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Written Question
National School Breakfast Programme: Bexleyheath and Crayford
15 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether any schools in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency will be supported by the new National School Breakfast Programme in the next academic year.

Answered by Vicky Ford

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and we are investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas. Schools’ eligibility for the programme is based on the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) deprivation scale – a nationally recognised indicator of need – to ensure provision is directed where it is most needed. Schools will be eligible for the programme if they have 50% or more pupils within bands A-F of the IDACI scale.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we have seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Schools are currently still able to apply to join the programme. As we are still registering schools for the programme, it is too early to publish a list of participating schools. However, we will of course consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.



Written Question
Public Health: Bexley
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Jo Churchill

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.


Written Question
Public Health: Bexley
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Jo Churchill

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


Written Question
Public Health: Greater London
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Jo Churchill

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


Written Question
Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Road Traffic
5 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

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.


Written Question
First Time Buyers: Greater London
1 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Christopher Pincher

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.


Written Question
Redundancy: Coronavirus
29 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Mims Davies

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.


Written Question
Children: Coronavirus
24 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Nick Gibb

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.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Wendy Morton

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.


Written Question
Pupils: Bexleyheath and Crayford
17 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Nick Gibb

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.


Written Question
Great British Railways: South East
14 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

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.


Written Question
Electric Scooters
10 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps are being taken to tackle inappropriate use of e-scooters.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

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.


Written Question
Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls
10 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

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.


Written Question
Railways: Greater London
7 Jun 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve rail services in south-east London.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

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.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme
26 May 2021

Questioner: David Evennett (CON - Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Question

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.

Answered by Mims Davies

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.