Florence Eshalomi Portrait

Florence Eshalomi

Labour (Co-op) - Vauxhall

Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021
Opposition Whip (Commons)
14th Apr 2020 - 30th Dec 2020


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 29th November 2021
15:45
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Long-term funding of adult social care
29 Nov 2021, 3:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Brian Dow - Deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness
Emily Holzhausen - Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK
Jackie O'Sullivan - Co-Chair at Care and Support Alliance
At 5.00pm: Oral evidence
Fazilet Hadi - Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK
Ruthe Isden - Head of Health and Care at Age UK
James White - Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
14:40
Human Rights (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Legislative Scrutiny: Nationality and Borders Bill
1 Dec 2021, 2:40 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Tom Pursglove MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Home Office
Dan Hobbs - Director, Asylum, Protection and Enforcement at Home Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th December 2021
14:40
Human Rights (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Ministerial Scrutiny: Human Rights
8 Dec 2021, 2:40 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 15th December 2021
14:40
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
English Channel Small Boats Incident

Yesterday was a very sad day. All of us will have been moved after seeing the reports. As I put …

Written Answers
Thursday 18th November 2021
HIV Infection: Disease Control
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the HIV Action Plan will measure progress in …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 27th January 2021
Covid-19 vaccine prioritisation for police staff
That this House pays tribute to the role key workers have played throughout the covid-19 pandemic; notes that in addition …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 17th May 2021
1. Employment and earnings
From 22 May 2020 until 10 May 2021, I received an annual allowance of £19,514. Hours: between 10 and 20 …
EDM signed
Monday 18th October 2021
Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 9th June 2020
Pedicabs (London) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to provide for the regulation of the carrying of passengers in Greater London by pedal cycles and power-assisted …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Florence Eshalomi has voted in 297 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Florence Eshalomi 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(14 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(10 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(27 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Florence Eshalomi's debates

Vauxhall 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 Vauxhall signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the UK Government to make it law that nightclubs must search guests on arrival to prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment. This could be a pat down search or metal detector, but must involve measures being put in place to ensure the safety of the public.

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.


Latest EDMs signed by Florence Eshalomi

23rd September 2021
Florence Eshalomi signed this EDM on Monday 18th October 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
132 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 95
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
17th June 2021
Florence Eshalomi signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 17th June 2021

Windrush Day 2021

Tabled by: Helen Hayes (Labour - Dulwich and West Norwood)
That this House notes that 22 June 2021 will be the 73rd anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Dock and the fourth annual Windrush Day; supports the commemorations across the country recognising the immense impact that the Windrush generation has had on the UK's society and …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Scottish National Party: 7
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Conservative: 1
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Florence Eshalomi's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Florence Eshalomi, 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.


Florence Eshalomi has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Florence Eshalomi has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Florence Eshalomi has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


113 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
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the National Audit Office report on the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

We are considering the National Audit Office report and its recommendations.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he or any of the Ministers of his Department use personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

Ministers will use a range of digital forms of communication for discussions in line with relevant guidance on information handling and security.

Ministers will have informal conversations from time to time, in person or remotely, and significant content relating to government business from such discussions is passed back to officials.

The Cabinet Office has previously published guidance on how information is held for the purposes of access to information, and how formal decisions are recorded for the official record. Ministers are also given advice on the security of electronic communications.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department operates a red, amber and green rating system for categorising Freedom of Information requests according to their presentational sensitivity.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not operate such a rating system for Freedom of Information requests.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to small businesses that are unable to access business grant schemes during the covid-19 outbreak because they share premises with a larger business and are not therefore registered as business ratepayers.

For those business who fall outside of the business rates system support may be available through the Additional Restrictions Grant. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) continues to enable Local Authorities to put in place discretionary business support and target businesses who may not be eligible to receive Grant Support under the mandatory schemes. Local Authorities are responsible for the administration for the Additional Restrictions Grant.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced an additional £425m will be made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant meaning that more than £2bn has been made available to Local Authorities since November 2020. Local Authorities are responsible for the administration of the Grant Scheme.

Businesses and entrepreneurs that have not been able to access support, or who are unsure about the support that may be available, can also contact their nearest Business Growth Hub. Government has supported the establishment of a network of 38 of these hubs, led by each Local Enterprise Partnership area in England. Expert advisers can offer businesses of all sizes free, tailored 1-1 guidance on areas such as planning, building resilience, and funding. The hubs can also signpost further resources such as webinars and networking opportunities. LEP and Growth Hub contact details are listed online: www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts/. Firms based in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales can access similar business support through the devolved governments.

The Government’s free Business Support Helpline FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 also provides impartial advice and can often signpost firms to further specialised sources of information.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he or any of the Ministers in his Department use personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

Ministers will use a range of digital forms of communication for discussions in line with relevant guidance on information handling and security.

Ministers will have informal conversations from time to time, in person or remotely, and significant content relating to government business from such discussions is passed back to officials.

The Cabinet Office has previously published guidance on how information is held for the purposes of access to information, and how formal decisions are recorded for the official record. Ministers are also given advice on the security of electronic communications.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department operates a red amber and green rating system for categorising Freedom of Information requests according to their presentational sensitivity.

The department does not operate such a system for categorising Freedom of Information requests. All FOI requests are treated exactly the same, regardless of who the request is from and their occupation.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to provide additional support to freelance workers in the media during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has taken and continues to take action to support media organisations, and all those who work in them, during this time.

For those who are self-employed, the Government has set up the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which has helped millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment. The scheme has helped many eligible freelance workers, including those in the media, receive up to £2,500 per month in grants, and our support for those who are self-employed is far more comprehensive, generous and longer lasting than almost any other country.

In addition, from 1 July employers have been able to bring back to work employees who have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim for their normal hours not worked.

The Government remains determined to do all it can to help sectors, including the Media, in their recovery and return to profitability. Only by helping the overall economy to stabilise and grow will we be able to ensure a safe and prosperous future for freelance workers.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the financial support from (a) his Department, (b) Arts Council England and (c) other public bodies will be made available to cultural and heritage organisations.

On 5 July, DCMS announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

We want this package, which will be delivered through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute, to support organisations across the cultural, heritage and creative sectors. We will publish further detailed guidance - including eligibility and application processes - as soon as possible in July.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the announcement entitled, £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions, published on 5 July 2020, what his timescale is for publishing details of the applications process for (a) loan and (b) grants available through that package.

On 5 July, DCMS announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

We want this package, which will be delivered through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute, to support organisations across the cultural, heritage and creative sectors. We will publish further detailed guidance - including eligibility and application processes - as soon as possible in July.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support is available from (a) the Government, (b) Arts Council England and (c) other public bodies for freelance and self-employed workers in the cultural and heritage sectors.

On 5 July, DCMS announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

We also recognise the crucial role that individuals play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers.

Alongside this, cultural and heritage organisations have been able to take advantage of the unprecedented support made available by the Government, including the Job Retention Scheme and a years' business rates holiday. Many will also benefit from VAT reductions announced this week. DCMS’ Arms Length Bodies Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund have also made emergency response packages available, totalling £55 million, for those organisations most in need. In March, Arts Council England (ACE) also announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the Government’s financial measures - this includes £140 million of support for artistic organisations, and £20 million for individuals, including self-employed practitioners, so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. More than 9000 individuals and organisations have been successful in applying for this emergency funding.

In addition to the Government’s Self-employment Support Scheme and support available via these tailored support packages, the newly announced £120 million for investment in capital projects in the culture and heritage sectors will help to get projects back on track, generating a pipeline of work for the heritage sector and supporting many freelancers and self-employed workers, including skilled crafts people.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the announcement entitled, £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions, published on 5 July 2020, what the (a) eligibility criteria, (b) timeline and (c) application process are for accessing this package.

On 5 July, DCMS announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

We want this package, which will be delivered through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute, to support organisations across the cultural, heritage and creative sectors. We will publish further detailed guidance - including eligibility and application processes - as soon as possible in July.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to replace Creative Europe media funding.

While the Government has taken the decision not to seek participation in Creative Europe’s 2021-27 programme, we remain committed to supporting the UK’s thriving cultural and creative economy. We will continue to invest money directly into the UK's cultural and creative sectors, continuing to support and grow their world-class activity on the international stage. Now we have taken back control of our money, we are able to focus spending on specific UK priorities including on our world class arts, heritage and creative industries. Officials are developing options for domestic alternatives to Creative Europe, which will be considered in line with upcoming fiscal events including the Comprehensive Spending Review.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he or any of the Ministers of his Department use personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

I refer the hon. Member for Vauxhall to the answer I gave on 5 July 2021 to Questions 23184 and 23186.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that awareness of the specific symptoms of complex mental health conditions is included in the national curriculum.

Relationships Education is compulsory for all primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is compulsory for all secondary school pupils, and Health Education is compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools.

Mental wellbeing is a key topic in Health Education and there is a recognition that mental wellbeing and physical health are linked. Pupils are taught about mental wellbeing and physical health to give them the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing. Pupils are taught to recognise early signs of mental wellbeing concerns and common types of mental ill health, such as anxiety and depression, and, where issues arise, seek support as early as possible from appropriate sources.

Promotion of good mental wellbeing through the teaching of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is key to the recovery of schools, and the socialisation of pupils once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The statutory RSHE guidance on mental wellbeing is therefore a key priority within the Department’s package of support. The training material, covering mental wellbeing, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. This is alongside other teacher training modules, which aim to help teachers identify the core knowledge pupils may be taught as part of RSHE, and to share this through peer training. These have been developed with subject matter experts and teachers, and are available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#train-teachers-on-relationships-sex-and-health-education.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether scientists researching covid-19 are considered critical workers for the purposes of allowing children to attend school during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will update the Government’s guidance to reflect the Government's position on that matter.

During this period of national lockdown, schools should allow only vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend. All other pupils should not attend and should learn remotely. We have resisted restrictions on attendance at schools since the first lockdown but, in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all our social contacts wherever possible. Limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 outbreak and EU transition response can send their children to school if required. The guidance for ‘Children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings’ sets out who is able to attend school to receive face-to-face education. The document sets out the high-level role types, and the list in the guidance is not exhaustive, but it should offer sufficient information to help parents and carers to identify if their work is considered critical to the nation’s COVID-19 response. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.

The Department will continue to review the restrictions on schools and will ensure that children and young people return to face-to-face education as soon as possible.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department’s guidance entitled Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, updated on 10 September 2020, when his Department plans to publish further guidance and examples as set out under the heading: if food parcels are needed.

We continue to work with stakeholders to provide advice and support to schools. Guidance has been prepared jointly by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), Public Health England and the Department for Education, setting out some general principles for putting together a food parcel, which will allow parents and carers to prepare simple and healthy lunches for their children at home across the week. This guidance is available on LACA’s website here:
https://laca.co.uk/laca-view/free-school-meals-guidance-producing-food-parcels.

A further updated version of our guidance will be published shortly and the current version is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Now schools and their kitchens are open, normal free school meal provision resumes, enabling children to have a nutritious healthy meal at school. Schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and all pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria. As set out in our guidance, schools are able to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have to remain at home due to self-isolation with food parcels.

Approximately 88% of pupils on roll in state-funded schools were in attendance on 10 September. Attendance estimates include pupils absent for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related reasons. Further data on school attendance of free school meal eligible children will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department’s guidance entitled Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, updated on 10 September 2020, for what reason his Department has yet to provide the further guidance referred to under the heading: if food parcels are needed.

We continue to work with stakeholders to provide advice and support to schools. Guidance has been prepared jointly by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), Public Health England and the Department for Education, setting out some general principles for putting together a food parcel, which will allow parents and carers to prepare simple and healthy lunches for their children at home across the week. This guidance is available on LACA’s website here:
https://laca.co.uk/laca-view/free-school-meals-guidance-producing-food-parcels.

A further updated version of our guidance will be published shortly and the current version is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Now schools and their kitchens are open, normal free school meal provision resumes, enabling children to have a nutritious healthy meal at school. Schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and all pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria. As set out in our guidance, schools are able to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have to remain at home due to self-isolation with food parcels.

Approximately 88% of pupils on roll in state-funded schools were in attendance on 10 September. Attendance estimates include pupils absent for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related reasons. Further data on school attendance of free school meal eligible children will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils eligible for free school meals who were unable to access those meals because they were (a) self-isolating and (b) under local lockdown arrangements in each of the last two weeks for which data is available.

We continue to work with stakeholders to provide advice and support to schools. Guidance has been prepared jointly by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), Public Health England and the Department for Education, setting out some general principles for putting together a food parcel, which will allow parents and carers to prepare simple and healthy lunches for their children at home across the week. This guidance is available on LACA’s website here:
https://laca.co.uk/laca-view/free-school-meals-guidance-producing-food-parcels.

A further updated version of our guidance will be published shortly and the current version is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Now schools and their kitchens are open, normal free school meal provision resumes, enabling children to have a nutritious healthy meal at school. Schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and all pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria. As set out in our guidance, schools are able to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have to remain at home due to self-isolation with food parcels.

Approximately 88% of pupils on roll in state-funded schools were in attendance on 10 September. Attendance estimates include pupils absent for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related reasons. Further data on school attendance of free school meal eligible children will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of pupils are eligible for free school meals in (a) Vauxhall constituency, (b) Greater London and (c) England.

The department publishes the number of pupils who are eligible for free school meals in the Schools, pupils and their characteristics publication, available at:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals in January 2020 was 34.5% in Vauxhall constituency compared with 18.8% in Greater London and 17.3% in England as a whole.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that free school breakfast and lunch provision continues during the (a) May half-term and (b) summer holidays during the covid-19 outbreak.

Ordinarily, provision for free school meals (FSM) is during term-time only. However, during the Easter holidays, the department met the costs of offering FSM to eligible pupils not attending school during term-time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to take steps to provide emergency childcare in cases where all adult members of a household are hospitalised as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Childcare providers are making a vital contribution in our fight against COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 18 March, they will continue to do so by focusing on childcare for the children of critical workers, and vulnerable children. To assist this change, the Department for Education has confirmed that it will not claw back funding from local authorities for any periods of closures where settings are closed or children are not able to attend due to COVID-19. The government expects local authorities to follow the department’s position, and continue early years entitlements funding for childminders, pre-schools and nurseries. This should also apply to those infant and primary schools that deliver the early years entitlements. This will minimise short-term disruptions to early years providers’ finances and allow the system to recover more quickly.

The Chancellor has also announced a package of support for businesses that will include many early years and childcare providers. This includes business rates relief, a range of loans and grants and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This scheme allows all UK employers access to support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

We have also issued guidance for local authorities and providers about childcare for specific groups. However, we recognise that when all adults in a household are hospitalised, and there are no family and friends able to provide support, children may need to be cared for in emergency and temporary foster care until parents recover.

The department continues to work alongside Public Health England and early years and children’s social care sector representatives to ensure support is in place for children that need it, and that all measures taken are in the best interests of the health of our nation.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he or any of the Ministers in his Department use personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

Ministers will use a range of digital forms of communication for discussions in line with relevant guidance on information handling and security.

Ministers will have informal conversations from time to time, in person or remotely, and significant content relating to government business from such discussions is passed back to officials.

The Cabinet Office has previously published guidance on how information is held for the purposes of access to information, and how formal decisions are recorded for the official record. Ministers are also given advice on the security of electronic communications.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department operates a red, amber and green rating system for categorising Freedom of Information requests according to their presentational sensitivity.

No. All FOI requests are treated in exactly the same way.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether (a) she and (b) other Ministers of her Department have used personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

Ministers will use a range of digital forms of communication for discussions in line with relevant guidance on information handling and security.

Ministers will have informal conversations from time to time, in person or remotely, and significant content relating to government business from such discussions is passed back to officials.

The Cabinet Office has previously published guidance on how information is held for the purposes of access to information, and how formal decisions are recorded for the official record. Ministers are also given advice on the security of electronic communications.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for the commencement of the review entitled, the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy regulatory review.

The Department for Transport commenced a regulatory review in March 2019, as announced in the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy.

As stated at that time, we expect the review to take place over a number of years. However we also said that we would not wait until the full process is complete before acting on our most significant and pressing findings.

The call for evidence published on 16 March 2020 is an important milestone in the review. It asks for information and views on micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and mobility as a service (MaaS). The call for evidence deadline has recently been extended to 3rd July.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce national minimum standards for taxi and PHV licensing.

The Government will continue to engage with the sector on our plans for reforming the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, including options to introduce new legislation. The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards, which will be issued shortly. The Department will consult on updated best practice guidance on other matters later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on cross-border working in the PHV industry.

The Government will continue to engage with the sector on our plans for reforming the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, including options to introduce new legislation. The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards, which will be issued shortly. The Department will consult on updated best practice guidance on other matters later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to respond to the public consultation onTaxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing: Protecting Users that was published in February 2019.

The Government will continue to engage with the sector on our plans for reforming the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, including options to introduce new legislation. The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards, which will be issued shortly. The Department will consult on updated best practice guidance on other matters later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on regulating rickshaws and pedicabs in (a) London and (b) the UK.

Outside London, in England and Wales, pedicabs are treated as taxis for the purposes of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. Accordingly, pedicabs may be regulated as taxis under the provisions of the 1847 and 1976 Acts.

The Government is aware of concerns raised about unregulated pedicabs in London and as such, has committed to seek opportunities to introduce legislation that will enable the regulation of pedicabs.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which stations in London have been made accessible outside of the Access for All programme since 2006; and by which Network Rail Control Period they became accessible in.

In the majority of cases station accessibility in London is a matter for Transport for London. However, 42 London stations have been given step free access under the Department’s Access for All programme since 2006 with a further 19 due to be completed by 2024. In addition, all 41 Elizabeth Line stations will have step free access when the line opens.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which stations in London are due to be made accessible under the Access for All programme during Network Rail Control Period 6.

In the majority of cases station accessibility in London is a matter for Transport for London. However, 42 London stations have been given step free access under the Department’s Access for All programme since 2006 with a further 19 due to be completed by 2024. In addition, all 41 Elizabeth Line stations will have step free access when the line opens.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which stations in London are due to be made accessible outside of the Access for All programme during Network Rail Control Period 6.

In the majority of cases station accessibility in London is a matter for Transport for London. However, 42 London stations have been given step free access under the Department’s Access for All programme since 2006 with a further 19 due to be completed by 2024. In addition, all 41 Elizabeth Line stations will have step free access when the line opens.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to provide universal credit claimants who have taken temporary trips overseas special dispensation when that trip has been extended as a result of travel bans or restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic.

It is a general requirement that a claimant must be in Great Britain (GB) to be entitled to Universal Credit but there are circumstances when a person is still entitled to Universal Credit whilst temporarily being absent from GB.

Claimants generally should notify Universal Credit of the intention to go abroad. Claimants can go abroad on holiday for any reason for up to one month, but they must still satisfy their work related requirements on the claimant commitment. An absence can be extended and in some specific circumstances work-related requirements may be ‘switched-off’.

The Department has put into place measures to support existing benefit recipients in exceptional cases where their absence abroad goes over the period allowed under the temporary absence benefit rules and are awaiting repatriation due to covid-19 travel restrictions.

Foreign, Commmonwealth & Development Office consular staff continue to provide advice and support to British nationals who face financial difficulties overseas due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Those in real financial distress whilst stranded overseas can seek advice and support from their local consular team, who will be able to advise on any local support that may be available, as well as facilitate contact with friends and families who may be able to help.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will publish guidance to advise employers on how to support physically disabled workers to return to the workplace in a covid-safe way, while having their needs met, to ensure that disabled people are able to return to the workplace on an equal basis as covid-19 restrictions ease.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has existing guidance for employers of people with disabilities: https://www.hse.gov.uk/disability/employers.htm which remains applicable to those returning to work following absence related to COVID-19. Employers are required to ensure that their workplaces are COVID secure for all employees and there is extensive guidance on the HSE web site to help them do that.

Under equality law, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure, as far is reasonable, that employees with disabilities have the same access to everything required to do the job as a non - disabled worker.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans the Government has for a public consultation on the forthcoming National Disability Strategy.

The Government is committed to transforming the lives of disabled people, and will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People this year.


It will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people. The Government has already engaged widely to support the development of the National Strategy and future work. This has taken place with a diverse range of stakeholders, including: the Disability Charities Consortium, Disabled People’s Organisations Forum and Regional Stakeholder Network (which includes disability organisations and individual disabled people), as well as businesses and business organisations, regulators, academia, professional bodies and the Devolved Administrations.


This engagement will include online surveys and virtual round tables across the UK to enable disabled people to share views and insights on key challenges as the National Strategy is developed and implemented.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which disabled people’s (a) charities, (b) organisations and (c) campaign groups have been consulted on the forthcoming National Disability Strategy to date.

The Government is committed to transforming the lives of disabled people, and will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People this year.


It will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people. The Government has already engaged widely to support the development of the National Strategy and future work. This has taken place with a diverse range of stakeholders, including: the Disability Charities Consortium, Disabled People’s Organisations Forum and Regional Stakeholder Network (which includes disability organisations and individual disabled people), as well as businesses and business organisations, regulators, academia, professional bodies and the Devolved Administrations.


This engagement will include online surveys and virtual round tables across the UK to enable disabled people to share views and insights on key challenges as the National Strategy is developed and implemented.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Government plans to publish its National Disability Strategy.

The Government is committed to transforming the lives of disabled people, and will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People this year.


It will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people. The Government has already engaged widely to support the development of the National Strategy and future work. This has taken place with a diverse range of stakeholders, including: the Disability Charities Consortium, Disabled People’s Organisations Forum and Regional Stakeholder Network (which includes disability organisations and individual disabled people), as well as businesses and business organisations, regulators, academia, professional bodies and the Devolved Administrations.


This engagement will include online surveys and virtual round tables across the UK to enable disabled people to share views and insights on key challenges as the National Strategy is developed and implemented.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made in ensuring that PrEP is available in wider settings beyond sexual health services.

The HIV Action Plan is due to be published on 1 December 2021. The Plan will be followed by a monitoring and evaluation framework to be published in 2022, which will measure progress in ending new HIV transmission against 2019 levels.

Local Government action on HIV testing and prevention is funded through the ring-fenced Public Health Grant. It was announced in the Spending Review that the Public Health Grant will be maintained in real terms for 2022/25. We will continue to invest in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through the Grant, with £11 million provided in 2020/21 and £23.4 million in 2021/22. We will set out our plans to expand the settings in which PrEP might be made available outside of sexual health services in the HIV Action Plan.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what new resources his Department is making available to ensure the delivery of the goal of ending new HIV transmission by 2030.

The HIV Action Plan is due to be published on 1 December 2021. The Plan will be followed by a monitoring and evaluation framework to be published in 2022, which will measure progress in ending new HIV transmission against 2019 levels.

Local Government action on HIV testing and prevention is funded through the ring-fenced Public Health Grant. It was announced in the Spending Review that the Public Health Grant will be maintained in real terms for 2022/25. We will continue to invest in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through the Grant, with £11 million provided in 2020/21 and £23.4 million in 2021/22. We will set out our plans to expand the settings in which PrEP might be made available outside of sexual health services in the HIV Action Plan.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the HIV Action Plan will measure progress in ending new HIV transmission against 2019 levels.

The HIV Action Plan is due to be published on 1 December 2021. The Plan will be followed by a monitoring and evaluation framework to be published in 2022, which will measure progress in ending new HIV transmission against 2019 levels.

Local Government action on HIV testing and prevention is funded through the ring-fenced Public Health Grant. It was announced in the Spending Review that the Public Health Grant will be maintained in real terms for 2022/25. We will continue to invest in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through the Grant, with £11 million provided in 2020/21 and £23.4 million in 2021/22. We will set out our plans to expand the settings in which PrEP might be made available outside of sexual health services in the HIV Action Plan.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what outcomes will be reviewed under his Department's plan for a 12-month post-implementation review of the removal of the question on sexual activity of partners in parts of the world with high HIV rates from the blood safety check form; what timescales are planned for completing that review; and who will be involved in conducting the review.

The overall impact of the change will be reviewed by the ‘For Assessment of Individualised Risk steering group and the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs one year after implementation. Both groups will review any changes in the number of people coming forward to donate blood and the type of infections identified when all donations are screened for possible infections before being used. In addition, NHS Blood and Transplant will review the risk factors associated with markers of infection on a weekly basis, as well as reviewing the numbers and rates of new and past infections and current trends.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, from what date the question on sexual activity of partners in parts of the world with high HIV rates will be removed from the blood donor safety check form.

Following the Government’s announcement on 11 October, this change will be implemented by the end of 2021 at the latest. NHS Blood and Transplant is currently implementing the safe removal of the question from the blood donor safety check and providing training to staff.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to update blood donation criteria to remove the three month restriction on donating blood for anyone whose partner has had sex with someone from parts of the world where HIV is very common.

The Department has considered the evidence presented by the For the Assessment of Individual Risk steering group on the removal of the question that asks potential blood donors about whether they have recently had sex with a partner who may ever have had sex in an area where HIV is endemic.

Retaining this deferral ensures we maintain a robust and careful approach to blood donation that protects both donors and those receiving this potentially life-saving intervention. The safeguards in place to ensure the safety of those donating and those receiving blood and blood products remain under regular review.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will produce a cross-departmental strategy on (a) societal misconceptions, (b) lack of awareness in schools, (c) medical misdiagnosis and (d) waiting times for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.

We have no current plans for a cross-Government strategy specifically on obsessive compulsive disorder.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to reduce the length of time that children and young people have to wait between referral to NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and the beginning of treatment.

We remain committed to the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an additional £2.3 billion a year into mental health services by 2023/24. This will provide at least an additional 345,000 children and young people with timely access to National Health Service-funded mental health support by 2023/24. The proposals set out in the Green Paper on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision include the piloting of a four-week access and waiting time for children and young people’s mental health services.

In addition, on 5 March, the Department announced an additional £79 million for mental health support for children and young people in 2021/22. This will allow approximately 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and a faster increase in the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges over the next financial year.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to increase the number of specialist clinicians in obsessive compulsive disorder within NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

We have no plans to do so. All consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists and the extended multi-disciplinary team have specific training and qualifications to work with young people presenting with obsessive compulsive disorder as a core element of their specialist clinical role. This is integral to the provision of all community-based and specialised mental health inpatient services for children and young people.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department’s current non-executive directors were appointed; what oversight officials of his Department had of the Ministerial appointments of those non-executive directors; and what assessment was made of the applicants' experience against the requirements for breadth and depth of experience set out in the Cabinet Office guidance on Departmental Boards of November 2014.

The Department has three non-executive directors as shown in the following table.

Kate Lampard (Lead Non-Executive Director)

Appointed 2017

Gerry Murphy (Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee)

Appointed 2014

Doug Gurr

Appointed 2020

Recruitment to non-executive roles is overseen by Departmental officials on behalf of Ministers in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance. Those recruited are selected on the basis of the skills and experience set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance, which is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/role-of-government-non-executives

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial payments his Department makes to its non-executive directors; how many times his departmental Board will meet in 2021-22; and what work the non-executive directors undertake.

Non-executive directors are entitled to an allowance of £15,000 per annum. An additional allowance of £5,000 per annum is available for the lead non-executive director role and the Audit and Risk Committee Chair. The Departmental board meets four times a year. In common with all Government departments, the role of the Departmental Board and the work of non-executive directors is set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance, which is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/role-of-government-non-executives

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what private companies are contracted to provide security services at his Department’s buildings that contain Ministerial private offices; and whether there are closed circuit television cameras in each of those Ministerial private offices within his Departmental estate.

EMCOR UK are contracted to provide security services to the Department’s buildings. Closed circuit television cameras are not installed in each of the Ministers’ offices.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what declarations of interests have been made by his Department’s non-executive directors; and where those declarations are published.

Non-executive directors comply with the provisions of the Cabinet Office’s Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Board members are required to submit any declarable interests annually. This information forms part of the independent National Audit Office review ahead of the publication of Departmental annual report and accounts.

Information on any relevant interests will be published in the Department’s annual report and accounts, which is available on GOV.UK.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many freedom of information requests has his Department referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in each year since 2016.

The information is not held in the format requested and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Since 2016, the Department has occasionally referred Freedom of Information requests to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in accordance with referral criteria, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to provide early access to covid-19 vaccinations for single parents who are at risk of being unable to care for their children in the event that they fall ill with covid-19 and do not have support from another parent or carer during the covid-19 lockdown.

Prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccination in phase one of the programme is based on reducing mortality, morbidity and protecting the health and social care system. Phase two, which started on 13 April, has been based on risk of serious health outcomes from COVID-19 therefore individuals have not been prioritised on the basis of factors such as responsibility for child-care. There are currently no plans to prioritise on this basis.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to research from the Disabled Children’s Partnership which found that delays to health appointments during the pandemic has led to over half of surveyed parents saying their child’s condition has worsened, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 on the health of disabled children.

We will publish a national strategy for disabled people later this spring, taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. Additionally, National Health Service recovery guidance makes clear that community services must be prioritised for children and young people aged up to 25 years old with special educational needs and disabilities and who have an Education Health and Care Plan in place or who are going through an assessment.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve funding for (a) research, (b) data and (c) services for women in the UK response to end new transmissions of HIV by 2030.

The Government remains committed to achieving zero new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. As part of this commitment, we will be developing a Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan on reaching the 2030 target, which we plan to publish in 2021. We will consider issues related to improving gender parity, and issues around research, data and services for women as part of the process to develop both the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure improve gender parity and equitable investment in the UK response to end new transmissions of HIV by 2030.

The Government remains committed to achieving zero new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. As part of this commitment, we will be developing a Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan on reaching the 2030 target, which we plan to publish in 2021. We will consider issues related to improving gender parity, and issues around research, data and services for women as part of the process to develop both the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure access to medical-grade FFP3 facemasks in all occupational settings for frontline health and social care workers.

For workers in the National Health Service, Infection Prevention and Control guidance published on GOV.UK sets out what personal protective equipment (PPE), including FFP3 masks, should be used and on what occasions. The equivalent guidance for workers in social care settings is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-social-care-guidance

In December we established a four-month stockpile of COVID-19 critical PPE, including FFP3s. We are confident that we have secured enough FFP3s for the winter period and that we have the processes and logistics in place to distribute them to where they are required.

As a result of the FFP3 fit-testing project, a further eight types of mask were made available, and we now supply over 12 different models to the NHS, with over 41 million units of FFP3 face masks available for distribution.

The programme currently includes a team of up to 160 fit testers being mobilised for approximately five months and we are in the process of doubling the size of the team.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the scientific basis that informed his decision not to include non-cohabiting couples in the scope of support bubbles in England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has provided expert strategic scientific advice to the Government throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

Individuals who are eligible to form a support bubble may choose to do so with their partner and where this is not possible, couples can meet up outside. The guidance states that those in an established relationship do not need to socially distance outdoors but those in the early stages of a relationship should follow the guidance on social distancing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has undertaken an equalities impact assessment of funding for mental health charities to expand support services during the covid-19 outbreak to ensure it meets the needs of LGBT people, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, disabled people and people with other protected characteristics.

The Department has provided £5 million of grant funding to Mind and the Mental Health Consortia to distribute to mental health charities to support adults and children as part of a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. We provided a further £4.2 million of grant funding directly to mental health charities. These investments are supporting a wide range of groups that include LGBTQ+, black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and people with disabilities.

In providing grant funding, the Department ensures the Government’s duties under the Equalities Act 2010 are met to ensure we are taking into account the needs of a diverse range of groups. The Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund also has an independently chaired governance group, including officials from the Department, which monitors the allocations from the Fund to ensure fairness and diversity.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to make an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the mental health of (a) LGBT people who are Black, Asian and minority ethnic, (b) other LGBT people with multiple protected characteristics and (c) the rest of the LGBT community.

Monitoring and tracking the impact of COVID-19 on people's mental health is a key part of the overall national response to the pandemic. We recognise the disproportionate impacts that have been experienced by some groups during this time.

The Government Equalities Office is engaging with other Government departments and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sector to understand how we can best support the LGBT population at this time and as we move into recovery.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the length of waiting lists for adult gender identity services; and what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times on those lists to align with the statutory 18-week limit.

As with all NHS services during the COVID-19 pandemic, gender dysphoria clinics experienced a disruption to their services. However, the clinics did not close and offered remote appointments and electronic repeat prescriptions where appropriate.

To address the continuing increase in the number of people seeking care from gender dysphoria clinics, NHS England ran a number of contract award processes, in 2019, with the aim of increasing clinical capacity and reducing waiting times. As a result, three new adult gender dysphoria services will begin to see patients in 2020/21 as pilots for evaluation.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was selected to run a new gender dysphoria service as a pilot in London and the first patients were seen in July 2020. The Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a contract to deliver a similar pilot service in Cheshire and Merseyside, and a contract award is imminent for a provider to deliver a similar pilot service in Greater Manchester.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when his Department’s current non-executive directors were appointed; what oversight officials had of Ministerial appointments of non-executive directors; and what assessment was made of their experience against the requirements for breadth and depth of experience set out in the Cabinet Office guidance on Departmental Boards of November 2014.

Departments follow the principles set out in Cabinet Office/HM Treasury ‘Corporate governance in central government departments: code of good practice.’

The biographies for all four FCDO Non-Executive Directors are available on GOV.UK

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what private companies are currently contracted to provide security services at his Department’s buildings that contain Ministerial private offices; and whether there are closed circuit television cameras in any Ministerial private office within his departmental estate.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what declarations of interests have been made by his Department’s non-executive directors; and where those declarations are published.

Non-executive directors comply with the provisions of the Cabinet Office's Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Board members are required to submit any declarable interests annually; this information forms part of the independent National Audit Office review ahead of the publication of Departmental annual report and accounts. Information on any relevant interests will be published alongside the Department annual report and accounts, which are available on gov.uk.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what payments his Department makes to its non-executive directors; how many times his departmental Board will meet in 2021-22; and what work the non-executive directors undertake.

The FCDO's Non-Executive Directors bring independent challenge and external expertise, an important function as we complete the merger of the two legacy Departments. In line with Cabinet Office guidance, the time commitment expected from Non-Executive Directors is approximately 20 days per year, for which they are paid £15,000 each per annum, except the lead Non-Executive Director who is paid £20,000.


All four are members of the FCDO's departmental board, the Supervisory Board, which meets quarterly. They are also all members of the Management Board, which meets monthly, and between them they chair the Staff Advisory Board and the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, and sit on the Strategy Committee, Investment Committee, Delivery Committee, Senior Leadership Board, Transformation Board, and People Committee. They also provide support and challenge to teams and projects across the FCDO.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many freedom of information requests his Department has referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in each year since 2016.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) do not hold this information centrally, and it can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The FCDO (and its former legacy departments) has referred requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria. This is available on the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to review the number of proscribed far-right groups classified as terrorist.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if she believes it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do so.

We keep the list of proscribed organisations under regular review.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that foreign nationals who reside in the UK and are in the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain are not unfairly penalised in their application if they do not meet the requirement to live in the UK for more than 180 days in a given one year period if they are currently abroad but cannot afford to return to the UK due to the financial cost of the new covid-19 quarantine health measures that will come in to force on Monday 15 February.

For Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), applicants must meet continuous residence requirements and are generally only allowed to be out of the UK for a maximum of 180 days in a 12-month period.

However, absences beyond 180 days can be allowed if there are serious or compelling reasons. Examples in current guidance include reference to a pandemic, and certain extended absences due to Covid-19 could fall within this definition. Each case would be considered on its own facts.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether drones are permitted to fly within London domestic airspace for use by the Metropolitan Police.

Police Forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police can use small drones, in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority regulations. These are used for public order events; missing people search operations and to support ground teams.

The Home Office has not allocated funding to Beyond the Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Drones for use by the Metropolitan Police. The Home Office is working with the policing aviation sector to assess the potential merits of the use of BVLOS Drones, including significant reductions in carbon emissions and the future potential for them to become electrically powered, reduced noise levels and longer flying times.

There are two main factors that will determine when this technology is available to safely use across London. The first is operational viability, which is currently being assessed by the policing aviation sector; the second is ensuring that this new technology can be used safely within busy airspace and overhead densely populated areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding the Government has allocated to Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone technology for use by the Metropolitan Police.

Police Forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police can use small drones, in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority regulations. These are used for public order events; missing people search operations and to support ground teams.

The Home Office has not allocated funding to Beyond the Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Drones for use by the Metropolitan Police. The Home Office is working with the policing aviation sector to assess the potential merits of the use of BVLOS Drones, including significant reductions in carbon emissions and the future potential for them to become electrically powered, reduced noise levels and longer flying times.

There are two main factors that will determine when this technology is available to safely use across London. The first is operational viability, which is currently being assessed by the policing aviation sector; the second is ensuring that this new technology can be used safely within busy airspace and overhead densely populated areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone technology will be made available for use by the Metropolitan Police.

Police Forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police can use small drones, in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority regulations. These are used for public order events; missing people search operations and to support ground teams.

The Home Office has not allocated funding to Beyond the Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Drones for use by the Metropolitan Police. The Home Office is working with the policing aviation sector to assess the potential merits of the use of BVLOS Drones, including significant reductions in carbon emissions and the future potential for them to become electrically powered, reduced noise levels and longer flying times.

There are two main factors that will determine when this technology is available to safely use across London. The first is operational viability, which is currently being assessed by the policing aviation sector; the second is ensuring that this new technology can be used safely within busy airspace and overhead densely populated areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what private companies are currently contracted to provide security services at his Department’s buildings that contain Ministerial private offices; and whether there are closed circuit television cameras in any Ministerial private office within his Departmental estate.

Security equipment installed and maintained at MOD Main Building which contains Ministerial private offices is provided through PFI contractor MODUS. Operation of the security equipment at MOD Main Building is not carried out by external companies. There are no closed-circuit television cameras in any Ministerial private office.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what declarations of interests have been made by his Department’s non-executive directors; and where those interests are published.

Non-executive directors comply with the provisions of the Cabinet Office's Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies.

Board members are required to submit any declarable interests annually; this information forms part of the independent National Audit Office review ahead of the publication of Departmental annual report and accounts.

Information on any relevant interests will be published in the Department annual report and accounts, which are available on gov.uk.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what financial payments his Department makes to its non-executive directors; how many times his departmental Board will meet in 2021-22; and what work the non-executive directors undertake.

This information is published in the Department's annual report and accounts, available on gov.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministry-of-defence-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-to-2020

The Department's report and accounts for 2021-22 will be published in due course, in the usual way.

Departmental boards provide strategic leadership for each central Government department, as well as advising on/challenging how the department is performing. Each board is chaired by the Secretary of State and includes junior Ministers, the Permanent Secretary and non-executive board members. Non-executives are appointed to Government departments from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Their role is to provide advice and bring an external perspective.

A summary of the work of non-executive directors across Government can be found in the Government Lead Non-Executive's annual report, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-lead-non-executives-annual-report-2019-to-2020

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many freedom of information requests has his Department referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in each year since 2016.

The Ministry of Defence has referred requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria which is available on gov.uk here –

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department’s current non-executive directors were appointed; what oversight officials had of Ministerial appointments of those non-executive directors; and what assessment was made of their experience against the requirements for breadth and depth of experience set out in the Cabinet Office guidance on Departmental Boards of November 2014.

Departments follow the principles set out in Cabinet Office/HM Treasury 'Corporate governance in central government departments: code of good practice'. Information on all appointments can be found on the Government website.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what declarations of interests have been made by his Department’s non-executive directors; and where that information is published.

Non-executive directors comply with the provisions of the Cabinet Office's Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies which will be available on Gov.uk.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what financial payments his Department makes to its non-executive directors; how many times his departmental Board will meet in 2021-22; and what work the non-executive directors undertake.

This information is published in the Department's annual report and accounts, available on Gov.uk.

The Department's report and accounts for 2021-22 will be published in due course, in the usual way.

Departmental boards provide strategic leadership for each central government department, as well as advising on/challenging how the department is performing. Each board is chaired by the Secretary of State and includes junior ministers, the permanent secretary and non-executive board members. Non-executives are appointed to government departments from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Their role is to provide advice and bring an external perspective.

Board meetings are scheduled on a regular basis in line with best practice subject to availability of members.

A summary of the work of non-executive directors across Government can be found in the Government Lead Non-Executive's annual report, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-lead-non-executives-annual-report-2019-to-2020.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what private companies are contracted to provide security services at his Department’s buildings that contain Ministerial private offices; and whether there are closed circuit television cameras in any Ministerial private office within his Departmental estate.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of private sector, residential, multi-occupied buildings in England between 11 and 18 metres in height.

The Department’s most recent estimate on the total number of residential buildings between 11 metres and 18 metres in height can be found in the Building Safety Programme Monthly data release. The most recent publication is available online here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-may-2021

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the number of residential multi-occupied buildings (a) above 11 metres tall and (b) under 18 metres in height that have undergone an external wall survey in the last three years broken down into (i) private and (ii) social housing sectors.

This information is not held. External wall surveys, in the form of EWS1 assessments, are an industry process and data on them is not collected by MHCLG.

The Department has published estimates regarding EWS1 requirements on residential buildings in England, which are available online here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department provides support to leaseholders whose building owner or manager refuses to commission an external wall survey as required by mortgage lenders for the sale of that property.

EWS1 is not a Government form or regulatory requirement, and it is not a safety certificate. EWS1 was created by industry to help with mortgage valuations for flats in blocks with cladding. It is designed to identify whether a block is likely to need value-affecting remediation work.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring their building is safe and they have a legal duty to maintain an up-to-date fire risk assessment. This should include the external walls and Government has clarified the Fire Safety Order, through the Fire Safety Bill, to ensure this is abundantly clear.

We will continue to work with lenders to help them to recognise alternative forms of assurance of building safety such as a comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment which includes the external walls.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many freedom of information requests has his Department referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in each year since 2016.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has referred requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria which is available on gov.uk here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to support employment projects for disabled people through the Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK in places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities.

As set out at Spending Review 2020, one portion of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will support investment in people and skills, in communities and places and in local businesses, all tailored to local needs. A second portion of the Fund will be targeted differently to people most in need, through bespoke employment and skills programmes. This will support improved employment outcomes for those in and out of work in specific groups of people who face labour market barriers.

The Government will publish a UK-wide investment framework later this year.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what protections are in place for leaseholders in buildings eligible for Government assistance to remediate defective cladding whose owners decide not to apply and to charge leaseholders for the work instead.

The Government has been very clear that it is the responsibility of the building owner, landlord or responsible person to ensure the safety of residents in buildings with unsafe cladding systems. We expect building owners and landlords to pursue all avenues to fund the remediation costs for unsafe cladding without passing on costs to leaseholders, by meeting these costs from their own resources, by claiming on insurance policies or warranties, or taking legal action. Where this is not possible the Government is making an unprecedented £5 billion available to fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres and over in England. Building owners and landlords should therefore not be seeking to charge leaseholders for the costs of remediation of unsafe cladding on buildings that are eligible for Government funding and should instead apply for the funding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what financial support is available towards the cost of (a) waking watches and (b) other interim fire safety measures for leaseholders living in blocks under 18 metres while they wait for remediation work to be completed.

The Waking Watch Relief Fund is a £30 million fund to install alarms in high rise residential buildings. Common alarm systems will enable costly waking watch measures to be replaced in buildings waiting to have unsafe cladding removed. The National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) have welcomed the Fund and guidance published by the NFCC is clear that alarms are preferable to waking watches.

The Fund is targeted at buildings which are at the greatest risk and where cost to leaseholders is highest. However, the Government is also providing a long-term, low interest financing scheme to help pay for remediation costs in buildings between 11-18 metres. This will speed up the pace of remediation and remove the need for costly interim measures.

However, the Government expects building owners, who are responsible for their buildings, to meet costs without passing them on to leaseholders wherever possible, through their own resources or by recovering costs from applicable warranty schemes or from the developers or contractors who were responsible for the installation of unsafe cladding.

Interim measures such as waking watch should only be used as a short-term option to mitigate an immediate risk. They are not an alternative to remediation. Building owners are responsible for the safety of their buildings, which includes remediating their buildings as swiftly as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what provisions are in place for leaseholders who have already paid for the costs of remediating dangerous cladding from their buildings to claim back those costs through the (a) Building Safety Fund or (b) forthcoming loan scheme, announced on 10 February 2021.

The purpose of Government funding is to make homes safer, quicker. The Building Safety Fund does not cover the costs of remediation work on buildings with non-ACM cladding systems that had been committed to, or where work had started on site, prior to the Budget announcement on 11 March 2020. We will be publishing further details on the financing scheme for buildings between 11-18 metres.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish an estimated timescale for the completion of remediation work on all multi-residential buildings of all heights with dangerous cladding.

The Government has rightly targeted funding at the removal of unsafe cladding on higher rise buildings (over 18 metres), where the risk is greater and the cost of cladding remediation is higher. It is our strong expectation that building owners will have completed ACM remedial works on all high-rise residential buildings by the end of 2021. We also expect owners of buildings with unsafe non-ACM buildings systems supported by the Building Safety Fund to be started on site by September 2021. Our monthly published updates on ACM remediation progress and Building Safety Fund statistics can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme.

We will announce further details on the additional £3.5 billion in funding announced on 10 February, and how it will work alongside existing funding schemes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish in full the evidential basis behind his decision to disqualify buildings under 18 metres from the (a) Building Safety Fund and (b) Waking Watch Relief Fund; and which industry experts were consulted ahead of that decision.

We are taking decisive action to improve building safety and prioritising unsafe cladding which is a higher risk and can act as a fire accelerant – and is a greater risk in higher rise blocks. Home Office analysis of fire and rescue service statistics shows buildings between 18 and 30 metres are four times as likely to suffer a fire with fatalities or serious casualties than apartment buildings in general.  18 metres is also the height at which building standards become more restrictive in England and presumptions about firefighting tactics change


It is right that we prioritise action on higher rise buildings (over 18 metres) where risk to multiple households is greater when fire spreads. It is therefore the height criterion we have chosen for the Building Safety Fund and the Waking Watch Relief Fund. For the purposes of the Building Safety Fund we are allowing a tolerance of 30cm to this measurement so where there is appropriate evidence that a building measures 17.7 metres or above it will be eligible in regard to its height. This is to allow for measurement error, the potential for ground levels to have varied from the original design and the settlement of the building over time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish details of (a) how and (b) when the loan scheme announced in February 2021 for the costs of remediating buildings under 18 metres with dangerous cladding can be accessed by leaseholders.

On 10 February, we announced a generous finance scheme, which will provide leaseholders in buildings of 11-18m with access to finance for cladding remediation costs, and a commitment that their monthly cladding repayment costs will not exceed £50 a month.

We will publish more information soon.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the potential effect of the loan scheme announced on 10 February 2021 for remediating buildings under 18 metres with dangerous cladding on the future sale of affected properties.

On 10 February, we announced a generous finance scheme, which will provide leaseholders in buildings of 11-18m with access to finance for cladding remediation costs, and a commitment that their monthly cladding repayment costs will not exceed £50 a month.

The package of measures that we announced will not only provide greater certainty to leaseholders but also to mortgage lenders and the housing market and will help to restore the effective lending, purchasing and selling of properties.

We will publish more information on how the finance scheme will work as soon as we are in a position to do so.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will undertake a comprehensive review into the number of multi-residential buildings under 18 metres which require fire safety remediation work in England.

MHCLG has begun a pilot data collection project for 11-18m residential buildings to identify materials in use and to inform the design of a wider national 11-18m data collection exercise, and we will be publishing further details.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish in full the evidential basis for the 18 metre threshold criteria required to apply for Government grants for the removal of dangerous cladding.

We are taking decisive action to improve building safety and prioritising unsafe cladding which is a higher risk and can act as a fire accelerant – and is a greater risk in higher rise blocks. Home Office analysis of fire and rescue service statistics shows buildings between 18 and 30 metres are four times as likely to suffer a fire with fatalities or serious casualties than apartment buildings in general.  18 metres is also the height at which building standards become more restrictive in England and presumptions about firefighting tactics change


It is right that we prioritise action on higher rise buildings (over 18 metres) where risk to multiple households is greater when fire spreads. It is therefore the height criterion we have chosen for the Building Safety Fund and the Waking Watch Relief Fund. For the purposes of the Building Safety Fund we are allowing a tolerance of 30cm to this measurement so where there is appropriate evidence that a building measures 17.7 metres or above it will be eligible in regard to its height. This is to allow for measurement error, the potential for ground levels to have varied from the original design and the settlement of the building over time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with developers, investors and building owners on their covering the remediation costs for removing and replacing dangerous cladding without passing those costs on to leaseholders.

The Department has ongoing engagement with developers and building owners of private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding. This has led to the remediation of over half of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding being funded by the developer, freeholder or through warranty claims, without passing the costs onto leaseholders. Furthermore, the Private Sector ACM Remediation Fund and the Building Safety Fund for the remediation of buildings with unsafe non-ACM cladding both require applicants to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to recover the costs of replacing the unsafe cladding from those responsible through insurance claims, warranties or legal action.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the eligibility criteria and process will be for applying to the Waking Watch Relief Fund when it opens in January 2021.

High-rise buildings (private and social sector buildings over 18 metres) with unsafe cladding systems where there is a waking watch in place and costs are being passed on to leaseholders are eligible for the scheme. We will work with local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services on the delivery of the fund and expect to publish a prospectus with further information on eligibility criteria and evidence requirements in January.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe will be from the point of application to the release of funds for the new Waking Watch Relief Fund.

The Waking Watch Relief Fund will open in January with the aim of providing funding for the installation of alarms as quickly as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether residents of buildings under 18 metres that are required to initiate waking watch provisions will be eligible to apply for support under the Waking Watch Relief Fund.

The Government is focussing public funding on buildings with the highest risk, which are those buildings over 18m in height. The Waking Watch Relief Fund will not be available for buildings below this height.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether applicants to the Waking Watch Relief Fund will be able to retrospectively claim back the cost of alarm systems already purchased.

The Waking Watch Relief Fund does not cover retrospective costs where waking watch services are no longer in place because alarms have been installed prior to 17 December 2020. The purpose of the Fund is to incentivise the purchase of alarm systems in buildings where there is currently a waking watch in place and there is no common alarm system.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of supporting building owners to fund remedial works (a) for buildings of all heights and (b) beyond those needed to external wall systems.

The Government has made £1 billion available to fund the removal of unsafe non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding. This is in addition to the £600 million made available already to ensure the remediation of the highest risk ACM cladding


The Government’s decision to place the scope of the Building Safety Fund at external wall systems, and buildings over 18m, reflects the exceptional fire risk that certain cladding products pose at that height, but also because unsafe cladding acts as an accelerant to fire spread


Our guidance is clear that it remains building owners’ responsibility to address unsafe cladding on buildings of all heights. We have provided advice from the Expert Panel on the measures building owners should take to ensure their buildings are safe


We recognise that in many cases, leasehold agreements will allow building owners or their managing agents to pass remediation costs on to leasehold owners of individual flats. It is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they didn’t cause


The Government is determined to remove barriers to fixing historic defects and identify financing solutions that protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs and we will provide an update when the draft Building Safety Bill returns to Parliament.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to support leaseholders who experience delays in receiving an EWS1 form as a result of the low risk profile of their property.

The EWS1 form was introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to assist in valuation of high-rise residential buildings for mortgage purposes. The Department does not support a blanket approach In EWS1 requests for lower rise properties and is encouraging mortgage lenders to accept other equivalent evidence from building owners for valuation purposes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to increase capacity among the competent professionals needed to (a) sign EWS1 forms and (b) carry out remediation works.

Building owners must take swift action to remediate their buildings. The Department is supporting industry in responding to this challenge including consideration of ways to address capacity issues across the sector.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to tackle housing benefit discrimination in the private rented sector.

The Government is clear that ‘No DSS’ requirements -- or any blanket ban on tenants on the basis that they are in receipt of benefits -- have no place in a modern housing market.

We noted the recent court judgement on this matter, and strongly encourage landlords and agents to look at all potential and existing tenants claiming housing benefit on an individual basis. We have engaged with the sector to encourage prevention of the practice of 'No DSS' restrictions. Last year major lettings portals Zoopla and Rightmove agreed to stop use of 'No DSS' adverts on their websites, and several major lenders agreed to remove restrictions on mortgages which prevented landlords from letting to tenants on benefits.

We have no plans at present to introduce legislation on this issue but are committed to bringing forward a Renters Reform Bill in due course, to deliver a better deal for renters, and a fairer and more effective rental market.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jun 2020
What steps he is taking to mitigate the risk to private tenants of being evicted as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have provided an unprecedented package of support for renters during this pandemic. On 5 June, we announced that the government’s suspension on evictions would be extended for another 2 months until 23 August, taking the moratorium on evictions to 5 months. We are committed to ensuring that no one is evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to extend the eviction suspension measures introduced in response to the covid-19 outbreak after 25 June 2020.

On Friday June 5 2020 the Government announced that the current suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation will be extended by 2 months until 23 August 2020. This means that no action to evict a tenant will proceed before 24 August 2020. The emergency measures in the Coronavirus Act, which require landlords to give at least 3 months' notice to evict tenants, are unaffected by this and remain in place until 30 September 2020.

We will also continue to work with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that when the moratorium on evictions ends, the courts are better able to address the need for appropriate protection of all parties, including those shielding from coronavirus. This is to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to place temporary restrictions on the use of Section 21 and Section 8 evictions for tenants affected by covid-19.

On 18 March, we announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

More information on these plans can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has ban rent rises in the private rented sector as part of the emergency measures put in place during the covid-19 outbreak.

Landlords cannot in general increase rent without their tenants' permission and there are no plans to change the rules regarding rent rises at this stage. We will protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus through a radical package of measures announced on 18 March, including emergency legislation to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings for at least a three-month period.

More information on these plans can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department operates a red, amber and green rating system for categorising Freedom of Information requests according to their presentational sensitivity.

The Ministry of Justice does not operate a red, amber and green rating system for categorising Freedom of Information requests in terms of sensitivity. It does, however, use a process by which requests are assessed according to their complexity and sensitivity of the subject matter. On that basis, requests are assigned as either a “trigger” or a “non-trigger” request. If a request is complex and or concerns a sensitive topic it will be a “trigger” request. Responses to such requests will attract extra levels of compliance check by officials and may include contextual lines to explain any information being disclosed.

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s guidance requires public authorities to be requester and motive blind. This means that responses provided are not influenced by whom has submitted a request, or by the motive that may have prompted it. Any information being disclosed under the terms of the Act will be the same, no matter whom the requester.

The Ministry of Justice consistently receives some of the highest volumes of Freedom of Information requests compared to other Government Departments and has sustained performance above the ICO timeliness target of 90% for 43 consecutive months.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)