting and using the eCDOP system, which records child deaths in real-time, to record deaths from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department currently has no plans to use the eCDOP system to record deaths related to COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure NHS staff have sufficient personal protective equipment to remain safe during the covid-19 outbreak.

There is currently adequate national supply of personal protection equipment in line with Public Health England’s recommended usage, and the pandemic influenza stockpile has now been released. Millions more items of personal protective equipment for frontline staff have been delivered over the last few days to hospitals.

There are well-established procedures to deal with supply issues, should they arise, by working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages. We are constantly monitoring this and working to manage demand and secure additional stocks to further enhance our preparedness.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department has provided for the global distribution of covid-19 vaccines.

The UK has championed since the beginning of the pandemic the importance of rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are among the largest donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), committing £548 million which leveraged through match funding $1 billion from other donors in 2020. This support to COVAX has been critical to it distributing COVID-19 vaccines to over 130 countries and economies, with its aim to provide up to 1.8 billion doses low- and middle-income countries by early 2022. The UK has also committed to share 100 million vaccine doses within the next year, with the majority to go to COVAX.

The UK's investment in the research and development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been a key contribution to the global vaccination effort. So far over 500 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed worldwide at non-profit prices, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle- income countries.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many repatriation flights his Department has arranged during the covid-19 pandemic; and how many people have been repatriated on those flights.

British travellers who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. Since the Foreign Secretary announced £75m to support repatriation efforts on 30 March, the Government has as of 9 June delivered a programme of 183 charter flights from places where commercial options are no longer viable. These flights have brought?over 37,700 people from 52 countries and territories, back to UK airports in the East Midlands, London and Manchester.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to repatriate British citizens from (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 2 April, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We are proactively engaging commercial airlines and governments worldwide, including for Australia and New Zealand, on keeping flight routes and transit hubs open to enable British Nationals to return home. Our High Commissioner in Canberra has written to the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on this issue. We are signposting British nationals to commercial flight options and continuing to explore new routes by which they can travel home. We have also set up an online registration tool for any British Nationals in Australia who require our support. Found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/australia/return-to-the-uk

In New Zealand, the British High Commission in Wellington is fully staffed and doing all it can to support British Nationals at this time, including finding routes home. Our High Commission remains open to issue emergency travel documents. However, given the New Zealand Government's directive on social distancing, we are asking people not to visit our High Commission in Wellington or our Consulate in Auckland in person, and instead reach out via our online webform. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/new-zealand/coronavirus

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many discounts were claimed as part of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough, (c) London and (d) the UK.

HMRC published statistics on the number of Eat Out to Help Out claims by Parliamentary constituency up to 27 August 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-claims-by-parliamentary-constituency.

HMRC also plan to add final data at Parliamentary constituency and local authority level once the claims service has closed, including data for Bexley Borough.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many self-employed people have successfully applied for grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in (a) Bexley borough and (b) Greater London.

As of 31 May 2020, 10,500 individuals had applied for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in the Bexley local authority area.

As of 31 May 2020, 433,000 individuals had applied for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in the London region.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department has issued on (a) discretionary and (b) non-discretionary commission to organisations that are furloughing staff through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employers can claim for any regular payments they are obliged to pay their employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips and tronc) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded. Full guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many incidents of violent crime have been recorded in (a) London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each year since 2015.

The Home Office collects data from police forces on police recorded crime, broken down by Police Force Area and Community Safety Partnership Area, including the London borough of Bexley. Data is not collected at parliamentary constituency level.

The latest data can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables

This includes the number of recorded offences of violence against the person and burglary in each of the last 5 years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many burglaries have been recorded in (a) London, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each year since 2015.

The Home Office collects data from police forces on police recorded crime, broken down by Police Force Area and Community Safety Partnership Area, including the London borough of Bexley. Data is not collected at parliamentary constituency level.

The latest data can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables

This includes the number of recorded offences of violence against the person and burglary in each of the last 5 years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of trends in the level of knife crime in (a) Bexley, (b) London and (c) the UK.

Statistics are collected at the Police Force Area level only. Statistics for lower levels of geography (e.g. London Borough level) are not held by the Home Office. The Government takes seriously the concerns that have been expressed about the levels of serious violence in Bexley and other boroughs in London over recent months and has sought an assessment of the current response by the Metropolitan Police.

The Government is strengthening police numbers over the next three years by putting extra police officers on the streets and increasing sentences for violent criminals. Police will be given more powers to stop and search those who have been convicted of knife crime. 6,000 additional officers will be recruited in England and Wales by March 2021 and their ranks will be increased by 20,000 over the next three years.

Funding for policing is increasing by £1 billion this year, including council tax and the Serious Violence Fund, through which, we are providing £63.4 million to the 18 police forces worst affected by serious violence to pay for surge operational activity, such as increased patrols, and £1.6 million to help improve the quality of data on serious violence, particularly knife crime, to support planning and operations. This includes an additional £20.8 million of surge funding to the Metropolitan Police. In addition, £35 million of the Serious Violence Fund is being invested in Violence Reduction Units (VRUs), which will form a key component of our action to build capacity in local areas to tackle serious violence.

The Government will change the law so that police, councils and health authorities are legally required to work together to prevent and tackle serious violence. The Offensive Weapons Act introduces new laws which to give police extra powers to seize dangerous weapons and ensure knives are less likely to make their way onto the streets in the first place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many homes were purchased by first-time buyers in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) Bexley Borough and (c) Greater London, in each month of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have taken steps to keep the housing market open during the Covid-19 and allow people to buy, sell and view properties during periods of national restrictions. This is supported by the temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax for home buyers and underpinned by our guidance for consumers and industry on how the process can operate while minimising the risks presented by the virus.

This Government is committed to helping people get on the housing ladder across the country. Over 717,000 households have been helped to purchase a home since spring 2010 through government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy: Equity Loan and Right to Buy. New initiatives including First Homes, improving shared ownership and a new £11.5 billion affordable homes programme will bring more affordable housing to those who need it.

In addition, the Government has launched a new mortgage guarantee scheme to support a new generation in realising the dream of home ownership. This will increase the availability of 95% loan-to-value mortgage products, enabling more households to access mortgages without the need for prohibitively large deposits.

The English Housing Survey is published annually and reports on housing trends in England, including homeownership rates. Data for 2019-20 is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/english-housing-survey. Data for 2020-21 will be published at the end of this year.

Data on the number of first-time buyers using Help to Buy: Equity Loans is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/help-to-buy-equity-loan-scheme-data-to-31-december-2020.This data indicates that, despite a drop in the earlier stages of the pandemic, the number of first-time buyers who bought a home in England in Q4 2020 using a Help to Buy Equity Loan, exceeds the number in Q4 2019 before the pandemic, with 17,348 and 12,262 first-time buyers respectively. A similar rate of recovery can be seen in the number of first-time buyers in Bexley Borough and across London. Data for Help to Buy: Equity Loan first-time buyer purchases are not published at monthly or parliamentary constituency level.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the level of housebuilding in England (a) in 2020 and (b) from 2007 to 2010.

House building statistics are not yet available for 2020. The time series covering the period up to the end of December 2019 is available on the Department's website https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/house-building-statistics .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of (a) lettings and (b) estate agents on the effect of covid-19 on the property sector.

My Department has had initial discussions with letting and estate agents about the effect that coronavirus is having on their businesses and I expect these discussions to continue over the coming period.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)