Dehenna Davison Portrait

Dehenna Davison

Conservative - Bishop Auckland

First elected: 12th December 2019


Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2022 - 18th Sep 2023
Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL]
23rd Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Science and Technology Committee
19th Oct 2021 - 25th Oct 2022
Science, Innovation and Technology Committee
19th Oct 2021 - 25th Oct 2022
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill
22nd Sep 2022 - 20th Oct 2022
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill
8th Dec 2021 - 15th Dec 2021
Home Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 2nd Nov 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Friday 1st March 2024
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 0 Noes - 64
Speeches
Monday 22nd January 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
We have £72 million for Bishop Auckland through the levelling-up fund, the future high streets fund and the towns fund, …
Written Answers
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Great British Insulation Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether her Department is taking steps to improve …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
1. Employment and earnings
23 November 2023, received £250 for a television interview on Talk TV on 13 October 2023. Hours: 1 hr.
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th January 2022
Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to extend pensions automatic enrolment to all jobholders aged at least 18; to remove the lower qualifying earnings …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Dehenna Davison has voted in 884 divisions, and 8 times against the majority of their Party.

13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
1 Dec 2021 - Finance (No. 2) Bill - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and in line with the House
One of 302 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 212 Noes - 306
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
6 Jun 2023 - Committee on Standards - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 28 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 40
1 Mar 2024 - Conversion Practices (Prohibition) Bill - View Vote Context
Dehenna Davison voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative Aye votes vs 14 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 15
View All Dehenna Davison Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matthew Pennycook (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(74 debate interactions)
Alex Norris (Labour (Co-op))
Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)
(39 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(39 debate contributions)
Home Office
(24 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Dehenna Davison's debates

Bishop Auckland 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 Bishop Auckland signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Swifts have declined by over 50% in the UK. Adult swifts, known for site-fidelity, return to the same nests. We want swift bricks to be required in all new housing, to provide homes for these birds. Surveys show these are used by red-listed swifts, house martins, starlings and house sparrows.

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.


Latest EDMs signed by Dehenna Davison

Dehenna Davison has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Dehenna Davison, 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.


Dehenna Davison has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Dehenna Davison has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Dehenna Davison has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


82 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
5 Other Department Questions
4th Mar 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what methods the House of Commons Commission has in place to scrutinise the costs of the Restoration and Renewal Programme and ensure the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority delivers value for money.

The Commissions of both Houses are responsible under the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration & Renewal) Act 2019 for setting the Phase 1 Expenditure Limit for the parliamentary building works, covering the period up to the approval of the Restoration & Renewal (R&R) Outline Business Case. The House of Commons Commission has to date, also received advice from the Commons Finance Committee in setting the Phase 1 Limit.

Since the creation of the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, the Commission has also received quarterly progress reports on the R&R Programme. At its meeting on 22 February, the Commission noted the assurance and scrutiny arrangements that the Sponsor Body has established for the Programme and the opportunities to strengthen those arrangements to provide further assurance to both Houses, including on reporting progress to secure further savings against the Phase 1 Expenditure Limit. Work will take place, following publication of the Sponsor Body’s Strategic Review report, to confirm Commission and House engagement, decision points and ongoing scrutiny up to Outline Business Case approval.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission has made an assessment of the potential merits of using the restoration of the Speaker’s House as a pilot scheme for the Restoration and Renewal programme to allow parliamentarians to properly understand and anticipate the costs of the project and assess the likelihood of hidden costs.

The Commission has made no assessment of the potential merits of using a restoration of the Speaker’s House as a pilot scheme for the Restoration & Renewal programme.

A number of capital projects and programmes for necessary works to enable the continuing operation of the Palace of Westminster are currently ongoing, including the Cast Irons Roofs programme and the Mechanical, Electrical, Public Health and Fabric Safety programme. The Elizabeth Tower project, which began before the enactment of the legislation, is nearing its conclusion. The Commission plans for capital investment in the Palace to continue in the years running up to the start of the restoration and renewal works.

In line with best practice, the House Service will work with the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body to ensure that any lessons learned from current and future works to the Palace are used to inform planning and preparation for the Restoration and Renewal programme.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission has considered ways in which hybrid or virtual proceedings in Parliament can (a) reduce the cost of the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster and (b) minimise the need for decant during the restoration and renewal programme.

The Commission has not made a formal assessment of the potential ways in which hybrid or virtual proceedings in Parliament could reduce the cost of the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster or the need for decant whilst the works are underway. Whilst the Commission is keen to ensure that the plans for restoration and renewal, and for decant, represent good value-for-money, it would ultimately be for the House to determine whether to adopt different ways of working during the works to the Palace.

The Procedure Committee is currently considering changes to the procedure and practice of the House since the start of the pandemic, and lessons for any continuing or future use of hybrid and/or virtual proceedings may emerge from that work.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Right hon. Member for East Hampshire, representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, what advice the Sponsor Body has sought from (a) the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, (b) HM Treasury and (c) the National Audit Office on the costs of the Restoration and Renewal Programme and ensuring value for money.

The Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body has good working relationships with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), HM Treasury and the National Audit Office (NAO). As the Sponsor Body transitioned out of Parliament, where it existed in shadow form, to becoming a formal statutory body, advice was sought from the IPA on good practice and lessons learned in areas such as assurance and governance. The relationship with the IPA continues to be positive and the Sponsor Body has recently worked with the IPA to identify independent reviewers for a forthcoming Gateway Review.

Productive discussions continue with HM Treasury regarding the Sponsor Body's preparation of the Outline Business Case for the Restoration and Renewal Programme and, under the terms of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019, HM Treasury also has a role to provide advice to the Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission on the Sponsor Body's Estimate for each financial year prior to that Estimate being laid in the House of Commons.

Both the IPA and HM Treasury contributed to the recent Strategic Review via discussions as part of the Review's Challenge Panel.

The NAO published a review of the R&R Programme in April 2020, highlighting the vital and urgent need to restore the Houses of Parliament. That report contained a number of helpful recommendations which the Sponsor Body accepted in full. The Sponsor Body welcomes further reviews by the NAO on behalf of Parliament over the coming years to ensure value for money is delivered for the taxpayer. Both the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority will also continue to work with the NAO to apply lessons learned from NAO reviews of other projects and programmes as well as in relation to the NAO's role as the external auditor for the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Right hon. Member for East Hampshire, representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, whether the Sponsor Body has made an assessment of the potential effect of the completion of ongoing fire safety works on the cost of the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster.

The Sponsor Body is aware of ongoing fire safety works to the Palace of Westminster. The Outline Business Case will take account of completed works, including fire safety works, when proposing cost estimates for the parliamentary building works under the R&R Programme. This will be conditional on further design work and testing.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to help support businesses to export their products.

The Department for Business and Trade helps businesses grow their business overseas by providing information, training, events and expert advice to both new and experienced exporters at all stages of their exporting journey.

Our range of support offers comprises a digital self-serve offer on great.gov.uk, and a wider network of support including domestic and overseas trade advisers, sector specialists, export champions, the Export Academy, International Markets network as well as through UK Export Finance. All this support is accessed through Great.gov.uk.

We also help businesses to benefit from new free trade agreements and work across Government to reduce barriers to exporting and simplify border processes.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to help support traditional high street retailers to expand into e-commerce.

The Digital Exporting Programme provides support for UK companies looking to sell their products to international consumers through digital channels such as ecommerce. Digital Trade and Ecommerce Advisers provide one-to-one support and can help with everything from developing a digital commerce strategy to making websites more attractive to international audiences. UK Export Academy provides sector-specific webinars, masterclasses and virtual missions, helping businesses grow by finding new customers and increasing sales.

Help to Grow: Management is an intensive national training programme helping thousands of SME businesses to improve their productivity and grow their businesses, including through upskilling them in digital adoption.

The Retail Sector Council recently published a paper on the challenges facing the sector and is encouraging a dialogue with business to work with government to identify measures that both business and government should consider.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether her Department is taking steps to improve the access to funding for the installers of Great British Insulation Scheme Flex.

The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) is not a Government grant or loan but funded by obligated energy suppliers who then recoup the costs from their domestic customers.

The Government sets the overall target and rules for GBIS but does not intervene in how energy suppliers deliver their individual targets.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the UK's capacity for geothermal energy production in each of the next five years.

We know there is promising potential for geothermal energy in the UK and particularly as a low carbon source of heat. The Government is supportive of geothermal projects, and we are exploring policy options in response to the report by the British Geological Survey issued earlier this year to understand how we can support the growth of the sector to maximise its potential in the UK. However, due to the nascency of the sector, there are no plans to estimate its capacity for energy production in the short term.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the use of solar photovoltaic panels is not taken into account for the purposes of an Energy Performance Certificate.

The underlying methodology for producing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assesses energy performance based on the fixed components of the building. This includes solar photovoltaic panels.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to raise the minimum rentable Energy Performance Certificate rating from E to D.

The Government committed in the Clean Growth Strategy to improve as many privately rented homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030 where practical, affordable and cost effective. The Government consulted on raising the standard to EPC C for new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and for all tenancies by 1 April 2028. The Government has carefully analysed the responses received and will publish a response in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason electric room heaters are considered less efficient than radiators powered by an oil boiler for the purposes of an Energy Performance Certificate, given that electric heaters can be powered by renewable energy.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) use an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) to score the energy performance of buildings based on their estimated running costs. Since energy costs can be a significant outlay, it is important that homeowners and occupiers are aware of the potential running costs of their building.

Given the higher cost of electricity relative to oil, the presence of an electric radiator may result in a low EER without added measures to reduce energy demand, such as insulation. The metrics on the EPC are kept under review as the Government develop policy to simultaneously tackle fuel poverty and decarbonise buildings.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the level of risk posed to households reliant on heat pumps during power outages.

In the event of a power outage a heat pump, like a gas or oil boiler, will not work if a home does not have a back-up power supply. The UK has one of the most resilient electricity networks in the world, so the risk of power outages is small. The Government will continue to build resilience into the system as it evolves and dependence on electricity increases.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to mitigate the effect of rising energy prices on the cost of living.

The Government is monitoring the significant increases in wholesale energy prices closely, and meeting regularly with Ofgem, suppliers and consumer groups to understand the future impact on consumers as well as to discuss potential mitigations.

The Government is committed to protecting energy customers, especially the most vulnerable. The Energy Price Cap will continue to protect consumers, ensuring they pay a fair price for their energy this winter. Low income and fuel poor households will continue to be supported with their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount, which provides eligible households with a £140 discount. Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will ensure that the most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes through the winter. Additionally, the Government announced an additional £500 million for local authorities, through the new Household Support Fund, to support vulnerable households meet daily needs such as utility bills.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the BBC’s compliance with the impartiality clauses in its charter.

The BBC has a duty to deliver impartial and accurate news coverage and content under its Royal Charter. As such, the Government has been clear that the BBC must place a firm emphasis on impartiality and maintaining the highest editorial standards.

The Government welcomes that the BBC accepted the findings and recommendations of the Serota Review and has committed to reform through its 10 point Impartiality and Editorial Standards Action Plan. The BBC now needs to demonstrate clear and continued progress as the plan is embedded into business as usual.

The Government established Ofcom as the independent regulator of the BBC in 2017. Ofcom is responsible for holding the BBC to account against its impartiality responsibilities. It remains a priority for the Government to work with Ofcom to deliver an effective and proportionate regulatory framework that holds the BBC to account while maintaining its creative freedom and operational independence.

A key focus of the Government’s Mid-Term Review of the BBC is to look at the regulatory and governance measures which can enable progress on impartiality, more accountability for editorial standards, including the handling of complaints, and a BBC that represents the breadth of the audience it was established to serve.

Our work on the Mid-Term Review is ongoing. The Charter specifies that the review must take place between 2022 and 2024, and we will publish our findings and conclusions in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether providers will be prohibited from charging those in adult social care settings extra charges for powercut-resistant telephones after the end of the analogue network.

Ofcom has issued guidance on how telecoms companies can fulfil their regulatory obligation to ensure that their customers, including those in social care settings, have access to the emergency services in the event of a power cut following the transition from analogue to digital telephony. This guidance states that providers should have at least one solution available that enables access to emergency organisations for a minimum of one hour in the event of a power outage in the premises, and that the solution should be suitable for customers’ needs and should be offered free of charge to those who are at risk as they are dependent on their landline.

Ofcom’s power resilience guidance does not distinguish between types of user, however they have issued additional guidance which states that providers should take steps to identify vulnerable consumers and engage in effective communications to ensure all are protected in the migration process.

Although migration is an industry led initiative, the government is clear that the PSTN migration should not be used as an opportunity for providers to raise their prices or otherwise exploit vulnerable consumers with disproportionate costs for the necessary upgrades.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the digital telephone system will replicate the ability of the analogue system to provide stable emergency communications in the event of power outages.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) migration is industry-led. The Government and the independent telecoms regulator, Ofcom, are working together to ensure customers are protected.

Ofcom places a regulatory obligation on communications providers to take all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency organisations for their customers. Ofcom has issued guidance explaining how providers can fulfil this regulatory obligation during power outages, stating that at least one solution must be available for a minimum of one hour that enables access to emergency organisations in the event of a power cut. Any solution must be made available free of charge to customers who providers determine are reliant on their landline to make emergency calls during a power cut.

Alongside this, the emergency services have access to a number of resilient communications systems to coordinate emergency response activity via mobile networks. This includes the current Airwave system, and they will make use of the Emergency Services Network (ESN) once transition has completed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that the digital telephone network will replicate the ability of the analogue telephone network to provide stable emergency communications in the event of power outages.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) migration is industry-led. The Government and the independent telecoms regulator, Ofcom, are working together to ensure customers are protected.

Ofcom places a regulatory obligation on communications providers to take all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency organisations for their customers. Ofcom has issued guidance explaining how providers can fulfil this regulatory obligation during power outages, stating that at least one solution must be available for a minimum of one hour that enables access to emergency organisations in the event of a power cut. Any solution must be made available free of charge to customers who providers determine are reliant on their landline to make emergency calls during a power cut.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average length of delay in initiating the investigation of complaints submitted to the Information Commissioner under section 50(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is; and what steps he is taking to tackle that delay.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) is regulated and enforced independently of Government by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO is dealing with rapidly growing numbers of complaints; currently it receives around 100 new complaints a week. The ICO responds to all FOI complaints with an email acknowledging receipt, which sets out current expected timescales for a response. All complaints are triaged: investigations into relatively simple cases usually commence within 30 days of receipt, while more complex cases may take up to 7 months to be allocated to an ICO officer for investigation.

The ICO is taking steps to increase its resources in this area so that these cases are dealt with as quickly as possible, whilst ensuring a high quality of response.

19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure there is an adequate provision of SEND places in schools.

The department recognises the importance of accessing timely and effective support to improving the experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families. Nationally, 17% of pupils are identified with some form of SEN, three quarters of whom receive SEN support from their mainstream school, funded from its own resources.

Local authorities must ensure that there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including special schools and those with SEND. They are statutorily required to keep the services and provision for children and young people with SEND under review, including its sufficiency, working with parents, young people, and providers.

To support local authorities to meet this duty, in the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan, the department committed to investing £2.6 billion between 2022 and 2025 to fund new special and AP places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND, including announcing 41 new special free schools. This funding represents a significant, transformational investment in new high needs provision. As part of this investment, the department has published over £1.5 billion of High Needs Provision Capital Allocations for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years. Of this, Durham has been allocated a total of £11.2 million. Local authorities can use their allocations to deliver new places in mainstream and special schools, as well as other specialist settings such as specialist post-16 institutions, and to improve the suitability and accessibility of existing buildings. This investment is on top of the department’s ongoing delivery of new special and AP free schools.

Through these reforms, the department wants to ensure that placements for children and young people with SEND are sufficient to meet need, allowing them to access the right support, in the right setting, at the right time.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to support more children with special education needs into mainstream schools.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan, the department set out its ambition for more children and young people to have their needs met effectively in mainstream settings where it is possible for this to happen. For those children and young people with SEND who do require an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and specialist provision, the department will ensure that parents do not face an adversarial system to secure this.

The department will improve mainstream education by setting standards for the early and accurate identification of need, and for timely access to the support to meet those needs.

To deliver new national SEND and AP standards across EHC, the department is starting by building on existing best practice, including on early language support, autism and mental health and wellbeing. The department will publish three advisory practitioner standards by the end of 2025. The department will also publish a significant portion of the national standards by the end of 2025.

It is crucial that Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) are identified early to enable the right support to be put in place. In partnership with NHS England, the department is funding the Early Language and Support for Every Child (ELSEC) pathfinders within its Change Programme.

Reaching over 70% of schools and further education colleges, the Universal Services Programme will help the education workforce to identify and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, earlier and more effectively. The department is investing a further £21 million to train 400 more educational psychologists to increase capacity.

The department is introducing a leadership level new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for SENCOs. This will replace the existing qualification and ensure that SENCOs receive consistent high-quality training. The department has also committed to funding training for up to 7,000 early years staff to gain an accredited Level 3 early years SENCO qualification.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of raising undergraduate student maintenance loan amounts in line with inflation.

Maximum grants and loans for living costs were increased by 3.1% this academic year (2021/22) and we have announced that they will increase by a further 2.3% in the 2022/23 academic year. We are currently reviewing options for uprating in future academic years.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of encouraging local authorities to allow parents to apply for free childcare midway through a school term.

As set out in the regulations underpinning the entitlements to free early education and childcare, children become eligible for a free early education place at different points in the year. Depending on when the child turns three, the 30 hours free childcare entitlement begins from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April following their third birthday.

These termly deadlines link closely with that of the department’s other early entitlements to create consistency across the offers. The merit of delivering the entitlements in this way are that it allows local authorities and childcare providers to better plan and ensure sufficient early years places are available for parents each term, as there are clear periods for when children are likely to enter into a place.

This is intended to ensure that all children are entitled to at least three years of early education and/or reception before they reach statutory school age.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government has taken to help ensure that people undergoing vocational training have sufficient access to childcare.

The Care to Learn (C2L) scheme is available to help young parents, defined as those aged under 20, to continue in education after the birth of a child. The scheme provides funding towards childcare whilst the young parent is engaged in a study programme and is not able to provide care for their child. C2L can also help with travel costs involved in taking the child to the childcare provider. During the 2020/2021 academic year, payments totalling over £5 million were made through the scheme.

Learner Support funds childcare for students aged 19 and over in further education. Learning providers decide how much a student receives, depending on their scheme and the individual circumstances of the student.

30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare are entitlements for working parents of three and four-year-olds. These aim to help working parents with the costs of childcare so they are able to take up paid work or work additional hours. The Childcare Bill policy statement, published in December 2015, is clear that students are not eligible for 30 hours free childcare. However, parents who undertake paid work in addition to their studies and meet the income requirements will be eligible for additional hours.

To qualify for 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare, students do not have to physically work 16 hours a week. However, they do need to earn the equivalent of a weekly minimum of 16 hours at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Currently, this is just over £7,400 a year.

Parents undertaking vocational training remain entitled to the universal 15 hour free entitlement for three and four-year-olds. They may also be eligible for 15 hours free early education for disadvantaged two-year-olds. More information on the eligibility criteria can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-2-year-olds.

Further information on the full range of childcare support available can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/. Constituents can also access the government’s childcare calculator, available here: https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing mandatory microchipping for all (a) horses, (b) ponies and (c) donkeys.

The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018 brought in a mandatory requirement from October 2020 for all horses, ponies and donkeys to be microchipped, including those born prior to 30th June 2009, which were not required under previous legislation. The one exception to this regulation is a derogation for qualifying wild and semi-wild equines that do not leave the designated areas of Dartmoor, Exmoor, the New Forest and Wicken Fen. There is equivalent legislation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to increase exports of digital services.

The UK has been at the forefront of seizing the benefits of digital trade, including through our FTA programme. For example, the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, signed in February, represents the most innovative digital trade agreement ever signed. Already, DIT has engaged nearly 100 companies through a webinar and trade mission on the benefits of the deal for business. The Department also has a Digital Exporting Programme which helps SME to increase exports through digital channels, for example those in the music industry. So far, the Programme has supported in excess of 10,000 companies.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the availability of public transport in County Durham.

The Department for Transport is investing in the bus sector to deliver the ambitions of the National Bus Strategy to make bus services more reliable and cheaper. We are providing over £2 billion of funding for English Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) outside London to support the delivery of Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs), including the introduction of new services. This includes the recent announcement of an additional £1 billion redirected from HS2 to support bus services in the North and Midlands.

We have also announced that a new uplift of 60% will be added to Community Transport Operators’ (CTOs) Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) claims until 31 March 2025. On top of this, we have extended the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, meaning we are investing nearly £600 million in total to cap bus fares.

North East Combined Authority and North of Tyne Combined Authority received £163,521,172 in Government funding to make improvements set out in their joint BSIP up to March 2025 in the first phase of BSIP funding. They have also been indicatively allocated £11.2 million in further BSIP funding from Network North for 2024/25. The allocations for future years will be published in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that there is an adequate supply of rest areas for HGV drivers.

The Government recognises the need to ensure hauliers have access to appropriate services and facilities.

We are aware of the concerns expressed by many HGV drivers about the provision, quality and value of lorry parking in the UK. We have announced £32.5 million in new funding to improve roadside facilities for hauliers and are undertaking a new National Lorry Parking Survey supported by direct industry engagement to help identify where improvements are most needed. We continue to engage with key stakeholders to encourage the development of safe, secure and high-quality lorry parking.

The National Planning Policy Framework already sets out that local planning policies and decisions should recognise the importance of providing overnight lorry parking facilities, taking into account any local shortages, to reduce the risk of parking in locations that lack proper facilities or could cause a nuisance.

The Government recently published a Written Ministerial Statement to reinforce the importance of providing hauliers with access to parking and services.

The Department for Transport continues to work with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH) to highlight the criteria and consideration for lorry parking with Local Authorities.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that rural communities have the infrastructure necessary to enable the use of electric vehicles.

We want people across the country to have the opportunity to make the move to electric vehicles (EVs). Most EV drivers choose to charge their cars at home, overnight (and 85% of dwellings in rural areas have off-street parking) or increasingly at the workplace. For those without access or undertaking longer journeys, public charging is important.

The Department has committed over £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses and on-street. Government will publish its forthcoming EV Infrastructure Strategy soon. This will define our vision for the continued roll-out of a world-leading charging infrastructure network across the whole of the UK, including rural areas. It will also set out roles and responsibilities for ensuring charging infrastructure rollout is delivered at the pace needed to transition to a zero-emission car and van fleet. We will continue to monitor this situation and consider the case for direct central government support in rural areas if required.

The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is available to all UK local authorities, including those with rural areas, to apply to and provide public chargepoints for their residents without access to private parking. £20 million is available in the 2021-22 financial year. To support local authorities in accessing this funding, DfT funds Energy Saving Trust to offer expert advice on EV charging and support on developing EV strategies. Energy Saving Trust, in partnership with DfT, also hosts a library of webinars and guidance for local authorities on installing charging points. This includes webinars specifically for rural local authorities.

Government will also launch a Local EV infrastructure Fund, which will be available to English local authorities in 2022-23. This fund will facilitate the roll-out of larger scale charging infrastructure projects across the country.

In addition, this year, we will expand the Workplace Charging Scheme to support small accommodation businesses and charities to install chargepoints for their guests and visitors. This should help provision of more chargepoints in rural areas, for example it should support places like village halls provide chargepoints for their communities.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the delays in licensing applications at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are dealt with in a timely manner.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps is the Government taking to help resolve delays to licensing applications at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. The DVLA understands the impact of delays on those who make paper applications and is working hard to process them as quickly as possible. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to include hydrogen trains in the Transport decarbonisation plan; and what his timeframe is for ordering the first hydrogen train fleet.

The Government is developing an ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport. The Network Rail-led Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (TDNS) makes recommendations about whether hydrogen or battery trains or electrification will likely be the best way to decarbonise each part of the network. TDNS will inform the Transport Decarbonisation Plan and the procurement of rolling stock.

The Department is supporting work to understand and develop hydrogen trains, so that they can be introduced smoothly onto lines where and when they are appropriate.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made in introducing E10 fuel to UK forecourts as part of the Government’s Build Back Better and green recovery plans.

We plan to publish the Government response to our consultation on the introduction of E10 as soon as possible.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on ensuring the effective control of levels of pay in arm's-length bodies connected to his Department.

Transport bodies deliver complex, nationally important, infrastructure that is critical to building back better – however exceptional pay demands exceptional performance and remuneration must be proportionate. We are firmly focused on addressing the issue of high pay within the transport sector. The overall senior pay bill to taxpayers has reduced this year by over £1 million, and we intend to continue this trend.

Each year, the Cabinet Office publishes transparency data on senior salaries at public sector bodies. Analysis of this data since 2015 for Network Rail, Highways England and HS2 Ltd shows that an overall downward trend in pay awards to these high earners has begun, both in numbers of staff involved and total spend.

The Secretary of State has taken a personal interest in this issue and is bearing down on senior pay at the Department of Transport’s Arms-Length Bodies. This includes agreeing with some CEOs and Chairs voluntary, temporary, pay cuts in the light of current economic circumstances.

Taxpayers must be confident that their money is being spent wisely, with due regard to real-world performance and conditions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of tribunals and mandatory reconsiderations involving personal independence payment claims.

The Department’s aim is to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey. We have made improvements to our decision-making processes to ensure that people get the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, because Decision Makers can better gather relevant additional evidence earlier in the process.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps is the government taking to ensure that reassessments for sufferers of chronic conditions are as unobtrusive and infrequent as possible.

As announced in the recent Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper we want to make changes to the assessment process so people with the most severe health conditions and disabilities can claim the benefits they are entitled to through a simpler process. We are exploring how to test a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) so those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access ESA/UC and PIP without ever needing to complete a detailed application form or go through a face to face assessment/reassessment.

We have already stopped reassessments for people with the most severe conditions that are unlikely to change. In Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper, we proposed ways to further reduce the number of unnecessary assessments, while continuing to ensure support is properly targeted. Alongside this, we proposed ways of offering greater flexibility and simplicity in the way that assessments are delivered, including improving the evidence we use to make decisions from health assessments, and learn the lessons of coronavirus where we introduced telephone and video assessments.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support self-employment.

The Department supports people to be self-employed when it is the right thing for them to do to be financially self-sufficient. Key to this is continuing to help claimants in, or considering, self-employment to progress to a level of sustained financial self-sufficiency that does not exclude the possibility of better paid work elsewhere. This ensures fairness to claimants, but also taxpayers who fund the welfare system.

Work coaches offer tailored support to our claimants who are in self-employment through to help them to increase their productivity and earnings. Work coaches can refer low-earning claimants to mentoring support from New Enterprise Allowance providers and sign-post claimants to the other extensive business support which is already funded by the Government.

We recognise that it takes time for new businesses to grow and that even established businesses can experience difficulties. From September 2020, all self-employed Universal Credit claimants will be given the same 12 months’ exemption period to provide them with time and support needed to grow their businesses.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take steps to ensure that integrated care boards make an assessment of the adequacy of their (a) workforce planning and (b) other services for meeting the needs of their populations who are affected by migraines.

To ensure that there are sufficient staffing levels right across the National Health Service, NHS England published the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) in June 2023. The LTWP sets out the steps the NHS and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term. The LTWP is a high-level plan to support the NHS workforce as a whole and is designed to identify the right supply of staff across all clinical pathways and specialisms rather than workforce plans for specific services.

General practitioners are responsible for ensuring that their own clinical knowledge remains up-to-date, and for identifying learning needs as part of their continuing professional development. This activity should include taking account of new research and developments in guidance, such as that produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills relevant to their role as generalist community-based doctors. This includes understanding how to recognise migraine and headache disorders and instigate appropriate treatment.

Individual employers are responsible for investing in post-registration training, ensuring that staff are trained and competent to carry out their role and are adequately supported throughout their training. All training undertaken by post-registration qualified staff should be in line with national and local guidelines covering the training being undertaken.

In England, all community pharmacies delivering NHS services must provide support for self-care, for example giving people advice and support, and where appropriate, the sale of appropriate over the counter (OTC) medicines. Advice and OTC migraine treatments are part of a well-established pathway in this context, and pharmacy teams are able to advise patients of their options.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population. The RightCare Headache and Migraines Toolkit should be used by ICBs to ensure that people suffering from migraines are supported effectively. The toolkit sets out the key priorities for improvement, including correct identification and diagnosis of headache disorders, and long-term management of patients in primary or community care. The toolkit also provides an opportunity for commissioners to self-assess and benchmark current systems’ service delivery and to explore opportunities for improvement.

The toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/rightcare/products/pathways/headache-and-migraine-toolkit/

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to improve NHS care for people with migraines; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) increasing the availability of headache specialists in the NHS, (b) improving the provision of (i) training and resources for GPs and (ii) guidance for other health professionals on migraines and (c) increasing the role of pharmacies for providing primary care for people with migraines.

To ensure that there are sufficient staffing levels right across the National Health Service, NHS England published the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) in June 2023. The LTWP sets out the steps the NHS and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term. The LTWP is a high-level plan to support the NHS workforce as a whole and is designed to identify the right supply of staff across all clinical pathways and specialisms rather than workforce plans for specific services.

General practitioners are responsible for ensuring that their own clinical knowledge remains up-to-date, and for identifying learning needs as part of their continuing professional development. This activity should include taking account of new research and developments in guidance, such as that produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills relevant to their role as generalist community-based doctors. This includes understanding how to recognise migraine and headache disorders and instigate appropriate treatment.

Individual employers are responsible for investing in post-registration training, ensuring that staff are trained and competent to carry out their role and are adequately supported throughout their training. All training undertaken by post-registration qualified staff should be in line with national and local guidelines covering the training being undertaken.

In England, all community pharmacies delivering NHS services must provide support for self-care, for example giving people advice and support, and where appropriate, the sale of appropriate over the counter (OTC) medicines. Advice and OTC migraine treatments are part of a well-established pathway in this context, and pharmacy teams are able to advise patients of their options.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population. The RightCare Headache and Migraines Toolkit should be used by ICBs to ensure that people suffering from migraines are supported effectively. The toolkit sets out the key priorities for improvement, including correct identification and diagnosis of headache disorders, and long-term management of patients in primary or community care. The toolkit also provides an opportunity for commissioners to self-assess and benchmark current systems’ service delivery and to explore opportunities for improvement.

The toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/rightcare/products/pathways/headache-and-migraine-toolkit/

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that families are supported in the event of a stillborn child.

In 2023/24, NHS England is investing £5.9 million to support the delivery of daily bereavement care services for women and families who suffer pregnancy or baby loss and is growing the number of staff trained in bereavement care.

We are also looking to improve access to and the quality of perinatal mental health care for mothers and their partners. There are now 35 Maternal Mental Health Services across England which provide psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties related to their maternity experience including resulting from loss. Services are due to be implemented in every area of the country by March 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that patients affected by closures of NHS dental practices have adequate access to dental care.

NHS England and integrated care boards across England work together to ensure that patients who are affected by closure of National Health Service dental practices will continue to have access to the dental care they need. This includes an assessment to identify potential gaps in NHS dental service provision and to consider what actions may be required.

NHS dentists are required to keep their NHS.UK profiles up to date so that patients can find a dentist more easily. This includes information on whether they are accepting new patients.

In circumstances where patients are unable to access an urgent dental appointment directly through an NHS dental practice, they should contact NHS 111.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take steps to provide access to psilocybin for the treatment of (a) severe depression and (b) other health conditions.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), who have invested £1.1 million in a randomised controlled trial to examine if it is feasible, safe and effective to use psilocybin to treat people with treatment-resistant depression. The NIHR is supporting psilocybin research via the NIHR King’s Clinical Research Facility and the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, where researchers are developing and evaluating the efficacy and safety of psilocybin therapy for use in the National Health Service and other healthcare settings. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including the use of psilocybin in the treatment of severe depression and other chronic conditions.

Before any new medicine can be used to treat patients, it must go through a strictly monitored development process. Manufacturers of medicines are expected to conduct research and clinical trials, and medicines must undergo scrutiny by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency which will assess the safety, quality and efficacy of a product before a marketing authorisation (licence) may be granted. For a licence to be granted for a medicine the MHRA must receive a full marketing application from the applicant. In addition, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) evaluates all new medicines for clinical and cost effectiveness and makes recommendations about routine funding and use on the NHS. This is the foundation of NHS decisions about routine access and funding of medicines.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the context of the forthcoming Women's Health Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to help ensure adherence to NICE guidelines for (a) diagnosing and (b) treating endometriosis.

As set out in the Women’s Health Strategy, we will work with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on its five-year strategy to ensure that guidelines can be implemented and accessible to healthcare professionals and commissioners of local services. NICE’s guidelines describe best practice which healthcare professionals are expected to take fully into account in the care and treatment of patients. However, these guidelines are not mandatory and do not override a clinician’s responsibility to make appropriate decisions for individual patients.

NICE reviewed its endometriosis guideline in 2021, which was amended to highlight that those with endometriosis outside the pelvic cavity should be referred to a specialist endometriosis centre. NICE has begun a review of its guidelines on endometriosis to consider whether it should be updated.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he expects the independent review into the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to be completed; if he will publish the report of that review; and what steps he plans to take to help ensure that the standard of service provided by NEAS improves as quickly as possible.

NHS England is establishing governance arrangements for an independent review to formally commence as soon as is practicable. The families and staff affected will have an opportunity to contribute to the review’s Terms of Reference in due course. Once the review is completed, its report will be published independently of the National Health Service. Local commissioners and the NHS will support the implementation of any recommendations to improve the culture within and the quality of service provided by the North East Ambulance Service as soon as possible. Further details will be available shortly.

NHS England advises that the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has measures in place to improve the standards of service it provides. An investment of £38 million has been agreed for 2022/23 to improve clinical care, recover ambulance response times, increase the operational and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) workforce and the establishment of an additional EOC in the south of the Trust’s area.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to maximise NHS capacity.

The Department continues to focus on recovery of services, as we have throughout the pandemic. The NHS and the Department have sought to maximise availability of capacity by all practical means, including virtual wards, the use of independent sector capacity, a focus on maximising safe discharge, coupled with investment in up to 160 community diagnostic centres, innovation in surgical hubs, and through growing our NHS workforce.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of clarifying IVF eligibility guidance to allow individuals with partners who have children from a previous relationship to be eligible for IVF across England.

The Department undertook an internal policy review about the variation in access to National Health Service fertility services, which was completed in 2021. The results of this internal review will inform future policy. We will set out our initial ambitions in the Women’s Health Strategy, due to be published in the spring. The Government expects local NHS commissioning bodies to commission fertility services in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidelines, so that there is equitable access across England.

We are aware that some commissioners set additional non-clinical criteria, which can include having children from previous relationships. This is outside the best clinical practice within the NICE fertility guidelines.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure GPs have the (a) knowledge and (b) resources to adequately diagnose and arrange treatment for rare health conditions.

Increasing awareness of rare diseases among health care professionals is one of the four priorities of the 2021 UK Rare Diseases Framework. England’s Rare Diseases Action Plan was published on 28 February 2022 and includes specific actions to increase knowledge and improve the resources available to health care professionals, including general practitioners, to diagnose and arrange treatment for rare diseases.

This includes determining how to include rare diseases in health professional education and training programmes and developing an innovative digital resource, integrated into existing digital platforms or websites to provide easily accessible information on rare diseases. Action plans from the devolved administrations will follow later in 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government has taken to help ensure the long-term sustainability of funding for dementia research.

We have committed £375 million for research into neurodegenerative disease over the next five years, including dementia. Funding is provided through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The NIHR and UKRI welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including dementia. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition. The forthcoming dementia strategy will set out our plans for dementia in England in future years, included increasing further research. The strategy will be published later this year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to end compulsory covid-19 restrictions in care homes.

The Department is reviewing the remaining measures in place in adult social care settings. We will publish updated infection prevention control guidance by 1 April 2022 on the next phase of the response in adult social care.

While most care recipients in adult social care are vaccinated, care home residents remain at a greater risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 relative to the general population. The transmission risk remains high in vulnerable settings due to the kind of close contact care individuals receive. Therefore, some protections need to remain in place for those in adult social care settings.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that NHS dental services are widely available.

National Health Service dental practices have been asked to meet as many prioritised needs as safely as possible through urgent care, care for vulnerable groups and children, followed by delayed planned care. An additional £50 million for NHS dentistry has been made available for the remainder of 2021/22 to allow more patients to obtain an NHS dental appointment. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing proposals for the reform of the NHS dental contract, working with the British Dental Association. One of the main aims is to improve patient access to NHS care.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that rural ambulance services (a) are prompt and (b) receive the resources they need.

National Health Service ambulance service trusts are commissioned and funded by NHS clinical commissioning groups in both rural and urban areas. This is supported by a further £55 million of national funding to increase ambulance trust capacity and response times in winter 2021/22.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment the Government has made of capacity challenges in County Durham's accident and emergency departments.

No assessment has been made. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement advise that additional staff are being recruited at the University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital. Darlington’s emergency department was extended in 2020 and there are further plans to redevelop and increase capacity at Durham’s emergency department. Same day emergency care units were also opened at each site in 2021.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has also enhanced paediatric services and facilities in the emergency departments and a new paediatric assessment unit has been installed at the Durham site. A new primary care hub has also been opened adjacent to the emergency department in Durham.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure equal access to eating disorder treatment across the country.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 24 January 2022 to Question 105730.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is the government taking to ensure equal access to eating disorder treatment across the country.

We have established the first national standard to improve access to eating disorder services for children and young people across the country, which states that 95% of children with an eating disorder will receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases. We are investing an additional £79 million in 2021/22 to expand children’s mental health services, including eating disorder services, to meet this standard. We are also investing £58 million in 2021/22 to support the expansion of community mental health services, including eating disorders.

A four week waiting standard for adult community mental health services, including eating disorder services, has been piloted and considered as part of the clinically led review of National Health Service access standards. This consultation closed on 1 September 2021 and NHS England and NHS Improvement expect to publish the response in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
11th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing taxes for families.

The Government is committed to keeping taxes low to support individuals and families to keep more of what they earn.

This is why the Government has nearly doubled the income tax Personal Allowance since 2010 (30% higher in real terms), ensuring some of the lowest earners do not pay income tax. Thanks to the Personal Allowance, around 30% of individuals do not pay tax.

Furthermore, at the Autumn Statement, the Government announced a National Insurance contributions cut for 29 million working people by reducing the main NICs rate from 12% to 10%. This came into effect on 6 January and will result in a £450 annual tax cut for the average worker earning £35,400.

The Government keeps all tax policy under review and any decisions on future changes will be taken by the Chancellor in the context of wider public finances.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what business rates will be in each of the next five years.

The Government froze the business rates multiplier for a third consecutive year in 2023-24, a tax cut worth £9.3 billion to business over the next 5 years. Overall, the Government has taken action to hold the tax rate steady, protecting businesses from inflationary pressures over the last three years at a cost of £14.5 billion to the Exchequer.

Decisions on future business rates support will be made in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to reduce net migration.

The Government remains completely committed to reducing levels of legal migration. Our points-based immigration system allows us to control who comes to the UK to work, study and visit.


In May 2023, we took decisive action to tackle the substantial rise in the number of students bringing dependants to the UK. These reforms have now been implemented.

On 4 December, the Home Secretary announced a new package of measures to further reduce legal net migration. These include: limitations on family dependants being brought in by care workers and senior care workers; increasing the salary threshold for the Skilled Worker route; commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee to review the Shortage Occupation List and raising the minimum income requirement progressively over the next few years.


This package of measures, taken together with the measures the Government announced in May 2023 to restrict the number of overseas students able to bring dependants, means that around 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would not be able to do so in future.


We keep all our immigration policies under review to ensure they best serve the UK and reflect the public’s priorities, including filling skills gaps and growing the economy.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
11th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure consistency of support across regions for victims of domestic violence.

The Violence Against Women and Girls National Statement of Expectations sets out how local areas should commission effective services. It also aims to increase understanding of the need for specialist services and the value of those designed, and delivered by and for the users and communities they aim to serve (for example victims and survivors from ethnic minority backgrounds, deaf and disabled victims and survivors, and LGBT victims and survivors).

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report on meeting the needs of victims across England and Wales has been useful in highlighting the importance of nationwide provision and specialist support. We have and will continue to use her findings in commissioning and funding decisions.

The Domestic Abuse Act introduced a legal duty on Tier 1 local authorities to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children within safe accommodation, including refuges. Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities have allocated £127.3 million in 2023/24 to LAs to discharge this duty.

Ministry of Justice is also this year (23/24) providing £21 million of ringfenced funding to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCS) for community-based domestic abuse and sexual violence services. This is in addition to the ‘Core’ funding MoJ provides to PCCs to allocate at their discretion, based on their assessment of local need.

In November 2023, we renewed the commitment to support victims of domestic abuse with a further £2 million investment into the Flexible Fund until March 2025, announced in the Autumn Statement. The Home Office Fund will enable direct payments to victims across England and Wales to help them flee abuse and re-establish long-term safety and independence and builds on a trial of the scheme in 2023.

Laura Farris
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to help protect victims of targeted anti-social behaviour.

On 27 March, the Government launched the Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anti-social-behaviour-action-plan) ensuring the police, local authorities and other relevant agencies have the tools and powers they need to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The plan is backed by £160m of funding. This includes up to £60m to fund an increased police and other uniformed presence to clamp down on anti-social behaviour, targeting hotspots. Initially we are working with 10 police force areas, including Durham. From 2024 we will be rolling out this hotspot approach across every police force area in England and Wales. We are also providing up to £50m to support the provision of Immediate Justice, by issuing out of court disposals with conditions to swiftly repair any damage. This has started in 10 initial trailblazer police force areas, including Durham, and will be rolled out nationally in 2024.

As part of the Action Plan, we re-launched the Community Trigger as the ‘Anti-social Behaviour Case Review’, which gives victims of persistent antisocial behaviour the right to request a multi-agency case review where a local threshold is met. The new guidance provides greater clarity on how and when it can be used and encouraging agencies to automatically conduct reviews once the threshold has been hit. We updated the gov.uk pages https://www.gov.uk/guidance/anti-social-behaviour-asb-case-review-also-known-as-the-community-trigger to raise awareness of this tool to give victims and communities a say in the way that complaints of ASB are dealt with.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will take steps to ensure that Afghans brought to the UK through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy are found permanent accommodation as soon as possible.

We currently have over 12,000 people in bridging hotel accommodation.

We do not want to keep people in temporary accommodation any longer than they need to be, we are eager for them to be moved into more permanent settled accommodation so that they can begin to rebuild their lives here in the UK.

Due to an unprecedented cross-government effort, and in partnership with local authorities and the private rented sector, we have already matched or are matching approximately 4,000 evacuees to homes.

We strive to allocate the right families into the right accommodation to ensure that their integration into their new communities in the UK is as smooth as possible. We are exploring all options to ensure families who move out of bridging hotels into self-arranged accommodation receive the appropriate support

To achieve this, we triage and prioritise families to ensure the settled accommodation provides the best possible match.

We would like to encourage Local Authorities who have not yet pledged support to consider offering to do so. People are encouraged to submit housing offers via the DLUHC Housing portal where offers can be signposted to the appropriate LA to consider if they could support a family under the scheme using that property - https://gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-housing-portal-offers-of-support…

In addition to the work we are doing with local authorities, the Government has extended the Community Sponsorship Scheme so that local community groups will be able to directly support an Afghan family resettled through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme which will commence soon.

Afghans recognised as having a legal right to reside in the UK are immediately entitled to access essential services including education, NHS healthcare, employment opportunities and universal credit.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of police foot patrols.

Visible policing in local neighbourhoods is central to the model of policing by consent.

We are committed to delivering on the people’s priorities and ensuring that policing has the resources it needs; we have increased the police funding settlement by £1.1billion in 2022/23, and through the Police Uplift Programme, police forces in England and Wales have already recruited over 11,000 additional officers and are on track to deliver 20,000 additional officers by March 2023.

In Durham specifically, the police force has recruited 75 additional uplift officers against a combined year 1 and 2 allocation of 135 officers to be recruited by March 2022. The force has also been allocated a further 90 officers for the final year of the programme.

Decisions about frontline policing, and how resources are best deployed, are for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, who are best placed to make decisions with their communities based on their local knowledge and experience.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the suicide rate amongst (a) serving and (b) retired police officers.

The Home Office does not centrally hold the information requested as the Office for National Statistics publish data on suicide by occupation, including police officers.

Information on suicides by occupation can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/10807suicidebyoccupationenglandandwales2011to2018registrations

The statistics show that police officer (sergeant and below) suicide deaths in England remain relatively steady and small in number (e.g. 13 in 2011, reaching a high of 21 in 2012 and in the teens each year since, with 13 in 2019).

The death of any serving or retired police officer is a tragedy. The Government and police leaders take this matter seriously and are working to support the mental and physical wellbeing of all police officers and staff.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to officers and staff. This includes £7.5 to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service, which was launched in 2019. The Service is helping forces to identify where there is most risk of impacts on mental health, and developing work around building resilience, as well as putting in place support for those who need it in response to traumatic events.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what data her Department holds on the number of (a) serving and (b) retired police officers who have died by suicide in the last 10 years.

The Home Office does not centrally hold the information requested as the Office for National Statistics publish data on suicide by occupation, including police officers.

Information on suicides by occupation can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/10807suicidebyoccupationenglandandwales2011to2018registrations

The statistics show that police officer (sergeant and below) suicide deaths in England remain relatively steady and small in number (e.g. 13 in 2011, reaching a high of 21 in 2012 and in the teens each year since, with 13 in 2019).

The death of any serving or retired police officer is a tragedy. The Government and police leaders take this matter seriously and are working to support the mental and physical wellbeing of all police officers and staff.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to officers and staff. This includes £7.5 to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service, which was launched in 2019. The Service is helping forces to identify where there is most risk of impacts on mental health, and developing work around building resilience, as well as putting in place support for those who need it in response to traumatic events.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to offer mental health and wellbeing support to police officers on retirement.

The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.

The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of recently retired police officers who have re-joined forces during that outbreak.

The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.

The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of including support for the mental health of retired police officers through the proposed Police Covenant.

The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.

The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the long-term effect on a person's mental health and wellbeing of serving in the police.

The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.

The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support the mental wellbeing of retired police officers.

The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.

We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.

The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.

1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of updating the valuations upon which Council Tax bands are set.

As set out previously, the Government has no plans to conduct a revaluation of council tax bands.

The Government remains committed to improving the local government finance landscape in the next Parliament. The Government confirmed in the Policy Statement published ahead of the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement that in response to calls for stability the Government is prioritising stability in this Parliament and will work with local government and the wider sector on the new challenges and opportunities they face in the next Parliament.

Simon Hoare
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to support the long-term viability of high streets.

This Government is fully committed to supporting our high-street businesses and communities.

Thanks to my Hon friend’s hard work, provisions in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act for High Street Rental Auctions (HSRA) give local authorities new powers to force landlords to rent out vacant units in high streets. HSRAs will be backed by £2 million funding announced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, to help communities and local businesses take control of empty properties, covering the cost of refurbishing properties, the auction process and council fees.

The High Street Accelerator pilot programme will incentivise and empower local people to work together to develop ambitious plans to tackle vacancy and anti-social behaviour, and work on long-term regeneration plans to future proof their high streets.

The Government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns has identified 55 towns to develop the first wave of Town Partnerships, backed by £1.1 billion overall, to drive ambitious plans to regenerate local towns across the UK over the next decade.

Long-term investment also includes £2.35 billion of Town Deals and over £830 million of Future High Streets Funding across 170 high streets, town centres and local communities in England.

At the last autumn statement, the Chancellor announced a business rates support package worth £4.3 billion over the next five years, freezing the small business multiplier and extending the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme.

I want to thank my Hon friend for her work, and I look forward to continuing to work with her on levelling up projects in Bishop Auckland and our Long-Term Plan for Towns in Spennymoor.

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that people sleeping rough have access to emergency accommodation.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative 2022-25 is investing over £530 million in funding to local authorities across England from April 2022 to March 2025. This includes an additional investment of £34.6 million announced in September 2023, to increase funding of rough sleeping services in local areas with the greatest need. The Rough Sleeping Initiative supports local authorities to develop their services from emergency interventions for rough sleepers to a focus on prevention, more sustained off-the-street accommodation offers and tailored support for those who are most vulnerable.

The Night Shelter Transformation Fund is investing £13 million to small – medium sized community and faith groups to increase the provision of quality single-room accommodation within the night shelter sector. The multi-year grant funding provides capital and revenue funding to support the sector to transform towards single-room year-round accommodation as the norm, as well as increasing the availability and quality of support for service users.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the building regulations on trickle vents are consistent with making houses more efficient.

In December 2021, Government published its response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation, including a suite of new regulations and standards to improve energy efficiency, ventilation and other matters covered by the Building Regulations


When windows are replaced in existing dwellings, it is necessary to ensure that the ventilation provision in the dwelling is no worse than it was before the work was carried out. A common way of meeting this requirement will be to install trickle ventilators. Approved Document F: volume 1 sets out the detail of the new standard


The purpose of ensuring ventilation provision is maintained is to protect the health and safety of people in the dwellings they occupy. The purpose of the new guidance is to make sure that any ventilation lost when replacing the window is replaced with purposeful ventilation. The standards do not require any more ventilation to be provided than is necessary. An assessment of energy demand due to replacement windows with ventilators can be found within the final stage Part F impact assessment


As part of the standards published in December 2021, we also increased the thermal efficiency standard for various types of work to existing buildings, including when replacing windows


New guidance and requirements for Part F and Part L of the Building Regulations are due to come into effect on 15 June 2022


Further information can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-buildings-standard

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that there is sufficient social housing stock available for larger families.

Our £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow. The Programme supports a wide range of affordable housing, including social housing for homes of all sizes.

Local authorities should determine the types of social housing needed for their communities. In March 2020 Government set out a clear expectation that local planning authorities must have an up-to-date plan in place by the end of 2023. This will ensure that they will be in the best possible position to adapt to the new plan-making system, further details on which we will set out in due course. Having an effective, up to date plan in place is essential to planning for and meeting housing requirements; in ways that make good use of land and result in well-designed and attractive places to live. The Government expects local authorities to work together to plan for and deliver the housing and infrastructure our communities need.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that social housing providers are accountable to local authorities and residents.

The Government is committed to ensuring that social housing providers are accountable to their tenants and residents. The Charter for Social Housing Residents: Social Housing White Paper set out a range of commitments on how we will improve the experiences of social housing residents, including strengthening the transparency and accountability of social housing providers

Registered providers of social housing are formally held to account by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Government set out in the Charter for Social Housing Residents our plan to reform the regulation of social housing, creating a strong, proactive consumer regulatory regime within the Regulator of Social Housing, reviewing the formal standards against which landlords are regulated and requiring them to be transparent about their performance so they can be held to account. The new regime will include regular inspections of the largest landlords, the creation of new Tenant Satisfaction Measures against which all social landlords will need to report, and the introduction of a new Access to Information Scheme for tenants of private registered providers of social housing.

We will legislate as soon as practicable to bring forward these changes.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the riot at HMP Deerbolt on 8 January 2020, what steps he is taking to (a) ensure the safety of prison staff and (b) recognise their work in difficult environments.

Our highly-skilled staff successfully resolved an incident involving 18 prisoners on one wing at HMYOI Deerbolt on 8 January. The 18 prisoners involved in the incident were transferred to other prisons or held in Deerbolt’s segregation unit. The perpetrators have been placed on report pending adjudication hearings as well as investigation by the police.

Prison officers do an outstanding job, and we do not underestimate the challenges faced by everyone working in prisons. We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and are providing prison officers with the right support, training and tools to empower them to do their jobs. Any prisoner who commits an act of violence can expect to have action taken against them.

We are rolling out our key worker model to improve staff-prisoner relationships and reduce violence, by providing individual support to each prisoner from a dedicated officer. We are giving staff rigid bar handcuffs and have provided nearly 6,000 body worn video cameras to officers, which provide high-quality evidence to support prosecutions.

We are also introducing PAVA – a synthetic pepper spray – to protect staff and prisoners from incidents where there is serious violence, or an imminent or perceived risk of serious violence. Alongside the rollout of PAVA we are introducing a new personal safety package, SPEAR (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response), to ensure that PAVA is introduced as part of a wider package of skills for staff to resolve and deescalate incidents.

Finally, we are spending £2.75 billion to transform the prison estate, creating 10,000 additional modern prison places and bolstering security to allow staff to focus their efforts on rehabilitating offenders.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
14th Jan 2020
What steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of crime in prisons.

Our prisons face a range of security challenges including supply of drugs and psychoactive substances and use of illicit phones. This fuels crime both behind and beyond the prison walls.

We are investing £100 million across the estate on airport-style security, including X-ray scanners, to stop drugs and phones from getting in.

Our previous investment in staff means prisons are making greater use body, property, cell and area searches to find contraband that gets in, aided by dedicated search teams and drug detection dogs.

And we are working closely with law enforcement to detect, disrupt and pursue the organised crime groups who drive significant amount of this criminal activity.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport