Graham Evans

Conservative - Former Member for Weaver Vale

Work and Pensions Committee
29th Oct 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Administration Committee
14th Nov 2011 - 25th Mar 2013


Division Voting information

Graham Evans has voted in 1444 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

21 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 124 Conservative Aye votes vs 134 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 161
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 99 Conservative No votes vs 121 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 150 Noes - 340
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 95 Conservative No votes vs 125 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 339
20 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 92 Conservative No votes vs 126 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 163 Noes - 321
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 87 Conservative No votes vs 142 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 241 Noes - 256
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 93 Conservative Aye votes vs 139 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 267 Noes - 233
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 90 Conservative Aye votes vs 123 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 184
21 Feb 2012 - London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 31 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 11 Noes - 96
7 Dec 2011 - London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 57 Noes - 145
13 Oct 2010 - Public Houses and Private Members’ Clubs (Smoking) Bill - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 37 Conservative No votes vs 74 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 86 Noes - 141
15 Jun 2010 - Backbench Business Committee - View Vote Context
Graham Evans voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 75 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 171 Noes - 263
View All Graham Evans Division Votes

All Debates

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
Theresa May (Conservative)
(40 debate interactions)
George Osborne (Conservative)
(31 debate interactions)
David Cameron (Conservative)
(28 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(85 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(81 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(56 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(40 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Finance Act 2017 - Government Bill
(950 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Graham Evans's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Graham Evans

Graham Evans has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Graham Evans, 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.


Graham Evans has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Graham Evans has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Graham Evans


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to provide for the assessment of drug dependency or propensity for drug misuse of persons who, in the course of investigations for certain driving offences, have provided blood or urine samples that reveal the presence of certain drugs; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 18th October 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to introduce a national day to raise awareness of the contribution of Commonwealth countries in military action of Great Britain and the Overseas Territories; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 12th March 2013

Graham Evans has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


85 Written Questions

(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
21st Apr 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on enhancing cyber-security in the UK.

Between 2011 and 2016, we invested £860 million in a National Cyber Security Programme to deliver the 2011 UK Cyber Security Strategy. I made a Written Ministerial Statement on the 14th April to the House: “Final annual report on the 2011 – 2016 UK Cyber Security Strategy” with an accompanying Annual Report. Key achievements include the launch of the UK’s Computer Emergency Response Team; disruption of cyber threats by the new National Cyber Crime Unit and the growth of the Cyber Essentials scheme for companies. This year, we will be publishing a new five year strategy and launching a new National Cyber Security Centre in the autumn.

7th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to support business growth in the north of England.

Business growth in the North of England is a priority for this Government. There are now over 167,000 more businesses in the North than in 2010, an increase of over 15%.

As part of our Northern Powerhouse Strategy we are supporting investment funds totalling over £500m for SMEs, four further science and innovation audits, and 11 Growth Hubs in the North.

15th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to (a) encourage graduates from North West universities to remain in the North West after graduation and (b) attract graduates from across the country to the North West.

Integrating graduate skills into the local economy is key to expanding a region’s high skills economy.

Graduates are relatively well represented in the North West compared to most other English regions. The most recent data (2014/15) indicates that approximately 10% (20,500) of first class degree graduates in the UK were employed within the region in the first six months after leaving university. Nearly 75% (14,200) of those employed studied at a Higher Education provider within the region.

Addressing the skills gap is key to Government’s plans to building a powerhouse in the North and an economy that works for all. We will continue to work with stakeholders to make the North a great place to live and work.

13th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the centenary of the First World War is commemorated in local communities.

We encourage communities to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding, to discover, learn and commemorate the First World War.

Since April 2010, HLF has awarded over £84 million to more than 1,680 First World War Centenary projects reaching more than 80% of constituencies across the United Kingdom.

Communities can also get involved in our war memorials programme, by attending workshops, applying for listing and carrying out condition surveys. War Memorials Trust have grants available for repair and conservation of local war memorials.

31st Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that all parts of the UK can access superfast broadband.

Over 4 million homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a direct result of the government’s programme; and We are currently reinvesting project savings and take-up revenues to extend the reach of superfast broadband beyond 95%.

6th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that public-facing staff at sports venues have disability equality awareness training.

I refer my Honourable friend to the answer to PQ 44837, answered on 7th September.

6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to accelerate the rollout of broadband in (a) rural and (b) urban areas.

The BDUK programme continues to work with BT and other suppliers to bring forward delivery of superfast broadband across the UK. 9 out of 10 homes and businesses can now receive superfast speeds and we remain on track to reach 95% by end of 2017.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the greatest possible engagement by children and young people in the commemoration of the First World War.

Children and Young People are at the centre of our First World War Centenary Commemorations. We want to see young people across the country learning about the war.

17th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it remains her Department's policy to support the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project.

The Department continues to believe that young people should be taught about the Holocaust and the lessons it teaches us today. We are committed to promoting, supporting and funding Holocaust Education.

Since the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project begun in 1999, it has taken more than 31,000 students and teachers to visit the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The Government announced in April last year that we had renewed our grant for the project for a further three years.

16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to tackle anti-Semitism and holocaust denial on university campuses.

This Government takes anti-Semitism extremely seriously. There is no place in our society - including within higher education – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism, including anti-Semitism.


The Government has recently adopted the non-legally binding definition of anti-Semitism, to help clarify how anti-Semitism can manifest itself in the 21st century.


Universities have a responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students. The legal obligation for ensuring that students do not face discrimination, harassment, abuse or violence rests with individual institutions. Universities should have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, and to enable them to investigate and address swiftly any anti-Semitic incidents that are reported.

The Government asked Universities UK (UUK) to set up an Harassment Taskforce in 2015, to consider what more can be done to address harassment on campus, including on the basis of religion and belief. The Union of Jewish Students, Jewish Leadership Council, Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust were part of its wider advisory group. The taskforce published its report: ‘Changing the Culture’, on 21 October 2016.

The Government has asked UUK to monitor progress. UUK plan to establish more baseline evidence, and to assess institutions’ progress in implementing the recommendations and report later this year.

16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Department held a Holocaust Memorial event on Monday 16 January. All of the staff were invited to a talk given by Harry Spiro, a Holocaust survivor.

18th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to reduce the difference in attainment for children under five between the North West and the national average.

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future outcomes and social mobility. On 20 October, the department published the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) results for the 2015 to 2016 academic year, at national and local authority level. At a national level, 69.3% of children achieved a good level of development, which is an increase of 3 percentage points on 2015 (compared to 66.7% in the North West, which also represents an increase of 3 percentage points on the North West’s 2015 data). The latest EYFSP results are available at: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/early-years-foundation-stage-profile-results-2015-to-2016

High quality early education is key to future outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged children. That is why we are working hard to ensure parents and children - wherever they live in England - have access to high quality early years education places through the funded 15 hour entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds and the universal 15 hours entitlement for all three- and four-year-olds. At present, 84% of all two-year-olds (compared with 84% in the North West) and 86% of all three- and four-years-olds (compared to 88% in the North West) take up their entitlement in a good or outstanding setting.

From September 2017, working parents who meet the eligibility criteria will also have access to an additional 15 hours of funded early education. Our proposed early years funding formula includes an additional needs factor - to better target funding towards local authorities with a higher relative proportion of children with additional needs - and an area cost adjustment to reflect local operating costs. This will help to ensure that all children can access quality early education in their area.

The government is taking further steps to understand the regional attainment gap. In May 2016, the department commissioned a feasibility study to investigate the regional gap in early years at age 5, including recommendations to undertake a further study through longitudinal analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study (MSC) to assess variation in attainment and evaluate the potential drivers of a regional gap.

9th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to reduce the budget for the education and training of 16 to 19-year olds to meet the £450 million savings to be found in her Department in this financial year.

The savings announced by the Chancellor will come from a variety of measures including expected departmental underspends in demand-led budgets, efficiencies and some small budgetary reductions.

20th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps his Department is taking to help businesses build trading opportunities abroad.

DIT provides market access, support and advice to UK business both in the UK and in 109 markets overseas. Through the GREAT campaign we build the global appetite for British goods and services, and give UK companies access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential business through the digital services offered on the great.gov.uk website.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK retains its research and development relationship with Israel after the UK leaves the EU.

We have a strong research and development relationship with Israel, and that will continue.

We have established a UK-Israel Tech Hub, which creates partnerships between British companies and world class Israeli innovators.

We also have a thriving science and innovation relationship, for example the UK-Israel Science Council whose core mandate is to improve science collaboration between the UK and Israel.

30th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has a timetable for the electrification of the Chester to Manchester line.

Chester and Manchester are linked by two rail lines: via Warrington Quay (electrified east of Warrington) and via Stockport (electrified north of Stockport). The Government intends next year to set out its priorities for investment in train services and infrastructure in the next Control Period from 2019. This will be informed by advice from the rail industry, Transport for the North and other stakeholders.

The Government is committed to ensuring that every part of Britain benefits from our investment in the railways. Improvements in rail services can be delivered by new trains, electrification or other infrastructure improvements. The Government keeps under close review what options will ensure the maximum value to taxpayers, passengers and freight users.

28th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has set a timetable for the electrification of the Mid-Cheshire railway line.

The Government intends next year to set out its priorities for investment in train services and infrastructure in the next Control Period from 2019. This will be informed by advice from the rail industry, Transport for the North and other stakeholders.

The Government is committed to ensuring that every part of Britain benefits from our investment in the railways. Improvements in rail services can be delivered by new trains, electrification or other infrastructure improvements. The Government keeps under close review what options will ensure the maximum value to taxpayers, passengers and freight users.

18th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with local authorities to encourage coordination between local transport plans and High Speed 2.

Working with the Department for Communities and Local Government, my Department has regular discussions with Local Authorities to support the development of their local growth strategies. These strategies set out their plans to catalyse the growth and regeneration benefits of HS2 in their area and can include details on how the benefits of HS2 will be aligned with the local transport plan ambitions.

18th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be created in (a) Cheshire and (b) the North West as a result of High Speed 2.

High Speed 2 Limited estimate that HS2 will support up to 100,000 jobs around HS2 stations. The western leg of Phase 2b is estimated to support 30,000 to 43,600 of these jobs. The government has not made an estimate of jobs created in Cheshire. Other organisations have produced their own estimates and ambitions for jobs supported by HS2. For example, the Northern Gateway Development Zone in Cheshire and Staffordshire have plans to help create 120,000 new jobs by 2040. They are currently preparing an HS2 Growth Strategy on how HS2 will contribute to supporting this number of new jobs in the area.

High Speed 2 Limited also estimate that around 25,000 private sector employment opportunities are expected to be generated in the process of building the HS2 railway, with a further 3,000 jobs to operate it once finished.

13th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to promote cycling.

This Government is committed to increasing the number of people cycling and to making it the natural choice for short journeys or as part of longer ones.

The Infrastructure Act 2015 places a duty on Government to produce a Cycling and Walking Strategy; I have instructed my officials to begin work on this and we will soon lay the secondary legislation required to commence the relevant section of the Act.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the written statement of 12 December 2016, (HCW 5339), what the planned (a) timetable and (b) content is for the Automatic Enrolment 2017 Review.

On 12 December 2016, I set out the scope of the 2017 review of automatic enrolment. On 8 February 2017 I set out further detail on the review, including its terms of reference and the membership of the external advisory group.

Through the review we will be seeking to build on the success of automatic enrolment to date. So far over 7.1 million individuals have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by more than 370,000 employers. The review will look at how we can ensure that automatic enrolment continues to meet the needs of individuals saving for their retirement in the future, and that the technical operation of the policy is working as intended.

It is important that we begin early conversations around the central issues covered by the review of automatic enrolment, and I recognise people are keen to engage on these. That is why on 8 February 2017 I published a set of initial questions on the main themes, including coverage, engagement and future contributions. I have invited views and evidence by 22 March 2017 to help inform our considerations. We will, of course, formally consult on any proposals that require legislative change.

As I set out in my previous statement, my Department’s work will be supported by an external advisory group.

The three co-chairs of the group are:

  • Jamie Jenkins (Head of Pensions Strategy, Standard Life), who will support the work around the theme of coverage of automatic enrolment;
  • Ruston Smith (Trustee Director at Peoples’ Pension), who will support the work around strengthening personal engagement with work place pensions, and;
  • Chris Curry (Director, Pensions Policy Institute), who will support the work which begins to develop the evidence base on future contributions.

The other members of this group are:

Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director, Institute of Fiscal Studies

Jane Vass, Head of public policy, Age UK

Neil Carberry, Director for people and skills, Confederation of British Industry

Linda Ellett, KPMG, partner – Tax and Pensions Practice

Nigel Stanley, NEST Members’ Panel, Chair

Jocelyn Blackwell, Trustee Director NOW: Pensions

Judith Hogarth, Employment and Pensions, EEF

I am delighted to be working with a team representing such a breadth of experience and expertise and look forward to the insight they will bring to help shape the review and any proposals. We will of course reach out to others as part of this review, including intermediary organisations such as employer consultants and payroll firms.

Towards the end of this year I will publish a report to Parliament.

A copy of the terms of reference and the initial questions for the review are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/expert-advisory-group-appointed-to-the-automatic-enrolment-review.

29th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will assess the main consequences of disparities between the UK Chief Medical Officer's low risk alcohol guidelines and comparative international guidelines.

The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines are linked to UK–specific consumption and harm data.

The aim of the guidelines is to ensure the UK public have the most up to date information to help them understand the risks alcohol may pose to their health and to make decisions about their consumption in the light of those risks.

It should be noted that comparisons between countries can be misleading because there are large variations in how different countries define ‘low risk’ drinking, and even how they define a standard drink.

16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of the Chief Medical Officer's alcohol consumption guidelines on public health.

The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines were published in January this year.

It is too early to say what impact of the UK CMOs’ low risk drinking guidelines will have on alcohol consumption but we will be monitoring the public awareness of the guidelines through the Health Survey for England, commissioned by NHS Digital, which will be published in December 2016.

16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will direct NHS England to develop a specialist referral clinic to support and treat people with persisting mild to moderate cognitive and neurobehavioral problems as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Commissioning of services to support and treat people with persisting mild to moderate cognitive and neurobehavioral problems would be the commissioning responsibility of clinical commissioning groups. Specialised cognitive and neurobehavioural services already exist for brain injury and are included in the NHS England specialised neurorehabilitation service specification. The Department’s activity focuses on raising awareness amongst the public and medical professionals to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

24th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps Health Education England plans to take to ensure that the strategic review of the cancer workforce addresses the complex needs of the growing number of people living with and beyond cancer.

Delivering high quality, effective, compassionate care: Developing the right people with the right skills and the right values - A mandate from the Government to Health Education England: April 2016 to March 2017 (October 2016) states that Health Education England (HEE) will continue to take forward relevant recommendations set out in the independent Cancer Task Force report, Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes: a strategy for England 2015 - 2020, including working with partners to develop a vision for the future shape and skills mix of the workforce required to deliver a modern, holistic patient-centred cancer service and report by December 2016.

Supported by Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, HEE has been leading on this recommendation and has completed an initial cancer workforce baseline review that has been shared and discussed with key stakeholders. The review is regularly updated with emerging intelligence from Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) areas on the workforce they require to deliver the cancer service challenge.

In addition, HEE is leading on a major piece of work to address the workforce challenges in transforming cancer services, which includes a skills mix review. It has agreed an approach with key stakeholders for the review and will be working through Local Workforce Action Boards, Vanguards and Cancer Alliances to understand the skills mix needed for emerging cancer service models. HEE will report back on this work in March 2017.

HEE will also be working with the National Cancer Transformation Board’s Living With and Beyond Cancer Oversight Group to understand the workforce requirements outlined in Implementing the Cancer Taskforce Recommendations: Commissioning Person Centred Care for People Affected By Cancer (April 2016), including reviewing good practice in approaches to reduce and managing long term consequences of treatment. HEE will work with STPs and clinical commissioning groups to support their service proposals by identifying and addressing the workforce challenges to develop the workforce to put this guidance into action.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2016 to Question 41738, what steps his Department is taking to encourage part-time clinical staff to move into full-time roles.

When making decisions on flexible working including part time working, National Health Service employers need to take a long term whole career view. An increase in participation is best achieved by the offer of flexible working in an environment that encourages staff to increase their hours when it fits with their personal circumstances.

Flexible working practices, including part-time working, have been adopted with widespread success across most professions in the NHS and are backed up by employment legislation including: the Employment Relations Act (Amendment 2005), the Employment Act (Amendment 2005); the Employment Act 2002: Flexible working, and the Work and Families Act 2006.

The Department continues to support NHS Employers in their work on encouraging flexible working through tools, resources and the sharing of good practice available on their website:

http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/retain-and-improve/managing-your-workforce/flexible-working

4th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of NHS clinical staff work part-time.

The proportion of National Health Service clinical staff who work part-time is in the attached table. The figures are taken from the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s monthly workforce statistics and cover staff working in NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups.

The number of NHS clinical staff who work part-time and are additionally registered as agency staff is not collected centrally.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his Answer of 27 November to Question 215754, what main concerns have been raised by stakeholders in renal services at the recent meeting with the head of the Specialised Services Task Force in NHS England; and what steps he is taking in response to such concerns.

Concerns raised by stakeholders in the meeting hosted by the head of the Specialised Services Task Force in NHS England included: the status of service specifications and clinical policies, mandatory hospital data collection requirements, clinical commissioning group (CCG) understanding of renal dialysis and a potential fragmentation of the renal transplant pathway.

NHS England has recently established a Task & Finish group through the NHS Commissioning Assembly. This group comprises representatives from CCGs and NHS England, and will oversee the development and delivery of proposals for commissioning of specialised services in 2015-16 and beyond.

Within this Task & Finish group, a sub-group will be responsible for planning and managing the transition process for services that are being transferred from national to CCG commissioning (including renal dialysis) from 1 April 2015.

On 27 November 2014, the Department issued a public consultation on the arrangements for the transfer of commissioning responsibility from NHS England to CCGs for renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services.

The consultation seeks views on what type of support CCGs will need from NHS England to be able to commission renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services effectively and whether, if all this support can be put in place, the timing of the transfer is right.

The results of the consultation will be used to inform the decisions on when and how to transfer the commissioning responsibility for renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services to CCGs, and the work of the NHS England Task & Finish group. The consultation will close on 9 January 2015.

NHS England is committed to issuing commissioning guidance for the safe transfer of renal dialysis services from national NHS England responsibility to local CCG responsibility.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 27 November 2014 to Question 215754, what consideration the new Task and Finish group will give to the commissioning of kidney services; and when he expects the advisory group to report on what support clinical commissiong groups will require to take on commissioning of dialysis.

NHS England has recently established a Task and Finish group through the NHS Commissioning Assembly. This group comprises representatives from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England, and will oversee the development and delivery of proposals for commissioning of specialised services in 2015-16 and beyond.

Within this Task and Finish group, a sub-group will be responsible for planning and managing the transition process for services that are being transferred from national to CCG commissioning (including renal dialysis) from 1 April 2015.

On 27 November 2014, the Department has issued a public consultation on the arrangements for the transfer of commissioning responsibility from NHS England to CCGs for renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services.

The consultation seeks views on what type of support CCGs will need from NHS England to be able to commission renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services effectively and whether, if all this support can be put in place, the timing of the transfer is right.

The results of the consultation will be used to inform the decisions on when and how to transfer the commissioning responsibility for renal dialysis and morbid obesity surgery services to CCGs, and the work of the NHS England Task and Finish group. The consultation will close on 9 January 2015.

NHS England is committed to issuing commissioning guidance for the safe transfer of renal dialysis services from national NHS England responsibility to local CCG responsibility.

24th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what quality and outcome measures NHS England plans to use to ensure maintenance of clinical quality and quality of service in the proposed transition from specialised to clinical commissioning groups commissioning for dialysis.

NHS England has advised that they are in dialogue with key stakeholders about both the opportunities and challenges of transferring responsibility for renal services. The head of the Specialised Services Task Force in NHS England recently met stakeholders from renal service representative groups and heard their concerns directly.

The Department intends to launch a public consultation by the end of 2014 on the recommendations put forward by the independent clinically-led advisory group (Prescribed Specialised Services Advisory Group) to transfer commissioning responsibility for renal services from NHS England to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

This public consultation will specifically be asking key stakeholders involved in the provision of renal dialysis what NHS England would need to do to ensure a safe transfer of commissioning responsibilities to CCGs. This consultation will also be asking stakeholders specifically whether the current proposed timescales for the transfer of services are feasible.

A new Task & Finish group is being established by NHS England through the NHS Commissioning Assembly. This group will look specifically at what support CCGs would require to be able to safely and effectively commission services devolved to them.

NHS England is committed to issuing commissioning guidance for the safe transfer of services from national NHS England responsibility to local CCG responsibility.

24th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment NHS England has made of the level of need for specialist renal services to deal with the complications and emergencies associated with dialysis; and how such services will be commissioned from April 2015.

NHS England has advised that they are in dialogue with key stakeholders about both the opportunities and challenges of transferring responsibility for renal services. The head of the Specialised Services Task Force in NHS England recently met stakeholders from renal service representative groups and heard their concerns directly.

The Department intends to launch a public consultation by the end of 2014 on the recommendations put forward by the independent clinically-led advisory group (Prescribed Specialised Services Advisory Group) to transfer commissioning responsibility for renal services from NHS England to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

This public consultation will specifically be asking key stakeholders involved in the provision of renal dialysis what NHS England would need to do to ensure a safe transfer of commissioning responsibilities to CCGs. This consultation will also be asking stakeholders specifically whether the current proposed timescales for the transfer of services are feasible.

A new Task & Finish group is being established by NHS England through the NHS Commissioning Assembly. This group will look specifically at what support CCGs would require to be able to safely and effectively commission services devolved to them.

NHS England is committed to issuing commissioning guidance for the safe transfer of services from national NHS England responsibility to local CCG responsibility.

15th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress has been made on improving access to GPs.

The Prime Minister’s £50 million Challenge Fund is currently improving general practitioner access for over two million patients across England. This includes offering evening and weekend appointments, as well as better use of technology, such as telehealth, to look after patients. By January, 7.5 million patients will be covered.

And, we have recently announced another £100 million of funding for next year to improve access for even more patients.

3rd Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on jobs and investment in the beer industry of a reduction in beer duty.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, including alcohol duties, and is always willing to consider any evidence in relation to alcohol taxation policy. Any changes to beer duty need to take account of a wide range of factors, including the Exchequer impact, the impact on businesses and consumers, and on public health.

3rd Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the annual change in on-trade beer prices in each year since 2007 for the purposes of assessing beer duty.

The British Beer and Pub Association have published estimates of the annual change in beer prices in “The story of beer duty: 2008 to 2016”. This can be found at:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/bbpa-prod/attachments/documents/uploads/24356/original/BBPA%20Duty%20Impact%20Report%202016.pdf?1477316467

1st Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on jobs and investment in pubs and breweries of the (a) reduction in beer duty in 2014, (b) reduction in beer duty in 2015 and (c) freeze in beer duty in 2016.

HM Treasury engages with a wide variety of organisations to understand industry developments, including the beer and pub industry.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, including alcohol duties, and is always willing to consider any evidence in relation to alcohol taxation policy.

1st Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of excise duty rates on beer exports.

HM Treasury engages with a wide variety of organisations to understand industry developments, including the beer and pub industry.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, including alcohol duties, and is always willing to consider any evidence in relation to alcohol taxation policy.

15th Nov 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of reductions in beer duty on (a) the number of jobs and (b) the level of investment in the beer and pub industry.

HM Treasury engages with a wide variety of organisations to understand industry developments, including the beer and pub industry.

This includes considering external reports like that of the British Beer and Pub Association, which estimated that by 2016/17 there will be 21,000 more jobs in the pub industry, than if the duty escalator had continued until 2015.

28th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that police and security services have the powers necessary to apprehend people planning terrorist attacks in the UK.

The UK has one of the world’s most effective legal regimes for tackling terrorism. The Investigatory Powers Act, which the Government passed last year, ensures that law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need in a digital age to disrupt terrorist attacks, subject to strict safeguards and world-leading oversight. And the Criminal Finances Bill will add to the ability of UK law enforcement to identify, investigate and disrupt terrorist finance activity.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
30th Aug 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the police and security services have the necessary powers to apprehend people planning terrorist attacks in the UK.

We continue to strengthen our Counter Terrorism powers. The 2015 Counter Terrorism & Security Act provided the police with new powers and created a general duty on public bodies to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. To apprehend terrorist suspects the police and security agencies need to collect intelligence to support arrests and develop evidence to secure prosecutions.

Therefore the government is taking forward the Investigatory Powers Bill, which will provide them with powers fit for the digital age.

15th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) training and (b) financial assistance the Government has provided to local authorities to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery in each year from 2011 to 2014 to date.

No training or financial assistance has been provided directly to local authorities, by the Home Office, to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery in the years 2011-2014.

In 2013, three Non-Government Organisations were awarded total grant funding of approximately £75,000 by the Home Office to provide training to a range of local professionals, including those working in local authorities.

Home Office funding of £420,000 is being provided to Barnardo’s to fund independent child advocacy service trials for a period of twelve months in 23 local authorities.

15th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what procedures her Department has in place to ensure that reliable victim evidence can be gathered and presented in court during prosecutions for trafficking.

The Government funds the Adult Human Trafficking Care and Co-ordination contract which ensures that potential victims of trafficking receive
appropriate care and support once they have been identified. As part of this contract and in compliance with our international obligations (Council of Europe Convention and the EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings), the Home Office has made it a core requirement for the Contractor to provide assistance to victims at appropriate stages of criminal proceedings against offenders. The Contractor is also required to cooperate with the police and judicial service in order to assist in the prosecution of potential offenders particularly when requests for information are made.

Such assistance includes:
• explaining to victims the relevant procedures relating to the prosecution of offenders;
• encouraging victims to cooperate with any police enquiries and with the wider justice system.
• explaining to victims where relevant, what role they will have in court proceedings; and
• facilitating access to independent legal support for victims and where appropriate assisting victims to apply for Legal Aid.

In addition, the police have raised awareness amongst its officers about the need to ensure that victims are at the centre of any modern slavery
investigation, this awareness includes how to conduct interviews with traumatised potential victims in order to ensure that they are able to provide
the most comprehensive information required to assist in prosecutions.

15th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on (a) raising greater public awareness of modern slavery, (b) providing detailed information on the numbers and locations of victims of trafficking and traffickers and (c) specific police forces' campaigns to tackle modern slavery.

The Home Office is spending £2.3million on a modern slavery publicity campaign to raise greater public awareness of modern slavery and encourage reporting to the new modern slavery helpline, launched on 31 July. This includes the costs of all planning, media buying, agency fees and production.

Detailed information on the numbers and locations of victims of trafficking and traffickers is provided by the Salvation Army and the National Crime Agency. Specific funding is not provided by the Home Office for this purpose; it is funded through existing resource costs.

The Home Office does not hold information on the costs of specific police force campaigns. This information is held by the individual police forces.

15th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure the independence of the planned Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The independent Anti-slavery Commissioner will encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery offences and the identification of victims.

They will have the freedom and independence to look at the law enforcement response to modern slavery without fear or favour, and make reports which will highlight where improvements can be made.

The Commissioner’s reports will be independent and the Commissioner’s annual report will be laid before Parliament.

14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 13 January 2014 to Question 181067, how many identified victims of trafficking who (a) participated and (b) did not participate in criminal proceedings were granted discretionary leave to remain on the grounds of personal circumstances in 2013; and if she will make a statement.

In 2013, 52 people who had been granted discretionary leave due to being recognised as victims of trafficking participated in criminal proceedings by assisting the police with their investigations into human trafficking.A further 35 individuals were granted discretionary leave but did not
participate in criminal proceedings.

14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 4 February 2014 to Question 902388, how many victims of human trafficking received pre-trial therapy and counselling in accordance with the victims' code service in each of the last three years; what the cost to the public purse was of such therapy; and if she will make a statement.

The Government funds the Adult Human Trafficking Care and Co-ordination contract which ensures that potential victims of trafficking receive
appropriate care and support once they have been identified. As part of this contract and in compliance with our international obligations (Council of Europe Convention and the EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings), the Home Office has made it a core requirement for the Contractor to provide access to a range of specialist services, including therapy and counselling, to victims of trafficking who request or require it.

Such services are not necessarily related to pre-trial circumstances. Most victims of trafficking who are assisting the police are usually called to trial after they have left the service. As a result, pre-trial therapy and counselling would be received from other sources and not under the contract. For this reason, the Home Office does not collect the requested information.

14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many copies of her Department's publication Modern Slavery: how the UK is leading the fight have been printed to date; at what cost; and to whom that publication has been distributed.

The ‘Modern Slavery: how the UK is leading the fight’ booklet was published in the summer as part of our wider communications campaign to raise awareness that slavery exists in the UK. The booklet provides details of the Government’s comprehensive programme of activity to tackle modern slavery, including: information about how the Modern Slavery Bill will both help law enforcement to fight the crime more effectively and enhance protection and support for victims; detail of how we will ensure relevant partners will play their part; additional work being undertaken to improve victims identification, protection and support; work to safeguard child victims; partnerships with the private sector; and how we our developing our international response.

600 copies of the booklet have been printed at a cost of £192.84.The booklet has been distributed widely to Parliamentarians, civil society groups, and youth Parliament members. All copies printed to date have been distributed. The booklet is also available online via the GOV.UK website and PDF copies have additionally been distributed.

14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many individual potential victims of trafficking the NSPCC Modern Slavery Helpline offered advice or information to during August 2014; and how many of those people were (a) adults and (b) children.

In August 2014, the Modern Slavery Helpline received 269 contacts in relation to 430 potential victims. Of the 269 contacts, 114 were from members of the public, one was from a child, one was from a relative and there were 21 contacts from potential victims. The remaining 132 were recorded as other.

Of those 269 contacts, the individual was provided with advice or directed to a source of advice in 121 cases.

The table below sets out the estimated age of the 430 potential victims reported to the helpline:

Age range* Total
1-15 - 20
16-25 - 31
26-35 - 34
36-45 - 13
46-55 - 14
56-65 - 2
Unknown - 316
Total = 430

*Age has been recorded only when a definite age number has been provided. Where the age range has been given for a large group of potential victims, it
has been included in the ‘unknown’ category.

14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many enquiries were made to the NSPCC Modern Slavery Helpline during August 2014; and how many of those calls were from (a) frontline professionals, (b) members of the public and (c) potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.

In August 2014, the Modern Slavery Helpline received 269 contacts in relation to 430 potential victims. Of the 269 contacts, 114 were from members of the public, one was from a child, one was from a relative and there were 21 contacts from potential victims. The remaining 132 were recorded as other.

Of those 269 contacts, the individual was provided with advice or directed to a source of advice in 121 cases.

The table below sets out the estimated age of the 430 potential victims reported to the helpline:

Age range* Total
1-15 - 20
16-25 - 31
26-35 - 34
36-45 - 13
46-55 - 14
56-65 - 2
Unknown - 316
Total = 430

*Age has been recorded only when a definite age number has been provided. Where the age range has been given for a large group of potential victims, it
has been included in the ‘unknown’ category.

11th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to eliminate modern slavery.

This Government is determined to stamp out the abhorrent crime of modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Bill will give law enforcement the tools to tackle modern slavery and enhance support and protection for victims. We will soon publish a comprehensive Modern Slavery Strategy setting out additional practical actions being undertaken.

We will also be introducing a world-leading disclosure requirement to the Bill, which will require big businesses to publicly state each year what action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free.

16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who the target demographic is for the modern slavery helpline run in conjunction with the NSPCC; and what services and support will be offered through this helpline.

We are working with the NSPCC to pilot a dedicated Modern Slavery Helpline as
part of a wider communications and marketing campaign to raise awareness of
modern slavery. The NSPCC will be reimbursed for the cost of hosting the
hotline, up to a
maximum of £50,000 for 12 months from 31 July 2014.

The purpose of the helpline is to provide potential victims, members of the
public and professionals with one consistent telephone number to call if they
have concerns related to modern slavery. We are working with a number of
non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the
NSPCC can direct helpline callers to a range of organisations that can
provide additional help, advice and support. The helpline will also be a route
for potential victims to access Government-funded support. The helpline and
website will also provide information and general advice about modern slavery

16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funds have been made available to the NSPCC for the establishment and running costs of the modern slavery helpline.

We are working with the NSPCC to pilot a dedicated Modern Slavery Helpline as
part of a wider communications and marketing campaign to raise awareness of
modern slavery. The NSPCC will be reimbursed for the cost of hosting the
hotline, up to a
maximum of £50,000 for 12 months from 31 July 2014.

The purpose of the helpline is to provide potential victims, members of the
public and professionals with one consistent telephone number to call if they
have concerns related to modern slavery. We are working with a number of
non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the
NSPCC can direct helpline callers to a range of organisations that can
provide additional help, advice and support. The helpline will also be a route
for potential victims to access Government-funded support. The helpline and
website will also provide information and general advice about modern slavery

15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consultation she undertook with (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) civil society, (c) church organisations, (d) front-line professionals, (e) social workers and (f) local authority and Health Service staff on the creation of a modern slavery helpline prior to her announcement that such a helpline was being set up.

We are working closely with the NSPCC to pilot a Modern Slavery Helpline as part of a wider communications and marketing campaign, to raise awareness of modern slavery. The helpline will be established by the end of July 2014. We are working with a number of non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all callers to the helpline can access any additional help, advice and support they need.

Training will be provided to all call handlers working on the helpline, which will be delivered by the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre and the
Metropolitan Police Service, building on their specific expertise and knowledge in this area. The training will include the nature of modern slavery, the information to be obtained from individuals who call the helpline as well as organisations that can provide further support and guidance. There are no specific costs to the Home Office associated with providing this training.

Each call to the helpline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and, where an individual requires further information or advice, the helpline call handlers will provide the details of other organisations for the caller to contact, as appropriate. This is regardless of whether the caller is from an EU or non-EU country.

Stakeholders, including NGOs, have been engaged in the communications and marketing campaign which underpins the helpline.
The NSPCC is ideally placed to deliver what we need given their existing infrastructure and expertise in safeguarding issues. The NSPCC runs a number of helplines, including Childline, FGM helpline and the Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) line. We have engaged NSPCC by means of a formal Grant Agreement, not a Contract, which will be managed using standard Home Office grant terms and conditions in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what expertise the NSPCC has in dealing with victims of slavery; and what criteria were set by her Department for the securing of the contract to run the modern slavery helpline.

We are working closely with the NSPCC to pilot a Modern Slavery Helpline as part of a wider communications and marketing campaign, to raise awareness of modern slavery. The helpline will be established by the end of July 2014. We are working with a number of non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all callers to the helpline can access any additional help, advice and support they need.

Training will be provided to all call handlers working on the helpline, which will be delivered by the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre and the
Metropolitan Police Service, building on their specific expertise and knowledge in this area. The training will include the nature of modern slavery, the information to be obtained from individuals who call the helpline as well as organisations that can provide further support and guidance. There are no specific costs to the Home Office associated with providing this training.

Each call to the helpline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and, where an individual requires further information or advice, the helpline call handlers will provide the details of other organisations for the caller to contact, as appropriate. This is regardless of whether the caller is from an EU or non-EU country.

Stakeholders, including NGOs, have been engaged in the communications and marketing campaign which underpins the helpline.
The NSPCC is ideally placed to deliver what we need given their existing infrastructure and expertise in safeguarding issues. The NSPCC runs a number of helplines, including Childline, FGM helpline and the Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) line. We have engaged NSPCC by means of a formal Grant Agreement, not a Contract, which will be managed using standard Home Office grant terms and conditions in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the NSPCC about its current and future plans to train staff to run her planned modern slavery helpline; what that training will include; what the estimated cost is of such training; and which body will provide the training.

We are working closely with the NSPCC to pilot a Modern Slavery Helpline as part of a wider communications and marketing campaign, to raise awareness of modern slavery. The helpline will be established by the end of July 2014. We are working with a number of non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all callers to the helpline can access any additional help, advice and support they need.

Training will be provided to all call handlers working on the helpline, which will be delivered by the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre and the
Metropolitan Police Service, building on their specific expertise and knowledge in this area. The training will include the nature of modern slavery, the information to be obtained from individuals who call the helpline as well as organisations that can provide further support and guidance. There are no specific costs to the Home Office associated with providing this training.

Each call to the helpline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and, where an individual requires further information or advice, the helpline call handlers will provide the details of other organisations for the caller to contact, as appropriate. This is regardless of whether the caller is from an EU or non-EU country.

Stakeholders, including NGOs, have been engaged in the communications and marketing campaign which underpins the helpline.
The NSPCC is ideally placed to deliver what we need given their existing infrastructure and expertise in safeguarding issues. The NSPCC runs a number of helplines, including Childline, FGM helpline and the Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) line. We have engaged NSPCC by means of a formal Grant Agreement, not a Contract, which will be managed using standard Home Office grant terms and conditions in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to whom the NSPCC will refer cases of people (a) from EU countries and (b) who are not EU nationals, who call her planned modern slavery helpline and are identified as victims of modern slavery.

We are working closely with the NSPCC to pilot a Modern Slavery Helpline as part of a wider communications and marketing campaign, to raise awareness of modern slavery. The helpline will be established by the end of July 2014. We are working with a number of non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all callers to the helpline can access any additional help, advice and support they need.

Training will be provided to all call handlers working on the helpline, which will be delivered by the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre and the
Metropolitan Police Service, building on their specific expertise and knowledge in this area. The training will include the nature of modern slavery, the information to be obtained from individuals who call the helpline as well as organisations that can provide further support and guidance. There are no specific costs to the Home Office associated with providing this training.

Each call to the helpline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and, where an individual requires further information or advice, the helpline call handlers will provide the details of other organisations for the caller to contact, as appropriate. This is regardless of whether the caller is from an EU or non-EU country.

Stakeholders, including NGOs, have been engaged in the communications and marketing campaign which underpins the helpline.
The NSPCC is ideally placed to deliver what we need given their existing infrastructure and expertise in safeguarding issues. The NSPCC runs a number of helplines, including Childline, FGM helpline and the Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) line. We have engaged NSPCC by means of a formal Grant Agreement, not a Contract, which will be managed using standard Home Office grant terms and conditions in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions are being made by her Department in conjunction with the NSPCC to ensure that calls from (a) professionals, (b) volunteers, (c) members of the public and (d) victims of modern slavery and human trafficking to the modern slavery helpline can be dealt with effectively; and when the modern slavery helpline will go live.

We are working closely with the NSPCC to pilot a Modern Slavery Helpline as part of a wider communications and marketing campaign, to raise awareness of modern slavery. The helpline will be established by the end of July 2014. We are working with a number of non-governmental organisations and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all callers to the helpline can access any additional help, advice and support they need.

Training will be provided to all call handlers working on the helpline, which will be delivered by the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre and the
Metropolitan Police Service, building on their specific expertise and knowledge in this area. The training will include the nature of modern slavery, the information to be obtained from individuals who call the helpline as well as organisations that can provide further support and guidance. There are no specific costs to the Home Office associated with providing this training.

Each call to the helpline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and, where an individual requires further information or advice, the helpline call handlers will provide the details of other organisations for the caller to contact, as appropriate. This is regardless of whether the caller is from an EU or non-EU country.

Stakeholders, including NGOs, have been engaged in the communications and marketing campaign which underpins the helpline.
The NSPCC is ideally placed to deliver what we need given their existing infrastructure and expertise in safeguarding issues. The NSPCC runs a number of helplines, including Childline, FGM helpline and the Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) line. We have engaged NSPCC by means of a formal Grant Agreement, not a Contract, which will be managed using standard Home Office grant terms and conditions in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 30 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, how her Department gathers information to ensure that victims are safe once they have left the support service, if the town in which they have been placed is withheld on safety grounds.

Information on the whereabouts of adult victims, once they exit
Government-funded support services, is not routinely held.

Although there is no requirement under the UK's European Convention against
Trafficking obligations to support a victim once they have exited the service,
the Government is looking into ways to provide post-exit support to victims
which will enable continuous engagement with them, with the purpose of ensuring
their well-being and successful integration into mainstream society or
re-integration into their home country. This proposal is being considered as
part of the review of the National Referral Mechanism and the retender of the
Government-funded support service.

Should the Home Office request information, including on the town and shelter
in which each victim is place and whether the victim has a conclusive grounds
decision, The Salvation Army is obliged to share it.

2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 30 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, whether the Salvation Army shares with her Department information on the town and shelter in which each victim is placed and whether the victim has a conclusive grounds decision.

Information on the whereabouts of adult victims, once they exit
Government-funded support services, is not routinely held.

Although there is no requirement under the UK's European Convention against
Trafficking obligations to support a victim once they have exited the service,
the Government is looking into ways to provide post-exit support to victims
which will enable continuous engagement with them, with the purpose of ensuring
their well-being and successful integration into mainstream society or
re-integration into their home country. This proposal is being considered as
part of the review of the National Referral Mechanism and the retender of the
Government-funded support service.

Should the Home Office request information, including on the town and shelter
in which each victim is place and whether the victim has a conclusive grounds
decision, The Salvation Army is obliged to share it.

26th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will ensure that the regulations governing the new contract for the specialist support providers allow bids to provide ongoing care and support once victims exit the shelter service, at the end of the 45 days period irrespective of whether they have received a Conclusive Grounds decision.

Once they receive a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, potential victims of
trafficking are entitled to a minimum of 45 days' care and support which can
continue up to the point they receive a positive Conclusive Grounds decision,
whichever is the later. Article 12 of the European Convention on Action
against Trafficking in Human Beings requires the UK to provide a minimum of 30
days' support for victims of human trafficking. The current UK Government
policy goes further than the European Convention on Action against Trafficking
obligations by providing a minimum of 45 days support once a Reasonable Grounds
decision is made.

Care and support for victims, once they receive a positive Conclusive Grounds
decision, is being considered as part of the ongoing review of the National
Referral Mechanism and as part of the re-tender of the Government's care
contract for adult victims of human trafficking.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 25 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, what information her Department holds on the current safety of victims who received Conclusive Grounds decisions and returned home in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March 2014; and if she will make a statement.

The Government does not hold information on the whereabouts of victims once
they have left the victim support service.

Care and support for victims, once they receive a positive Conclusive Grounds
decision is being considered as part of the review of the National Referral
Mechanism and as part of the re-tender of the Government's victim support
service.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 25 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, what tailored support is given to victims who have received a Conclusive Grounds decision to safely return home; to which countries such victims returned in January to March 2014; and if she will make a statement.

Currently, there is no specific return and reintegration package for those who
have received a positive Conclusive Grounds decision and wish to return home.
The Assisted Voluntary Returns package is available to nationals of non-EEA
countries. Where possible and appropriate to do so, the Government will work
with host countries' Government agencies to ensure that the victim receives
adequate support.

Information pertaining to the countries to which victims returned via the AVR
programme is not collated centrally and would require a detailed examination of
case files in order to extract such data.

Between January and March 2014, The Salvation Army recorded that 30
individuals, in their care, returned to their country of origin. These were:

Country of Origin Count
China 1
Czech Repubulic 2
Hungary 3
Latvia 3
Lithuania 4
Poland 1
Romania 9
Slovakia 4
Sri Lanka 1
Congo 1
Uganda 1
Grand Total 30

Care and support for victims, once they receive a positive Conclusive Grounds
decision is being considered as part of the review of the National Referral
Mechanism and as part of the re-tender of the Government's victim support
service.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her Answer of 16 June 2014, Official Report, column 441W, on human trafficking: Albania, how many female victims of trafficking have returned from England using the International Organisation for Migration voluntary return package and taken up the facilities made available by the government in Albania; and if she will make a statement.

In November 2013, the UK Government and the Albanian Government, working with
the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), established a voluntary
return package for female victims of trafficking who wished to return to
Albania. This comprehensive package includes the provision of secure
accommodation in Albania (with guards and social services on site), child care
assistance where required, and training or support to establish a business or
enter the labour market. This provides the high level of support and assistance
required for victims who wish to return to Albania to rebuild their lives.
Although no victims have yet availed themselves of the package, a number of
potential cases have been identified and the Home Office is actively working
with the Albanian Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and IOM to
improve the promotion of the scheme amongst those who may qualify and identify
and address any perceived barriers to return.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 25 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, what tailored support is given to victims who have received Conclusive Grounds decisions to integrate into the UK; where such victims came from in January to March 2014; which organisations provide her Department with information on the progress of the victim integration process; and what information her Department holds on how victims have integrated into the UK.

Currently, there is no specific integration package for those who have received
a positive Conclusive Grounds decision and wish to stay in the UK. The
Salvation Army, which delivers the Government's support service for adult
victims of human trafficking, provides support to those victims leaving its
service by facilitating access to mainstream benefits, housing and local
services as well as pastoral support such as assistance with completing
application forms.

Care and support for victims, once they receive a positive Conclusive Grounds
decision is being considered as part of the review of the National Referral
Mechanism and as part of the re-tender of the Government's victim support
service.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2014, Official Report, column 441W, on human trafficking: Albania, how much funding has been made available by (a) the Home Office and (b) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to establish the International Organisation Migration voluntary return package; and if she will make a statement.

In November 2013, the UK Government and the Albanian Government, working with
the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), established a voluntary
return package for female victims of trafficking who wished to return to
Albania. This package includes the provision of secure accommodation in Albania
(with guards and social services on site), child care assistance where
required, and training or support to establish a business or enter the labour
market. This provides the support and assistance required for victims who wish
to return to Albania to rebuild their lives.

The IOM package is funded by the Returns and Reintegration Fund. This is a
cross-governmental programme, to which the Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
Department for International Development, the Home Office and the Ministry of
Justice contribute resources.

The IOM package is funded to the value of £138,000 over an 18 month period,
commencing in November 2013.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, from what region of Albania the women referred to the victim support scheme operated by the Salvation Army in (a) February 2014 and (b) April 2014 came from; what evidence from cluster data she has to explain why most of them were pregnant when they were discovered in the UK; what steps she is taking to prevent access to the UK without the necessary visas by such Albanian nationals; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office and Ministry of Justice jointly fund a national support service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales. This contract is delivered
by The Salvation Army. The service is open to potential adult victims of human trafficking (including those from Albania), identified through referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Salvation Army and its sub-contractors work with victims of human trafficking from the moment they are placed in support accommodation to help them consider their support needs and their plans to move on from the service.

The Home Office does not hold data on the regions that Albanian women referred to the Salvation Army are from. This information is only held within individual
case records and can only be accessed through manual search. Similarly, we do not hold data on the reasons for pregnancy of women referred to the NRM. The Government recognises that effective reintegration support for victims is vital to help them move on with their lives and to prevent them from being exploited in the future. In addition, the Government is looking at what more that can be done to support victims, including supporting them to return to their home country where appropriate.

The Government is working closely with the Albanian Government to combat trafficking and support victims. In November 2013, the UK Government and the Albanian Government, working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), established a voluntary return package for female victims of trafficking who wished to return to Albania. This package includes the provision of secure accommodation in Albania (with guards and social services on site), childcare assistance where required, and training or support to establish a business or enter the labour market. This provides the support and assistance required for victims who wish to return to Albania to rebuild their lives. The Albanian Government is also putting in place comprehensive measures to tackle trafficking, such as the establishment of a National Referral Mechanism and a dedicated police unit to tackle trafficking.

Albanians are visa nationals and as such they require a visa to enter the UK for any purpose. We have Risk and Airline Liaison Overseas Network staff posted around the world to assist carriers in identifying passengers that do not have the correct documents to enter the UK. We also have Border Force staff operating UK immigration controls in France and Belgium who will refuse entry to those seeking to enter the UK without the correct documentation.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of victims of human trafficking through the UK; and if she will make a statement.

In 2013 the UK National Referral Mechanism (NRM) received 1,746 referrals of
potential victims of trafficking. However, trafficking is a covert crime and
victims are often hidden, making it difficult to establish the true scale of
the issue.

The National Crime Agency's UK Human Trafficking Centre publishes an annual
assessment of the number of victims of human trafficking. The most recent
assessment was published in August 2013 and can be found on the NCA website
(www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk).

The Government is determined to lead the global fight against human trafficking
(including modern slavery), and has introduced the Modern Slavery Bill. The
Bill will give law enforcement the tools to stamp out modern slavery, and
enhance protection for victims. To complement the Bill, the Government is also
ramping up non-legislative action to tackle this abhorrent crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the nationality and gender was of each suspected victim of trafficking referred to the Trafficking Victim Support Scheme operated by the Salvation Army in January 2014; in which (a) region, (b) county, (c) metropolitan district, (d) district council area, (e) city and (f) parliamentary constituency each of the suspected victims was found; which agency referred each person to that Scheme; in which town the shelter to which such people were placed for the statutory period was; what continued contact is had with each such victim after they have exited the shelter to avoid re-trafficking; and if she will make a statement.

In January, 2014 there were 90 referrals to the Government-funded support
service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales
administered by the Salvation Army.

In order to ensure that victims cannot be identified, the tables below only
provide data at a regional level.

Nationality

Nationality

Number of Referrals

Albanian

23

Bulgarian

2

Cameroonian

2

Czech

3

Chinese

1

Ethiopian

1

Ghanaian

2

Hungarian

3

Indian

2

Iranian

1

Iraqi

1

Kenyan

2

Lithuanian

4

Moroccan

1

Nigerian

10

Pakistani

1

Polish

3

Romanian

8

Sierra Leonean

1

Slovakian

7

Sri Lankan

1

Togolese

1

Ugandan

3

Vietnamese

6

Not known

1

Total

90

Gender

Gender

Number of Referrals

Female

59

Male

31

Transgender

0

Total

90

Region where victim was found

Region

Number of Referrals

East

4

East Midlands

2

North East

1

North East

3

South

28

South East

11

South West

5

Wales

2

West Midlands

12

Yorkshire

19

Not Known

3

Total

90

Agency type that referred victims

Agency type

Number of Referrals

GLA

1

Home Office

27

Legal Representative

5

Local Authority

5

NGO

18

Other

5

Police

25

Self Referral

4

Total

90

The victim care contract does not require support providers to maintain any form
of formal contact after the recovery and reflection period. However, some survivors do maintain informal contact with their support provider, but we do not have this information.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answers of 7 April 2014, Official Report, columns 114-5W and of 14 January 2014, Official Report, columns 481-6W, on human trafficking: victim support schemes, for what reason information on each individual, whether male or female, and location found, is excluded from the figures for January 2013; and if she will provide this information for future questions on the subject.

The requested information on the gender of potential victims and the regions in
which they were found in January 2014 was provided in the Answer of 7 April
2014, Official Report, columns 114-5W, on human trafficking: victim support
schemes. However, this data was provided in a number of separate tables. The
information was not withheld and is provided below in an alternative format,
giving the same data broken down by individual case, in one table.

The victim care contract does not require support providers to maintain any
form of formal contact after the recovery and reflection period. However, some
survivors do maintain informal contact with their support provider. All support
providers will work with victims throughout their support period to help them
move on from the service. We are looking at what more we can do to help victims
reintegrate effectively.

Nationality

Gender

Region

Agency Type

Nigerian

Female

South

Self Referral

Lithuanian

Female

South

Police

Vietnamese

Male

East

NGO

Romanian

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Albanian

Female

Wales

Self Referral

Bulgarian

Female

South

Police

Polish

Male

West Midlands

GLA

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

Nigerian

Female

South

Home Office

Sierra Leonean

Female

South

Home Office

Indian

Male

South East

Home Office

Vietnamese

Female

North West

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

South East

Home Office

Ugandan

Female

South East

Home Office

Vietnamese

Male

South East

Legal Representative

Ghanaian

Male

South

Police

Ghanaian

Male

South

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Togolese

Female

East

Police

Nigerian

Female

South East

Local Authority

Czech

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Albanian

Female

South East

Home Office

Ugandan

Female

East

Self Referral

Indian

Female

South East

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South East

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Police

Vietnamese

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Nigerian

Female

South

Other

Moroccan

Female

West Midlands

Home Office

Cameroonian

Male

North East

Other

Not known

Female

South

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Chinese

Male

West Midlands

NGO

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Polish

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Nigerian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Romanian

Female

West Midlands

Police

Czech

Male

North West

Other

Sri Lankan

Female

South

Police

Pakistani

Male

Yorkshire

Home Office

Vietnamese

Male

South

Legal Representative

Romanian

Female

South

Other

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Kenyan

Female

East

Home Office

Hungarian

Female

South East

Police

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Kenyan

Female

South

Self Referral

Cameroonian

Female

North West

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

Police

Slovakian

Female

West Midlands

Police

Albanian

Male

South East

Police

Iranian

Male

South

NGO

Nigerian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South East

Other

Czech

Female

South West

NGO

Bulgarian

Male

South West

Police

Hungarian

Male

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

NGO

Nigerian

Female

Wales

Home Office

Polish

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Ugandan

Female

South

Legal Representative

Vietnamese

Male

East Midlands

Legal Representative

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Albanian

Female

South

Legal Representative

Ethiopian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

NGO

Iraqi

Female

East Midlands

NGO

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 April 2014, Official Report, column 114W, on human trafficking: victim support schemes, how many of those referred were (a) men and (b) women, by country; what steps are taken to ensure after the victim exits the shelter into which they have been placed by the Salvation Army they are not re-trafficked or contact their former traffickers; and if she will make a statement.

The requested information on the gender of potential victims and the regions in
which they were found in January 2014 was provided in the Answer of 7 April
2014, Official Report, columns 114-5W, on human trafficking: victim support
schemes. However, this data was provided in a number of separate tables. The
information was not withheld and is provided below in an alternative format,
giving the same data broken down by individual case, in one table.

The victim care contract does not require support providers to maintain any
form of formal contact after the recovery and reflection period. However, some
survivors do maintain informal contact with their support provider. All support
providers will work with victims throughout their support period to help them
move on from the service. We are looking at what more we can do to help victims
reintegrate effectively.

Nationality

Gender

Region

Agency Type

Nigerian

Female

South

Self Referral

Lithuanian

Female

South

Police

Vietnamese

Male

East

NGO

Romanian

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Albanian

Female

Wales

Self Referral

Bulgarian

Female

South

Police

Polish

Male

West Midlands

GLA

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

Nigerian

Female

South

Home Office

Sierra Leonean

Female

South

Home Office

Indian

Male

South East

Home Office

Vietnamese

Female

North West

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

South East

Home Office

Ugandan

Female

South East

Home Office

Vietnamese

Male

South East

Legal Representative

Ghanaian

Male

South

Police

Ghanaian

Male

South

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Togolese

Female

East

Police

Nigerian

Female

South East

Local Authority

Czech

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Albanian

Female

South East

Home Office

Ugandan

Female

East

Self Referral

Indian

Female

South East

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South East

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Police

Vietnamese

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Nigerian

Female

South

Other

Moroccan

Female

West Midlands

Home Office

Cameroonian

Male

North East

Other

Not known

Female

South

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

Not Known

Home Office

Chinese

Male

West Midlands

NGO

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Polish

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Nigerian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Lithuanian

Male

South West

Police

Romanian

Female

West Midlands

Police

Czech

Male

North West

Other

Sri Lankan

Female

South

Police

Pakistani

Male

Yorkshire

Home Office

Vietnamese

Male

South

Legal Representative

Romanian

Female

South

Other

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Nigerian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Kenyan

Female

East

Home Office

Hungarian

Female

South East

Police

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Local Authority

Kenyan

Female

South

Self Referral

Cameroonian

Female

North West

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

Police

Slovakian

Female

West Midlands

Police

Albanian

Male

South East

Police

Iranian

Male

South

NGO

Nigerian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South East

Other

Czech

Female

South West

NGO

Bulgarian

Male

South West

Police

Hungarian

Male

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

Home Office

Albanian

Female

South

NGO

Nigerian

Female

Wales

Home Office

Polish

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Ugandan

Female

South

Legal Representative

Vietnamese

Male

East Midlands

Legal Representative

Slovakian

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Slovakian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Albanian

Female

South

Legal Representative

Ethiopian

Female

South

NGO

Albanian

Female

South

NGO

Iraqi

Female

East Midlands

NGO

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials are employed in her Department's Human Trafficking Unit; what the purpose of the unit is; and what the role is of each such official.

A dedicated Modern Slavery Unit has been set up in the Home Office to lead and
coordinate cross-Government activity to stamp out this terrible crime. The
Modern Slavery Unit currently comprises 13 members of staff and is responsible
for a comprehensive programme of activity, which includes development of the
Modern Slavery Bill, and management of the adult victim care contract. In
addition, one member of staff has been seconded from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office to lead on international issues. There are also six members
of staff working on the review of the National Referral Mechanism. This team is
independent of the Modern Slavery Unit.

The Modern Slavery Unit is further supported by a number of staff across the
Home Office who work on related modern slavery issues including child
trafficking and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. This is in addition to
the operational caseworkers in UK Visas and Immigration, who are involved in
decision making on individual cases.

24th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an estimate of the number of pubs that will benefit from the extension of rural rates relief.

As of 31 December 2014, 4,690 businesses were in receipt of mandatory rural rate relief. The Department does not hold data on how many of these businesses are pubs, so it is not possible to estimate the number of pubs that will benefit from the extension of rural rate relief. As announced at Autumn Statement we are doubling the level of rural rate relief. Eligible pubs and petrol stations with a rateable value of £12,500 or below will benefit from 100% relief.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms in all private rented sector properties with gas appliances.

The Government has taken steps to protect tenants in the private rented sector from death and injury arising from carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes.

Since October 2015, private rented sector landlords are required to have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a solid fuel burning appliance is used, as these appliances have the highest risk of accidental poisoning. The landlord must make sure that these alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

In addition, the gas safety regulations require landlords to maintain gas systems in a safe condition and carry out annual gas safety checks.

16th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the effect on pubs of a rise in the small business rate relief threshold.

From 1 April 2017 we are permanently doubling the level of small business rate relief. Eligible properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will benefit from 100% relief. This means that 600,000 small businesses will pay no business rates at all. Eligible businesses with a property with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will be subject to tapered relief. From 1 April, around 17,000 pubs may be eligible for small business rate relief, depending on the rateable value of other property used by the business, with around 13,000 potentially eligible for 100% relief, compared to around 4,000 now.

Marcus Jones
Comptroller (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
15th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of devolution of the adult skills budget on reducing the skills shortage in the North of England.

The Government's strategy to better meet the needs of employers, learners and local areas is to establish a skills system that is responsive to local economic needs. For those combined authorities with signed devolution deals this means assuming responsibility for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) in 2018/19, enabling them to commission outcomes which deliver the skills needed locally. Devolution deals in the North of England all include full devolution of AEB from 2018/19, enabling areas of the North to tackle their local skills shortages.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to devolve powers to the local level under the Northern Powerhouse.

Devolution deals are progressing well across the north having already been agreed with Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Tees Valley, the North East and Liverpool, all of which will see directly elected mayors introduced in return for substantial new powers and budgets. Discussions with other areas across the north are progressing.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many homeowners have accessed (a) Help to Buy and (b) Right to Buy.

Up to September 2015, over 128,000 homes had been purchased with assistance of Help to Buy Equity and Mortgage Guarantee Loans.

Since 2010/11, over 53,000 thousand tenants have purchased their homes through Right to Buy (and preserved Right to Buy for housing association tenants). The voluntary scheme extending to housing associations will give 1.3 million more families the opportunity to do this.

The Department publishes statistics on Help to Buy and Right to Buy at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government/about/statistics

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to help local authorities support the economy in the North of England.

We want local authorities to focus their energies on driving growth in their areas, working in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships. That is why we are devolving more powers to councils to ensure the right decisions are made by local people who know their own communities best.

24th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what amount his Department spent on ministerial travel by (a) the Government Car and Despatch Agency and (b) other car hire in (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09 and (iii) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement.

Under this Government, the DCLG Group is making a 41 per cent real terms saving against its running costs by 2014-15. This equates at least £532 million of taxpayers’ money in administrative savings.

As part of these savings, my Department has made substantial reductions to the cost of Ministerial cars. Instead of the six cars previously used, the Department now maintains only two cars between six Ministers.

There is a business case for some provision. The Government Car Service provides secure transport for Ministers carrying sensitive and confidential government documents. All travel arrangements are carried out in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Notwithstanding, our reforms have cut the cost by two-thirds, as shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Government Car Service

2007-08

£401,600

2008-09

£418,300

2009-10

£488,276

2010-11

£321,592

2011-12

£202,819

2012-13

£199,191

2013-14

£191,813

Note: Based on DfT methodology for Government Car Service spending, as published and presented to Parliament. Figures exclude VAT which is recoverable.

Additional spending on other hired car services in 2009-10 totalled £28,266, including chauffeurs and limousines (comprehensive figures are not held prior to this). By contrast, spending by 2013-14 has been just cut to just £124.

To provide some comparative figures, the table below, illustrates the spending on Ministerial cars over the last three years of the Labour Government, by Department (excluding other hired car services):

Government Car & Despatch Agency spending

Total (2007-10)

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (and DBERR & DIUS)

£1,863,036

Home Office

£1,474,894

Department for Work and Pensions

£1,351,426

Department for Communities and Local Government

£1,308,176

Department of Health

£1,278,190

Cabinet Office

£1,262,490

Department for Children, Schools and Families

£1,196,893

HM Treasury

£1,155,789

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

£1,091,934

Ministry of Justice

£938,930

Department for Transport

£845,479

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

£806,189

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

£790,297

Department for International Development

£755,556

Northern Ireland Office

£655,551

Other (e.g. Whips / Leaders’ Offices where itemised)

£544,900

Law Officers’ Department

£474,731

Department for Energy and Climate Change (two years)

£402,130

Wales Office

£372,904

Scotland Office

£277,913

Ministry of Defence (two years)

£191,443

Data sources: 22 July 2008, Official Report, Column 117WS; 16 July 2009, Official Report, Column 80WS; 28 October 2010, Official Report, Column 23WS.

My Department’s tangible savings are in stark contrast to the Leader of the Opposition’s taxpayer-funded Short Money travel allowance, which has risen year on year since May 2010 – a fact which betrays a disregard for the need for all parts of the public sector to their bit to help pay off Labour’s deficit.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of potential steps to increase provision of (a) court time and (b) relevantly skilled members of the judiciary to ensure the timely management of legal proceedings on complex planning disputes.

The Planning Court was established in 2014 and has greatly increased the speed in which planning cases are dealt with.

A dedicated cadre of lawyers and judiciary have been appointed to deal expediently with all significant planning cases.

The Criminal Courts and Justice Act 2015 introduced a permission stage in applications for statutory review, to remove unmeritorious statutory challenges to planning decisions as early as possible.

Current statistical data shows that the average time taken for a planning case to be dealt with in the Planning Court has reduced from 46.9 weeks in February 2014 to 25.9 weeks in March 2016.

23rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment she has made of the level of the threat of terrorism in Northern Ireland.

The threat level in Northern Ireland is SEVERE meaning an attack is highly likely. Threat levels are kept under constant review.

There were 16 national security attacks in 2015 and there has been one so far this year. Many more attacks and murders by violent dissident republicans have been foiled.