Geoffrey Cox Portrait

Geoffrey Cox

Conservative - Torridge and West Devon

First elected: 5th May 2005


Geoffrey Cox is not a member of any APPGs
Attorney General
9th Jul 2018 - 13th Feb 2020
Committee on Standards
9th Sep 2015 - 28th Oct 2015
Committee on Standards: Standards Review Sub-Committee
10th Jun 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Committee on Privileges
7th Jan 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Committee on Standards
7th Jan 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Committee of Privileges
7th Jan 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Standards and Privileges
26th Jul 2010 - 7th Jan 2013
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
11th Dec 2006 - 6th May 2010


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 279 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 226 Noes - 287
Speeches
Monday 4th March 2024
Farming
How does the emphasis about which the Minister is talking square with the sustainable farming incentive activities? They arouse considerable …
Written Answers
Monday 23rd October 2023
Afghanistan: Interpreters
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to (a) assist and (b) ensure the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
1. Employment and earnings
30 November 2023, received £58,826.32 (no VAT) for legal services provided between 1 June 2023 and 30 November 2023. Hours: …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th April 2023
Dartmoor National Park (Access) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a scheme to incentivise owners of land within …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Geoffrey Cox has voted in 649 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Geoffrey Cox voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Geoffrey Cox voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
View All Geoffrey Cox 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
Selaine Saxby (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
Peter Kyle (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
(5 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(12 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Geoffrey Cox's debates

Torridge and West Devon 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 Torridge and West Devon signature proportion
Petitions with most Torridge and West Devon signatures
Geoffrey Cox has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Geoffrey Cox

Geoffrey Cox has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Geoffrey Cox, 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.


Geoffrey Cox has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Geoffrey Cox has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Geoffrey Cox has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

1 Bill co-sponsored by Geoffrey Cox

Dartmoor National Park (Access) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Anthony Mangnall (Con)


51 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
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to make further funding available to households who do not qualify for the Energy Bill Support Scheme, including off grid households.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding will provide £400 support for around 900,000 households without a domestic electricity supply, including off-grid households. Those eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding will need to submit a short online form via the Government’s GOV.UK pages, with the application portal due to open later in January.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what factors he will take into account in negotiations to agree with Xlinks a price for the electricity it will supply to the National Grid; and how he will ensure value for money in public spending on the interconnector project.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has had early stage discussions with Xlinks about their proposal to import renewable electricity from Morocco to the UK. The Department has not undertaken a detailed assessment of the value for money of any supply from this project. Any assessment would be in accordance with established processes for managing public money.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with Xlinks on the price of electricity it might supply to the national grid from solar power generated in Morocco.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has had early stage discussions with Xlinks about their proposal to import renewable electricity from Morocco to the UK. The Department has not undertaken a detailed assessment of the value for money of any supply from this project. Any assessment would be in accordance with established processes for managing public money.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average time taken is for registrations of land by the land registry in each of the last three years; and what recent assessment he has made of adequacy of the efficiency of the land registry.

HM Land Registry (HMLR) processed over 135,000 information service requests or applications to change the Land Register every day in 2021/22.

Approximately 88% were information service requests. Over 90% of these were delivered instantly via digital services, with the remainder delivered within three days. Applications to change the Register make up the other 12% of requests and vary widely in type and complexity.

Both customer demand and HMLR’s overall output is higher than three years ago. At the same time, HMLR has focused a greater proportion of its resource on the less frequent, but more complex applications that it best supports the needs of all customers. As a result, and while precise comparisons with three years ago are not straightforward due to differences in processes for customers and categorisation of case type, this rebalancing has increased the average waiting time for all cases, despite the increase in overall output. Over the last quarter, the average time to process changes for all cases was 7 weeks compared to 4 weeks during the same period last year. The time taken to process an application to change the Register should not impact a property sale because it takes place after a transaction has completed. However, if a delay might have a negative impact on future transactions, customers can request for any change to be fast tracked for no extra cost. HMLR is currently processing up to an average 950 of these applications each day (up from around 550 in April 2021). It has maintained a 95% rate of completion within 10 working days across all fast tracked applications.

HMLR is making significant investment in long-term transformation. In the next three years it will have automated most applications to amend the Register and re-focused its expert caseworkers onto processing the most complex applications. It will also have started to improve the quality and accessibility of geospatial data to realise its vision of a fully informed property market that supports the wider economy.

16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department held discussions at the recent North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation on protecting salmon stocks as they migrate to feeding grounds in the North Atlantic; and if she will press for international agreement on such protections.

As a contracting party to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), the UK took part in the organisation’s annual meeting in June. Salmon migrating to the North Atlantic are protected by NASCO’s prohibition of fishing salmon beyond coastal States’ jurisdictions with the exception of the waters off West Greenland, where salmon fishing is capped at 27 tonnes per annum until 2025.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she (a) received and (b) plans to publish the report of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, commissioned by Natural England pursuant to the Agri-Environment Schemes Species Monitoring Project.

The report is currently with Natural England Agri-Environment Monitoring and Evaluation team, waiting on final clearance and the associated documents to be prepared for the Defra publication process. The timescales may vary but it is likely to be published in Quarter 3 of this year.

A draft was produced in March 2022, followed by Natural England Technical Steering Group review and external peer review by UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in July 2022. External peer review responses were returned in November 2022 and reviewed January 2023, followed by amendments with the final report submitted to Natural England on 18th May 2023.

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with Natural England on its policy on grazing on sites of special scientific interest; and whether she is taking steps to help ensure the continuation of traditional farming of hefted flocks on Dartmoor.

Grazing on sites of special scientific interest needs to be undertaken carefully and sensitively and should be tailored to the specific site to ensure that the condition of the SSSI site is either maintained or improved. Traditional hefting (or learing as it is known in Dartmoor) of flocks can work alongside this. I will work closely with Natural England to help ensure that sites of special scientific interest can be managed effectively to balance hefting alongside these two elements in Dartmoor.

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with Natural England on supporting the value of traditional farming and the social and cultural capital of its communities supported by upland farming in a manner that encourages the promotion of each.

Natural England’s role is to help conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations in a way that contributes to sustainable development. We hold regular discussions with Natural England to support this aim.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) prevalence of Brucella Canis and (b) risk it presents to humans in the UK; and what steps including import controls she is taking to prevent the spread of that disease.

Brucella canis is classed as a reportable disease under the Zoonoses Order and in 2022, the first full reporting year, 54 cases were reported.


The Human Animal Infections & Risk Surveillance group (HAIRS), chaired by Defra, published a risk statement in February 2021 which concluded that the evidence available at that time did not allow an in-depth assessment of the risk to the general public. This statement is now under review in light of new data available.


Working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), we will continue to gather information on the disease risk posed by B.Canis and will consider any further actions including import controls as appropriate.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of widespread vaccination of the UK’s badger population for the purpose of reducing the spread of bovine tuberculosis; what evidence his Department has that vaccination will be effective in protecting livestock on farms in England; and whether his Department will make provisions to retain culling in areas where vaccination does not prove effective.

Evidence indicates that vaccination reduces disease burden in the badger population, with field trials showing that vaccinated badgers were at least 54% (and up to 76%) less likely to test positive for TB. The same field trial found that when more than a third of the social group was vaccinated, infection risk to unvaccinated cubs reduced by 79% (Carter et al 2012 [1]).

Both modelling in a post-cull environment in England (Smith GC & Budgey R, 2021 [2]), and evidence from Ireland (Martin SW, et al. 2020 [3]), suggests that vaccination following culling should help maintain reductions in cattle TB incidence. In a trial of badger vaccination in Ireland, vaccination was found to be as effective as long-term continuous culling in lowering cattle TB incidence in four of the seven counties studied, which led to a policy change to gradually replace culling with vaccination.

Logically, as badgers cause a proportion of cattle breakdowns and badger vaccination has been proven to reduce the disease burden in badgers, vaccination is expected to result in a reduction in cattle TB incidence where badgers are infecting cattle. However, there has been no trial in England to assess the magnitude or timing of these effects. Accordingly, we are developing a surveillance and monitoring system that will allow us to monitor levels of disease in wildlife and cattle. This will enable government and industry to be more agile in tackling the disease.

Badger culling would remain an option where epidemiological assessment indicates that it is needed.

[1] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0049833

[2] https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248426.

[3] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105004.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 24 June 2021, HCWS119 on Government response to the Landscapes Review, what recent progress has been made in developing proposals for the reform of National Parks and AONBs; what meetings he has had with the Dartmoor National Park Authority on structural reform to national park governance; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State has not met the Dartmoor National Park Authority to discuss the response to the Landscapes Review. However, Lord Benyon has met with National Parks England, and Government officials have met regularly with representatives from several National Parks Authorities, to inform our response to the review.

The Government intends to respond to the review in full and consult on draft proposals shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress he has made in tackling the backlog of pigs awaiting slaughter on farms; and what recent discussions he has had with the (a) National Pig Association and (b) National Farmers’ Union on issues affecting the pig industry.

We have been working closely with the pig industry to understand how best to support it in response to the challenges it is facing due to the pandemic, disruption to CO2 supplies, a temporary shortage of labour and several processing plants losing access to the Chinese export market. Ministers and officials meet regularly with the National Pig Association and the National Farmers Union to discuss matters of joint interest including the current situation in the pig sector.

On 14 October, the Government announced a package of measures to support the pig industry and to seek to reduce the animal welfare implications of pigs backing up on farms.

These measures include the approval of up to 800 temporary visas for pork butchers, a Private Storage Aid scheme, and a Slaughter Incentive Payment Scheme to increase the throughput of pigs through processors. We also continue to work with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board to identify new export markets for pork, particularly for lightly processed pork.

Furthermore, in England and Scotland, the two meat levy bodies have introduced a suspension on the statutory levy for pig farmers and producers during November 2021 – suspending payments of the levy pig farmers and producers are required to pay. This will amount to savings for the sector of just under £1 million.

The Government will continue to monitor the evolving situation and to work closely with the industry through this challenging period.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that the implementation of the principle of local governance of national parks remains effective; and what assessment he has made of the compatibility of that principle and the introduction of a National Landscape Service.

The Landscapes Review recommended that the current system of local governance for National Parks should be reformed, and set out a number of specific proposals for how it should be changed to inspire and secure ambition in our national landscapes and better reflect society. It also recommended that a new National Landscapes Service is needed to ensure that our protected landscapes can achieve more than the sum of their parts for people and for nature.

The government will work with our partner organisations to consider carefully the importance of effective local governance as we develop our response to the review, including any changes to local and national governance structures. We will publish our response in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help alleviate the environmental impact of (a) polystyrene bodyboards and (b) other disposable beach products.

We know that when polystyrene bodyboards and other items used at the beach are littered they can have harmful impacts on the environment. The Government is committed to encouraging local solutions for local problems. This is particularly relevant in dealing with litter and fly-tipping issues, which require a local approach, tailored to the characteristics of the area and the community in which the problems occur.

The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse advises councils to monitor and clean beaches below the high-water mark areas as appropriate. Beaches present unique challenges. They may not always be cleaned to the maximum standard possible because of the terrain, conditions, accessibility and the need to be sensitive to habitats. The duty body should do as much as is practicable. It is recommended that councils and beach managers are aware of the different types and nature of beaches in their areas and carry out regular monitoring and suitable cleaning.

The Government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England published in December 2018 sets out our plans to reduce plastic pollution and move towards a more circular economy. This builds on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. The measures set out in the Strategy will help our society move away from a 'take, make, use and throw' approach regarding resources and materials to where we reuse, recycle, and repair more and waste less. Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and take forward a number of the proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy.

In general, we prefer to help people and companies make the right choice, rather than banning items outright. There may, however, be times when a ban is appropriate as part of a wider strategic approach. Which is why we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in October 2020. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to implement the recommendations of the 2019 Landscapes Review; and when he plans to publish the Government’s response to that review.

The independent Landscapes Review, led by Julian Glover, set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

We welcome this ambition, as the government is committed to ensuring our protected landscapes flourish as havens for nature and are places that everyone can visit and enjoy.

The Landscapes Review included recommendations for long-term structural changes, such as creating a new National Landscape Service and changing National Park and AONB statutory purposes, that would require legislation were they to be taken forward.

We are taking time to carefully consider the recommendations and working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, which we will publish in due course.

In the meantime, we are working to implement the ambitions of the Review on the ground now. For example, we are leading a £5.77m cross-governmental project to test nature-based social prescribing in seven test and learn sites, run national experimental work to understand its scalability, and deliver a robust project evaluation. This will help improve mental health and wellbeing by connecting more people to nature, including in protected landscapes.

The £80m Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which launched in September 2020, will kickstart a programme of nature-based projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with the natural environment. Some of these projects will help deliver on the Landscape Review's recommendations, such as the proposal to give every child a night under the stars in a national landscape.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that UK fishing businesses are able to gain access to EU markets with minimal delays arising from customs procedures.

Defra is working with other Government departments, industry and EU authorities to ensure smooth trade flow and minimise disruption at the border. To do so, we have established a twice-weekly seafood exports working group to identify issues and resolve across Government. To further support businesses Defra has developed a support package of guidance and training with HMRC, including an online journey that guides fish exporters through each step of the export journey.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the challenges facing the British pig industry; and what steps the Government is taking to support pig farmers in the Torridge and West Devon constituency.

I am very much aware that the pig sector is currently facing a number of challenges due to Covid-19 and global trading conditions. I will be hosting a roundtable with key industry stakeholders to discuss these challenges and will continue to work with the pig industry to address them.

The Government has made available financial assistance via a number of Covid-19 HM Treasury schemes. These can be accessed by the pig sector and we encourage companies impacted by Covid-19, including those in Torridge and West Devon, to investigate if any of these schemes are appropriate for their needs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the DVLA (a) clears the backlog of driving licence applications and (b) expedites the time taken for applicants to receive their renewed licences.

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

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. The Government understands the impact that delays in processing paper applications can have on the daily lives of individuals and the DVLA is working hard to reduce waiting times. The DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has opened new customer service centres in Swansea and Birmingham to reduce backlogs and provide future resilience. These measures are having a positive impact.

The backlog of vehicle paper applications has already been eliminated. Straightforward vocational driving licence applications and renewals are being processed within five working days with no backlog. The DVLA is on track to return to normal turnaround times on all paper driving licence applications by the end of May. Most straightforward paper driving licence applications are now being processed in around five weeks. Information on processing times for key DVLA workstreams is published online here.

The more complex driving licence applications where the customer has a medical condition(s) that must be investigated will take longer to recover. This area was targeted for industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services union last year and also DVLA cases were deprioritised by the NHS at a number of points during the pandemic. The large majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has been made of the adequacy of bus services in (a) rural and (b) coastal communities; what assessment he has made of the role bus services have in enabling access to (i) NHS appointments, (ii) social care provision and (iii) dental services; and what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the National Bus Strategy will support rural communities with a limited access to the rail network.

Local authorities have recently published Bus Service Improvement Plans, which provide an assessment of existing services in their area, including detail of current provision for rural and coastal communities. Government supports local authorities working with partner agencies to improve bus access to amenities and services – including health and social care needs.

The Strategy encourages consideration of Demand Responsive Transport for large workplaces with anti-social hours, such as hospitals and in areas where demand is more dispersed, and the distances involved make it more challenging to maintain or provide services which meet residents’ diverse needs.

We have already established a Rural Mobility Fund (RMF) worth £20 million to trial more demand responsive services and have awarded funding to 17 pilot projects. The first pilots have recently launched. The RMF provides us and local authorities with an opportunity to better understand the challenges associated with introducing bookable bus services in rural and suburban settings.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to increase the speed with which HGV licence applications are processed; how many additional staff have been hired by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the last six months; what assessment he has made of the average time applicants must wait for a substantive response to correspondence; and if he will make a statement.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is prioritising applications for vocational driving licences, including those for HGV entitlement. There is no backlog for provisional vocational licences and these are being processed within the normal turnaround time of five working days. The DVLA has significantly increased the processing of vocational licence renewals and has moved more staff into this area. Given this, the DVLA expects to be processing applications for both provisional vocational licences and renewals within normal turnaround times by early November. The large majority of those applying to renew an HGV licence can continue driving while their application is being processed.

In the last six months the DVLA has employed 180 new staff and is currently recruiting more.

Information about the average time taken to reply to correspondence is not available.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the transport infrastructure needs of rural and coastal communities in the South West region.

Local areas are best placed to assess their transport infrastructure needs. With DfT funding, the two sub-national transport bodies in the South West, Peninsula Transport and Western Gateway, are in the process of developing transport strategies for their regions which will look at the entirety of the South West’s transport needs.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the safety of smart motorways; how many fatal accidents have occurred on smart motorways since their introduction; and what guidance has been issued to motorists who break down on smart motorways and who are unable to reach a refuge area.

The Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published by the Department in March 2020, provides a table in Annex D, page 76, showing the number of reported fatal casualties between 2015 and 2018. This is reproduced here:

Road Class

Number of Reported Fatal Casualties

2015

2016

2017

2018

Conventional Motorway¹

81

72

83

67

Controlled Motorway¹

6

2

3

8

Dynamic Hard Shoulder¹

5

2

1

1

All Lane Running¹

0

1

4

10

All SRN ‘A’ Roads²

132

154

145

165

Sources: 1 - STATS19, Highways England Statistics on motorway fatal casualties in England from 2015-18. 2 - STATS19, DfT Statistics on fatal casualties on the Strategic Road Network in England from 2015-18

The Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan also took account of the fact that different types of roads carry different quantities of traffic. It found that the fatal casualty rate (per hundred million vehicle miles) over the period 2015-2018 was lower on controlled (0.07), Dynamic Hard Shoulder (0.07) and All Lane Running (0.11) motorways than conventional motorways (0.16).

The latest strategic safety evidence, which includes data for 2019, will be published as part of the one-year stocktake progress update report which will be published shortly.

Highways England recently launched a national public information campaign to help drivers know what to do in a breakdown on motorways. Its main message informs drivers that if you breakdown, ‘go left’. Guidance is also contained in the Highway Code. Improvements to this guidance is currently out to public consultation (closing date for responses 29 March 2021). https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/highway-code/.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the implications for her policies of housing providers inflating rents, and therefore amounts received from local authorities for providing housing, by means of intra-company sales at inflated values.

DWP is working closely with MHCLG to develop a package of measures to improve the oversight of supported housing, including ensuring quality standards and value for money for taxpayers.

The supported housing sector provides essential accommodation and support for the most vulnerable members of society to live as independently as possible in their community.

Most supported housing is provided by well-run providers/landlords with a strong social mission, whilst providing high quality care and support services themselves or through third parties.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take urgent steps to improve the availability and quality of NHS dental treatment in Torridge and West Devon constituency.

In July 2022, we announced measures to improve the National Health Service dental system and in ‘Our plan for patients’ published in September 2022. This aims to increase access for patients, including those with greater oral health needs and ensure that dentists are fairly rewarded for the delivery of NHS care. Further information on improving access for patients, including in the South West, will be available later in the autumn.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the review of the contractual arrangements under which NHS dental treatment is carried out will be completed.

In July 2022, we announced measures to improve the National Health Service dental system and in ‘Our plan for patients’ published in September 2022. This aims to increase access for patients, including those with greater oral health needs and ensure that dentists are fairly rewarded for the delivery of NHS care. Further information on improving access for patients, including in the South West, will be available later in the autumn.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost of building the Government's planned national network of defibrillators; and what proportion of that cost his Department will cover.

No estimate has been made as the Government has not funded the network. We have encouraged communities and organisations in England to consider purchasing a defibrillator as part of first aid equipment, particularly in locations where there are high concentrations of people. Many community defibrillators have since been provided in public locations through national lottery funding, community fundraising schemes, workplace funding or by charities.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of funding the construction of defibrillator networks from the NHS central budget.

No specific assessment has been made. However, in partnership with The British Heart Foundation, the Resuscitation Council UK and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed ‘The Circuit’; a database to register defibrillators in the United Kingdom. This will assist ambulance services to identify the nearest defibrillator at the time of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial support his Department has provided for the purchase of defibrillators for installation in public places in the last five years; what recent assessment he has made of the need to install community defibrillators in public places; and what steps he is taking to support the installation of more defibrillators in public places.

In 2015/16, we provided £2 million to increase the availability of Automated External Defibrillators and the number of people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Since then, we have encouraged communities and organisations across England to consider purchasing a defibrillator as part of first-aid equipment, particularly in locations where there are high concentrations of people. Many community defibrillators have since been provided through national lottery funding, community fundraising schemes, workplace funding or by charities


No recent assessment has been made of the need to install community defibrillators in public places. The NHS Long Term Plan has a programme funded in 2022/23 which includes national projects to improve bystander response in relation to out of hospital cardiac arrests.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to administer covid-19 vaccinations to inmates in prisons.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has agreed that it would be difficult to advise additional prioritisation of detainees above the wider population based on the potential increased risk of exposure in a detained setting alone.

The overarching priority for the vaccination programme continues to be to reduce mortality, morbidity and hospitalisation and the JCVI has that priority should be based on age as the strongest indicator of risk of serious outcomes and clinical risk factors. Therefore, inmates in prisons will be prioritised for vaccination according to their own age and clinical risk along with the rest of the population.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that British citizens in Russia and Ukraine are able to make contact with UK authorities; and what assistance is being provided to British citizens in Russia and Ukraine who wish to leave those countries.

British nationals still in Ukraine are encouraged to register their presence with the FCDO on the GOV.UK website so we can provide them with the latest information. We advise British nationals to leave Ukraine immediately if you judge it is safe to do so, and those who require consular assistance can call our 24 hour helpline or send any enquiries via the web contact form. Full, in person consular assistance is available in neighbouring countries. The 'Returning to the UK' section of our travel advice for Ukraine lists the main border crossing points for Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

All British nationals should continue to read and follow FCDO Travel Advice. If they are in Russia and their presence is not essential, we strongly advise them to consider leaving by remaining commercial routes, checking the latest information with the airline or travel provider. British nationals in need of consular assistance should call the British Embassy in Moscow, via the number on the GOV.UK website, and then select the option for consular assistance. Phone lines are answered 24 hours a day. There is also our returning to the UK page, for information on exiting Russia and onward travel to the UK, including information about leaving via the Baltic States using bus services to leave Russia.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that deprived rural and coastal communities receive a fair allocation of per capita spending on public infrastructure.

The Government’s levelling up agenda aims to spread opportunity and investment across every region and nation of the UK—including in rural and coastal communities. We will deliver this pledge by boosting jobs, wages and prospects for all communities. At Budget the Government also announced policies that will benefit those communities most in need, including the first round of the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund—designed to drive regeneration in places that have received less Government investment in recent years. On top of this, the next £5.2 billion Flood and Coastal Defence programme kickstarts in this month, and we are allocating £1.2bn over four years to support the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband in hard-to-reach areas—the start of our £5bn UK Gigabit programme.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to support small business owners that receive their income primarily through dividend payments rather than salary.

HMRC are not able to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, so do not have a clear mechanism through which to support dividend income from an individual’s own company, without also supporting dividend income from other investments. Dividends are taxed at a low rate and are paid in respect of the individual’s role as a shareholder in their own business. It would not be right therefore for the Government to reimburse shareholders’ dividend income.

However, individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme, including salaried company directors, are able to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), subject to their abiding by the requirements of the scheme. Those who pay tax on their trading profits through Income Tax Self-Assessment may instead be eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The SEISS will provide grants to those who are self-employed, or members of partnerships, worth 80% of their trading profits/partnership trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. SEISS is available to those who generate majority of their income from self-employment and who earn less than £50k.

Small business owners may also benefit from a range of other support measures including:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for SMEs
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • Through the Time To Pay scheme, businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending further support to the hospitality, leisure, and tourism industries if the current suspension of commercial activity continues beyond June 2020.

During this difficult time the Treasury recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on businesses, including important industries such as hospitality, leisure and tourism.

That is why the Government has announced unprecedented support for individuals and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a business rates holiday, grants to smaller businesses, and a package of government-backed and guaranteed loans through the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). Together these schemes ensure almost all viable UK businesses can apply for a government backed loan.

The government will not be able to protect every single job or save every single business, but these measures will support millions of families, businesses and self-employed people to get through this and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan citizens have been granted resettlement under Pathway 2 of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme to date; what discussions she has held with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on its processes for assessment of Afghan citizens under that scheme; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the UNHCR's processes; and if she will take steps to encourage the UNHCR to expedite its consideration and referral of cases to that scheme of vulnerable Afghan nationals based in Pakistan.

The latest Immigration System Statistics, year ending December 2022 (published on 23 February 2023), show that since their first arrivals in 2021, the Afghan schemes – the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) - have resettled a total of 21,387 people.

Under the scheme’s second pathway, which opened in 2022, we have now begun to receive the first referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of vulnerable refugees who have fled Afghanistan for resettlement to the UK. The latest Immigration statistics show that we have now welcomed the first people to the UK under Pathway 2.

We anticipate receiving referrals from UNHCR for up to 2,000 refugees during the first year of pathway 2, although this number will be kept under review.

UNHCR refer those who qualify as refugees in need of resettlement. They have access to detailed case information – which is gathered during interviews conducted during the different stages of resettlement processing – and they have a detailed knowledge of the circumstances refugees face in host countries.

If UNHCR consider that an individual should be referred to the UK for resettlement, they will send the Home Office a Resettlement Registration Form (RRF) which confirms that the individual has been determined by UNHCR to be a refugee and details the reasons why that person is in need of resettlement.

28th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the difficulties victims of domestic abuse experience in (a) severing contracts for services to which their abusers are a party and (b) in continuing to have access to those services; and if she will take steps to strengthen the rights of victims in such circumstances.

Tackling domestic abuse is a government priority and improving the response to economic abuse is integral to this. Economic abuse is now recognised in law as part of domestic abuse included in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This is in recognition of the devastating impact it can have on victims’ lives. In July 2022, we published our Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance which contains specific information relating to economic abuse and includes examples which will assist relevant parties in recognising economic abuse.

We continue to work closely with and fund organisations that seek to promote awareness of economic abuse and improve public and private sector response. Our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan doubled our investment to £200,000 of funding per annum up to March 2025.

The Government has provided £567,000 of funding between 2018-2022 to Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA), an organisation that raises awareness of economic abuse and supports victims. Money Advice Plus, in partnership with SEA, run the Financial Support Line for Victims of Domestic Abuse. It offers specialist advice domestic abuse victims in financial difficulty to move forward with economic safety and may be able to support in situations where victims wish to sever contracts for services to which their abusers are a party.

The Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan also calls for more financial sector firms to sign up to the Financial Abuse Code to act to prevent economic abuse and help deliver the best possible outcomes for victims and survivors. In January 2023, The Fairness Group published the Economic Abuse Toolkit, developed alongside SEA and Money Advice Plus. The toolkit brings together proven best practices allowing businesses to recognise and support customers who are experiencing economic abuse.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to simplify the online visa application process; what recent assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the format of that process; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of making that process available in (a) Ukrainian and (b) other languages.

The Home Office is continually making efforts to simplify the application process for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, and keeps this under regular review.

As a result of this continuing review, the webpage for the Ukrainian Family scheme and the factsheet for Ukrainians looking to apply for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme are available in English, Russian and Ukrainian.

3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on ensuring that those who assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan are referred to the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of expanding the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy to include applicants who were not directly employed by UK armed forces.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK. This includes those who supported the UK and international community effort in Afghanistan, as well as those who are particularly vulnerable, such as women and girls at risk and members of minority groups.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be some of those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals. From Spring, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will refer refugees to the scheme, based on assessments of protection need.

In Year One, we will also resettle individuals who supported the UK and international community effort in Afghanistan, including those British Council and GardaWorld contractors and Chevening alumni who are most at risk. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be in touch with those eligible to support them through the next steps.

There will not be an application process for the ACRS. More detail on the three referral pathways can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy was expanded in December 2021 to accommodate individuals not directly employed by UK armed forces.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure (a) that EU Settled Status applications are efficiently processed and (b) that applicants are able to contact UKVI in an effective and timely manner.

We are committed to ensuring our operational teams have the resources they need to run an efficient and effective system, and we actively monitor workflows to ensure sufficient resources are in place to meet demand.

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) as quickly as possible, yet each individual case is considered on its own facts. Cases may take longer dependent on the circumstances of the case, for example, if the applicant is facing an impending prosecution or has a criminal record.

The following link details the expected processing times for EU Settlement Scheme applications:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Anyone awaiting the outcome of their in-time application to the EUSS can evidence their rights with their Certificate of Application which is issued as soon as possible after a valid application is received

Applicants can contact UKVI by calling our Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC) which is open 7 days a week. Customers can also contact us using an on-line enquiry form.

Further information can also be found at www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to (a) assist and (b) ensure the safety of interpreters who were previously employed by UK armed forces in Afghanistan who have escaped to a third country and whose (i) application under the ARAP scheme and (ii) appeal against an unsuccessful initial application is delayed; and what steps he is taking to expedite such (A) applications and (B) appeals.

We have worked hard to resolve tens of thousands of applications, giving individuals - eligible or not - the clarity they deserve. We now only have approximately 1,000 ARAP applications remaining of over 95,000 principal applications received. This number reflects a small number of complex cases we are working hard to resolve with other Government Departments. We are also working to assess 2,155 outstanding review cases for principal ARAP applications.

While moving ARAP eligible persons to the safety of third countries is a priority for the Ministry of Defence, only ARAP eligible individuals are entitled to HMG accommodation and support in third countries while they await relocation to the UK.

Those who have been deemed ineligible, or are yet to have their ARAP eligibility confirmed, would not be eligible for the same HMG support. This includes those who have submitted a review of an 'ineligible' decision. This is why we do not advise Afghans to travel to a third country until ARAP eligibility is confirmed.

We will, in exceptional circumstances only and on a case-by-case basis, expedite decisions on ARAP applications and reviews in line with our formal expedition guidance.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what is the current backlog of appeals awaiting adjudication by the Planning Inspectorate (a) in each region and (b) nationally.

  1. Table 1: Open appeals by region, as at 31st August 2022

    Region

    Open Appeals as at 31st August 2021

    East Midlands

    595

    East of England

    1,991

    London

    3,589

    North East

    172

    North West

    703

    South East

    2,762

    South West

    1,125

    West Midlands

    768

    Yorkshire & Humberside

    656

    No Region Recorded

    67

    Total

    12,428

  2. The Planning Inspectorate has 13,973 open appeals as at 31 August 2022
Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the reasons for delays to decisions on planning appeals by the Planning Inspectorate; and what steps he is taking to ensure prompt and timely adjudication on those decisions.

The Planning Inspectorate has been focusing their resources on casework with the greatest potential for economic impact and those with greatest community interest: national infrastructure, local plans and appeals requiring a hearing or inquiry before decision. The remaining capacity is used for casework decided by written representations.

The Inspectorate has been implementing actions to maintain performance in the areas currently performing well and to improve end-to-end times for other casework. In the short term those actions are focused around increasing capacity by:

  • increasing the available capacity for inspectors/other decision makers by recruiting more. The Inspectorate is on track to recruit the planned 50 inspectors/other decision makers this year and are also recruiting 30 more. In the short-term, training new Inspectors reduces availability for casework;
  • using contract (non-salaried) inspectors to the full extent of their availability and running a procurement exercise seeking to increase the pool of this resource; and
  • training inspectors to handle different casework to increase flexibility.

The Inspectorate is also part way through a major investment programme which will support significant improvements to ways of working as well as providing a significantly improved customer experience.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to protect people who have signed up to the Help to Buy Scheme from property developers altering completion dates of their building programmes to a date beyond the closure of that scheme; and what assessment he has made of the scale of that issue across the UK.

Homes England have set out deadlines which are 31 October 2022 for customer applications for the scheme, 31December 2022 for practical completion of the house build and 31 March 2023 for the legal completion date. These dates were designed to ensure all transactions have time to complete and provide consumers with the confidence that their purchase would be completed prior to the scheme closing.

Homes England have been clear developers should only take customer orders on properties that can meet these deadlines.

Customers who are not able to use the Help to Buy scheme maybe able to use one of the other government schemes to help them purchase a home. Details of these schemes can be found at https://www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent estimate he has made of the costs being passed on to leaseholders for (a) remediation works for fire-safety defects and (b) waking-watch and fire alarm installation in buildings under 18 metres in height that have been independently assessed as being a fire risk.

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 81098 on 29 November 2021.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) capping total costs relating to the remediation of fire safety defects that can be passed on to leaseholders at a percentage of the value of their equity in the property and (b) providing financial support in cases where the original developer has ceased trading and compensation can no longer be recovered through the Defective Premises Act 1972, for buildings under 18 metres in height that have been assessed as a fire risk.

Wherever possible, building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders and we are introducing new measures that will legally require building owners to prove they have tried all routes to cover costs.  The fire risk is lower in buildings under 18 metres and costly remediation work is usually not needed. Where fire risks are identified, they should always be managed proportionately, minimising risk without creating a situation whereby people cannot move or access mortgage finance.  The Secretary of State is looking very closely at this issue to make sure that everything possible is being done to support leaseholders. Further detail on the support offer for leaseholders in residential buildings of 11-18 metres will be released when all options have been fully considered.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the increased costs that local authorities will incur as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

I have engaged closely with councils from across the country, and across different tiers, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This new allocation is based on our latest and best assessment of the distribution of additional Covid-19 pressures. We have now provided over £3.2 billion to councils in England to support local authorities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress the Government has made on discussions with the Duchy of Cornwall on the future of HMP Dartmoor; and what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of retaining that site within the prison estate beyond 2023.

Discussions with the Duchy of Cornwall regarding the future of HMP Dartmoor are ongoing, and it is not possible to provide an update on progress without prejudicing the outcome of those commercial negotiations. The potential for Dartmoor to remain operational as a prison beyond 2023 is similarly dependent on the outcome of the discussions.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care