Grahame Morris Portrait

Grahame Morris

Labour - Easington

Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Mar 2020 - 6th Jul 2020
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Mar 2020 - 6th Jul 2020
Transport Committee
5th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Shadow Minister for the Constitutional Convention
28th Jun 2016 - 7th Oct 2016
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Health and Social Care Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Oral Question
Tuesday 18th May 2021
12:15
Ministry of Justice
Topical Question No. 9
If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Save to Calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 18th May 2021
15:00
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 19th May 2021
09:30
Transport Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The roll-out and safety of smart motorways
19 May 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Edmund King - President at Automobile Association
Mr Nicholas Lyes - Head of Roads Policy at RAC Motoring Services
Elizabeth de Jong - Director of Policy at Logistics UK
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 196 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Better Jobs and a Fair Deal at Work

The Government failed Britain’s workforce yesterday, with no mention of an employment Bill in the Queen’s Speech. I have read …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th April 2021
Equality
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will implement section 1 of the Equality Act 2010.
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Radiologist workforce
That this House notes that the NHS radiologist workforce is now short-staffed by 33 per cent according to the Royal …
Bills
Monday 1st September 2014
Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2014-15
A Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to apply its provisions to private healthcare companies and other …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Unite the Union
Address of donor: 128 Theobald's Road, London WC1X 8TN
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Wednesday 12th May 2021
NHS privatisation
That this House expresses dismay at the Government’s White Paper, The Future of Health and Care, published on 11 February …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Grahame Morris has voted in 234 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Grahame Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 183 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
20 Dec 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Grahame Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 162 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 234
View All Grahame Morris Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(9 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(8 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(15 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(15 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Grahame Morris's debates

Easington Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Easington signature proportion
Petitions with most Easington signatures
Petition Open
328
of 180,143 signatures (0.18%)
Petition Open
298
of 309,372 signatures (0.10%)
Petition Open
283
of 2,872 signatures (9.85%)
Petition Open
280
of 194,822 signatures (0.14%)
Petition Debates Contributed

During the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After ten years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. The Government must start to restore the real value of their pay with a 10% increase in 2020.

The government is helping private firms to protect jobs by paying up to 80% of staff wages through this crisis. If it can do this why can it not help key workers who will be putting themselves/their families at risk and working extra hard under extremely challenging and unprecedented circumstances.

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.


Latest EDMs signed by Grahame Morris

12th May 2021
Grahame Morris signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Wednesday 12th May 2021

Radiologist workforce

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House notes that the NHS radiologist workforce is now short-staffed by 33 per cent according to the Royal College of Radiologists recent census and needs at least another 1,939 consultants to meet safe staffing levels and pre-coronavirus levels of demand for imaging; recognises that radiologists are essential to …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 12 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 1
11th May 2021
Grahame Morris signed this EDM on Wednesday 12th May 2021

Violence perpetrated by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in Sheikh Jarrah

Tabled by: Tahir Ali (Labour - Birmingham, Hall Green)
That this House unequivocally condemns the ongoing violence perpetrated by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem; condemns the attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli police which left hundreds of civilians injured; joins the UN in calling upon the Israeli authorities to demonstrate maximum restraint …
31 signatures
(Most recent: 12 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 24
Independent: 3
Alba Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
View All Grahame Morris's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Grahame Morris, 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.


Grahame Morris has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Grahame Morris has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Grahame Morris


A Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to apply its provisions to private healthcare companies and other bodies seeking health service contracts; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 1st September 2014

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 amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to apply to private healthcare companies; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 8th October 2013

578 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
7 Other Department Questions
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will implement section 1 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Government has no plans to commence Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 in England. We have stated on many occasions that this duty, which requires a public body, in taking strategic decisions, to have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage, would be ineffectual. As merely a “due regard” duty, it requires no specific action from the public body concerned, and risks becoming a tick-box exercise, complied with to minimise the risk of litigation rather than to promote real change in society. The duty is also wrongly focussed on equalising socio-economic outcomes rather than opportunities.

The Government’s preferred approach is to progress specific policies and practical actions that will deliver real change. We are promoting social mobility and tackling inequality through a range of initiatives – for example in education, through reforms to the welfare system, and by giving greater developmental devolution in England and rebalancing the economy through schemes such as the Towns Fund.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment has been made of trends in the level of sickness-related absence of staff working on the Parliamentary estate since March 2020.

Levels of sickness absence are regularly reviewed and discussed weekly in the Covid operations group and in the weekly Trade Union meetings.

Sickness data is recorded for staff where they are unavailable to work due to illness. As the estate has seen different levels of required staff attendance over the last 12 months, comparison between periods is of limited use.

Absence rates have been reviewed against those from other areas of the public sector. Increases in absence can be identified in March 2020, December 2020 and January 2021.

The absence rates in the House have remained at comparable levels to previous years and below the wider public sector.

Description

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Average working days lost per employee

5.09

4.94

4.71

4.66

4.58

4.43

4.33

4.23

5.39

% long term sick

58.55%

59.24%

59.09%

61.33%

62.01%

62.10%

63.68%

66.06%

52.61%

Please note the data is based on a rolling 12-month period, so the data for December 2020 is from 01/01/2020 to 31/12/2020.

The average working days lost per employee is the number of working days lost in the rolling 12-month period divided by the staff headcount.

The % long term sick is the percentage of sickness absences which were part of a period of absence of over 28 calendar days in the rolling 12-month period.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
18th Jan 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what discussions representatives of the House authorities have had with trade unions representing staff employed on the Parliamentary estate on Public Health England's recommendations on the risks to those staff of contracting covid-19 in their place of work.

The House authorities have met with representatives of the trade unions (including PCS) for staff in the House of Commons and PDS formally at least once per week since the beginning of March 2020, and with representatives of MPSA and Unite as representatives of Members’ staff.

All trade unions recognised by the House were provided with the opportunity to comment on the covid-19 risk assessments.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
18th Jan 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many instances have been reported of staff working on the Parliamentary estate contracting covid-19.

Where data is recorded in relation to House of Commons staff, a total of 86 positive test results have been recorded for the period of March 2020–January 2021. The data held does not distinguish between staff working on the estate or from home.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what systems are in place to monitor and record veteran suicide rates.

Data about suicide rates amongst the general polulation across England and Wales are reported by the Office for National Statistics using information provided to registrars by coroners in their records of inquest. Historically, governments have relied on specific studies relating to the cause of death, including suicide, amongst veterans’ cohorts from specific campaigns, for example the Falklands campaign and the 1990/91 Gulf conflict.

In order to ensure that the Government has the most up-to-date understanding of the prevalence of suicide in the Armed Forces community, two further studies are being conducted. The first is documenting all causes of death, including suicide, amongst those who have served in the Armed Forces since 2001. This study will continue on an ongoing basis to provide real-time data about causes of death, including suicide, in the Armed Forces community. A second study is looking at the factors in the year leading up to any confirmed suicide in the Armed Forces community in the last five years.

Whilst these studies will provide updated and improved data about the prevalence of suicide in the veteran community, the importance of this issue means that the Government is committed to exploring other routes, including a potential role for coroners, by which suicide amongst the veteran community could be recorded accurately and consistently so as to help inform improved support and interventions aimed at preventing suicide.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission is taking to ensure that Parliamentary staff are protected in the event that they raise health and safety concerns.

The health and safety of all those who work for, or visit the House, continues to be a key priority of the House of Commons Commission. This has included the creation of a safety and security at work module, covering health and safety and the routes to raise concerns, mandatory training which all Parliamentary staff are required to complete on an annual basis.

Staff are actively encouraged to report safety queries or concerns through their line manager, safety coordinator, a trade union safety representative or one of the safety advisers in the Parliamentary Safety Team.

All passholders on the estate are expected to follow the behaviour code, which are designed to protect and support all those on the estate. Should a member of staff have concerns that this would not be the case a fully independent process exists for raising safety concerns through the whistleblowing policy.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the current cost of all communication staff within the scope of the centralisation of communication project.

The Reshaping Government Communication Service programme will further strengthen and unify the Government Communication Service (GCS), to be an even more effective and efficient service. Cabinet Office is leading the programme and working closely with ministerial departments and other public sector bodies. The programme has completed its discovery phase and is in its design phase, both of which will contribute to the outline business case and will help to identify the potential savings.

All communications staff are considered to be in scope for the RGCS programme. Last year, we received some initial data from departments and Arms Length Bodies, however more work will be done over the coming months to gather the necessary data to inform decision making.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that its intention is for departments to have core teams for press, social media and rebuttal. We are working with departments to consider what a streamlined service could look like, in order to support statutory, operational or programme delivery.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure on government communication spend, including our national campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/cabinet-office-spend-data.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the current spend on communications for those bodies within the scope of the centralisation of communication project.

The Reshaping Government Communication Service programme will further strengthen and unify the Government Communication Service (GCS), to be an even more effective and efficient service. Cabinet Office is leading the programme and working closely with ministerial departments and other public sector bodies. The programme has completed its discovery phase and is in its design phase, both of which will contribute to the outline business case and will help to identify the potential savings.

All communications staff are considered to be in scope for the RGCS programme. Last year, we received some initial data from departments and Arms Length Bodies, however more work will be done over the coming months to gather the necessary data to inform decision making.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that its intention is for departments to have core teams for press, social media and rebuttal. We are working with departments to consider what a streamlined service could look like, in order to support statutory, operational or programme delivery.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure on government communication spend, including our national campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/cabinet-office-spend-data.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the restructuring of Government communications, what criteria were used in setting the expected maximum figure of 30 communications staff per Department.

The Reshaping Government Communication Service programme will further strengthen and unify the Government Communication Service (GCS), to be an even more effective and efficient service. Cabinet Office is leading the programme and working closely with ministerial departments and other public sector bodies. The programme has completed its discovery phase and is in its design phase, both of which will contribute to the outline business case and will help to identify the potential savings.

All communications staff are considered to be in scope for the RGCS programme. Last year, we received some initial data from departments and Arms Length Bodies, however more work will be done over the coming months to gather the necessary data to inform decision making.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that its intention is for departments to have core teams for press, social media and rebuttal. We are working with departments to consider what a streamlined service could look like, in order to support statutory, operational or programme delivery.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure on government communication spend, including our national campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/cabinet-office-spend-data.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of staff are in scope of the centralisation of communication project, by (a) Department and (b) Arm’s Length Body.

The Reshaping Government Communication Service programme will further strengthen and unify the Government Communication Service (GCS), to be an even more effective and efficient service. Cabinet Office is leading the programme and working closely with ministerial departments and other public sector bodies. The programme has completed its discovery phase and is in its design phase, both of which will contribute to the outline business case and will help to identify the potential savings.

All communications staff are considered to be in scope for the RGCS programme. Last year, we received some initial data from departments and Arms Length Bodies, however more work will be done over the coming months to gather the necessary data to inform decision making.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that its intention is for departments to have core teams for press, social media and rebuttal. We are working with departments to consider what a streamlined service could look like, in order to support statutory, operational or programme delivery.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure on government communication spend, including our national campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/cabinet-office-spend-data.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the range of savings from the centralisation of communication project.

The Reshaping Government Communication Service programme will further strengthen and unify the Government Communication Service (GCS), to be an even more effective and efficient service. Cabinet Office is leading the programme and working closely with ministerial departments and other public sector bodies. The programme has completed its discovery phase and is in its design phase, both of which will contribute to the outline business case and will help to identify the potential savings.

All communications staff are considered to be in scope for the RGCS programme. Last year, we received some initial data from departments and Arms Length Bodies, however more work will be done over the coming months to gather the necessary data to inform decision making.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that its intention is for departments to have core teams for press, social media and rebuttal. We are working with departments to consider what a streamlined service could look like, in order to support statutory, operational or programme delivery.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure on government communication spend, including our national campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/cabinet-office-spend-data.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much and what proportion of the cost to the public purse of errors with civil service pensions has been recovered by the Government from pensions scheme administrator MyCSP.

In the last full financial year (19-20), £605,000 was paid by MyCSP to Cabinet Office in lieu of erroneous overpayments. MyCSP and Cabinet Office have an agreement whereby Cabinet Office is refunded for overpayments arising from a MyCSP error.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to ensure that legal action will not be taken against the pensioners affected by inaccurate payments by civil service pension scheme administrator MyCSP in cases identified by the Internal Control Framework Review.

Pension schemes are only allowed to make payments that are “authorised payments” (those payments that members are legitimately entitled to under the scheme).

Any other payments made from the scheme that are not ‘authorised’ are referred to as ‘unauthorised payments’ and are potentially subject to unauthorised payment tax charges of up to 55% for members and the scheme. In most cases, overpayments would be considered unauthorised payments if not recovered.

Any potential recovery is carefully considered, including the cost effectiveness of doing so (e.g. the relative costs of recovering very small amounts). Members have the opportunity to submit evidence should they believe that either recovery should not take place or where they might require a longer repayment plan. Members overpaid and identified by the Internal Controls Framework Review (ICFR) were treated in the same way as other members where overpayments had occurred as part of business as usual.

We do not have a separate record for the total value of pension underpayments under the ICFR as these formed the majority of the rectifications needed, and members received topped up pensions accordingly as part of business as usual activities, rather than as part of a separate project to recover any amounts due.

To date £20,610 has been paid in compensation awards through the Internal Dispute Resolution process to pensioners affected by overpayments identified during the ICFR.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the monetary value is of the underpaid pensions by civil service pension scheme administrator MyCSP in cases identified by the Internal Control Framework Review.

Pension schemes are only allowed to make payments that are “authorised payments” (those payments that members are legitimately entitled to under the scheme).

Any other payments made from the scheme that are not ‘authorised’ are referred to as ‘unauthorised payments’ and are potentially subject to unauthorised payment tax charges of up to 55% for members and the scheme. In most cases, overpayments would be considered unauthorised payments if not recovered.

Any potential recovery is carefully considered, including the cost effectiveness of doing so (e.g. the relative costs of recovering very small amounts). Members have the opportunity to submit evidence should they believe that either recovery should not take place or where they might require a longer repayment plan. Members overpaid and identified by the Internal Controls Framework Review (ICFR) were treated in the same way as other members where overpayments had occurred as part of business as usual.

We do not have a separate record for the total value of pension underpayments under the ICFR as these formed the majority of the rectifications needed, and members received topped up pensions accordingly as part of business as usual activities, rather than as part of a separate project to recover any amounts due.

To date £20,610 has been paid in compensation awards through the Internal Dispute Resolution process to pensioners affected by overpayments identified during the ICFR.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to overpaid pensions by civil service pension scheme administrator MyCSP in cases identified by the Internal Control Framework Review, what assessment has been made as to the (a) sums involved, and (b) cost-effectiveness of recovering those sums.

Pension schemes are only allowed to make payments that are “authorised payments” (those payments that members are legitimately entitled to under the scheme).

Any other payments made from the scheme that are not ‘authorised’ are referred to as ‘unauthorised payments’ and are potentially subject to unauthorised payment tax charges of up to 55% for members and the scheme. In most cases, overpayments would be considered unauthorised payments if not recovered.

Any potential recovery is carefully considered, including the cost effectiveness of doing so (e.g. the relative costs of recovering very small amounts). Members have the opportunity to submit evidence should they believe that either recovery should not take place or where they might require a longer repayment plan. Members overpaid and identified by the Internal Controls Framework Review (ICFR) were treated in the same way as other members where overpayments had occurred as part of business as usual.

We do not have a separate record for the total value of pension underpayments under the ICFR as these formed the majority of the rectifications needed, and members received topped up pensions accordingly as part of business as usual activities, rather than as part of a separate project to recover any amounts due.

To date £20,610 has been paid in compensation awards through the Internal Dispute Resolution process to pensioners affected by overpayments identified during the ICFR.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to overpaid pensions by civil service pension scheme administrator MyCSP in cases identified by the Internal Control Framework Review, how much has been paid in compensation awards to affected pensioners through Internal Dispute Resolution to date.

Pension schemes are only allowed to make payments that are “authorised payments” (those payments that members are legitimately entitled to under the scheme).

Any other payments made from the scheme that are not ‘authorised’ are referred to as ‘unauthorised payments’ and are potentially subject to unauthorised payment tax charges of up to 55% for members and the scheme. In most cases, overpayments would be considered unauthorised payments if not recovered.

Any potential recovery is carefully considered, including the cost effectiveness of doing so (e.g. the relative costs of recovering very small amounts). Members have the opportunity to submit evidence should they believe that either recovery should not take place or where they might require a longer repayment plan. Members overpaid and identified by the Internal Controls Framework Review (ICFR) were treated in the same way as other members where overpayments had occurred as part of business as usual.

We do not have a separate record for the total value of pension underpayments under the ICFR as these formed the majority of the rectifications needed, and members received topped up pensions accordingly as part of business as usual activities, rather than as part of a separate project to recover any amounts due.

To date £20,610 has been paid in compensation awards through the Internal Dispute Resolution process to pensioners affected by overpayments identified during the ICFR.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of drug-related deaths registered in 2019 involved combinations of cocaine with (a) opiates, (b) fentanyl and (c) other synthetic opiates.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil service jobs are based in London.

Cabinet Office published Civil Service Statistics 2020 on 26 August. This is available on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 88289 on Veterans: Suicide, if he will make representations to the Secretary of State for Justice on amend guidance to help ensure that (a) coroners reports and (b) death certificates record whether deceased served as a member of the armed forces.

The Government takes the issue of suicide among the Armed Forces community very seriously. As set out in the previous answer, we are exploring how improvements could be made in recording of veterans suicide, to inform support services and interventions aimed at prevention. Officials at the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) and the Ministry of Justice are working to identify possible options.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many workers employed on outsourced Government contracts as facilities management staff have died due to suspected covid-19 by (a) ethnicity, (b) job role and (c) employer.

The Cabinet Office does not hold this information.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the increase in the National Living Wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

The Government Property Agency holds contracts on behalf of the Cabinet Office. They continue to have regular discussions with facility management contractors.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has adequate funds to pay the increase in the National Living Wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019.

Cabinet Office does have adequate funds to pay the increase in the National Living Wage, announced by the Government on 31 December 2019.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72 (b) £9.30 (c) £10.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.21 per hour, set with effect from 1 April 2019.

Cabinet Office is compliant with this rate.

The Government announced on 31 December 2019 that the new National Living Wage, effective from 6 April, will be £8.72 per hour.

The table below sets out the number and proportion of staff in my Department, at 31 December 2019, who would receive an increase in their Annual Salary if their hourly pay rate was increased to the rates shown:

Proposed Pay Rate

£8.72

£9.30

£10.00

No of Staff pay Increases

86

162

189

% of Workforce

1.2%

2.2%

2.5%

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164417, when the Government plans to respond to the Acas findings on fire and rehire shared with his Department's officials on 17 February 2021; and if he will place in the Library a copy of those findings.

The Department engaged ACAS to gather evidence of how fire and rehire is being used and they have concluded their work.

ACAS engaged with a range of groups, including employer bodies and trade unions, as well as professional bodies with advisory contact with employers, such as employment lawyers, accountants, and payroll services.

Officials are now giving this evidence due consideration, and the Government will communicate our response in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons coach tour operators are ineligible for a Restart Grant payment.

Coach Tour Operators are not eligible for the Restart Grant Scheme. This is because eligible businesses must offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.

However, they may be able to access discretionary support through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced an additional £425m will be made available via ARG meaning that more than £2bn has been made available to local authorities since November 2020. This funding gives Local Authorities the ability to provide support that suits their local area including to support those businesses not required to close but which have had their trade severely affected by the restrictions. Guidance for the Additional Restrictions Grant identifies that group tour and coach operators can be considered for support through this funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the exclusion of coach tour operators from the definition of a leisure business in the Restart Grant: guidance to local authorities, what sector definition coach operators come under.

The Restart Grant guidance to local authorities seeks to define in-scope sectors for the purpose of the grants only and not in general terms.

Coach Tour Operators are not eligible for the Restart Grant Scheme. This is because eligible businesses must offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.

They are eligible for support through the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 24 February 2021, Official Report, column 939 on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Uber, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service's report to his Department on fire and rehire.

Acas engaged with a range of groups, including employer bodies and trade unions, as well as professional bodies with advisory contact with employers, such as employment lawyers, accountants, and payroll services. They shared their findings with BEIS officials on 17 February 2021.

Officials are currently considering these findings, and the Government will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 24 February 2021, Official report, col 939, when he plans to communicate his Department’s response to the findings by ACAS.

Acas engaged with a range of groups, including employer bodies and trade unions, as well as professional bodies with advisory contact with employers, such as employment lawyers, accountants, and payroll services. They shared their findings with BEIS officials on 17 February 2021.

Officials are currently considering these findings, and the Government will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 24 February 2021, Official report, col 939, which stakeholders ACAS conducted its fact-finding exercise with.

Acas engaged with a range of groups, including employer bodies and trade unions, as well as professional bodies with advisory contact with employers, such as employment lawyers, accountants, and payroll services.

Officials are currently considering these findings, and the Government will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will ensure that businesses that are unable to operate due to covid-19 lockdown rules but have not been mandated to close are eligible for the Additional Restrictions Support Grant.

Businesses who are not mandated to close but have had their trade adversely affected by the Covid-19 restrictions may be eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary scheme with eligibility set by Local Authorities, who are responsible for the administration of the funding. Local Authorities may use this funding for grants for those business not mandated to close or for other related business support as they see fit.

Local Authorities have been allocated a total of £1.6 bn in Additional Restrictions Grant; £1.1 bn in November 2020 and a further £500m in January 2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he bring forward proposals to ban employers dismissing workers on medical grounds where an employee is waiting for a medical procedure which has been delayed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout this crisis, our priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods, this includes peoples’ health, their jobs, their businesses, and their financial security. The NHS continues to work hard to deliver the maximum amount of elective activity as possible, with £1 billion announced at Spending Review to address backlogs and waiting lists by facilitating up to 1 million extra checks, scans and additional operations.

Employees who believe they have been dismissed unfairly may be able to raise their case with an employment tribunal which will give special consideration to cases where the employee has been dismissed as a result of ill health. Employers must also behave reasonably in relation to dismissal and avoid discriminating against employees on the grounds of a protected characteristic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of negotiating an agreement with China, similar to that recently agreed between the French Government, and China on allowing for exemptions on animal testing when exporting ordinary cosmetics from the UK to China.

The UK Government recognises the potential benefits to UK businesses of an agreement with China that allows cosmetic products not tested on animals onto the Chinese market. BEIS is working with the Department for International Trade and UK industry to create a certification system that would allow UK businesses to comply with Chinese regulations and take advantage of this growing market whilst maintaining the UK’s clear position and domestic ban on animal testing in cosmetics.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of eligible businesses have received (a) Local Restrictions Support Grants and (b) the one-off grants announced in January 2021.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support to help businesses which are severely affected by restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. This support includes the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, announced in September 2020, through which businesses that are required by law to close have been able to access grants of up to £4,500 for every six weeks of closure. On 5 January 2021, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced one-off top-up grants of up to £9,000 per property to help retail, hospitality and leisure businesses affected by the new closures through to Spring. This is in addition to the Additional Restrictions Grant, announced in November and which received a £500 million top-up in January, to support other businesses affected by the new lockdown rules.

This funding is shared between all Local Authorities in England and we are working closely with Local Authorities to ensure that support is delivered to businesses that are in scope as quickly as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish regular updates on how many and what proportion of eligible businesses have received the (a) Local Restrictions Support Grants and b) the one-off grants announced in January 2021.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support to help businesses which are severely affected by restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. This support includes the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, announced in September 2020, through which businesses that are required by law to close have been able to access grants of up to £4,500 for every six weeks of closure. On 5 January 2021, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced one-off top-up grants of up to £9,000 per property to help retail, hospitality and leisure businesses affected by the new closures through to Spring. This is in addition to the Additional Restrictions Grant, announced in November and which received a £500 million top-up in January, to support other businesses affected by the new lockdown rules.

We are working closely with Local Authorities to ensure that funding is delivered to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how his Department is monitoring the extent to which local authorities are paying available grants to eligible businesses for periods (a) during covid-19 lockdown and (b) when a tier system of covid-19 restrictions was in place.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support includes extensive grant funding support for businesses that have been required by law to close, or have been severely impacted by, localised and national restrictions.

We are working closely with all local authorities to deliver funding to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible, while safeguarding public funds. As part of this, we have provided detailed guidance and FAQs to local authorities, as well as regular briefings and one-to-one support from ministers and officials. Local authorities provide reports to the Department on their progress in delivering grants to businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what remedial action is being taken where local authorities are not paying grants to eligible businesses for periods of (a) covid-19 lockdown and (b) when a tier system of covid-19 restrictions was in place.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support includes extensive grant funding support for businesses that have been required by law to close, or have been severely impacted by, localised and national restrictions.

We continue to work closely with all local authorities to deliver funding to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible, while safeguarding public funds. As part of this, we have provided detailed guidance and FAQs to local authorities, as well as regular briefings and one-to-one support from ministers and officials.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the regional distribution is of institutes receiving funding through Government sources for the development and application of New Approach Methodologies.

The Government funds the development and dissemination of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research primarily through funding for the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs). The NC3Rs works nationally to drive the uptake of 3Rs technologies and ensure that advances in the 3Rs are reflected in policy, practice and regulations on animal research. Across the UK, the NC3Rs has invested £71 million in research through grants to universities, and almost £27 million in contracts through its CRACK IT Challenges innovation scheme to UK and EU-based institutions, mainly focusing on new approaches for the safety assessment of pharmaceuticals and chemicals that reduce the use of animals.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding is allocated to the development and uptake of New Approach Methodologies; and which sources that funding comes from.

BEIS’ R&D settlement has increased to £11.1bn for 2021/22. This settlement supports our commitments set out in the R&D Roadmap and helps consolidate our position as a science superpower. We are revitalising the science, research and innovation ecosystem and releasing its potential. We recognise the importance of the independence of researchers and our investment in multiple disciplines and methodologies will be guided by experts.

Specific funding is subject to our Departmental allocations process, which is now underway and progressing at pace.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of Government science, research and innovation funding is allocated to New Approach Methodologies.

BEIS’ R&D settlement has increased to £11.1bn for 2021/22. This settlement supports our commitments set out in the R&D Roadmap and helps consolidate our position as a science superpower. We are revitalising the science, research and innovation ecosystem and releasing its potential. We recognise the importance of the independence of researchers and our investment in multiple disciplines and methodologies will be guided by experts.

Specific funding is subject to our Departmental allocations process, which is now underway and progressing at pace.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the timeframe for the European Commission's response to the UK’s notification of 20 October 2020 requesting approval for providing greater support to businesses under the Temporary Framework.

On 20 October, the Government notified the European Commission that it wished to amend the Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK authorities to increase the budget of the scheme from £50bn to £80bn, to provide for subsidised interest rates for subordinated loans and to include support for uncovered fixed costs.

The Commission approved the re-notified scheme on 8th December 2020. This was within the two-month period which the Commission has to make a preliminary examination of notified aid.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £14.6 billion for Research and Development, announced in the Spending Review 2020 will be allocated to medical research.

Medical research is an important part of the UK research landscape. The Government recognises this and already provides significant support within the tax system, the research funding system and through the many measures that have been introduced to counter the impacts of the pandemic.

Despite the fiscal challenges, the Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22. Departments will now undertake an allocations process to decide how this funding should be spent across the R&D activities for which they are responsible. Funding for medical research will be subject to this allocations process and further details of how funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 November 2020 to Question 109298 on Small Businesses: Coronavirus, on what date the Government notified the European Commission of its intention to take up that new provision; and what the timetable is for the Commission to provide its approval to the UK Government relating to that provision.

The UK authorities submitted a notification to the European Commission, under its Temporary Framework, on 20 October 2020. The notification included a request to take advantage of the new measure to enable greater support to companies facing a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period of 2019, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The European Commission is currently considering the notification and will provide a response in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2020 to Question 100352 on Small Businesses: Coronavirus, if he will take account of the European Commission’s revised framework allowing for an additional provision of €3m funding for businesses materially impacted by the covid-19 outbreak and notify local authorities of that increased provision immediately.

On October 13 2020 the European Commission announced a further amendment to its State aid Framework - introducing a new measure to enable greater support to be provided to companies facing a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period of 2019 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The UK has notified the European Commission of its intention to take up this new provision and must await approval to do so.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) notifying the European Commission that local authority grants to businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions fall outside of any state aid provisions restricting businesses receiving full compensation and (b) directing local authorities that payments can be made to local businesses outside of such state aid restrictions.

The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, EU State aid rules continue to apply during the transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission.

In administering the Local Restrictions Support Grant, the Government will provide to an eligible business up to £1,500 of funding for each three-week period that the business is required to close by local restrictions implemented by Government. Local authorities administering the schemes must be satisfied that all State Aid requirements have been fully met and complied with when making grant payments.

Although payments under this scheme and certain other Covid-19 related business grant schemes are treated as State aid and therefore count toward the total de minimis State Aid limit of €200,000, if firms have reached that threshold they may still be eligible for funding under the Covid-19 temporary State aid framework where the limit is €800,000.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to include heat pumps in the Green Homes Grant.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the range of measures will be announced in the coming days, before the scheme’s full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will include ground source heat pumps in the Green Homes Grant.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the range of measures will be announced in the coming days, before the scheme’s full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason (a) version 2 of the Construction Leadership Council guidance stated that no construction work should be carried out on site if social distancing could not be enforced and (b) version 3 of that guidance changed those guidelines.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has developed Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which align with Public Health England (PHE) guidance on social distancing. The SOP were developed in consultation with the construction industry, and provide practical advice to those seeking to implement the guidance on construction sites so they can work safely.

This approach is based on the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) Hierarchy of Controls and HSE should consider enforcement action if a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out by PHE .

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy whether he has plans to enforce staggered start times for construction sites to enable the social distancing of construction workers on public transport during rush hour.

The health and safety of construction workers is a priority for the Government. In order to help ensure that it is safe for construction workers to operate in their workplace, the Government has worked with Public Health England (PHE) to develop sector-specific guidance on social distancing. We have also worked with the Construction Leadership Council to develop Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which provide practical advice to those seeking to implement the guidance.

The SOP set out that sites should consider introducing staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion and contact, and plan site access and egress points to enable social distancing. The Health and Safety Executive should consider enforcement action if a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out by PHE.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will allow local authorities to retain any surplus funding allocated for the business support grant to distribute further grants to local businesses that did not qualify under that scheme’s initial criteria.

The Department is in regular contact with local government to understand how the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund are rolling out, as well as the impact they are having on businesses. The main priority of the Government is that funding can get out to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

On 1 May 2020, the Business Secretary announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, which is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs - not linked to the business rates system. Where local authorities have surplus funding from their original allocations, they can use up to 5% of their allocation to provide these discretionary grants. Local authorities that have used, or expect to use, all of their allocation will receive an additional 5% to meet the cost of these discretionary grants.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of funding for science and research and development has been allocated to new approach methodologies to replace animal experiments.

The National Centre for Replacement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R) is the UK’s national centre dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing (the 3Rs). Their core funding is from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), both of which are part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Over the last five years the NC3Rs, as the main conduit for research to develop new methods that replace the use of animal experiments, has committed £20.39 million.

Further detailed plans, will be set out at Spending Review later this year.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the £400 million in funding for research, infrastructure and equipment announced in Budget 2020 for 2020-21 will be allocated to the development of new approach methodologies to replace animal experiments.

The National Centre for Replacement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R) is the UK’s national centre dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing (the 3Rs). Their core funding is from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), both of which are part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Over the last five years the NC3Rs, as the main conduit for research to develop new methods that replace the use of animal experiments, has committed £20.39 million.

Further detailed plans, will be set out at Spending Review later this year.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will take to ensure that the additional equity commitments from the Life Sciences Investment Programme to the British Business Bank announced in Budget 2020 are allocated to support innovative health and life sciences firms that are developing new approach methodologies to replace animal experiments.

The Life Sciences Investment Programme (LSIP), delivered by the British Business Bank, will provide investment to support innovative health and life science companies that are looking to grow and scale in the UK. This programme is intended to support all areas of UK life science innovation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding to support new approach methodologies to replace animal experiments.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with ministerial colleagues, including my rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a range of issues.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will reinstate the traditional May Day Bank Holiday on Monday 4 May 2020 and make Friday 8 May 2020 an additional bank holiday in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The Government has no plans to revisit the decision regarding the early May Bank Holiday.

Moving the early May Day Bank Holiday to mark VE Day is a right and fitting tribute to our heroes of the Second World War, and an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of a very special generation. The decision ensures as many people as possible have the opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to members of the Armed Forces who have served and who continue to serve our country.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains his policy to make sure that no Mansfield miner, or any other miner signed up to the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme, is out of pocket; and what his policy is on the surplus sharing arrangements for that Scheme.

The Government provides a Guarantee for the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme that ensures that:

  • A member’s guaranteed pension, including inflation increases, will always be paid; and
  • A member’s total pension (including bonus pension) will not fall in cash terms.

In addition, the Government has agreed to changes to the scheme rules that will protect all bonuses that have accrued to date. The Government continues to work with the scheme Trustees on implementing those changes.

The surplus sharing arrangements have worked well for all parties and I do not intend to review those arrangements.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to review the existing surplus sharing arrangements of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.

The Government does not intend to change the current surplus sharing arrangements that have worked well for all parties. I have, however, agreed to the Trustees’ proposals for changes to the scheme that include protection of bonuses already accrued. BEIS officials are working with the Trustees to implement the changes.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will allocate research and development funding to reduce the time it takes to fully charge an electric vehicle at a charging point.

The Government has committed £274m between 2017-2021 into the Faraday Battery Challenge to support the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK. The aims of the Faraday Battery Challenge include developing batteries with higher energy and power densities and longer life, to enable electric vehicles with long-range on a single charge and quick recharging.

The Government, through Innovate UK, is also supporting a range of infrastructure innovation projects including on street and wireless charging. In addition, action from both Government and industry has resulted in the installation of over 24,000 public chargepoints.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on raising the small brewers relief threshold.

HM Treasury is reviewing small brewers relief and further announcements will be made in due course through the Budget process.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans her Department has to extend the Warm Home Discount scheme beyond 2021.

We are currently considering the future of the scheme past 2021 with the aim of consulting in the first half of this year. This will include the consideration on the expansion of data matching to allow more households to receive rebates automatically.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to increase the reach of the Warm Home Discount scheme by using current data matching powers to allow more households to receive rebates automatically.

We are currently considering the future of the scheme past 2021 with the aim of consulting in the first half of this year. This will include the consideration on the expansion of data matching to allow more households to receive rebates automatically.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to promote the UK Space Agency’s SateLife Competition to young people living in Easington constituency.

The UK Space Agency’s SatelLife competition is a national competition open to anyone aged between 11-22 who is resident in the UK. The UK Space Agency launched the competition on the 14th Jan 2020 on their website, and gave interviews on national TV and radio channels (Radio 4, BBC5 live, BBC News Channel) also offering information to all local radio stations across the country (11 took up an interview offer from the UK Space Agency). The competition has also been promoted through multiple social media channels including including in the North East.

The North East has had three previous winners of the SatelLife competition, one every year:

  • 2017 – Razzia Gafur, from Newcastle – Imaging in Space, using satellite data to support virtual reality activities.
  • 2018 – Jasmine Hurley, Jack Whinnom, Megan Goss, Kieron Robson, and Matthew Jones from Bedlington, Northumberland – Displaced Person Aid. An idea that looks at people who are internally displaced and how satellites can help meet their needs rather than those who are refugees.
  • 2019 – Race Spectator – Daniel Currie, from Middlesbrough – This app will allow supporters to track friends and family members competing in running races.

The UK Space Education and Resource Office, ESERO-UK which is co-funded by the European Space Agency, the UK Space Agency and the Science and Technology Facilities Council and provides resources to promote the teaching of STEM topics, has a regular e-mail shot that is sent to almost all schools across the UK – this will include the SatelLife competition.

Should the Honourable Member know of further opportunities to promote the SatelLife competition in Easington, the UK Space Agency, supported by my office, would be pleased to do so.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of households in fuel poverty in Easington constituency.

Improving energy efficiency is the best long-term solution to tackle fuel poverty and the Energy Company Obligation Scheme provides such support for low income and vulnerable households. Since ECO launched it has delivered energy efficiency measures to more than 2 million households.

ECO has delivered improvements to more than 4000 homes in Easington, representing 11% of households in the area.

Tenants living in energy inefficient properties are some of the most at risk of fuel poverty. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards now require landlords spend up to £3500 improving their properties to energy efficiency Band E before renting them out.

In addition to support to improve energy efficiency the Warm Home Discount provides support to more than 2 million low income and vulnerable households each year through a £140 rebate. Over £2.7 billion has been provided by the scheme over the last nine years.

Our 2020 Fuel Poverty Strategy will set out further detail around our future plans to tackle fuel poverty.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions she is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for her Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to her Department.

We value the work of all staff, whether employed directly by the Department or employed by our contractors. All staff employed by our facilities management contractor are already paid above the rates of the National Living Wage for 2020.

Our facilities management contract is sourced from the Crown Commercial Service Framework and reviewed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index and is not linked to any increase in the National Living Wage.

In order to ensure value for money to the UK taxpayer, a fixed fee formula is used. The fixed fee means that any significant cost changes beyond the annual Consumer Price Index are negotiated with the contractor to ensure the financial viability of the contract and value for money. We have set contractor pay rates following this process.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of staff in her Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

This government is committed to paying people a decent living wage, which is being addressed through the statutory National Living Wage. In April 2020, the National Living Wage increases to £8.72 per hour. By 2024 the National Living Wage will rise to £10.50 per hour, reaching 66% of median UK earnings. The scope will be expanded to everyone aged 21 and over and is expected to benefit over 4 million low paid workers

All Civil Servants working in BEIS are paid above these hourly rates.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will make it her policy to introduce a support framework for low-carbon heating after March 2021.

In the 2019 Spring Statement, the Government committed to support low carbon heating by accelerating the decarbonisation of our gas supplies. We will consult on how to deliver our commitment to increase the proportion of green gas in the gas grid in due course.

The budget for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been set out to the end of March 2021. Decisions on the future funding for the RHI and any other low-carbon heat support schemes will be a matter for future fiscal events.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will allocate new capital grant funding for the installation of heat pumps after March 2021.

The budget for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been set out to the end of March 2021. Decisions on the future funding for the RHI and any other low-carbon heat support schemes will be a matter for future fiscal events.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will undertake a review the Standard Assessment Procedure to ensure that it includes the carbon savings that can be delivered by (a) heat pumps and (b) other electricity-based heating systems.

The Department is commencing work on the development of the next version of Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), SAP 11. As a part of this we are considering how we can ensure that SAP remains accurate, which will take into account a range of technologies including heat pumps and other electricity-based heating systems.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to implement a nationwide training programme to develop high professional standards and skills for energy efficiency and low carbon heating in the building and heat supply trades.

Building a highly skilled workforce is key to delivering our net zero ambitions on energy efficiency and low carbon heating.

In October last year, the Department announced that the TrustMark scheme would be expanded, so that any contractor installing energy efficiency measures under the Energy Company Obligation must be registered with the scheme. Industry is now delivering training to comply with the scheme, which ensures contractors meet industry standards and are committed to good customer service.

The Department is also working closely with industry to improve the offer to those seeking to train to become low carbon heating installers, and we are testing a range of options through engagement with industry, including where there might be opportunities for standardisation in the approach to training. Further details on this will be provided later this year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to assist the UK Safer Internet Centre in securing a long-term funding settlement.

The UK Safer Internet Centre plays an important role in improving online safety in the UK, particularly for children, and is a valued member of the UK Council for Internet Safety. Officials engage regularly with the Centre on its funding position following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Centre has applied for further funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme for the calendar year of 2021, for which the government provided a letter of support. We understand the Centre has been successful in its bid for funding but we await formal confirmation from the Centre regarding its outcome.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the UK Safer Internet Centre; and if he will ensure that the level of funding for that centre is maintained when that centre no longer receives funding from the EU.

The UK Safer Internet Centre plays an important role in improving online safety in the UK, particularly for children, and is a valued member of the UK Council for Internet Safety. Officials engage regularly with the Centre on its funding position following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Centre has applied for further funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme for the calendar year of 2021, for which the government provided a letter of support. We understand the Centre has been successful in its bid for funding but we await formal confirmation from the Centre regarding its outcome.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will have discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Transport on support for the coach industry to maintain capacity in that sector to help sustain the leisure and tourism sector post-covid.

We will continue to engage across the Government to monitor the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the coach industry. I have discussed the problems facing the coach travel sector in detail with my Ministerial counterparts in the Department for Transport, who hold overall responsibility for coach travel. My Department also continues to engage with the Coach Tourism Association via the Tourism Industry Events Response Group (TIER).

Coach tour operators can access the Government’s support package - including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, various government-backed loans, plus the new Local Restriction Support Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants delivered via Local Authorities.

We are engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery, and we recognise the importance of coaches in connecting visitors with tourism destinations.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish guidance on the conditions required to facilitate the safe return of fans to football league grounds.

We are committed to getting spectators back into stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so. The evidence we received from the Chief Medical Officer was very clear that at a time of rapidly rising infections, and when we were considering restrictions elsewhere, it was not the right time to undertake any further easements.

We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sports, including football, to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. This will supplement the draft government guidance, and the SGSA supplementary guidance to their Green Guide, which has been internationally welcomed.

We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadiums but this must clearly be very carefully judged against the prevailing health conditions. When these conditions are right, we will revisit our draft guidance in this area.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had and with whom on the financial viability of English Football League Clubs while they are unable to generate matchday revenues.

Football clubs are the bedrock of our local communities and it is vital they are protected. That is why we have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many football clubs have benefited from.

We have worked closely with football throughout the pandemic including getting the Premier League and English Football League back behind closed doors and continue to do so. We have been clear that we expect the game - where it can at the top tiers - to support itself. The Government will then focus our support on those in the sector most in need as a result of the October 1 decision not to readmit spectators.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will have discussions with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Transport on the importance of coach operators in supporting the UK leisure and tourism sector.

Coach tour operators play a vital role in the UK tourism sector, connecting holidaymakers with our country’s vibrant seaside resorts and areas of natural beauty.

We recognise that these remain extremely difficult conditions for tourism businesses, and we are alert to the specific pressures that coach tour operators face.

My officials and I regularly speak with the Association of British Travel Agents through the Visitor Economy Working Group, as well as the Coach Tourism Association through the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

I will continue to engage with my colleagues in the Treasury and the Department for Transport on the importance of all aspects of the tourism sector, including coach operators.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the BBC on the decision to remove the free TV licence for pensioners aged 75 and over.

The Secretary of State has met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and asked them to do more to help those affected by the BBC’s decision.

The Government is disappointed with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those aged over 75 and in receipt of Pension Credit.

We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe that they should be funded by the BBC.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of staff in her Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

No members of staff in DCMS would receive an increase in salary.

This government is comitted to paying people a decent living wage, which is being addressed through the statutory National Living Wage. In April 2020, the National Living Wage increases to £8.72 per hour. By 2024 the National Living Wage will rise to £10.50 per hour, reaching 66% of median UK earnings. The scope will be expanded to everyone aged 21 and over and is expected to benefit over 4 million low paid workers.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions she is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for her Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to her Department.

Facilities Management is provided to DCMS through arrangements with other government departments. DCMS therefore has no discussions with such private sector companies about cost increases.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that pop-up adverts in mobile gaming apps for children are age appropriate.

Advertising in the UK is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the industry’s independent regulator, which for online advertising enforces the Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) through a system of self-regulation. The CAP Code incorporates all relevant legislation, and sets standards for accuracy and honesty to which advertisers must adhere, including specific conditions on advertising to children, causing offence and social responsibility.

The ASA has issued guidance to advertisers (https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/children-age-restricted-ads-online.html) on using data and targeting tools to minimise children’s exposure to age restricted or age inappropriate advertising online, including in mobile gaming apps, in order to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

Last year the government also announced its intention to review how online advertising is regulated in the UK, looking at how well the current regime is equipped to tackle the challenges posed by developments in the market.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the minimum number of teaching hours required to be taught at (a) primary and (b) secondary schools is per week.

The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999 require all maintained schools to be open to educate their pupils for at least 380 sessions (190 days) in each school year.

Academies are not bound by the School Day and School Year regulations and can make changes to their term and holiday dates.

Schools should organise the school day and school week in the best interests of their pupil cohort, to provide them with a full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report by the Disabled Children’s Partnership entitled Loneliest lockdown, if he will ensure that the Government’s education recovery, led by Sir Kevan Collins, will include a dedicated recovery policy for disabled children and their families that addresses the physical and mental health impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on those groups.

The Department is committed to helping all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), make up education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognise that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education, health and wellbeing. We are committed to supporting them and their families.

We have and continue to develop plans for COVID-19 recovery. Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as the Education Recovery Commissioner and is considering how schools and the system can more effectively target resources and support at pupils in greatest need. In the development of this recovery plan, Sir Kevan is regularly meeting with a variety of stakeholders including disabled young people and their families. Sir Kevan is reviewing how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had not just on academic outcomes, but on the physical and mental health of children and young people.

As part of this plan, both special schools and alternative provision will be able to access funding to provide summer schools and the National Tutoring Programme. We recognise the additional costs associated with offering provision to pupils in specialist settings, and eligible pupils in special schools, special units in mainstream primary and secondary schools and alternative provision settings will attract a higher rate of funding for summer schools. We have also consistently prioritised children who attend specialist settings by providing additional uplifts both in the 2020 Catch-up Premium and in the 2021 Recovery Premium.

Young people with SEND aged 19 to 24 who have an education, health and care plan will be eligible for support via the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund, where they meet the fund criteria. Colleges are asked to have regard for the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most for small group tuition. Furthermore, the proposals to support early language and literacy catch up will benefit all children including those with SEND.

In addition, £200 million will be available to all secondary schools, including specialist settings, to deliver face to face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs. We also announced, on 10 February 2021, over £42 million SEND funding for the 2021-22 financial year to continue funding projects to support children with SEND. This investment will ensure that specialist organisations around the country can continue their work to help strengthen local area performance, support families, and provide practical support to schools and colleges. It will strengthen participation of parents and young people in the SEND system – ensuring they have a voice in designing policies and services and have access to high quality information, advice, and support.

The Department will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and its subsequent COVID-19 recovery plans on all pupils, including those with SEND, to ensure it targets support across the system most effectively.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of the Disabled Children Partnership’s recommendation in its The Longest Lockdown report that a specific catch-up plan for disabled children and their families should be implemented, covering (a) plans to scale up therapeutic interventions and (b) short breaks and transition support for disabled children and young people.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been extremely challenging for many families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Supporting them is a priority for this government, and their wellbeing remains central to our response to the outbreak.

We want pupils and students with SEND, including those in specialist settings, to continue to receive high-quality teaching and specialist professional support. This is because we know that these pupils and students and their families can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education.

We have put in place a range of measures to support children and young people with SEND through the outbreak. We have provided £40.8 million for the Family Fund in financial year 2020-21 to support over 80,000 families on low incomes raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. This includes £13.5 million to specifically respond to needs arising from the outbreak, which may include, for example, assistive technology to aid remote learning. The National Tutoring Programme has increased access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged pupils, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap between them and their peers. We have announced a major investment in education, including an additional £730 million into high needs in the 2021-22 financial year, coming on top of the additional £780 million in the 2020-21 financial year, which means high needs budgets will have grown by over £1.5 billion, nearly a quarter, in just two years. Additionally, 16-19 tuition fund providers are asked to have regard to the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most from small group tuition.

A priority of the education recovery work is to ensure the specific needs of children and young people with SEND are considered, so they do not fall further behind their peers. Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as the Education Recovery Commissioner to deliver this work.

On 24 February, the government announced a new £700 million package for a range of additional measures to give early years settings, schools, providers of 16-19 education, including specialist settings, the tools they need to target support for all students. This builds on the £1 billion catch-up package announced in June 2020, and forms part of the wider response to help pupils make up their lost learning.

Specific targeted support for children and young people with SEND includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, which will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This funding can be used to lay on additional clubs or activities or for other evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils, including those with SEND, from September.

We continue to encourage local authorities to prioritise respite support for disabled children, and to consider flexible and pragmatic options to deliver that support including using direct payments and carrying out activities virtually. Where children and young people with an education, health and care plan are in receipt of health provision, settings should work collaboratively with their local authority, Clinical Commissioning Group and health providers to agree appropriate support in view of the latest and current local public health guidance. Therapists and other professionals may continue to visit education settings to provide therapies and support, where this is reasonably necessary.

We are committed to supporting children’s and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during this period. We have recently announced a £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support, including through Mental Health Support Teams.

Schools can use their additional funding from the COVID-19 “catch-up” package for pastoral support for mental wellbeing where pupils need it. We have also set up Wellbeing for Education Return, an £8 million scheme funding expert advisers and training in every local authority area, to support education staff to respond to the emotional and mental health pressures some children and young people may be feeling because of COVID-19.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Disabled Children Partnership’s report, The Longest Lockdown, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a cross-departmental covid-19 catch-up plan for disabled children covering (a) education and (b) health and wellbeing.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been extremely challenging for many families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Supporting them is a priority for this government, and their wellbeing remains central to our response to the outbreak.

We want pupils and students with SEND, including those in specialist settings, to continue to receive high-quality teaching and specialist professional support. This is because we know that these pupils and students and their families can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education.

We have put in place a range of measures to support children and young people with SEND through the outbreak. We have provided £40.8 million for the Family Fund in financial year 2020-21 to support over 80,000 families on low incomes raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. This includes £13.5 million to specifically respond to needs arising from the outbreak, which may include, for example, assistive technology to aid remote learning. The National Tutoring Programme has increased access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged pupils, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap between them and their peers. We have announced a major investment in education, including an additional £730 million into high needs in the 2021-22 financial year, coming on top of the additional £780 million in the 2020-21 financial year, which means high needs budgets will have grown by over £1.5 billion, nearly a quarter, in just two years. Additionally, 16-19 tuition fund providers are asked to have regard to the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most from small group tuition.

A priority of the education recovery work is to ensure the specific needs of children and young people with SEND are considered, so they do not fall further behind their peers. Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as the Education Recovery Commissioner to deliver this work.

On 24 February, the government announced a new £700 million package for a range of additional measures to give early years settings, schools, providers of 16-19 education, including specialist settings, the tools they need to target support for all students. This builds on the £1 billion catch-up package announced in June 2020, and forms part of the wider response to help pupils make up their lost learning.

Specific targeted support for children and young people with SEND includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, which will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This funding can be used to lay on additional clubs or activities or for other evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils, including those with SEND, from September.

We continue to encourage local authorities to prioritise respite support for disabled children, and to consider flexible and pragmatic options to deliver that support including using direct payments and carrying out activities virtually. Where children and young people with an education, health and care plan are in receipt of health provision, settings should work collaboratively with their local authority, Clinical Commissioning Group and health providers to agree appropriate support in view of the latest and current local public health guidance. Therapists and other professionals may continue to visit education settings to provide therapies and support, where this is reasonably necessary.

We are committed to supporting children’s and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during this period. We have recently announced a £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support, including through Mental Health Support Teams.

Schools can use their additional funding from the COVID-19 “catch-up” package for pastoral support for mental wellbeing where pupils need it. We have also set up Wellbeing for Education Return, an £8 million scheme funding expert advisers and training in every local authority area, to support education staff to respond to the emotional and mental health pressures some children and young people may be feeling because of COVID-19.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to extend the availability of school attendance to the children of people who are not classed as key workers but are expected to by their employers to attend the workplace.

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

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. The guidance for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings sets out who is able to attend school to receive face-to-face education, in order to support these parents to provide vital services: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. The document sets out the high-level role types, and the list in the guidance is not exhaustive, but it should offer sufficient information to help parents and carers to identify if their work falls under one of the umbrella groups.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to funding for schools from Parent Teacher Associations, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the amount and (b) the potential merits of meeting the decrease in that funding as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Getting all children and young people back into school for the new academic year has been a national priority. To support schools with this, they have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020/21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021/22 and £7.1 billion in 2022/23, compared to the 2019/20 financial year. On average, schools are attracting 4.2% more per pupil in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20.

The Department recognises that many publicly funded schools were not able to secure income from private sources during the period of lockdown, for example letting their facilities, providing wrap around childcare or offering catering services. As schools continued to receive their core funding allocations, regardless of any periods of closure or reduced operation, lost self-generated income was not covered by the exceptional costs fund.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the results of the fourth covid-19 survey conducted by Parentkind, published 17 November 2020; and if he will increase the frequency of parent consultation on the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department works with, and uses information provided from, a wide range of stakeholder organisations, including those that represent the views of parents, to inform its response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes organisations such as Parentkind.

The Department is continuing to do all that it can to support schools and to reassure parents that schools are the best place for children to be. We have published guidance for parents, together with online information leaflets, and delivered online live Q&As with parents. Relevant guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term. Further to this, the Department has carried out parent consultation in the form of various pieces of research.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who will be responsible for (a) setting up and (b) managing the Parent and Pupil Online Panel to help monitor the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on children and young people.

Researchers at the Department for Education are currently developing a research panel with pupils and parents. We will confirm how this will be set up and managed in due course.

As is standard practice, the research data and analysis will be used to underpin policy decisions and communications. Data from pupils and parents will also help us monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on these groups.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how information from the Parent and Pupil Online Panel will be used to inform education policy.

Researchers at the Department for Education are currently developing a research panel with pupils and parents. We will confirm how this will be set up and managed in due course.

As is standard practice, the research data and analysis will be used to underpin policy decisions and communications. Data from pupils and parents will also help us monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on these groups.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his announcement in June 2020 that parents will not be fined for the non-attendance of children in school during the covid-19 outbreak, what his policy is on the length of time that moratorium will be in operation for.

In March when the COVID-19 outbreak was worsening, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.

Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the outbreak on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

This means that from the beginning of the autumn term, the usual rules on school attendance will apply. This includes parents’ duty to ensure their child attends school regularly, where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age, and the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report entitled Rapid evidence assessment examining the potential impact of school closures on the attainment gap, published on 2 June 2020 by the Education Endowment Foundation, what steps he is taking to mitigate any attainment gap among students due to school closures during the covid-19 outbreak.

As plans continue for a full return to education from September, we have announced a £1 billion COVID-19 ‘catch-up’ package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be provided to schools over the 2020-21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of their income or background.

Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions. On 19 June, the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this universal funding to best support their pupils:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf.

In addition, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people. This will help to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap between them and their peers.

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion three-year funding increase announced last year – recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help pupils to catch up. Schools continue to receive pupil premium, worth £2.4 billion this year, to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

Our commitment of over £100 million to support remote education and social care is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10 and those receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, and care leavers. Where these pupils do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers so that they can learn at home. Over 200,000 laptops and tablets have been ordered. We started deliveries to local authorities and academy trusts in May and these deliveries are continuing throughout June. To date, we have shipped over 150,000 devices.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report entitled Rapid evidence assessment examining the potential impact of school closures on the attainment gap, published on 2 June 2020 by the Education Endowment Foundation, whether his Department plans to offer additional home-learning resources to disadvantaged families to mitigate any attainment gap following school closures during the covid-19 outbreak.

As plans continue for a full return to education from September, we have announced a £1 billion COVID-19 ‘catch-up’ package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be provided to schools over the 2020-21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of their income or background.

Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions. On 19 June, the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this universal funding to best support their pupils:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf.

In addition, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people. This will help to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap between them and their peers.

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion three-year funding increase announced last year – recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help pupils to catch up. Schools continue to receive pupil premium, worth £2.4 billion this year, to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

Our commitment of over £100 million to support remote education and social care is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10 and those receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, and care leavers. Where these pupils do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers so that they can learn at home. Over 200,000 laptops and tablets have been ordered. We started deliveries to local authorities and academy trusts in May and these deliveries are continuing throughout June. To date, we have shipped over 150,000 devices.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to make an announcement on Schools Sport Premium funding for 2020-21.

The Government will confirm arrangements for the PE and Sport Premium in the 2020/21 academic year as soon as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to enable parents to request that their child resits the current school year in the event that educational progress has been significantly affected by the covid-19 outbreak and subsequent school closure.

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

We do not currently anticipate that children and young people will need to repeat a school year as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to look at all options to make sure children and young people get the support they need to continue their education and make up for time spent out of school. However, it remains possible for headteachers to agree this in individual cases, if they think it is appropriate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the medical and scientific advice on covid-19 transmission that indicates it will be safe to re-open schools.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) established the Children’s Task and Finish Working Group to provide consolidated scientific health advice to the Government. This advice has been used, alongside other sources of information, to inform decision making on potential schools’ reopening options.

SAGE are publishing papers from SAGE meetings in tranches. The first batch was released on 20 March 2020 and a second on 5 May 2020. Further batches will be released regularly.

The list of papers to be released to date are available by following the link below, including several schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings:
https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons different rules on social distancing are being applied in schools compared to other sectors.

Keeping people safe continues to be the Government’s main priority. We want all children and young people to be able to get back into school as soon as the scientific advice allows – it is the best place for them to be educated and we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers and teachers.

Our approach for education and childcare settings to prepare for a gradual returning of pupils from 1 June is underpinned by our latest understanding of the science, which indicates that we need to take a phased approach to limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission. We have specifically factored in:

  • severity of disease in children – there is high scientific confidence that children of all ages have less severe symptoms than adults if they contract coronavirus;
  • the age of children – there is moderately high scientific confidence that younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with coronavirus;
  • numbers of children going back – which needs to be limited initially then increased gradually as the science permits; and
  • systems to reduce the size of the groups coming into contact with each other – such as smaller class sizes spread out across setting.

Early years and primary age children cannot be expected, unlike older children and adults, to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we have also taken this into account. Protective measures are possible which, when implemented, substantially reduce the risk of transmission of infection.

It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, young people and staff where possible, only mix in a small, consistent group; and that small group stays away from other people and groups. Public Health England is clear that if early years settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered. Where settings are able to keep children and young people in those small groups 2 metres away from each other, they should do so. We have published guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings to support settings to get this right, available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has issued to schools on maintaining social distancing within schools with (a) early years children and (b) limited classroom space.

The safety of pupils and staff returning to school is key. We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account. Protective measures are possible which, when implemented, substantially reduce the risk of transmission of infection. Schools should therefore work through the hierarchy of protective measures:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms;
  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices;
  • regular cleaning of schools; and
  • minimising contact and mixing.

It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, young people and staff where possible, only mix in a small, consistent group and that small group stays away from other people and groups. Public Health England is clear that if early years settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered. Where schools are able to keep children and young people in those small groups 2 metres away from each other, they should do so.

Each school's circumstances will be slightly different. Any school that cannot achieve these small groups at any point should discuss options with their local authority or trust. This might be because there are not enough classrooms or spaces available in the school. Solutions might involve children attending a nearby school, or schools prioritising the younger age groups of newly eligible children.

We have published guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings to support settings to get this right, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make additional funding available to schools for increased costs of supply staff to cover absences during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department understands the sector’s concerns about the additional cost pressures associated with COVID-19, especially following our announcement on 18 March, about schools only remaining open to make provision for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

The Department recognises that schools may face additional costs as a result of COVID-19. We are working with other Government departments and public sector buying organisations with the aim of prioritising schools. All schools will continue to receive core funding payments as normal, and we will put in place a new process to reimburse schools for exceptional costs that they face as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department will discuss how best to deliver this funding with stakeholders over the next few days. We will publish details of the scheme shortly and we trust that this will give head teachers the reassurances they need to enable them to concentrate on their vital role in supporting the nation through this crisis.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to protect school staff required to work during advised covid-19 social distancing from infection with that disease.

All of those who work in our schools, colleges, nurseries and other registered childcare settings rightly take their place next to our NHS staff and other critical workers as central to our efforts as a country in battling COVID-19 and we recognise their contribution.

It is important to underline the fact that schools, colleges, nurseries and all other registered childcare settings remain safe places for children and staff. The fewer children making the journey to school and the fewer children in school, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

On 24 March, guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings was made available to staff working in settings providing childcare for the most vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. This seeks to support staff working in schools and other childcare settings to operate in the safest way possible, focusing on measures they can put in place to help limit the risk of the virus spreading further within local communities. This guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding allocated by his Department to support the provision of free (a) activities and (b) food during school holidays.

We have invested £2 million on this programme in 2018 and £9 million in 2019 and have previously announced a £9 million programme for summer 2020.

In summer 2019 we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and received 53 eligible bids for funding in 2019 that were unsuccessful with a total value of £29.8 million. We also received 28 further bids that did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the fund and so did not receive substantive assessment. Feedback was offered to all the unsuccessful bidders.

For our 2020 programme, we have received 9 bids from the North East region and 62 bids in total across England. The total value of bids in the North East is £6.3 million and the total across England is £41.4 million. The assessment process for bids for the 2020 summer programme remains ongoing and we will announce the outcome of the process shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase the level of funding allocated to the provision of free school holiday activities and food in the 2019 Parliament.

We have invested £2 million on this programme in 2018 and £9 million in 2019 and have previously announced a £9 million programme for summer 2020.

In summer 2019 we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and received 53 eligible bids for funding in 2019 that were unsuccessful with a total value of £29.8 million. We also received 28 further bids that did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the fund and so did not receive substantive assessment. Feedback was offered to all the unsuccessful bidders.

For our 2020 programme, we have received 9 bids from the North East region and 62 bids in total across England. The total value of bids in the North East is £6.3 million and the total across England is £41.4 million. The assessment process for bids for the 2020 summer programme remains ongoing and we will announce the outcome of the process shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's news story of 4 January 2020, Free meals and summer holiday activities for children, how many bids have been received for the £9milllion of allocated funding from organisations operating in (a) the North East and (b) England.

We have invested £2 million on this programme in 2018 and £9 million in 2019 and have previously announced a £9 million programme for summer 2020.

In summer 2019 we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and received 53 eligible bids for funding in 2019 that were unsuccessful with a total value of £29.8 million. We also received 28 further bids that did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the fund and so did not receive substantive assessment. Feedback was offered to all the unsuccessful bidders.

For our 2020 programme, we have received 9 bids from the North East region and 62 bids in total across England. The total value of bids in the North East is £6.3 million and the total across England is £41.4 million. The assessment process for bids for the 2020 summer programme remains ongoing and we will announce the outcome of the process shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's news story of 4 January 2020, Free meals and summer holiday activities for children, what the total value of bids received was for the £9milllion of allocated funding from organisations operating in (a) the North East and (b) England.

We have invested £2 million on this programme in 2018 and £9 million in 2019 and have previously announced a £9 million programme for summer 2020.

In summer 2019 we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and received 53 eligible bids for funding in 2019 that were unsuccessful with a total value of £29.8 million. We also received 28 further bids that did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the fund and so did not receive substantive assessment. Feedback was offered to all the unsuccessful bidders.

For our 2020 programme, we have received 9 bids from the North East region and 62 bids in total across England. The total value of bids in the North East is £6.3 million and the total across England is £41.4 million. The assessment process for bids for the 2020 summer programme remains ongoing and we will announce the outcome of the process shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the number of children living in poverty in (a) Easington constituency, (b) County Durham and (c) the North East who are unable to access the provision of free school holiday activities and food.

Since 2018, the department has invested £11 million of funding to provide free healthy food and activities to children and families in some of the most disadvantaged areas during the summer school holidays, including thousands in the North East.

The department has announced our programme for 2020 where we will again invest £9 million to support children and their families. Officials are currently processing the bids received and we will announce the outcome in due course.

The department has also commissioned an independent evaluation of the 2019 programme, which will report on the number of disadvantaged children who accessed the clubs across the country, including our work in the North East. This will be published in 2020.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2020 to Questions 6080, 6081 and 6082 on Holiday Activities and Food Research Fund, what the total value was of the unsuccessful bids received by his Department for the provision of free holiday activities and food in 2019.

We have invested £2 million on this programme in 2018 and £9 million in 2019 and have previously announced a £9 million programme for summer 2020.

In summer 2019 we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and received 53 eligible bids for funding in 2019 that were unsuccessful with a total value of £29.8 million. We also received 28 further bids that did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the fund and so did not receive substantive assessment. Feedback was offered to all the unsuccessful bidders.

For our 2020 programme, we have received 9 bids from the North East region and 62 bids in total across England. The total value of bids in the North East is £6.3 million and the total across England is £41.4 million. The assessment process for bids for the 2020 summer programme remains ongoing and we will announce the outcome of the process shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for holiday hunger that resulted in the piloting of funding for free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families.

In January 2018, following the All-Party Parliamentary Group report “Hungry Holidays” and the subsequent Private Members' Bill introduced by Frank Field, we announced a programme of research and pilots to explore ways of supporting disadvantaged families during school holidays.

The department awarded £2 million of funding to 7 organisations to deliver free healthy food and activities to children and families in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country during the 2018 summer holidays. The organisations informed us that with this money they were able to support around 280 clubs and reach around 18,000 children.

In summer 2019, we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and we will announce the winners of the summer 2020 bidding round in due course.

We have commissioned an independent evaluation of the programme which will be published in 2020.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department used to determine which regions received funding from the free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families scheme.

In December 2018, we announced £9 million for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2019 and invited organisations to bid to coordinate free holiday provision for disadvantaged children in a local authority area during the 2019 summer holidays.

92 bids were received and each bid was assessed against the criteria published in our “Invitation to Bid”, which has been attached.

Each bid was then ranked according to their score and we selected the highest scoring bid from each of the nine English regions for funding, along with two further high scoring bids. The level of funding allocated to each successful bid was in line with the scale and nature of their proposed programme, as detailed in their respective bids.

For the North East region, the StreetGames programme in Newcastle was selected as the highest scoring bid, with an allocation of £1,028,000. Our allocations to the other successful areas were as follows:

  • Gateshead - £204,000
  • Leeds - £507,000
  • Bradford - £799,000
  • Cheshire West and Chester - £555,000
  • Leicestershire - £799,000
  • Birmingham - £1,999,000
  • Suffolk - £999,000
  • Croydon - £657,000
  • Hampshire - £766,000
  • Plymouth - £604,000

We received a bid from Durham County Council which included coverage of the Easington and County Durham constituencies but the bid was unsuccessful as it scored lower than a number of other bids in the North East region, including those in Newcastle and Gateshead. Officials provided feedback to Durham County Council in May 2019.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons his Department decided not to allocate funding from the free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families scheme to (a) Easington constituency and (b) County Durham.

In December 2018, we announced £9 million for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2019 and invited organisations to bid to coordinate free holiday provision for disadvantaged children in a local authority area during the 2019 summer holidays.

92 bids were received and each bid was assessed against the criteria published in our “Invitation to Bid”, which has been attached.

Each bid was then ranked according to their score and we selected the highest scoring bid from each of the nine English regions for funding, along with two further high scoring bids. The level of funding allocated to each successful bid was in line with the scale and nature of their proposed programme, as detailed in their respective bids.

For the North East region, the StreetGames programme in Newcastle was selected as the highest scoring bid, with an allocation of £1,028,000. Our allocations to the other successful areas were as follows:

  • Gateshead - £204,000
  • Leeds - £507,000
  • Bradford - £799,000
  • Cheshire West and Chester - £555,000
  • Leicestershire - £799,000
  • Birmingham - £1,999,000
  • Suffolk - £999,000
  • Croydon - £657,000
  • Hampshire - £766,000
  • Plymouth - £604,000

We received a bid from Durham County Council which included coverage of the Easington and County Durham constituencies but the bid was unsuccessful as it scored lower than a number of other bids in the North East region, including those in Newcastle and Gateshead. Officials provided feedback to Durham County Council in May 2019.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding in real terms has been allocated to schools in Easington constituency in each of the last five years.

Funding for schools is given to local authorities through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), which in turn distribute this money to schools in their area through their own local formulae. The following table outlines the schools block DSG allocations for Durham County Council since 2015-16 in cash terms. Prior to the introduction of the National Funding Formula (NFF), schools block allocations were only calculated at local authority level.

Schools block DSG allocations for Durham

Funding per pupil (£)1

Total schools block (£)

2015-16

£4,641

£287.1 million

2016-17

£4,649

£288.8 million

2017-18

£4,674

£293.0 million

2018-19

£4,694

£298.6 million

2019-20

£4,758

£306.1 million

2020-21

£4,937

£319.5 million

Since 2018-19, schools block allocations have been calculated through the NFF, based on individual schools’ characteristics. The following table outlines in cash terms notional NFF allocations for schools in Easington in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

NFF allocations for Easington

Funding per pupil (£)

Total cash funding (£)

NFF 2018-192

£4,817

£51.6 million

NFF 2019-202

£4,862

£52.8 million

NFF 2020-212

£5,012

£54.7 million

To smooth the transition to the NFF, local authorities have continued to be responsible for designing the distribution of funding in their areas in 2018-19 through to 2020-21. The actual amount that schools receive may be different from the amount they are attracting through the NFF. Local authorities set their local formula in consultation with local schools. The Department will now move to a single national formula as soon as possible to complete our reforms to make the funding system fair and equitable for every school in the country.

1 The schools block unit of funding has been calculated by dividing the local authority’s total schools block allocation.

2 Notional NFF allocations for individual schools were calculated based on available pupil data at the time, which was pupil data from the previous year. Final allocations given to local authorities were calculated based on updated pupil data. The figures in these tables are therefore not directly comparable.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which Parliamentary constituencies were allocated funding for the free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families scheme; and how much funding was allocated to each project.

In December 2018, we announced £9 million for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2019 and invited organisations to bid to coordinate free holiday provision for disadvantaged children in a local authority area during the 2019 summer holidays.

92 bids were received and each bid was assessed against the criteria published in our “Invitation to Bid”, which has been attached.

Each bid was then ranked according to their score and we selected the highest scoring bid from each of the nine English regions for funding, along with two further high scoring bids. The level of funding allocated to each successful bid was in line with the scale and nature of their proposed programme, as detailed in their respective bids.

For the North East region, the StreetGames programme in Newcastle was selected as the highest scoring bid, with an allocation of £1,028,000. Our allocations to the other successful areas were as follows:

  • Gateshead - £204,000
  • Leeds - £507,000
  • Bradford - £799,000
  • Cheshire West and Chester - £555,000
  • Leicestershire - £799,000
  • Birmingham - £1,999,000
  • Suffolk - £999,000
  • Croydon - £657,000
  • Hampshire - £766,000
  • Plymouth - £604,000

We received a bid from Durham County Council which included coverage of the Easington and County Durham constituencies but the bid was unsuccessful as it scored lower than a number of other bids in the North East region, including those in Newcastle and Gateshead. Officials provided feedback to Durham County Council in May 2019.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

There are no Department for Education staff who would receive an increase in their salary if their hourly pay rate was either £8.72, £9.30 or £10 as all staff are already paid above these hourly rates.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

Facilities Management (FM) at the Department for Education offices is delivered via the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) FM contract.

Changes to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage are covered by the ‘change of law’ provisions within the MoJ FM contracts. As a result, the MoJ discusses with each of the FM service providers the potential impact of any such changes in order to assess the financial impact, considering the overall contractual terms and conditions.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the findings of the Children’s Society in its report entitled Children and young people’s services: Funding and spending 2010-11 to 2017-18, that funding per child and young person has fallen by 32 per cent, if he will provide additional funding for local children’s services in County Durham.

For 2020-21, the government has focused on providing early certainty and stability though a fast-tracked Spending Round, ahead of a full spending review next year.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that for 2020-21 local authorities will have access to £1 billion additional funding for social care, including children’s social care. This is in addition to the continuation of the existing £410 million adult and children’s social care grant. The settlement is the largest increase in core spending power since 2015 and is an estimated increase of 4.4% in real terms.

We are also investing £84 million in targeted, evidence-based interventions to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families.

Beyond 2020-21, longer term funding decisions will be taken at the spending review. The government will continue work to make the funding formula fairer and increase the amount of business rates growth which local authorities retain, aiming to implement major reforms in 2021-22.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that false marketing of fresh, wholegrain, artisan and sourdough bread will be prohibited by law in order to protect the customer and prevent SME Real Bread bakeries from being undercut by large manufacturers using such descriptors to market fundamentally different products.

Consumers are already protected from false and misleading marketing by both general consumer protection law and specifically by food information law. The rules on the provision of food information to consumers, taken together with requirements on the control of additives in food production, ensure that food is produced safely and labelled effectively in order for consumers to make informed choices on the food they buy and consume.

Bakers, including traditional and artisan bakers of high-quality bread, have the ability to effectively market their products on their own merits and legislation supports such marketing so long as it is not misleading. Any information provided with food, whether in words, pictures or symbols, must not be misleading to consumers.

Officials have had extensive discussions with the Real Bread Campaign over a number of years, have taken their views fully into account and will continue to do so.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the proposed date is to reinstate the General Licence for Gatherings to permit the return of pigeon racing.

The ban on gatherings for birds remains in place. No date for lifting the ban has yet been set.

The general licence for bird gatherings was suspended on 11 November 2020. This followed the first case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in England in 2020 and the risk assessment which concluded that the likelihood of the presence of infection in wild waterfowl had increased to high and the likelihood that poultry would be exposed to disease to be medium.

The risk assessment also found that the likelihood of disease introduction through gatherings was increased because of the cumulative risk relating to multiple places of origin of the birds attending and that the impact of an introduction of infection to poultry because of gatherings could be very severe. The ban is regularly reviewed, including whether gatherings of bird species of lower risk, such as pigeons, might be permitted before allowing gatherings of higher risk species such as ducks and geese.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the seven participating supermarkets in the priority delivery slots scheme on reducing minimum spends on deliveries for people using those slots so that they are not penalised financially for following official guidance to stay at home.

Defra is continuing to hold regular conversations with each of the seven supermarkets participating in the priority access to online deliveries offer: Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. The department uses these meetings as an opportunity to convey any concerns raised by charities or local authorities around topics such as delivery charges and minimum spends. Although Defra cannot legally dictate the delivery costs and minimum spends applied by supermarkets, our regular conversations ensure that supermarkets understand the impact that delivery charges and minimum spends can have in preventing a clinically extremely vulnerable person from being able to access food.

Alongside encouraging supermarkets to seriously consider the impact delivery charges and minimum spends can have on clinically extremely vulnerable people, the department also monitors delivery charges and minimum spends and circulates this information to local authorities to allow them to advise their residents accordingly.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to end all sewage discharges into UK bathing waters by 2030.

During periods of significant rainfall, untreated sewage diluted by rainwater will discharge through storm overflows to prevent streets, premises and sewage treatment plants from being flooded. Storm overflows are a last resort in modern sewer design, but the age of our sewerage systems means their complete elimination is not practicable or affordable.

However, I recognise that there is more to do with regard to the management of sewage pollution. To achieve this, I have set up a new Taskforce bringing together government, the water industry, regulators and environmental NGOs to work urgently on options to tackle this issue.

As announced on 22 January, this Taskforce has agreed a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows. Water companies have also agreed to make real-time data on sewage discharges available at bathing sites all year round. This data will be made available to help surfers, swimmers and other recreational water users to check the latest information and make informed choices on where to swim.

We recognise there is more that needs to be done beyond providing more and better information, and so we will continue to work with the industry to reduce frequency and harm of discharges from storm overflows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the request made to his Department by the PCS union under Regulation 9 of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 to form a building-wide health and safety committee for 2 Marsham Street.

Consideration has been given to the request made to Defra by the PCS union to form a building-wide health and safety committee for 2 Marsham Street. For the purposes of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 health and safety remains a delegated matter for which each individual departmental employer is responsible.

However, in recognition of Defra’s responsibilities for cooperation and coordination with other employers in shared workplaces, Defra is supportive of trade union health and safety representatives joining the existing 2 Marsham Street joint “House Committee”. We consider this to be a positive step forward in the interest of constructive trade union dialogue in relation to the spaces that are shared between the separate employers based in the building.

I understand that other departments who occupy 2 Marsham Street are also supportive of this approach and the Home Office, who are the lead occupier at 2 Marsham Street, will be working with PCS to take this forward on behalf of all occupants.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 13 February 2020 to Question 14705 on Cremation, when the next process guidance review for crematoria will take place.

The Crematoria process guidance was last reviewed in 2012. In line with the Government ambition to review process guidance notes every 6-8 years it is due to be reviewed shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will take steps to prohibit the opening of any new crematorium that is not fitted with DENOx Technology used to reduce the release of toxic nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide.

All crematoria are required to have an environmental permit in accordance with standards set out in the relevant statutory Process Guidance Note (PGN). The PGN contains guidance on how crematoria can reduce nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide during the cremation process.

PGNs are reviewed on a cyclical basis, as part of a collaborative approach with industry. When the PGN for Crematoria is next reviewed, we will take into account latest developments in best available abatement technologies and techniques for reducing NOx during the cremation process.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will introduce a requirement for all crematoriums to install DENOx Technology, to reduce the release of toxic nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, within the next 12 months.

All crematoria are required to have an environmental permit in accordance with standards set out in the relevant statutory Process Guidance Note (PGN). The PGN contains guidance on how crematoria can reduce nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide during the cremation process.

PGNs are reviewed on a cyclical basis, as part of a collaborative approach with industry. When the PGN for Crematoria is next reviewed, we will take into account latest developments in best available abatement technologies and techniques for reducing NOx during the cremation process.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions she is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for her Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to her Department.

Defra’s facilities management (FM) contract will not be affected by the announcement on 31 December 2019 of the increase in the National Minimum Wage. This is because we require, and the contract states, that the FM provider will pay the Foundation Living Wage which is already higher than the National Living Wage. As a result there is no need for a contract variation or engagement with the supplier on this subject.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of staff in her Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

This Government is committed to paying people a decent living wage, which is being addressed through the statutory National Living Wage (NLW). In April 2020, the NLW increases to £8.72 per hour. By 2024 the NLW will rise to £10.50 per hour, reaching 66% of median UK earnings. The scope will be expanded to everyone aged 21 and over and is expected to benefit over 4 million low paid workers.

No staff in core-Defra would require an increase in salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was either £8.72 or £9.30.

Less than 5 staff (0.09% of all staff) in core-Defra would require an increase to salary in the event that their hourly rate of pay was £10.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to (a) reduce plastic pollution and (b) increase plastic recycling.

The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) for England, published in December 2018, sets out our plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - that is why we are working towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

We have already made good progress. The Government’s 5p plastic bag charge has led to a 90% reduction in the use of plastic carrier bags in the main retailers, and last year we consulted on plans to extend the charge to all retailers and on increasing the minimum charge to at least 10p. A summary of responses will be published in due course. We have also introduced a world-leading ban on the sale of microbeads in rinse-off personal care products.

The Government is committed to increasing recycling rates. The Environment Bill, which was cited in the Queen’s Speech, introduces legislation so that a core set of materials, including plastics, will be collected from households and businesses from 2023. We will also introduce measures, through an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, to encourage producers to use plastic packaging that can be recycled. The Government also consulted on proposals to introduce a world-leading new tax on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content and the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme. Together these measures will increase the quality and quantity of plastics collected for recycling.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to reduce the amount of recyclable plastics going to landfill.

The Government is committed to increasing recycling rates. The Queen’s Speech committed the Government to bring forward our ambitious Environment Bill which introduces legislation so that a core set of materials, including plastics, will be collected from households and businesses from 2023. We will also introduce measures, through an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme, to encourage producers to use plastic packaging that can be recycled. The Government also consulted on proposals to introduce a world-leading new tax on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content and the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). Together these measures will increase the quality and quantity of plastics collected for recycling.

The Government also continues to incentivise the diversion of waste away from landfill, through the Landfill Tax. For example, the standard rate of Landfill Tax, which applies to household waste, has increased from £11 to £88.95 per tonne between 2000 and 2018; the proportion of local authority collected waste sent to landfill decreased from 79.0% to 10.8% over a similar period (2000/01 to 2018/19).

We will soon consult on proposals to implement changes made to the Landfill Directive as part of the Circular Economy Package, which will restrict waste that has been separately collected for recycling, such as plastic waste, being accepted at landfill sites.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

There are no DExEU employees who would receive an increase to their salary in the event that their hourly rate was (a), (b) or (c). This is because the lowest paid member of DExEU staff hourly rate is higher than these amounts.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

Any private sector companies undertaking facilities management work for the Department for Exiting the European Union are managed and employed by building owners. The department operates, and has memorandum of terms of occupations (MOTO’s) with those building owners. As part of those agreements, those building owners employ and manage any third-party facilities management companies, so is therefore not the responsibility of the department. The department was recently onboarded to the Government Property Agency to manage the estate and the contracts between the department and those third-party companies. This responsibility would therefore sit with the Government Property Agency.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

All DFID staff are paid at an hourly rate above £10, and therefore would not require a salary increase in any of these scenarios.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

The Department for International Development has two headquarter buildings in the UK, one at 22 Whitehall and the other at Abercrombie House in East Kilbride.

Both HQ buildings share a contract for facilities management. The staff contracted under this agreement are paid London Living wage in Whitehall and National Living wage in Abercrombie House. DFID covers the additional costs associated with the Living wage increases. This is reviewed annually in line with the increments set out by the Living Wage Foundation.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to promote British food and drink exports in foreign markets.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) promotes UK food and drink excellence globally. We have dedicated food and drink export advisers both throughout the UK and globally who deliver a wide range of activities in support of our food and drink producers. These activities include brokered meetings with key overseas food and drink importers and retailers, trade missions, financial support for companies to exhibit at overseas trade fairs, as well as showcasing events aiming at changing perceptions of UK food and drink.

DIT also works in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and industry to target specific market access issues, helping to open markets overseas for high quality UK produce.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of protections of the (a) human rights and (b) safety of workers building the British pavilion for the Dubai Expo in the UAE; and whether there has been any violations of those rights and protections.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has ensured that stringent contract provisions are in place with the suppliers who have been appointed to construct the UK Pavilion, requiring all work to be carried out in accordance with the Expo 2020 Workers Welfare Minimum Standards (which are higher than the UAE’s standard welfare regulations). These suppliers are monitored closely by DIT’s project management supplier to ensure performance against their contractual conditions.

According to the last health and safety audit by the Expo 2020 Dubai authorities the UK was amongst the most positively scored Pavilions. In addition, DIT has appointed a specialist risk management organisation (with expertise in carrying out worker welfare audits in line with the Expo 2020 standards) to carry out regular independent audits of the UK pavilion site and its contractors. Where any issues have been raised, all parties have worked together to rectify these.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions she is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for her Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to her Department.

The Department for International Trade does not hold any facilities management contracts with private sector companies. All of the department’s facilities management services are provided via the Government Property Agency.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many and what proportion of staff in her Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

All civil servants are paid at least the current statutory National Minimum or National Living Wage rates of £7.70 and £8.21 per hour respectively.

All Department for International Trade employees currently on payroll, including UK Export Finance employees, are currently paid above the hourly rates outlined in this question. Therefore, none of the Department’s employees would see a change in their salary if these rates increased.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value for money for the public purse of South Western Railway’s recent decision to withdraw their fleet of Class 442 trains.

The impact of Covid-19 on passenger numbers travelling on South Western Railway services has been significant, and is not expected to return to previous levels when restrictions are lifted for some time. The Class 442 fleet is no longer needed to deliver SWR’s planned timetable. SWR has decided to withdraw it with immediate effect and cease the programme of modifications that were underway to avoid incurring further costs to the taxpayer to reintroduce and operate these trains. The withdrawal of the fleet is expected to save circa £8million per year in operational costs.

The Class 442s would have been withdrawn in August 2024 in any event as the trains are not compliant with requirements for Persons with Reduced Mobility. This decision brings this forward and removes a fleet that is not fully accessible from the Rail Network sooner than originally planned.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 158241, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Remote Working, when the findings of the Deloitte report were presented to (a) the DVLA, (b) Chief Executive Julie Lennard and (c) other parties or bodies.

The review was carried out by both internal Driver and Vehicle Licensing (DVLA) and external expertise and focused on what could be done to reduce the backlogs that had built up during the initial lockdown in 2020, not specifically on home working. Some recommendations have been implemented but others require more significant changes that are still being worked through. The review was an iterative process which involved discussions with various personnel across the DVLA and the final report was recently presented to the DVLA’s Board.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 158241, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Remote Working, whether any of the Deloitte report’s recommendations on options for DVLA staff to work from home have been implemented.

The review was carried out by both internal Driver and Vehicle Licensing (DVLA) and external expertise and focused on what could be done to reduce the backlogs that had built up during the initial lockdown in 2020, not specifically on home working. Some recommendations have been implemented but others require more significant changes that are still being worked through. The review was an iterative process which involved discussions with various personnel across the DVLA and the final report was recently presented to the DVLA’s Board.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 158241, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Remote Working, without reference to the DVLA’s IT systems, what assessment he has made of what proportion of staff implementation of the Deloitte report’s findings would have enabled to work from home.

The review was carried out by both internal Driver and Vehicle Licensing (DVLA) and external expertise and focused on what could be done to reduce the backlogs that had built up during the initial lockdown in 2020, not specifically on home working. Some recommendations have been implemented but others require more significant changes that are still being worked through. The review was an iterative process which involved discussions with various personnel across the DVLA and the final report was recently presented to the DVLA’s Board.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 158241 on Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Remote Working, if he will place a copy of a suitably redacted version of the Deloitte report on options for DVLA staff to work from home in the Library.

There are no plans to place either a full or redacted version of reports which include references to the DVLA’s IT system in the public domain.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of including the coach industry within the Additional Restrictions Support Grant.

Additional Restrictions Grant funding is intended to support businesses that are not legally required to close, but which are nonetheless experiencing a severe impact on their business due to the national lockdown. Some local authorities have provided coach operators with Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding. However, allocation of ARG funding is at local authorities’ discretion.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Average Working Days Lost was for (a) female and (b) male civil servants in his Department in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The table below shows the average working days lost split as requested above.

2019

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

Male

6.77

2.96

8.74

7.76

2.9

Female

9.44

5.55

12.45

11.02

3.9

2020

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

Male

4.77

2.58

5.24

6.22

2.4

Female

6.46

5.66

7.42

9.93

3.9

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in his Department (a) who have declared themselves as having a disability and (b) who have not declared themselves to have a disability in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The table below shows the average working days lost split as requested above.

2019

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

Declared Disabled

16.8

Not Available

19.37

18.3

11.9

Not Declared Disabled

7.14

Not Available

8.56

8.28

2.9

2020

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

Declared Disabled

11.24

Not Available

11.92

12.95

7.5

Not Declared Disabled

5.04

Not Available

5.16

7.14

2.8

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in his Department aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 30 to 50, (c) 50 to 60 and (d) over 60 in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The table below shows the average working days lost split as requested above.

2019

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

30 and Younger

8.71

3.54

8.34

10.13

1.5

30-50

6.66

4.6

8.05

9.4

3.1

50-60

7.39

1.44

9.47

8.95

4.1

Over 60

13.2

4.35

15.13

12.24

10.7

2020

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

30 and Younger

3.64

1.47

5.96

9.42

2.1

30-50

5.58

4.39

4.98

7.75

2.8

50-60

5.56

2.8

5.1

7.55

3.9

Over 60

7.03

4.33

9.5

12.34

6.7

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in his Department (a) from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and (b) recording themselves as White in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The table below shows the average working days lost split as requested above.

2019

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

BAME

4.46

Not Available

9.08

7.45

3.5

White

7.92

Not Available

9.78

9.78

2.8

Not Declared

8.37

Not Available

9.98

Not available

4.2

2020

MCA

VCA

DVSA

DVLA

DfTc

BAME

4

Not Available

6.47

9.33

3.3

White

5.51

Not Available

6.04

8.09

2.2

Not Declared

5.69

Not Available

5.33

Not available

4.7

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many flights have been chartered by the shipping industry (a) to and (b) from UK airports in each month since 20 March 2020 to date to facilitate crew changeovers on merchant ships docked at UK ports.

The chartering of flights is normally a commercial decision and we do not capture this data. There is no existing regulatory requirement for companies to provide this data and it would not be possible to compare what activity was caused by factors due to the pandemic and what activity is considered normal.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change; and whether it is still his policy to classify seafarers as key workers in the context of crew changeovers at UK sea and airports.

As the first state to declare seafarers as keyworkers we welcome the Neptune Declaration. We remain committed to working domestically and internationally to protect the mental health and wellbeing of crew of all nationalities, and to find solutions to facilitate transit and transfer across all countries during the pandemic.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) budget and (b) spend is in real terms on protecting Network Rail infrastructure assets from weather-related impacts in each year of the control period 2019–24.

Please see the table attached. This information is in line with the information provided in the rail resilience report published 1 September 2020.

Network Rail is investing a total of £1.247bn in CP6 (1 April 2019- 31 March 2024) to maintain and renew earthworks and drainage, supporting weather resilience improvements on the railway. This is a real term increase of 20% on CP5 (April 2014 to March 2019).

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the spend was in real terms on protecting Network Rail infrastructure assets from weather-related impacts for each year of the control period 2014–19.

Please see the table attached. This information is in line with the information provided in the rail resilience report published 1 September 2020.

Network Rail is investing a total of £1.247bn in CP6 (1 April 2019- 31 March 2024) to maintain and renew earthworks and drainage, supporting weather resilience improvements on the railway. This is a real term increase of 20% on CP5 (April 2014 to March 2019).

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the two taskforces established after the Stonehaven train derailment to examine Networks Rail’s response to climate change will report their findings.

Both taskforce reports have recently been submitted to Network Rail. Network Rail is currently discussing the content of the reports with the taskforce leaders, Lord Robert Mair and Dame Julia Slingo, and will provide an update to the Secretary of State for Transport within the next month.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of inspections and works in relation to protecting Network Rail infrastructure assets is undertaken by staff (a) directly employed by Network Rail and (b) employed by sub-contractors.

Earthwork inspections are entirely outsourced to specialist engineering contractors on four out of Network Rail’s five regions . Earthwork inspections are partly outsourced on Network Rail’s North West & Central region. As a devolved organisation, the work of these contractors is overseen and quality controlled by Network Rail’s regions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been made of the effect of a reduction in enhancements for the 2019-24 control period on the protection of Network Rail infrastructure assets from weather-related effects.

There will be no impact on the maintenance and renewal of the railway.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's guidance on Category 1 goods that can be transported on government-secured freight capacity contracts, updated on 1 February 2021, what estimate he has made of the (a) volume of freight moved and (b) number of sailings to date under each contract with operators in the Irish Sea.

There has been minimal disruption to the flow of freight and Category 1 goods following the end of the transition period. Volumes have been relatively low compared to the same period in previous years, although some hauliers continue to arrive at ports without the necessary COVID-19 and customs paperwork. We continue to monitor for potential disruption that may affect the flow of essential Category 1 goods.

Government secured freight capacity is provided by four ferry operators (Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line) across 9 routes, operating from 8 ports (Poole, Portsmouth, Newhaven, Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury, Teesport, Hull) to mainland Europe. There is no GSFC secured between England and the island of Ireland. Hauliers carrying Category 1 Goods who wish to use the land bridge to reach Ireland are still eligible to access GSFC to enter England from mainland Europe.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of potential redundancies at Hitachi Rail UK Ltd’s Bounds Green and Craigentinny Train Maintenance Centres on LNER; and what steps he is taking to reduce those costs.

LNER directs the day to day operation of their railway services and as a result they are responsible for the management of their contract with Hitachi Rail. However, as LNER is owned and overseen by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Public Sector Operator, DfT OLR Holdings Ltd the Government ultimately holds full cost and revenue risk.

The negotiations between Hitachi Rail and LNER are currently ongoing. The final cost to the taxpayer has not been confirmed at this stage of the negotiations and will depend on a number of factors under discussion, including final agreement on the number of redundancies.

We are in regular contact with both Hitachi Rail and LNER and are monitoring their ongoing discussions with regards to this matter closely. However, these discussions are ultimately a commercial and contractual matter for both parties to negotiate. LNER and Hitachi will need to work together to resolve this issue in a manner that ensures the best outcome for passengers, employees and the taxpayer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 132861, what documentation his Department has considered relating to requests for sector-specific support for the coach industry.

The Government continues to work closely with representatives of the coach sector to understand the challenges facing the coach sector and how these can be addressed.

Where appropriate, the Department for Transport has sought and/or considered information and data from representatives of the coach sector to inform its approach. For example, the Department invited operators of scheduled services to submit data regarding planned service levels over Christmas in order to develop a £3 million Christmas support package. The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) also provides frequent data on the wider coach sector to the Department, which is used to inform policy decisions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will facilitate the extension of finance holidays for operators to support the coach industry.

The Government understands that many operators are concerned about meeting their finance payments, and appreciates that the current situation is one that coach operators could not be expected to have foreseen. The Government urges operators to speak to their lenders.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for payment holiday applications on mortgages and other forms of consumer credit until 31 March 2021. Lenders can agree to give payment holidays of up to six months in total for these arrangements. The customer must apply for a payment holiday and they are granted at the lender’s discretion.

More widely, there are measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Coach operators may also apply for either the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan (BBL).

There may be other sources of support available to coach operators depending on their individual circumstances. A ‘support finder’ tool has been launched to help businesses quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them.

In addition to payment holidays, the Government has introduced a range of schemes offering direct financial support to businesses.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason coach operators are not automatically eligible for payments made to support the leisure and tourism industry.

The Government is providing grant support to hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses that are required to close, as well as discretionary grant funding to support those businesses that are severely impacted but not required to close.

It is for Local Authorities to administer these schemes and determine on a case-by-case basis who is and is not entitled to funding. Coach companies that believe they may be eligible should contact their Local Authority.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff in his Department who have a right to 31.5 days annual leave, accrue annual leave at their standard rate when on long-term sick leave.

All staff at the Department for Transport, regardless of their contracted working hours, are entitled to accrue annual leave while on long term sick leave. Public holidays and the privilege day are excluded as employees are expected to have taken these days during their sick leave.

The information requested on the number of staff who have a right to 31.5 days and 30 days annual leave by age, sex and ethnicity can only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether staff on long-term sick leave in his Department accrue privilege leave.

All staff at the Department for Transport, regardless of their contracted working hours, are entitled to accrue annual leave while on long term sick leave. Public holidays and the privilege day are excluded as employees are expected to have taken these days during their sick leave.

The information requested on the number of staff who have a right to 31.5 days and 30 days annual leave by age, sex and ethnicity can only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department have the right to (a) 31.5 days and (b) 30 days annual leave, by (i) age, (ii) sex and (iii) ethnicity.

All staff at the Department for Transport, regardless of their contracted working hours, are entitled to accrue annual leave while on long term sick leave. Public holidays and the privilege day are excluded as employees are expected to have taken these days during their sick leave.

The information requested on the number of staff who have a right to 31.5 days and 30 days annual leave by age, sex and ethnicity can only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve cycling infrastructure and investment in Easington constituency.

The Government is investing £2 billion in cycling and walking schemes this parliament, supported by a new long term vision to deliver better streets for cycling published in July.

£2.2 million was allocated to the North East Joint Transport Committee area in June from tranche 1 of the Active Travel Fund. Tranche 2 allocations will be announced shortly. Decisions on allocating the remaining funding this parliament will be confirmed in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what restrictions he plans to place on the payment of dividends by train operating companies as a condition of the Emergency Recovery Management Agreements.

Franchisees will remain in ‘lock-up’ for the duration of the Emergency Recovery Management Agreements (ERMAs), meaning that payment of dividends may not made without the Secretary of State’s consent. Consent to the payment of a Permitted Dividend will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed, subject to franchisees fulfilling their financial obligations under the ERMAs to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State and complying with their Companies Act obligations. For any franchisee year the Permitted Dividend will be limited to the value of the fees paid to the franchisee net of Corporation Tax.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to reduce the costs of maintenance contracts with rolling stock companies as part of negotiating the Emergency Recovery Management Agreements.

Under the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements, operators have been placed on far more demanding management agreements, with tougher performance targets and lower management fees. The new contracts allow us to make an early start on key reforms, including requiring operators to co-ordinate better with each other and driving down the railways' capital costs.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative assessment he has made of the merits of (a) directly procuring rolling stock and (b) leasing trains from rolling stock companies.

The Secretary of State has not currently made assessments of procuring or leasing rolling stock directly from manufacturers or rolling stock owning companies. The UK rolling stock market has been a vibrant one and passengers are benefiting from private investment in new trains across the country.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to continue to cover the cost of rolling stock company contracts under the new Emergency Recovery Management Agreements; and if he will make a statement.

The Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (ERMA) arrangements cover the operators’ costs including the costs of rolling stock contracts for the duration of the ERMAs.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban foreign-registered planes from being based in the UK for longer than 90 days.

The Department for Transport and the CAA do not currently believe there is any justification on safety grounds for such a measure, and therefore will not be pursuing this. This is due to the findings of the recent independent General Aviation safety review finding both that non-UK / European registered aircraft operating in the UK have an accident rate no higher than average, and that there is no evidence that these aircraft are maintained to a lower standard. Legislation of this type would also impact aircraft registered in the EU that are currently able to circulate freely between the UK and the EU.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to discourage UK-based aircraft from using foreign registration systems with less onerous regulatory requirements.

The majority of third country registered aircraft based in Europe are non-complex aircraft registered in the US, used for recreational aviation. The Department for Transport recently commissioned an independent review into the safety of recreational General Aviation. Both the review and evidence from the CAA show there is no evidence that overall non-UK registered aircraft are maintained to a lower standard than UK registered aircraft, and that overall non-UK and European registered aircraft do not have a higher accident rate. Introducing restrictions could unnecessarily impact aircraft registered in Europe that are operated and maintained to the same standards as those in the UK.

For these reasons, the Department for Transport does not consider there to be a safety case to proactively discourage UK-based aircraft from being registered to third countries. Further, changes made at European level, which the UK has adopted, have removed some of the incentives for registering an aircraft with a third country. We are closely following proposals by the European Aviation Safety Agency on this topic, and will consider whether a parallel approach would be appropriate for the UK post-Transition Period.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his letter to the Permanent Secretary of his Department of 20 March 2020 on urgent expenditure during the covid-19 outbreak, if he will publish the reasons given by his Department’s Investment and Portfolio Committee for recommending Emergency Measures Agreements rather than extending the Operator of Last resort to maintain rail services during Covid-19.

The Department’s Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee considered the options to maintain services, including extending the Operator of Last Resort. Ministers agreed with the committee’s recommendation to offer Emergency Measures Agreements to franchised train operators. Advice to Ministers is not normally published.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his letter to the Permanent Secretary of his Department on 20 March 2020 on urgent covid-19 expenditure, what estimate his Department’s Investment and Portfolio Committee has made of the (a) total cost and (b) cost by franchise which would result from (i) extending the Operator of Last Resort to all rail operators and (ii) placing all rail operators onto Emergency Measures Agreements to maintain rail services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee considered the options to maintain services, including extending the Operator of Last Resort. Ministers agreed with the committee’s recommendation to offer Emergency Measures Agreements to franchised train operators. Advice to Ministers is not normally published.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his letter to the Permanent Secretary of his Department on 20 March 2020 on urgent covid-19 expenditure, what time period the estimated financial effect of £588 million relates to; and what the additional monthly financial effect was for the rail sector since the start of the 2020 financial year.

The £588 million is an estimate that relates to the month of March 2020. It was an estimate made part way through month itself as it became apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic would have a large and immediate impact on rail revenues. The Department is reviewing the data on payments made to train operators under the Emergency Measures Agreements since they were introduced. This information has not yet been finalised but will be published in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the comparative cost of extending (a) rail operators’ Emergency Measures Agreements and (b) the Operator of Last Resort from September 2020.

The Department is reviewing its approach to potential contractual arrangements following the expiry of the Emergency Measures Agreements. Work is underway to consider a range of options and to determine the most appropriate approach. This work will take account of the potential impact of COVID-19 on demand for passenger rail travel in both the short and long term, and the associated economic and financial impacts on the railway, including analysis of Value for Money to taxpayers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on delivering net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 on the rail network.

The Government is developing an ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport. We will use electrification and alternative technologies such as battery and hydrogen trains to remove diesel trains from the network and decarbonise the railway.

Ongoing work led by Network Rail will inform decisions about the pace of rail decarbonisation to achieve net zero and the deployment of different decarbonisation technologies on each part of the network.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, will he will make it his policy to establish a criteria that promotes UK manufacturing in procurement contracts for rail rolling stock after the end of the transition period.

The end of the transition period presents an important opportunity for wider reform of our public procurement framework to ensure it meets our national needs, drives improved commercial outcomes, removes complex and unnecessary bureaucratic rules, and reduces burdens on business, whilst continuing to comply with the UK's obligations under its international trade agreements. This includes the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, which the UK will accede to as an independent member at the end of the transition period. We will continue to work closely with industry, including rail businesses, to promote skilled employment and manufacturing in the UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps is he taking to increase the level of renewable technology used on the rail network.

The Government supports the use of new technology on the railway to deliver our legally binding target of net-zero UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Department for Transport is working with Network Rail and the rail industry to determine which parts of the network are best suited to use of hydrogen or battery trains, as well as further electrification. DfT is also supporting the development of hydrogen and battery technology through innovation funding and research to overcome safety and other barriers to their deployment.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the number of coach operators who (a) have ceased business and (b) are at risk of closure due to the financial impact of covid-19.

We are encouraging coach operators to make use of the wide range of support measures the Chancellor announced. These amount to £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses, including the Covid-19 Jobs Retention Scheme to help firms retain members of staff, which has been extended until the end of October 2020. We are continuing to engage with the coach sector to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are, and how these could be addressed in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make financial support available to coach operators during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are encouraging coach operators to make use of the wide range of support measures the Chancellor announced. These amount to £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses, including the Covid-19 Jobs Retention Scheme to help firms retain members of staff, which has been extended until the end of October 2020. We are continuing to engage with the coach sector to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are, and how these could be addressed in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons coach operators were not included in the financial support package for bus operators.

We are encouraging coach operators to make use of the wide range of support measures the Chancellor announced. These amount to £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses, including the Covid-19 Jobs Retention Scheme to help firms retain members of staff, which has been extended until the end of October 2020. We are continuing to engage with the coach sector to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are, and how these could be addressed in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 49667, on Northern Rail: Coronavirus, how many additional cleaners have been employed by ISS to clean train stations managed by Northern Trains since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

ISS is in the process of recruiting more cleaners, who will all be in position in July. The total number of additional cleaners it will employ to carry out touch point cleaning with its new enhanced cleaning chemical will be 25.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Congestion Charge fee will to be reimbursed for Metropolitan Police staff travelling to work at central London sites.

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London and delivered by Transport for London. The implementation of the congestion charge, including possible exemptions from the charge is a matter for the Mayor.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June to Question 49660 on Rolling Stock: Coronavirus, how much money from the public purse the Government has paid to Train Operating Companies to cover the contractually agreed rental costs for rolling stock during the period of the Emergency Measures Agreements.

With reference to the answer to Question 49660 of 2 June, Train Operating Companies are continuing to pay the contractually agreed rental cost for rolling stock as they were prior to the Emergency Measures Agreements. Statistics on costs are published by the Office of Rail and Road in tab 2.13 at https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0020/42563/uk-rail-industry-financial-information-2018-19.xlsx.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 202 to Question 49663 on Rolling Stock: Coronavirus, whether he requested that rolling stock companies suspend the payment of dividends in those meetings.

The rolling stock companies are privately owned businesses and no request has been made for them to suspend dividend payments.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which members of the Rail Delivery Group are entitled to a free network-wide rail travel pass.

The Department holds no information on which members of Rail Delivery Group are entitled to a free network-wide rail travel pass

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) Northern Rail and (b) other train operating companies proving in-house cleaning services for trains during the covid-19 outbreak.

Northern do not use sub-contractors for train cleaning. Other Train Operating Companies decide on an individual basis as to what approach they take to meeting their cleaning requirements, and so no assessment of the type referred to in the question has been made.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how frequently Northern Rail (a) trains and (b) stations were deep cleaned (i) before and (ii) during the covid-19 outbreak.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, Northern Trains Limited had a comprehensive daily cleaning regime which included a deep clean of its trains every 72 days. Since the outbreak began, this regime has continued but increased with the use of anti-viral sanitiser and the additional cleaning of panels, carpets and toilet areas to ensure a safe environment for its staff and passengers.

NTL has followed Rail Delivery Group guidelines on the cleaning of stations and has carried out a robust cleaning schedule since the outbreak which, alongside its usual regime, includes regularly sanitising 'touch' points. The station cleaning visits varies between one and five visits per week where they are covered by mobile cleaning teams and between five to seven days a week attendance on those covered by station based cleaners.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the cleaning of Northern Rail’s trains and stations, what hygiene and health targets are used; and on which occasions sub-contractors have failed to meet those targets since the Operator of Last Resort took over the franchise.

The Department monitors customer perception of cleanliness through the National Rail Passenger surveys. Whilst Northern’s train cleaning is done in house, cleaning for stations is sub-contracted and so any cleaning targets for stations are set and managed directly through the contracts between Northern Trains Ltd and the contractor.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional payments have been made by Northern Rail to its cleaning sub-contractor, beyond those already agreed in its existing contract, as a result of the need to enhance the cleaning regime on its trains and stations in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Whilst Northern’s train cleaning is done in house, cleaning for stations is sub-contracted and so any payments made for the cleaning of stations are a commercial matter between Northern Trains Ltd and the contractor.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State of 7 April 2020 to the Transport Select Committee, how much has been paid to rolling stock companies as a result of the Emergency Measures Agreements with the Train Operating Companies.

Train Operating Companies are continuing to pay the contractually agreed rental cost for rolling stock as they were prior to the Emergency Measures Agreements. Statistics on costs are published at: https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he his taking to protect the public from the high costs of operating leases on privately owned rolling stock as a result of the Emergency Measures Agreements with train operating companies.

Rolling stock contracts are fixed over the term of the original franchise and were competitively procured by the operators; the same payments will continue through the period of the EMA.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to introduce a derogation from contractual obligations to pay operating lease charges for rolling stock.

These leases were competitively procured and contractually binding. The operators will require all their rolling stock to manage social distancing.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to help ensure adequate provision of cleaning staff to provide a safe environment on Northern Rail (a) trains and (b) stations during the covid-19 outbreak.

To help tackle the spread of coronavirus, rail operators and Network Rail are doing more to ensure our trains and stations are clean. The kinds of steps being taken include a greater focus on cleaning high-touch areas in trains and at stations (such as hand rails and ticket machine screens), more intensive cleaning and ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) capping or (b) suspending the payment of operating lease charges for rolling stock during the the covid-19 outbreak.

There has been no assessment made as these are legally binding contracts between the train operator and the rolling stock company. The expectation is that all contracted rolling stock will be required to manage social distancing on trains. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began I have met with the main rolling stock companies to discuss how they can support industry and the country during this time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of rolling stock companies on the suspension of the payment of dividends during the covid-19 outbreak.

There has been no discussion with rolling stock companies on suspension of dividends. Rolling stock companies are owned by private sector shareholders and suspension of payment of dividends will be a matter for them. I have met with the main rolling stock companies to discuss how they can support industry and the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will establish an aviation sector group comprising Ministers, aviation unions and the private sector, to (a) assess the issues facing the industry as a result of covid-19 and (b) develop a strategic plan for the sector.

The aviation sector is important to the UK economy and the government recognises the challenging times it is facing as a result of COVID-19. Our transport systems are critical to support the restart of the wider economy and we are working closely with the wider aviation sector, including unions, on these restart plans and the longer-term recovery of the sector.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with British Airways on (a) worker safety, (b) job protections and (c) financial assistance from the Government to that company during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is engaging on a regular basis with airlines, unions and Public Health England on the application of public health measures in aviation

The Chancellor has set out unprecedented support for workers of airline companies. Measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are being used across the aviation industry to protect the sector against the Covid-19 economic crisis.

These measures, alongside other Government support measures such as Coronavirus Large Business Loan Interruption Scheme and the CCFF, are helping airlines of all sizes get through this crisis and beyond. The Chancellor has noted that under exceptional circumstances bespoke support could be provided to airlines.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he had with FlyBe prior to that company entering administration on (a) worker safety, (b) job protections and (c) financial assistance from the Government due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government was in discussion with Flybe’s shareholders and directors, exploring multiple options to find a solution?that would ensure a long-term future for the company. However, keeping the company?operating?was not deemed viable by its directors.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Ryanair on (a) worker safety, (b) job protections and (c) financial assistance from the Government during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is engaging on a regular basis with airlines, unions and Public Health England on the application of public health measures in aviation

The Chancellor has set out unprecedented support for workers of airline companies. Measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are being used across the aviation industry to protect the sector against the Covid-19 economic crisis.

These measures, alongside other Government support measures such as Coronavirus Large Business Loan Interruption Scheme and the CCFF, are helping airlines of all sizes get through this crisis and beyond. The Chancellor has noted that under exceptional circumstances bespoke support could be provided to airlines.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of publicly financing (a) smaller airports, (b) air traffic control and (c) specific routes to retain regional connectivity after the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The aviation sector is essential to the UK economy, and we encourage airports, airlines and other businesses in the sector to draw on the unprecedented package of measures we have made available to support them through this time. This includes schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees. The measures have been designed to ensure that companies of any size receive the help they need to get through this difficult time – which could include small airports as well as large, and others in the aviation supply chain.

The Government is willing to consider the situation of individual firms, so long as all other government schemes have been explored and all commercial options exhausted, including raising capital from existing investors. Any intervention would, of course, need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

The Government recognises the importance of regional connectivity to the nations and regions of the UK, and the positive impact that regional airports have on local economies, including providing domestic and global connectivity, employment opportunities, and a hub for local transport. The Department for Transport has set up a Restart, Recovery and Engagement unit to work with the aviation sector on the immediate issues around restart, and its longer-term growth and recovery.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on regional connectivity of the problems in the aviation sector resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

Her Majesty’s Government recognises that the aviation sector is vital for providing domestic and global connectivity, employment opportunities, and a hub for local transport.

We are committed to supporting the recovery of the sector to support our levelling up agenda through regional connectivity and strengthen ties within the Union. We recognise the importance of maintaining a thriving competitive aviation sector in the UK to deliver connectivity.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide financial support for (a) airports and (b) airlines in return for shareholdings.

The aviation sector is essential to the UK economy, and we encourage airports, airlines and other businesses in the sector to draw on the unprecedented package of measures we have made available to support them through this time. This includes schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

We have set out that the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted all other options. Any intervention would also be on commercial terms and need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral evidence of 28 October 2019 to the Transport Committee, Qq42-44, if he will publish the evidence on passenger views of public ownership which has informed the ongoing Williams rail review.

In April 2019, the Williams Rail Review published ‘Trust in the Rail Sector’, a research report into passenger views on the rail sector. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/797926/trust-in-the-rail-sector.pdf.

Further research will be published alongside the White Paper based on the Review’s recommendations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) accessibility of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of high density terrace housing.

The uptake of zero emission vehicles is a priority for this Government, to ensure we meet our net zero ambitions by 2050. Ensuring that motorists who do not have access to off-street parking are able to access electric vehicle chargepoints and having a reliable and easy-to-use public charging network are key for achieving the continued uptake of plug-in vehicles.

The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) provides grant funding for local authorities towards the cost of installing on-street residential chargepoints for plug-in electric vehicles. In October 2019, the Secretary of State wrote to all local authorities encouraging them to send their strategies for infrastructure deployment and to take advantage of ORCS funding. Last month we announced that we are doubling the value of the On-street Residential Charging Scheme from £5 to £10 million, this could support as many as 3,600 chargepoints for motorists who do not have off-street parking.

Our manifesto stated that, along with the private sector, the Government will invest £1 billion in charging infrastructure – making sure that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid charging station. Our jointly funded £400 million Chargepoint Infrastructure Investment Fund’s first investment round, worth a total of £70 million, will ensure the delivery of a further 3,000 rapid charging devices by 2024, more than doubling the current number of rapid charging devices.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to (a) help reduce the purchase cost of electric vehicles and (b) improve the electric vehicle infrastructure.

We are investing nearly £1.5bn? between April 2015 and March 2021 to support the transition to zero emission motoring and have put in place a range of grant schemes, available in any urban or rural areas UK-wide, to support the installation of charging infrastructure. We will set out a vision by Spring 2020 for a core infrastructure network of rapid and high powered chargepoints along England’s strategic road network.

The Government has put in place various grant funding schemes to assist with the up-front cost of purchasing eligible electric vehicles. Motorists who choose to make the switch to electric also benefit from lower Vehicle Excise Duty and, from April 2020, lower company car tax rates.

As part of our consultation to bring forward the end of sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans, Government is asking for views on what measures are required to support this transition.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Government’s policy is on the use of wireless electric vehicle charging points.

The Government recognises that the wireless charging of electric vehicles is fast becoming a commercial reality, with some premium manufacturers already offering static wireless charging products.

The development of wireless charging is an exciting prospect and one the Government is planning through our R&D programme. In July last year, we announced new investment for British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure, with 12 projects set to receive almost £40 million to revolutionise the experience of owning an electric vehicle in the UK. Innovations to receive investment included electric vehicle wireless charging systems.

Investment in R&D projects like wireless charging is a key contributor to the Road to Zero Strategy and our mission to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 9654 on Large Goods Vehicles: Testing, what discussions he has had with stakeholders on privatising heavy goods vehicle testing stations.

Pursuant to the answer of 3 February, I can confirm the Secretary of State has had no discussions with stakeholders on privatising heavy goods vehicle testing stations.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2020 to Question 8236 on High Speed 2 Railway Line, what estimate he has made of the reduction in journey times between the North East and Midlands after the completion of High Speed Two.

HS2 Phase 2b would reduce journey times between the Midlands and the North East. For example, the journey time between Birmingham and Newcastle will reduce by over 50 minutes.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether an equality impact assessment will be conducted prior to any driving test centre closure.

As a public body, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is obliged to take account of its Public Sector Equality Duty when exercising its functions.

It does that now and will continue to do so in the future.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will consult (a) the devolved administrations and (b) individual local hon. Members on planned driving test centre closures.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has in place well-established criteria for the establishment of driving test centres. It will continue to work within these parameters. These do not currently involve the devolved administrations or individual Members.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to undertake a review of the status of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s Trading Fund.

The Government’s approach to public bodies’ reform includes robust tailored reviews led by Departments with Cabinet Office oversight and challenge.

A tailored review of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is in the early stages of planning. This will include consideration of the control and governance arrangements in place for the DVSA and will make recommendations for improvement. It is expected that the tailored review will include consideration of its trading fund status.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving test centres face closure; and where those test centres are located.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) puts its customers at the heart of the services it provides. The agency keeps its operational estate under continuous review to ensure it delivers the highest level of service most efficiently. If the DVSA needs to review the size of its operational estate, it will first seek ministerial agreement to do so. It will then ensure it informs staff and stakeholders, and keeps them informed while working through any change.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to privatise heavy goods vehicle testing stations.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency puts its customers at the heart of all the services it provides. The agency keeps its operational estate under continuous review to ensure it delivers the highest level of service most efficiently.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to increase driving test fees this year.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency keeps the fees it charges for all of its statutory services, including driving tests, under continuous review. Any proposals to change any fees would be subject to HM Treasury approval and public consultation.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will conduct a customer insight survey to ask if candidates would like to take their driving test from their home address.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) regularly conducts research and insight with its customers about the services it provides. That helps ensure the best possible service is provided, now and in the future. The DVSA will continue to seek customer feedback, including with driving test candidates, about how its services might be best delivered in the future.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislation proposals to give local authorities control over regional public transport similar to the remit of Transport for London.

The Government is committed to supporting places across the country to level up powers and funding to deliver improved public transport. Through devolution deals, eight ‘Metro’ mayoralties have now been established and the Government is committed to levelling-up places and striking deals with more places.

The Government will be publishing an English Devolution White Paper as a key part of our strategy to unleash the potential of our regions, which will include plans for expanding devolution across England and levelling up powers between Mayoral Combined Authorities.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Government will undertake a review of transport infrastructure to identify schemes with the aim of improving (a) regional connectivity, (b) economic performance and (c) employment opportunities in (i) the North East and (ii) Easington constituency.

The Government is committed to improving transport infrastructure across the North and is investing £13bn to 2020, including £337m towards the replacement of Tyne and Wear Metro rolling stock and £7.7m towards the £10.4m cost of the new station at Horden. The Transforming Cities Fund is also providing £2.5 billion investment to drive up productivity and improve access to good jobs. Decisions on the North East’s bid to the TCF will be taken in the Spring.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the economic effect of High Speed Two on people living in Easington constituency.

HS2 as planned has the potential to unlock significant investment in North East England. The project will integrate with Northern Powerhouse Rail and local transport, and will help to relieve congestion, improve reliability and speed up journey times between the North East with the Midlands and South.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of High Speed Two on economic inequality.

In August 2019 the Government commissioned the independent Oakervee Review to provide advice on whether and how to proceed with HS2. The Government will set out its next steps on HS2 shortly including, if appropriate, a revised assessment of the scheme’s business case.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to finding by Highways England in the report entitled Stationary Vehicle Detection, published in March 2016, what steps he has taken to ensure the safety of users of Smart motorways.

The Secretary of State for Transport announced in October an evidence stocktake to gather the facts on the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. That work is being undertaken at pace.

While I wouldn’t want to pre-judge the results of that work, which we will be publishing very soon, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will increase the frequency of emergency refuge areas on Smart motorways.

The Secretary of State for Transport announced in October an evidence stocktake to gather the facts on the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. That work is being undertaken at pace.

While I wouldn’t want to pre-judge the results of that work, which we will be publishing very soon, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of Smart motorways on trends in the number of fatal motorway accidents on those motorways.

The Secretary of State for Transport announced in October an evidence stocktake to gather the facts on the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. That work is being undertaken at pace.

While I wouldn’t want to pre-judge the results of that work, which we will be publishing very soon, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward proposals to extend Tyne and Wear Metro Services into Easington constituency.

I am aware that Nexus have identified several possible extensions to the Tyne and Wear Metro system. As this is a locally managed system, it would be for Nexus to identify which of these would be the most effective and to develop a business case and seek funding accordingly.

The Government is committed to improving local transport. We will create a £4.2 billion Local Public Transport Fund so city regions can upgrade their bus, train and tram services to make them as good as London’s – with more frequent, modern and environmentally friendly services.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

The Department works closely in discussion with its Arms Length Bodies and facility management contractor to ensure value for money when delivering facility management services. Any increase to the minimum hourly rate set by Government entitles this contractor to pass on its increased costs under the current contract.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward proposals to increase the levels of funding allocated to roads in the English regions to similar levels to those allocated to roads in London.

The responsibility for local highways maintenance in London is a devolved matter and therefore falls to Transport for London (TfL) and the London boroughs.

The Government is providing local highways authorities in England (outside of London) over £6.6 billion between 2015 and 2020 for local highways maintenance. Every local highway authority in England (outside London) receives maintenance funding based on a formula that considers local factors such as road length, bridges, and street lighting. Highways authorities are able to prioritise their spending as they wish in order to meet local needs.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will introduce a system of universal credit direct payments to landlords in the event that a tenant on universal credit fails to make rent payments.

A managed payment direct to landlords is already available for claimants who have accrued one month or more rent arrears over more than two months, when it is in their best interest.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit are pending a decision.

Due to COVID-19, since March face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits have been suspended, however we have now begun paper-based assessments for certain prescribed diseases for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). For successful applications to IIDB, award payments will be backdated to the date of application to ensure claimants will not lose out on payments they are entitled to. Reassessment case awards have been extended to ensure that payments continue unhindered on those cases. Any deteriorations which would have meant an increase in award, will be backdated once face-to-face assessments recommence, to ensure no one is left out of pocket.

On 15 March 2021 there were around 6090 Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit claims outstanding.

Source: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Management Information

  1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  2. Please note that the figures supplied are derived from unpublished information and have not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. They should therefore be treated with caution.
Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will routinely provide industrial injuries disablement benefit claimants with details of the medical qualifications of the healthcare professionals conducting their medical assessment.

IIDB assessments are conducted by Registered Medical Practitioners (doctors) who undertake a training course with examination followed by a period of supervised sessions with an experienced mentor and then 100% audit of their work prior to formal approval by DWP to carry out assessments.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that healthcare professionals conducting medical assessments for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit have (a) adequate medical qualifications and (b) experience in the field that relates to a claimant's conditions.

IIDB assessments are conducted by Registered Medical Practitioners (doctors) who undertake a training course with examination followed by a period of supervised sessions with an experienced mentor and then 100% audit of their work prior to formal approval by DWP to carry out assessments.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new claims for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit have been determined in the last 12 months.

The Department publishes quarterly statistics on claims and assessments under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme in Great Britain here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefit-quarterly-statistics

Statistics for IIDB decisions made in each quarter are available in table 2.4 of each quarterly publication, with the latest available to June 2020.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on pension rights for (a) new and (b) existing workers employed within a freeport.

Freeports do not change the existing laws on occupational pensions and automatic enrolment.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve communication and partnership working between the universal credit system and landlords and letting agents when there are concerns about a claimants' tenancy.

We provide clear routeways for Landlords to raise general queries or concerns about individual cases, for example, through our Partnership Manager network.

In May 2020 we introduced a new online system for private landlords to enable better interaction with Universal Credit. Private landlords are now able to request a Universal Credit tenant’s rent is paid directly to them online, which helps claimants who struggle with managing their money to pay their rent. This system replaces the arrangement of completing a form and submitting it via email or post.

This approach mirrors that used by Social Rented Sector (SRS) landlords, who have been able to request direct payment of housing support using the Social Rented Sector Landlord Portal since December 2019. The portal continues to be used by over 700 Social landlords to support the administration of SRS housing costs, and has been vital in helping landlords respond to the challenges of COVID-19. We are continuing to work with landlords to develop improvements to the portal and use their feedback to influence the features we release for the Portal.

Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) are available for those claimants who cannot manage their single monthly payment and there is a risk of financial harm to the claimant and/or their family. APAs may be considered at the outset of a claim by a work coach or case manager, or at any time during the claim, such as if the claimant is struggling with the single monthly payment. They can also be triggered by information received from the claimant, their representative or their landlord.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to increase uptake of pension credit; and if she will put in place a strategy to achieve full uptake of that benefit.

While over 1.5 million pensioners currently receive Pension Credit, the Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. That is why in February this year we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit and help dispel some of the misconceptions that people might have about Pension Credit eligibility. We wanted to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit. We also wanted to highlight that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax reduction schemes, heating costs and for those aged 75 or over a free television licence.

We are also continuing to work with our stakeholders to help spread the key messages from the campaign because we know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted stakeholders working in the community. Our online Pension Credit toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit) has been updated with the recent awareness campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and information designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

In May this year we launched an online claim service for Pension Credit to supplement the existing telephone and postal claim services (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit). The new online service enables pensioners to apply for Pension Credit at a time that suits them. Around 50% of new claims to Pension Credit are currently being made using the service and more than 34,000 online claims have been made since it was launched. https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to permit the direct payment of rent to landlords at any point during a universal credit claim to support the budget management of claimants.

Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs), such as a Managed Payment to Landlord (MPtL), are already available to enable the housing costs element to be paid directly to the landlord if the tenant is likely to have difficulty in managing their rent payments or is in rent arrears. APAs can be considered at any point during a claim to Universal Credit and the decision to implement one is assessed on a case by case basis.

Our Work Coaches and Case Managers gauge claimants’ financial needs from their first interview. For those who need help with budgeting, we can signpost additional support, for example through the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), who can help with personal budgeting and money management through its free helpline, printed guides and digital guidance.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to help minimise the number of evictions of people in receipt of universal credit as a result of rent arrears.

Claimants may find themselves in rent arrears for a variety of reasons, many of which can pre-date their claim to Universal Credit. The Department encourages people out of work, or on a low income, to consider whether claiming Universal Credit could provide them with additional support before issues, such as debt, spiral out of control. We promote Universal Credit through various external channels, including through the ‘Understanding Universal Credit’ website, to help people navigate the range of support available and provide information about how to apply.

Our own analysis shows that Universal Credit in fact reduces debts, such as rent arrears. Supporting research carried out by the National Federation of Arm's-length Management Organisations (ALMOs), shows over three quarters of their tenants come onto Universal Credit with pre-existing rent arrears. It also shows that arrears tend to increase prior to making a claim for Universal Credit, and that Universal Credit actually appears to be helping to clear arrears over time.

Recent changes to Universal Credit include temporarily increasing the standard allowance by up to £1,040 per year and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates, including the Shared Accommodation element, so that it covers the lowest 30% of local market rents benefiting over one million households by £600 a year on average. These measures form part of an unprecedented increase to welfare spending of £9.3 billion following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Department has also delivered a number of improvements to support claimants during their first assessment period, such as removing waiting days and paying those claimants moving from Housing Benefit on to Universal Credit a two week ‘transitional housing payment’. Since July 2020, an additional two-week run has been introduced to assist eligible claimants moving from Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (IR) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB). Advance payments are available so nobody has to wait five weeks for payment.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a health and safety committee will be formed for the Benton Park site, where a request has been made under Regulation 9 of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 by two safety representatives.

The Department for Work and Pensions is fully committed to its collaborative approach with Trade Union representatives and to meeting Health and Safety legislative requirements; as such it has a full Safety Committee Structure in place that includes the provision for such a meeting to be held in relation to the Benton Park site, and does so.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with trade unions on the reopening of job centres in (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales.

Jobcentres have remained open to support our most vulnerable claimants throughout this pandemic, providing a service, in accordance with PHE and Devolved Government guidelines on social distancing, to vulnerable claimants unable to access our services through digital/telephony channels.

We are currently completing a programme of implementing safety measures, including provision of screens and signage, across our Jobcentres allowing us to extend our face to face service. We remain open for those who need us but will continue to minimise the requirement for customers to travel to our Jobcentres, conducting the majority of interactions digitally or by phone.

The department has widely discussed plans to extend our face to face service with Trade Union at National, Regional and local levels

We have been in regular dialogue with the unions on the reopening of Jobcentres nationally over the last few weeks. We held a meeting with DTUS on plans for Scotland on Monday 13th July. This was at short notice in response to TU concerns that this was being pursued without proper consultation.

We then wrote to DTUS on 15th July with further detail on planning for the roll-out in both Scotland and Wales. We continue to meet with DTUS twice weekly so there is a regular opportunity for further discussion where needed.

Please note that the DWP is only responsible for benefits in Great Britain. Social security benefits are a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Questions about benefits in Northern Ireland should be directed to the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the job finding support service referred to in paragraph 2.19 of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, published on 8 July 2020, will be provided by (a) current work coaches or (b) put out to tender.

The Department for Work and Pensions plans to carry out a commercial exercise, compliant with public procurement regulations. More details will be announced in due course.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the (a) duration and (b) delivery method of training for new work coaches will be as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

DWP is committed to providing new Work Coaches with the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours to be able to provide a high quality service to our claimants.

The current methodology follows a learn, consolidate, learn approach through virtual classroom delivery by learning development officers, followed by consolidation in the live working environment.

The end to end Work Coach learning journey is 52 days, consisting of 32 days in virtual in class learning, delivered over 5 parts, with 20 days’ consolidation with the business split between each in class period.

We are though reviewing our learning approach for Work Coaches through the summer to see if there are alternative approaches that could enhance the learning.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether contracts for new work coaches in her Department will be (a) full-time or part-time and (b) short-term or permanent.

DWP will offer Work Coach roles on both a full-time and part-time basis, in line with the DWP flexible working policy.

Recruitment will be a blend of permanent roles, and fixed term appointments.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward proposals to increase financial support for key workers who need to self-isolate due to showing covid-19 symptoms.

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by COVID 19, DWP has made a number of changes to make sure people can self-isolate, and to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system.

  • We have introduced new provisions making Statutory Sick Pay payable from day 1 – as opposed to day 4 – where an eligible individual is sick, self-isolating or shielding (in England and Wales).
  • If their income is reduced while sick or self-isolating and they require further financial support, individuals may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their individual circumstances.

We have increased the Universal Credit standard allowance by £20 per week for the next 12 months – up to £1,040 this year. This is in addition to the 1.7% inflation increase (announced Nov 2019) as part of the Government’s decision to end the benefits freeze and means more financial support for millions of people across the UK.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
What recent discussions she has had with the Health and Safety Executive on ensuring that workplaces are safe to return to after the covid-19 lockdown has ended.

HSE are working across Government and both the Secretary of State and I have had regular meetings with senior officials from the HSE to assess the ways in which the Department can support the important work HSE is doing in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will extend deadlines for social security claimants to (a) ensure that claims are not stopped during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) ease the pressure on the NHS from claimants seeking evidence to support claims.

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, DWP is making a number of changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have appropriate access to the welfare system. This includes claimants being able to claim Universal Credit and access its new claim advance payments where they are directly affected by COVID-19 (or self-isolating), without the requirement to attend a Jobcentre. Any evidence to support claims can be provided remotely, normally online or by telephone.

To avoid increasing the burden on health care professionals and the risk of further infection, everyone that claims Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC, and who is infected with COVID-19 or who is required to self-isolate, will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without supplying medical evidence or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment.

In addition, to better support the needs of people (particularly the self-employed and those not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay) and/or not entitled to UC, we are removing the seven waiting days that currently apply to ESA. This means that everyone who makes a new claim for ESA is entitled to the benefit, and is infected with COVID-19 or required to self-isolate, will be paid from day one of their claim.

Government officials continue to work closely together to understand the potential impacts of COVID-19 on employment and benefits. The Department has introduced new guidance about claiming benefits which can be found at: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will introduce a target for the uptake of pension credit to help ensure that all pensioners eligible to claim pension credit receive it.

It is important to highlight that in 2017/18 there were around 1.7 million Pension Credit claimants, receiving around £5.1 billion of Pension Credit payments.

The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. That is why on the 10 February we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit. The aim of the campaign is to encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. We want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit; as well as explaining that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax reduction schemes and heating costs.

The campaign includes a short, animated video that is being shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It is also being shown to Facebook users over State Pension age and supported by other messaging on social media. We have also made the video and campaign materials available for stakeholders to use, as we know they are often one of the first places people turn to for information about Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of eligible pensioners in (a) Easington constituency and (b) the UK not in receipt of pension credit.

It is important to highlight that in 2017/18 there were around 1.7 million Pension Credit claimants, amounting to around £5.1 billion of Pension Credit payments. The Government is committed to making sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled.

The information requested on the number of people eligible for Pension Credit who are not in receipt of the benefit in (a) Easington Constituency and (b) the UK, is only available at the Great Britain level. The most recent estimate of this is for the period of 2017/18.

Year

Estimated number of Entitled Non-Recipients in Thousands

Range in Thousands

2017/18

1,060

970 - 1,150

Official statistics on the take-up of income-related benefits at Great Britain level, including Pension Credit, can be found in the ‘Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up in 2017 to 2018’ publication.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2017-to-2018

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will commission television advertising to promote the Pension Credit: Are You Eligible? public information promotional video.

It is important to highlight that in 2017/18 there were around 1.7 million Pension Credit claimants, receiving around £5.1 billion of Pension Credit payments.

The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. That is why on the 10 February we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit. The aim of the campaign is to encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. We want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit; as well as explaining that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax reduction schemes and heating costs.

The campaign includes a short, animated video that is being shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It is also being shown to Facebook users over State Pension age and supported by other messaging on social media. We have also made the video and campaign materials available for stakeholders to use, as we know they are often one of the first places people turn to for information about Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average cost to her Department is of processing a universal credit claim for a single one month assessment period.

The information is not held.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will introduce a target to (a) reduce child poverty to four million children by 2021, (b) reduce child poverty to two million children by 2025 and (c) eradicate child poverty by 2030.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave on 27 January to question number 6646.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-01-22/6646/

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals for the introduction of statutory targets to (a) reduce and (b) end child poverty.

The Government is committed to action that delivers a sustainable long-term solution to child poverty, including reforming the benefits system so that it supports employment and higher pay. Universal Credit is designed to help people move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings and, when fully rolled out, we expect Universal Credit will boost employment by 200,000, lifting people out of poverty and generating £8 billion in economic benefits every year.

The child poverty targets introduced in 2010 were replaced with two statutory measures of parental employment and children’s educational attainment, the two areas which can make the biggest difference to children’s long-term outcomes. We have no current plans to reintroduce a target-based approach that focuses on income alone.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children in poverty lived in working households in each of the last five years.

National statistics of the number of children in low income households are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication.

Statistics for the number of children in working households in absolute low income, in each of the last five years, are available by combining tables 4.21ts and 4.2ts in the file “children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2017-18-tables” available in the link below.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/789816/hbai-2017-2018-tables-ods-files.zip

Statistics for the number of children in working households in relative low income, in each of the last five years, are available by combining tables 4.15ts and 4.2ts in the same file.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions she is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for her Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to her Department.

The DWP FM contract includes provision to discuss living wage increases, however the Department has not yet entered into discussions with its FM Supplier about the National Living Wage increases announced in December 2019. We are anticipating the conversation for 19/20 costs to take place in April 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of staff in her Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

The below figures show the proportion of DWP staff that would receive an increase in their annual salary, using the statutory National Living Wage calculation, in the event that their hourly pay increased to (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10. DWP pays all staff at least the National Living Wage, regardless of age.

Hourly rate

Full time equivalent salary

Volume of DWP employees that would be uplifted

% of DWP headcount

£8.72

£19,118

1915

2.44%

£9.30

£20,390

6236

7.95%

£10

£21,924

26670

34.01%

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will set a target date for eradicating child poverty in Easington constituency.

This Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty in all its forms. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond targets - which focus on income alone- to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, published in 2017, we set out detailed evidence on the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and their impact on the outcomes of children in families where none of the parents is working. We also set out nine indicators to track progress in the areas that matter, including two statutory measures of parental worklessness and educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference to children’s outcomes.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/621364/improving-lives-helping-workless-families-web-version.pdf.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking with the Secretary of State for Education to (a) identify and (b) tackle the causes of child poverty in Easington constituency.

This Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty in all its forms. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond targets - which focus on income alone- to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, published in 2017, we set out detailed evidence on the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and their impact on the outcomes of children in families where none of the parents is working. We also set out nine indicators to track progress in the areas that matter, including two statutory measures of parental worklessness and educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference to children’s outcomes.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/621364/improving-lives-helping-workless-families-web-version.pdf.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the period available to local authorities to apply for the additional drug treatment crime and harm reduction activity grants announced on 20 January 2021.

No such assessment has been made. The Department has been allocated £80 million of additional funding for drug treatment for 2021/22 as part of the £148 million drugs and crime package. Public Health England have provided local authorities with information and guidance to support them with their applications.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to vaccinate people who live with people diagnosed as (a) clinically and (b) clinically extremely vulnerable.

Included in priority cohort six are those classed as clinically vulnerable, as well as adult carers and younger adults in long stay residential care settings. This also includes unpaid carers.

Consideration has been given to vaccination of household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. However, whilst initial findings are positive, there is insufficient data on the impact the vaccines have on transmission to extend prioritisation to wider family members and household contact at this stage. Once sufficient evidence become available the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will consider next steps.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines for the immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, including blood cancer patients.

Public Health England is monitoring the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on a broad range of outcomes including symptomatic disease, infection and hospitalisations.

Vaccine effectiveness assessments are reported regularly to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to inform vaccine policy recommendations. This includes assessment of vaccine effectiveness in immunocompromised individuals, including blood cancer patients, using general practice electronic health record data. Once sufficient evidence becomes available the JCVI will consider options for a protection strategy for immunosuppressed individuals, including whether any specific vaccine is preferred in this population.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will provide additional funding for research projects investigating the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines for blood cancer patients.

There is a breadth of research activity being undertaken, including by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to better understand the effects of COVID-19 vaccination on individuals that are immunocompromised, including those with blood cancers. Specifically, as part of the National Core Studies Immunity Programme, UKRI has provided initial funding of £1.8 million towards the OCTAVE study looking at vaccine responses in groups of immune suppressed individuals, including in cancer and blood cancer patients.

UKRI is also supporting the Data and Connectivity National Core Studies programme with an investment of up to £8.2 million to date to enable the real-world evaluation of vaccine uptake and efficacy across all populations, including cancer patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have to lead on an engagement exercise on the Innovative Medicines Fund.

Proposals for the Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and we expect NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to lead an engagement exercise early this year. The exercise will involve the pharmaceutical industry, the National Health Service, its associated bodies and patient groups.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward policy proposals to prioritise operations for people at risk of losing their employment on health grounds as a result of delays in receiving medical care during the covid-19 outbreak.

Treatment is prioritised based first on clinical need and then on the length of time that a patient has been waiting. There are no plans at this time to prioritise operations for people at risk of losing their employment on health grounds.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will prioritise (a) bus, (b) train and (c) taxi drivers for receipt of the covid-19 vaccine.

For Phase 2 of the COVID 19 vaccination programme, JCVI published its interim advice on 26 February, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, rather than by occupation. This is because age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations, and because the speed of delivery is crucial as we provide more people with protection from COVID-19.

If bus, train or taxi drivers are captured in Phase 1 or 2 due to age or clinical need, then they will be vaccinated accordingly. However, there are currently no plans to vaccinate by occupation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking support the (a) Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Authority and (b) other relevant regulatory authorities in the (i) EU and (ii) US to collaborate with those developing New Approach Methodologies in support of decisions on (A) the progression of drugs into clinical trials, (B) drug licensing and labelling and (c) providing evidence demonstrating the scientific validity and human clinical relevance of NAM data to regulatory scientists.

The Government encourages the development of in vitro methods in place of animal testing and the development and use of new tests and alternative methods to the use of animal tests.

In accordance the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, the principle of the ‘3Rs’ - Replacement, Refinement and Reduction - needs to be considered when selecting testing approaches to be used for regulatory testing of human and veterinary medicinal products. The challenge to academia, industry and regulatory scientists is to remain focused on designing nonclinical studies in relevant models, including New Approach Methodologies (NAM), to answer specific questions in time to support clinical decision making and communication of potential risks.

Maintaining effective dialogue among scientists in academia, industry and regulatory agencies during model development, qualification and validation will be essential to address this challenge. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency works closely with the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research and other regulatory agencies to identify opportunities for the ‘3Rs’.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the holding Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 133784, for what reason the information requested relating to Nightingale Hospitals is not readily available to Departments to provide a timely response to Named Day Questions.

We are working rapidly to provide all hon. Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 133784 of 26 January 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what role community pharmacies will have in the delivery of the covid-19 vaccine.

Community pharmacies will play a major role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Since 11 January 2021, some community pharmacies have started to offer the COVID-19 vaccination service, with more pharmacies joining the service over the coming weeks.

Some pharmacists and members of their team have been working with general practitioners to deliver the vaccine in many areas of the country as part of the Primary Care Network service.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the community pharmacy representative bodies will be working together to establish how community pharmacies’ role could be expanded further in the vaccination programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the care and nursing home residents and staff in the Easington constituency will begin to receive the covid-19 vaccine.

Across the United Kingdom, including Easington, vaccines have been delivered directly to care homes since December 2020. Some 10,321 homes, amounting to 98% of homes with older residents have now offered the vaccine.

In the North East and Yorkshire, 94% of residents of older adult care homes who have not had COVID-19 in last 28 days have been vaccinated. This data is not available at constituency level.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in the Easington constituency had received a covid-19 vaccine by 6 January 2021.

Since 24 December 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published weekly United Kingdom-wide vaccination data. In January 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement began to publish daily statistics by age and region, with more detailed information provided weekly, including the overall number of people who have been vaccinated by dose, those aged 80 years old and above and location.

Vaccination data is currently available at a national and regional level by sustainability and transformation partnership and integrated care system.

As more reliable data become available, it is expected to be published.

Further data is available at the following links:

www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-monitoring-reports

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many beds there are in Nightingale Hospitals; and what proportion of those beds have been occupied in each week in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Nightingale hospitals are activated based on local clinical decisions in response to patient demand. The National Health Service will flex Nightingale capacity to address demand as has been done throughout the pandemic.

As at week commencing 18 January 2021, the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter is providing inpatient services to COVID-19 patients from 48 beds. The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West and the NHS Nightingale Hospital London are providing ‘step-down’ care to non-COVID-19 patients and provide 36 and 64 beds respectively. Other Nightingale sites at Harrogate and Bristol are supporting NHS elective and diagnostic services but are not providing inpatient services.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons covid-19 vaccine appointments are being cancelled in the Easington constituency.

We are unaware of any specific local issues in Easington regarding vaccine appointments, although it is recognised that something the size of the National Health Service vaccination programme will inevitably experience occasional logistical challenges.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the data his Department holds on the number of covid-19 vaccines administered by region.

Since 20 December, weekly data for vaccinations by region has been published at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS press notice, entitled Convenient modern cancer treatment for patients during covid-19 pandemic, 11 June 2020, if new funding is being made available to accelerate the roll-out of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in order for it to be delivered by April 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Government and NHS England and NHS Improvement are committed to expanding the provision and use of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) and has put in place a comprehensive support package to enable trusts to achieve this, including centrally funded access to both the national quality assurance programme and experienced mentors.

The expansion of SABR across the National Health Service is expected to require an investment of around £13 million and NHS England and NHS Improvement have made this available. Our aim is to ensure that by April every part of the country will be offering SABR treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and those with lung, lymph nodes and non-spine bone oligometastatic disease, in radiotherapy units nationwide. Further rollout for other disease types is planned for 2021/22.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has allocated for rollout of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR); and what the planned timescale is for the rollout of SABR.

The Government and NHS England and NHS Improvement are committed to expanding the provision and use of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) and has put in place a comprehensive support package to enable trusts to achieve this, including centrally funded access to both the national quality assurance programme and experienced mentors.

The expansion of SABR across the National Health Service is expected to require an investment of around £13 million and NHS England and NHS Improvement have made this available. Our aim is to ensure that by April every part of the country will be offering SABR treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and those with lung, lymph nodes and non-spine bone oligometastatic disease, in radiotherapy units nationwide. Further rollout for other disease types is planned for 2021/22.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2020 to Question 92759 and with reference to the Spending Review 2020, what funding will be allocated for the replacement of NHS linear accelerator radiotherapy machines.

Following the outcome of Spending Round 2020, spending plans for individual budgets in 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a proportion of the Spending Review 2020 commitments of (a) £1.5 billion allocated to ease existing pressures in the NHS caused by the covid-19 outbreak and (b) £559 million to support the modernisation of technology across the health and care system will be allocated to upgrade radiotherapy machines that are over 10 years old.

Following the outcome of Spending Round 2020, spending plans for individual budgets in 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to identify high risk and vulnerable groups in the community to ensure a quick and effective roll-out of a covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

The Government has now accepted the recommendations from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise three COVID-19 vaccines for use from Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford University/AstraZeneca, and Moderna. This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that all three vaccines met its strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. For the first phase, the JVCI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors. Included in this are those with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take in response to the Office for National Statistics report, Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2019 registrations, published on 14 October 2020.

The Office of National Statistics report shows the number of deaths due to drug poisoning registered in 2019 remains at a similar level to 2018. However, since 2012, we have seen an increase in the number of drug-related deaths many of which are preventable. We are committed to reducing drug misuse and the harms it causes.

The second phase of Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs was announced on 27 February 2020 and is focussing on treatment and recovery services. Drug treatment services reduce harm and help thousands of people to recover every year. Everyone who needs it must be able to get the treatment they need, which we know saves lives. The Review findings will feed into wider Government work to tackle harms, including the rising number of deaths caused by substance misuse. The final report will be made available to Ministers later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the rate of cocaine-related deaths among (a) women and (b) men.

The Office of National Statistics report ‘Deaths related to drugs poisoning in England and Wales: 2019 registrations’ shows that cocaine deaths have risen for the eighth consecutive year to their highest level, with the male death rate in 2019 being nearly four times higher than the female death rate. The second phase of Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs is focussing on treatment and recovery services, for the misuse of cocaine and other drugs, and the final report will be made available to Ministers later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the estimate in Macmillan Cancer Support's report entitled The Forgotten C, published in October 2020 that it could take (a) 20 months to tackle the cancer diagnosis backlog and (b) 17 months to tackle the starting first cancer treatment backlog in England.

The estimates in the Macmillan report, ‘The Forgotten C’ are not recognised by the Department or NHS England and NHS Improvement.

In the latest cancer waiting times data for September 2020, urgent referrals were at more than 100% of 2019 levels, and over 45,000 people received a cancer treatment – 96% of last year’s levels. Across the period from March to September 2020, over 291,000 cancer treatments were carried out - 86% of the level in 2019.

In September 2020, 94.5% of patients with a decision to treat a first treatment of cancer received treatment within 31 days.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England’s most recent Radiotherapy Dataset, how many cancer patients have had their radiotherapy treatment (a) delayed, (b) modified or (c) cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many patients are in the cancer treatment backlog.

The Radiotherapy Dataset does not collect data on delayed or cancelled radiotherapy treatments relating to COVID-19 or have a count of patients who may be in a cancer treatment backlog.

From the data for the week commencing 25 May 2020 the proportion of breast radiotherapy being delivered as part of a shorter course was 65% (346 episodes). This compares to less than 1% (less than two episodes on average) for each week up to the week commencing 16 March 2020, just prior to the national lockdown. Data analysing changes in treatment dose and duration are not available for any other cancer tumour types.

Data on the number of patients in the cancer treatment backlog is not available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what clinical information his Department uses to inform policy on tackling the backlog of cancer treatments.

NHS England and NHS Improvement use a variety of data sources to focus improvement action on the right areas of the pathway. This data includes published cancer waiting times data giving the official month by month figures on activity, referrals and waiting times, as well as management information which can give a week to week view of activity and the current scale of the waiting list.

Sources of data such as Hospital Episode Statistics and, the timelier but less robust, secondary uses service are used where finer detail on specific treatments or services are available, alongside specific sources of information such as the Radiotherapy Dataset or the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset where appropriate.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will bring forward legislative proposals to allow relatives to be designated as unpaid keyworkers to access care homes and help provide care for care home residents in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 16 November, we began a trial of testing visitors to care homes. Testing is one way of minimising the risk of visiting a care home. If a visitor has a negative test, is wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, and following other infection control measures then our guidance advises that visitors can to provide personal care and have physical contact with their loved one, such as holding hands.

We want to bring an end to the pain of separation and help care homes bring families and loved ones together. The launch of visitor testing is a crucial step to making that happen. We aim to rollout visitor testing nationwide by Christmas.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2020 to Question 94389 on Coronavirus: Protective Clothing, what steps business and public transport operators should take to ensure people required to wear facemasks do so to safeguard the public and employees.

From 28 September, it became a legal requirement for those sectors where face coverings are required, to display signage or to verbally remind customers and employees, who have a legal obligation to do so, to wear a face covering when on their premises.

While the Government expects the vast majority of people will comply with the rules, as they have done throughout the pandemic, Regulations have been made under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 to give powers to the police and Transport for London officers to enforce the requirement to wear a face covering. Enforcing officers have the ability to issue Fixed Penalty Notices but will use the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing, only issuing a fine as a last resort.

Advice on face coverings follows advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. We are committed to following the evidence and will keep reviewing evidence from around the world and update our position as and when we need to.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons wet only pubs are required to close in a tier-three covid-19 lockdown while pubs serving food are allowed to remain open.

In areas when the local COVID-19 alert level is very high pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

There are higher environmental risks in hospitality settings when compared with other indoor settings. This is due to the close proximity of other people, relatively long periods of time spent on a visit, and loud atmospheres leading to louder talking and shouting and sometimes, poor ventilation. Additionally, the consumption of alcohol can impact on people’s behaviour and make it less likely that they comply with social distancing measures.

By limiting the amount of time people spend in hospitality we reduce the risks. And by ensuring that people are eating and are not attending a venue solely to drink alcohol we reduce the risks posed by falling inhibitions and failure to comply with social distancing measures.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have successfully accessed the £500 self-isolation payment; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of people who are eligible to receive that payment who have received it.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will answer Question 81804, tabled on 28 August 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him to Question 81804 on 9 October.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will answer Question 89678.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 66018 and 89678 of 9 and 10 November respectively.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will plans to respond to Question 66018, tabled on 29 June 2020 by the hon. Member for Easington.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 66018 and 89678 of 9 and 10 November respectively.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to renew funding from the public purse for the Veterans Hearing Fund.

The Government does not currently have any plans to renew the funding for the Veterans Hearing Fund.

The Fund, which was financed by Libor fines, has now closed. It was established to provide additional hearing support to veterans with noise-induced hearing loss and was exclusively for items not supplied by statutory services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the renewal of Government funding for the Veterans Hearing Fund.

The Government does not currently have any plans to renew the funding for the Veterans Hearing Fund.

The Fund, which was financed by Libor fines, has now closed. It was established to provide additional hearing support to veterans with noise-induced hearing loss and was exclusively for items not supplied by statutory services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he made an assessment of the potential merits of awarding covid-19 test, track and trace contracts to local authorities before he awarded them to private sector companies.

We encourage all suppliers of goods and services to express an interest in Test and Trace work whether local authorities, the private sector or an individual. Test and Trace are continuing to increase market engagement as part of specifying and sourcing all goods and services, including engagement with local authorities.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will (a) commission and (b) resource local authorities to conduct covid -19 test, track and trace programmes.

The Government wants as many people as possible to live their lives as close to normally as possible, in a way which is as fair and as safe as possible. In order to achieve this, we need both national and local support for communities.

We have given local authorities powers to act quickly in response to local outbreaks and the ability to take enforcement measures if necessary. Local authorities and Directors of Public Health have postcode level data on people who have tested positive in their areas to help in detecting a rise in cases, clusters or outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people waiting for cancer treatment whose (a) diagnosis and (b) screening were delayed during the covid-19 outbreak.

In the five months of published data covering the pandemic period, March – July 2020, cancer treatments were carried out at 82% of the level over the same period last year. Treatment activity has also been affected by the drop in urgent referrals; this is now on the rise and in July 2020 were at 81% of the level in July 2019.

At the end of August, the number of people waiting longer than 62 days following an urgent referral had fallen by 39% from its peak near the end of May.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introduce a national exemption card for people unable to wear a face-covering on public transport and enclosed spaces.

Our guidance published online is clear that there are exemptions where people do not need to wear face coverings. We are also clear that people do not need to prove they are exempt and they should not be challenged about this.

If someone is more comfortable showing they are exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering, they are able to use some form of optional visual cue. Different options are available on GOV.UK (including printable templates and a template for mobile telephones), on charity and organisations websites, or could be hand-made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure access to routine healthcare and dental treatment during a second wave of covid-19.

At the height of the pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement set up urgent dental care centres (UDCs) to provide clinically necessary urgent treatment to patients. Over 600 UDCs remain open to ensure that dental treatment needed urgently can be accessed while practices make sure their own expansion of services is done as safely as possible. Routine face-to-face National Health Service dental services resumed from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service whilst taking into account infection control procedures and personal protective equipment requirements.

Our focus is on accelerating the return of all non-COVID-19 health services, including routine treatments, to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance against further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase capacity in radiotherapy services to help reduce the number of cancer patients awaiting treatment as a result of backlogs accrued during the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 pandemic radiotherapy service provision has continued.

Recovery is now underway across the National Health Service – the focus for radiotherapy will be on embedding the use of hypo-fractionated (fewer fraction) treatments.

As part of the wider NHS recovery programme, local systems will need to determine how best to restore services and then reduce waiting lists. This will, in some areas, include the use of the independent sector.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the funding allocations for the replacement of NHS linear accelerator radiotherapy machines (a) was for the financial year 2019-20 and (b) is for the financial year (i) 2021-22 and (ii) 2022-23.

Future National Health Service capital funding will be determined as part of the Department’s multi-year settlement at the next Spending Review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much additional funding he has made available for (a) cancer drugs, (b) chemotherapy and (c) radiotherapy to help cancer services return to pre-covid-19 levels.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement have ensured that National Health Service providers have sufficient funding for all services, including cancer, offering a guaranteed minimum level of income. In addition, recommendations have been made about expanding the list of COVID-19-friendly cancer treatments and extending the period of access until the end of this financial year, which the NHS has agreed to fund and is expected to cost in the region of £100 million.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria must be met for the Government to review its policy on mandatory face coverings in enclosed spaces.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 set out that a review of these requirements must take place within six months to ensure they continue to be necessary to prevent, protect against, control or provide a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection in England. These Regulations will expire after 12 months.

United Kingdom advice on face covering follows advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. As always we are committed to following the evidence and will keep reviewing evidence from around the world and update our position as and when we need to.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to introduce an annual mental health assessment for veterans for three years following discharge.

Currently, the Government has no plans to introduce an annual mental health assessment for veterans three years after discharge.

In England, veterans are not only able to access mainstream National Health Service provided mental health services, they have access to several bespoke services NHS England and NHS Improvement have put in place. This includes the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service which offers an in-reach mental health service for those in transition, leading up to, and leaving the Armed Forces

This service is in addition to the Complex Treatment Service and the forthcoming Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service which will provide crisis care and therapeutic inpatient support for those who need urgent and emergency care.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to widen access to NHS patient transport in County Durham.

On 27 March the National Health Service released a guidance to reflect changes in patient transport services during the COVID-19 response. As the NHS returns to a business as usual position further amendments to the guidance have been made and are due to be published shortly. On 31 July 2020, the NHS released a letter which outlined Phase 3 of the response to the pandemic and stated that the national alert level has dropped down to level 3. As a result, the North East Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust reopened its booking centre on 17 August 2020, enabling patients, general practitioners and trusts to make Patient Transport Service bookings for their travel requirements. All patients who require patient transport are now able to travel and are assessed for eligibility based on their mobility and other available alternatives open to them (such as friends and family).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish cancer waiting time statistics on (a) urgent two week wait referrals and (b) the 62 day wait for first treatment for the last (i) six months, (ii) 12 months and (iii) 24 months, by age.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of clinical trials involving 13 to 24 year olds with cancer that have been disrupted or abandoned as a direct result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network reports that its portfolio of studies is not consistently coded with specific age ranges, and thus the information requested is not directly available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report by the Teenage Cancer Trust entitled Cancer x Coronavirus: The Impact on young people.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a number of commitments for improving the outcomes and experience of children, teenagers and young adults with cancer.

The revised service specifications outline how NHS England plans to deliver these commitments which includes implementing networked care, simplifying pathways and transitions between services, ensuring that every patient has access to specialist care and by increasing participation in clinical research.

It is expected that each network will agree the configuration of services within the first 12 months of publication.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 51868 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the cost to the public purse is of contracts awarded to commercial organisations to carry out covid-19 testing.

The Government has established a multitude of partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to deliver its testing programme and many of the contracts span multiple activities.

It would be unfeasible to detail each individually and many are subject to confidential commercial agreements that would preclude the department from disclosing them publicly.

The Department plans to make all contracts it enters into available on GOV.UK via the contractor finder service in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2020 to Question 51866 on Radiotherapy: Medical Equipment, for what reason he did not provide the data requested on the estimated cost to the public purse of purchasing and installing proton beam therapy machines at the two UK treatment centres (a) to date and (b) to the point at which those machines become operational.

The Government has invested £250 million in the development of the two PBT centres at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and University College London Hospital. This included construction of the centres and the purchase and installation of the equipment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2020 to Question 51867 on Radiotherapy: Medical Equipment, for what reason he did not provide the data requested on the estimated number of patients expected to receive proton beam therapy at (a) The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and (b) University College London Hospitals in the first year the machines become operational.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre treated 160 patients with PBT in its first year of operation (December 2018 – December 2019).

University College London Hospital PBT Centre has a similar ramp up plan, and it is anticipated will treat a similar number of patients in its first year of operation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for care home staff to access the covid-19 anti-body tests which were due to be rolled out in England from the end of May 2020.

Antibody tests for adult social care staff are being rolled out in a phased approach across England in line with the offer open to National Health Service staff. Access to antibody testing services are being set up locally and so it is likely that some regions and trusts may provide access to this service in different ways. We are working closely with the NHS, local councils and stakeholders at a national and local level to support antibody testing and ensure all staff are aware of how they can access a test.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 53405 on Prisoners: Death, in what format his Department holds the information requested.

Public Health England reports that it does not collect data on the number or proportion of people who served prison sentences and have died of a drug overdose or suicide.

Information on deaths of offenders during post-release supervision in the community after a custodial sentence, by gender and apparent cause in England and Wales is available in the annual publication, ‘Deaths of offenders in the community’, which can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/deaths-of-offenders-in-the-community-annual-update-to-march-2019

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of adults aged (a) 18 to 29, (b) 30 to 39, (c) 40 to 49, (d) 50 to 59, (e) 60 to 69, (f) 70 to 79, (f) over 80 in self-isolation as of 8 June 2020.

Information on the number of people who have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace were published as experimental statistics on Thursday 11 June. These data refer to the first week of the service – 28 May – 3 June. The Department plans to publish similar information on a weekly basis. Over the coming weeks, as the service matures, more information will be provided on a weekly basis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken by (a) the Government, (b) Public Health England and (c) NHS England to test the effectiveness of the covid-19 guidance and related public communications with (a) adults aged 60 and over, (b) people designated as clinically vulnerable and (c) people designated as clinically extremely vulnerable.

The Department, Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement have engaged widely with clinicians, patients and patient organisations on policy and communications aimed at those people designated as clinically extremely vulnerable. This includes organising a number of focus groups to better understand how messages and communication channels on shielding have landed with audiences including those who are 70 and over and people who identify as clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable. These insights continue to inform our communications.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 47250 on Dyslexia: Diagnosis, what his policy is on identifying and diagnosing dyslexia in the adult population.

The NHS.UK website advises that adults who wish to be assessed for dyslexia should contact a local or national dyslexia association for advice.

NHS England allocates funding to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which commission services on behalf of their local populations. It is for CCGs to decide how best to use the funding allocated to them in line with local healthcare needs and priorities, working with other local commissioners and organisations.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make the supply of the opioid-overdose antidote Naloxone to all at-risk prisoners upon their release a mandatory requirement for prisons.

There are no plans to bring forward legislation to make the supply of the opioid-overdose antidote Naloxone to all at-risk prisoners upon their release a mandatory requirement for prisons.

The commissioning of substance misuse treatment for prisoners is the responsibility of NHS England and NHS Improvement. The Government expects commissioners and providers of substance misuse services in prisons and in the community to work together closely in regard to prisoners being released from custody to ensure seamless transfers of care.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people who served prison sentences under 12 months have died of (a) drug overdose and (b) suicide within four weeks of release in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of prisoners with a history of opioid misuse were provided with Naloxone when released from prison in the latest 12 month period for which information is available; and from which prisons those prisoners were released.

Of the 23,230 adults who left treatment for opioid dependence that were released from a prison or other secure setting between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, 4,008 were given take-home naloxone, including training on its use as a way of counteracting the effects of opioid overdose.

This was an increase in the proportion of adults receiving take-home naloxone (17%), compared to the previous year (12%).

Information on which prisons or secure settings these people were released from is not held centrally.

Statistics on alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings is available from Public Health England’s national drug treatment monitoring system. The latest report was published in January 2020 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/substance-misuse-treatment-in-secure-settings-2018-to-2019

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England report, Secure setting statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS), 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, page 44, whether there has been any increase from 12 per cent in the proportion of people with identified opiate problems who leave prison with Naloxone since the publication of that report; and if he will make a statement.

Of the 23,230 adults who left treatment for opioid dependence that were released from a prison or other secure setting between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, 4,008 were given take-home naloxone, including training on its use as a way of counteracting the effects of opioid overdose.

This was an increase in the proportion of adults receiving take-home naloxone (17%), compared to the previous year (12%).

Information on which prisons or secure settings these people were released from is not held centrally.

Statistics on alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings is available from Public Health England’s national drug treatment monitoring system. The latest report was published in January 2020 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/substance-misuse-treatment-in-secure-settings-2018-to-2019

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of how many patients will receive proton beam therapy at (a) The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and (b) University College London Hospitals in the first year the machines become operational.

NHS England and University College London Hospital (UCLH) are currently working with contractors to open the Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre as soon as possible following the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the first patient treatment will be in 2021.

Apart from the current impact of COVID-19, the PBT service at UCLH has been delayed historically due to the complexity of the build on a constrained inner London site and, more recently due to water ingress, as reported to the National PBT Programme Board, the Department and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. These historic issues have been resolved.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the proton beam therapy machine at University College Hospital London is planned to be operational.

NHS England and University College London Hospital (UCLH) are currently working with contractors to open the Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre as soon as possible following the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the first patient treatment will be in 2021.

Apart from the current impact of COVID-19, the PBT service at UCLH has been delayed historically due to the complexity of the build on a constrained inner London site and, more recently due to water ingress, as reported to the National PBT Programme Board, the Department and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. These historic issues have been resolved.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) TalkTalk 2015 data breach and (b) TalkTalk poor customer service rating were considered in the due diligence process before the appointment of former CEO Baroness Harding of Winscombe to lead the NHS Test and Trace system.

Baroness Harding was appointed to lead the programme of testing and tracing as part of the Government’s ongoing response to COVID-19 in line with the long-standing practice that Ministers can directly appoint individuals to undertake short-term pieces of work. Baroness Harding also holds public appointments as the Chair of NHS Improvement and a non-executive director of the Court of the Bank of England. In both cases, her skills and experience were independently assessed prior to appointment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse is for each contract for the running of a UK covid-19 testing centre; and how many tests each such centre has carried out.

We do not publish testing data broken down by site. As of 3 June 2020, there are 156 operational test locations which consist of a combination of many different types of site from large multi-lane drive-in sites to single van mobile test facilities to walk-in city centre locations. They are staffed by a number of different commercial organisations and the armed forces. Each of the contracts spans multiple disciplines.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applicants were interviewed before Baroness Harding of Winscombe was appointed to lead the NHS Test and Trace system.

Baroness Harding was appointed to lead the programme of testing and tracing as part of the Government’s ongoing response to COVID-19 in line with the long-standing practice that Ministers can directly appoint individuals to undertake short-term pieces of work. Baroness Harding also holds public appointments as the Chair of NHS Improvement and a non-executive director of the Court of the Bank of England. In both cases, her skills and experience were independently assessed prior to appointment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the opening of the proton beam therapy service at University College Hospital London has been delayed.

NHS England and University College London Hospital (UCLH) are currently working with contractors to open the Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre as soon as possible following the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the first patient treatment will be in 2021.

Apart from the current impact of COVID-19, the PBT service at UCLH has been delayed historically due to the complexity of the build on a constrained inner London site and, more recently due to water ingress, as reported to the National PBT Programme Board, the Department and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. These historic issues have been resolved.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the estimated cost to the public purse was of purchasing and installing proton beam therapy machines at the two UK treatment centres (a) to date and (b) to the point at which those machines become operational.

NHS England and University College London Hospital (UCLH) are currently working with contractors to open the Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre as soon as possible following the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the first patient treatment will be in 2021.

Apart from the current impact of COVID-19, the PBT service at UCLH has been delayed historically due to the complexity of the build on a constrained inner London site and, more recently due to water ingress, as reported to the National PBT Programme Board, the Department and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. These historic issues have been resolved.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 May 2020 to Question 41979 on NHS: Coronavirus, in what format his Department holds the information requested.

The Department does not collect or hold any information relating to National Health Service staff deaths for the purpose of reporting under RIDDOR. The responsibility to collect this information and report it to the Health and Safety Executive under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013), remains with the ‘responsible persons.’

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introduce adult dyslexia diagnostic assessments in the NHS for people that did not receive an assessment during their school years.

This is a matter for National Health Service commissioners taking into account any guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will meet with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy to discuss the findings of that Group's inquiry into the impact of covid-19 on cancer services.

I have spoken with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy on Wednesday 20 May.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make a comparative assessment of level of cancer services provided in each EU member state during covid-19 pandemic.

No assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of precision radiotherapy as a replacement treatment to (a) surgery and (b) chemotherapy during the covid-19 outbreak.

For some patients it may be clinically appropriate to offer treatment with radiotherapy where the standard care, for example surgery or chemotherapy, is not possible to be delivered. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance relating to the management of cancer patients during the COVID-19 outbreak which sets out the importance of multi-disciplinary team input and communication with individual patients when making decisions about treatment plans.

This guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/04/second-phase-of-nhs-response-to-covid-19-letter-to-chief-execs-29-april-2020.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if will he make an assessment on the effectiveness of precision radiotherapy treatment to improve outcomes for cancer patients unable to undertake surgery or immunosuppressive chemotherapy during the covid-19 outbreak.

Where it is not possible to proceed with standard care treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, it may be clinically appropriate to offer radiotherapy.

These are decisions which are necessarily informed by multi-disciplinary clinical teams and discussion with individual patients in the context of weighing the risks and benefits.

The Royal College of Radiologists has made available to its members a wide body of literature to help guide individual decision making and clinicians are encouraged to make use of this resource.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing the recommendations contained in the Manifesto published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy, published on 18 July 2019.

The NHS Long Term Plan set out the priorities for radiotherapy services in the National Health Service in England.

This included £130 million being spent on upgrading radiotherapy machines, which has now been completed.

In April 2012, the Government announced that £250 million will be invested to build proton beam therapy (PBT) facilities at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and University College London Hospital in London. This commitment was reaffirmed in the NHS Long Term Plan, and The Christie PBT centre became operational in August 2018.

Reforms to the specialised commissioning payments for radiotherapy hypofractionation will be introduced to support further equipment upgrades. This is in progress and, in the interim, specialised commissioners have recurrently allocated £12 million to support the expansion of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy provision.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have had radiotherapy treatments (a) delayed and (b) cancelled since February 2020.

This data requested is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the level of unused radiotherapy machine capacity during the covid-19 outbreak.

As set out in a letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement to trusts on 29 April, cancer treatment must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will establish a covid-19 cancer taskforce to assess the merits of increasing access to radiotherapy during the covid-19 outbreak.

There are currently no plans to establish a taskforce to look at increasing access to radiotherapy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to return the mobile covid-19 testing unit to Easington constituency.

The Department works with local partners, including the Local Resilience Forums (LRFs), to identify where to send mobile testing units. LRFs have been briefed on the process of booking mobile units.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will inform care homes (a) when and (b) where their local mobile covid-19 testing unit is established; and what steps he is taking to ensure that eligible staff who do not have access to a car are prioritised for testing.

Tens of thousands of care home workers and residents have already been tested, either by Public Health England, or at drive-through testing sites, mobile testing units and via satellite testing kits - packages of tests sent to care homes for staff to use on residents. Additional testing is being prioritised for staff and residents at care homes in England that look after over 65s. Care workers who are self-isolating can also continue to use the website to book a home test.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to increase the supply of covid 19 home testing kits.

Home testing has been expanded over several weeks from the initial piloting phase, through to the large-scale ramp up where thousands of home tests are available on a day basis. We continue to expand the number of test kits available on a daily basis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS staff deaths as a result of exposure in the workplace to covid-19 the Department has reported to the Health and Safety Executive under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the transportation of (a) patients, (b) organ donations and (c) medical supplies by air.

Air Ambulances UK are working closely with the 21 United Kingdom air ambulance charities to provide valuable national support in these very challenging times. In addition to continuing the delivery of life-saving care to their local communities, air ambulance services are supporting the national COVID-19 response by using their aircraft to transfer patients, doctors, and equipment including medical supplies between hospitals.

The air ambulance charities are contributing to regional and national planning regarding the best use of resources via the National Ambulance Coordination Centre, and liaising with partners in the ambulance service, wider National Health Service and the military.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will identify a suitable site for a covid-19 testing centre accessible to people living in Easington constituency who do not have access to private transport.

We have expanded test accessibility by increasing the number of home test kits that are couriered to and from the home. These are available to book by eligible individuals using the self-referral portal. We have also increased mobile testing, with 96 units currently operational as of 4 May 2020. Mobile test units are being deployed to areas that have a pressing need for testing by individuals who cannot access regional test sites. Local Regional Forums coordinate with local partners to inform the Department of where a unit is required.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to introduce (a) more stringent testing at airports and (b) a period of quarantine for people entering the UK from regions that have a high incidence of covid-19.

As with our wider response to the pandemic, the Government’s approach to the use of additional measures at our border will continue to be guided by robust scientific evidence. Current advice for passengers arriving back to the United Kingdom can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

However, our approaches are being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as the Government controls the spread of, and understands more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that people who use drugs are provided with Naloxone in the event that access to health services is restricted due to demand during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction services to meet these needs. This includes making sure they have sufficient coverage of take-home naloxone to prevent drug-related deaths.

Local authorities will want to maintain their coverage of naloxone during the COVID-19 outbreak as an important measure to help protect people who use drugs. Public Health England will continue to support local authorities in their work of needs assessment and commissioning services by providing advice, guidance and data.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure continued provision of treatment for vulnerable persons with (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (b) other multiple morbidities, (c) complex needs and (d) underlying health issues related to drug and alcohol misuse, during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service has written to all patients with underlying diseases or health conditions identified as being at risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19 with information on the continued provision of healthcare. In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement issue regular guidance to general practitioners on managing patients during the pandemic. Specialty guides are also available to help hospitals continue essential care for patients, including those with respiratory conditions and people with alcohol dependences.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether continuity of opioid substitution treatment will be safeguarded during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, including opioid substitution treatment, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether pharmacies will be required to fulfil longer-term prescriptions for people in need of harm reduction medications during the covid-19 outbreak.

Advice, issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is that in the main general practitioners should not issue prescriptions for a longer duration, pharmacies should not order larger quantities, and patients and the public should not seek to stockpile medicines as this behaviour could put the supply chain at risk.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the supply of clean injecting equipment for people who use drugs to avoid the spread of blood-borne viruses durig the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction services for their local area. This includes the supply of clean injecting equipment for people who use drugs, for example through needle and syringe exchange programmes. Maintaining this supply during the COVID-19 outbreak will be one of their priorities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional resources are to be made available to minimise the risk of infection from covid-19 among (a) homeless people, (b) prisoners, (c) prison staff and (d) people with drug or alcohol problems.

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure the sector is prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

On 12 March the Minister of State (Lucy Frazer MP) at the Ministry of Justice issued a public statement on preparedness in prisons to protect staff and prisoners which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-prison-preparedness-lucy-frazer-statement

On 19 March the Government announced a £1.6 billion pounds of additional funding for local government to help them respond to COVID-19 pressures across all the services they deliver which includes support for adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people. Full details on this funding package can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-9-billion-funding-to-strengthen-care-for-the-vulnerable

On 27 March, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Luke Hall MP) Minister for at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, sent a letter to all local authorities in England to update them on plans to protect rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of this letter can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-minister-hall-to-local-authorities

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of Boston Scientific's Introducing an Innovative Cancer Care Fund report published in February 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to create a new Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course. This will extend the successes of the reformed Cancer Drugs Fund into other areas.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 3.61 of the NHS Long-Term Plan, what steps he is taking to ensure that the next generation of treatments are implemented rapidly across the NHS.

The Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to create a new Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course. The will extend the successes of the reformed Cancer Drugs Fund into other areas.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase patient access to innovative cancer treatments that are not pharmaceutical and would not qualify for the Cancer Drugs Fund.

To improve cancer care, the NHS Long Term Plan sets out how we will speed up the path from innovation to business-as-usual, spreading proven new techniques and technologies and reducing variation. Faster, smarter and effective radiotherapy, supported by greater networking of specialised expertise, will mean more patients are offered curative treatment, with fewer side effects and shorter treatment times.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS cancer patients have received funding for (a) radio-frequency ablation, (b) microwave ablation (MWA), (c) ethanol ablation, (d) cryosurgery, (e) side effects of ablation therapy, (f) arterial embolization, (g) chemoembolization and (h) radioembolisation in each of the last three calendar years.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an estimate of the number of patients that may benefit from (a) ablation and (b) embolisation techniques that are not provided by the NHS.

No recent assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of allocating funding to the NHS for non-pharmaceutical cancer treatments other than diagnostics equipment, radiotherapy machines and proton beam therapy.

No assessment has been made.

NHS England and Improvement’s service development policy sets out NHS England’s approach for making decisions about which new treatments and interventions to routinely commission, and the approach used for updating existing service specifications, or creating new ones. This can be found online at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/specialised-commissioning-service-development-policy-and-process/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will undertake a comparative assessment of the (a) recovery period for and (b) costs of treating cancer with (i) surgery and radiotherapy and (ii) other less invasive treatments.

No assessment is currently planned.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the size of the cancer nursing workforce.

The final NHS People Plan is due to be released in 2020 and will build upon the progress made through the Cancer Workforce Plan (published in 2017), including to increase the number of Clinical Nurse Specialists and develop common and consistent competencies for this role with a clear route into training. The plan will take targeted action to ensure the supply of National Health Service staff who play a vital role in delivering cancer care including specialist cancer nurses.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to implement a cancer workforce plan to ensure an adequately skilled and sustainable workforce.

The final NHS People Plan is due to be released in 2020 and will build upon the progress made through the Cancer Workforce Plan, published in 2017, including to increase the number of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and develop common and consistent competencies for this role with a clear route into training. The plan will take targeted action to ensure the supply of National Health Service staff who play vital role in increasing early diagnosis of cancer, including: specialist cancer nurses, histopathologists, diagnostic radiographers, screening endoscopists and cancer support workers.

No individual target for specific branches or specialties of the nursing profession has been set within the commitment to 50,000 more nurses in the NHS by 2025. Measures to increase the number of CNS will be considered as part of workforce planning to deliver the NHS People Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the background briefing to the Queen's Speech 2019, how many of the 50,000 additional nurses will be cancer nurse specialists.

The final NHS People Plan is due to be released in 2020 and will build upon the progress made through the Cancer Workforce Plan, published in 2017, including to increase the number of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and develop common and consistent competencies for this role with a clear route into training. The plan will take targeted action to ensure the supply of National Health Service staff who play vital role in increasing early diagnosis of cancer, including: specialist cancer nurses, histopathologists, diagnostic radiographers, screening endoscopists and cancer support workers.

No individual target for specific branches or specialties of the nursing profession has been set within the commitment to 50,000 more nurses in the NHS by 2025. Measures to increase the number of CNS will be considered as part of workforce planning to deliver the NHS People Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was spent from the public purse, in today’s prices, on (a) the National Health Service and (b) NHS maternity services, in England, in each year since 2010.

The information requested is shown in the following table. The table sets out total National Health Service revenue expenditure since 2010/11 in today’s prices. It is not possible to provide a meaningful data series showing NHS spend on maternity services as the data collected from primary care trusts prior to 2013/14 is not comparable with that collected from clinical commissioning groups in subsequent years.

Year

Total National Health Service revenue expenditure (1,2) (£ billion)

2010/11

112.9

2011/12

114.4

2012/13

114.7

2013/14

116.8

2014/15

119.6

2015/16

123.1

2016/17

123.7

2017/18

125.4

2018/19

127.8

Notes:

1Real terms prices calculated using gross domestic product deflators published by HM Treasury on 7 January 2020.

2Departmental revenue expenditure used as a proxy for NHS expenditure as the series pre-dates the creation of NHS England.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12901 on Ambulance Services: Emergency Calls, for what reason the department does not hold information on long wait performance of Ambulance Trusts.

NHS England publish ambulance response times by category and ambulance trust and month and year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will allocate funding to the testing of filtration systems to tackle and protect against the coronavirus.

We are investing £40 million in vaccine research, are working with international efforts on therapeutics, as well as the immediate launch of a capital facility to support any urgent works the National Health Service needs for the coronavirus response, such as the creation of further isolation areas and other necessary facilities. The United Kingdom will escalate efforts to fund ground-breaking research into vaccines, diagnostics and cures to fight against the threat of future virus.

We have no current plans to allocate funding to the testing of filtration systems.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 9655 on Ambulance Services: Emergency Calls, in what format information relating to long wait performance of Ambulance Trusts is held.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many long waits were recorded since the new system for measuring 999 response times was introduced for the two highest priority groups by (a) West Midlands Ambulance Service and (b) East of England Ambulance Service in 2018.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing new radiotherapy satellite centres; and if he will make a statement.

The planning of radiotherapy services, including understanding the value, affordability and feasibility of new satellites for a specific population is a matter for regional specialised commissioning teams, in collaboration with local National Health Service partners, including Radiotherapy Operational Delivery Networks and Cancer Alliances, to consider as part of their strategic planning priorities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate NHS England has made of the number of linear accelerator radiotherapy machines in use at NHS Trusts in the (a) North East and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber regions that are past the recommended 10 year lifespan; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England produced a stocktake, which included age, of linear accelerators in full clinical use in 2016 as part of the Equipment Modernisation programme, which enabled 80 machines to be replaced or upgraded. Further work to update this stocktake is underway to reflect both the impact of the Equipment Modernisation programme and any local changes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to allocated funding from the public purse to enable schools in Easington constituency to establish mental health and wellbeing teams to support pupils.

Our Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health aims to improve the provision of services through its key proposals, one of which is to create new Mental Health Support Teams in and near groups of schools and colleges in their areas.

In December 2018, we announced 25 Trailblazer sites to run the first wave of 59 Mental Health Support Teams. The first of these teams are now becoming fully operational.

On 12 July 2019, we announced that further Mental Health Support Teams are to be set up across 57 sites. Easington, through Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group, is one such site.

The teams form part of the National Health Service’s commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits at least a further £2.3 billion a year to mental health services by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GP practices in (a) Easington constituency, (b) County Durham and (c) the North East have adopted the care for young carers package launched by NHS England.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

All employees in the Department currently receive a higher hourly pay rate than £8.72 and also higher than £9.30. 10 employees (0.59%) would receive an increase in their salary if their hourly pay rate was £10.00.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

The Department uses EMCOR for total facilities management service. All the EMCOR staff are paid more than the National Living Wage and therefore there is no cost impact on the Department.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) increase access to and (b) improve the delivery of mental health services in Easington constituency.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone who has a mental health need is able to access timely and effective treatment based on their clinical need. The NHS Long Term Plan commits the National Health Service to testing and rolling out comprehensive waiting time standards for adults and children over the next decade. This builds on the already established waiting time standards for children and young people’s eating disorder services, early intervention for psychosis and adult Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services. These standards are all being met or on track for delivery by 2020/21 in line with previous commitments. Investment in mental health care is higher than ever before, this increased investment is intended to support improvements in every local area across the country.

In response to the commitments in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, the NHS Long Term Plan and the new Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Board have initiated the ‘Right Care, Right Place’ improvement programme that covers community, inpatient and urgent mental health care delivery for the population of Easington. This programme aims to deliver better experience and outcomes for services users and NHS staff by focussing on how the services of the Trust and their care-providing partners can work more seamlessly together.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN Security Council to insist on unfettered media and humanitarian NGO access to the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined. The UK strongly supported UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2548 on 30 October 2020, which renewed the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for 12 months. In doing so, we continue to stress the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and encourage the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN Security Council to give MINURSO the legal mandate to monitor and report on human rights in the territories controlled by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente polisario and report the findings directly to the UN Security Council.

Human rights is a UK priority. We have consistently supported language in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions which encourages the parties to continue their efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN Security Council to send a fact finding mission to investigate the human rights of Saharawis in the (a) occupied territory and (b) prisons in Morocco.

Human rights is a UK priority. We have consistently supported language in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions which encourages the parties to continue their efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and in the Tindouf camps. We have discussions with Morocco on human rights and prison conditions. The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will raise in the UN Security Council the ongoing instability in the Mahgreb following the renewed hostilities in the Western Sahara.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara and have regular discussions with the UN, both in New York and in the region, as well as with Council members. The UN Security Council was briefed on Western Sahara in December. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process. We strongly support the UN Secretary General's efforts to appoint a Personal Envoy as soon as possible.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he last made representations to (a) his Moroccan counterpart and (b) the Moroccan Ambassador on the continuing hostilities between Morocco and the Polisario Front resulting from the Moroccan breach of the 1991 ceasefire agreement in Western Sahara.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara and note reports of breaches on both sides. We are in regular contact with the parties, including Morocco. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his US counterpart to encourage the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba.

We regularly discuss a range of issues of mutual interest, including Cuba, with our US counterparts, and this will continue with the new US administration. The United Kingdom has repeatedly made clear that it opposes the US embargo against Cuba, which we see as counterproductive. The UK considers the extraterritorial effects of the embargo, in particular those stemming from the activation of Titles III and IV of the Helms Burton Act, to be illegal under international law. We look forward to discussing the situation in Cuba with the new US Administration, and sharing thoughts on the positive developments in the UK's relationship with Cuba in recent years.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will make representations to the Moroccan Ambassador to the UK on the repression of Sahrawi civilians in the territories of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, as a result of the escalation of the conflict between the Polisario Front and Morocco.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process. Support for human rights is a priority around the world, and we raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will ask Her Majesty's Ambassador to Morocco to make representations to the Moroccan authorities on the travel ban imposed on Aminatou Haidar, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

We have been monitoring the case of Aminatou Haidar. Support for human rights is a priority around the world, and we raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UN Security Council is taking to hold Morocco to account for reportedly breaching the UN-OAU Settlement Plan in Western Sahara.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara and note reports of breaches of the ceasefire by different parties. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission has made an assessment of whether the House of Commons is exempt from workplace health and safety legislation due to Parliamentary privilege.

Under Parliamentary privilege each House of Parliament regulates its own affairs; this includes the application of health and safety legislation. However, Parliament has also undertaken to apply the requirements of health and safety legislation and has made a commitment in the Health and Safety Policy to comply with legislation as if it applied to both Houses.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Office for National Statistics report of 11 May 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by occupation, England and Wales, what assessment the Commission has made of the level of potential risk to parliamentary security and cleaning staff.

The Commission is aware of the current evidence which shows that those from a BAME background and those who are older have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with specific underlying conditions further increasing the risk of severe illness. The House service has a clear policy that all staff who are not business-critical do not come on to the estate; persons who are vulnerable and/or shielding are instructed to work from home. This policy applies to all staff, not just those in the security or cleaning teams.

The report issued by the Office for National Statistics discusses research findings; the Commission will review the potential risk to parliamentary security and cleaning staff as soon as the recommendations for the actions expected of a reasonable employer are issued by Public Health England, the Health and Safety Executive or other similar body.

In the interim, local and corporate Equality Impact Assessments have been carried out and measures introduced where necessary.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Office for National Statistics report of 11 May 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by occupation, England and Wales, whether risk assessments of the Parliamentary estate have incorporated input from the PCS union, which represents Parliamentary security and cleaning staff.

The House authorities have met with representatives of the Trades Unions (including PCS) for staff in the House of Commons and PDS formally at least three times per week since the beginning of March, and with representatives of Members’ and Peers’ Staff Association (MAPSA) and Unite as representatives of Members’ staff.

All trades unions recognised by the House were provided with the opportunity to comment on the Covid-19 risk assessments.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 40585 on Cuba: Coronavirus, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the US administration on the (a) blockade and (b) restrictions of covid-19 medical resources and humanitarian assistance to Cuba.

The UK Government does not support the US embargo against Cuba. We consider the extraterritorial impacts of the embargo, including those on UK companies, to be contrary to international law, and we are not persuaded that these sanctions encourage potential reforms and economic progress.

We are in regular contact with our US partners, who are aware of our opposition to the embargo. We communicate this both privately, and through our public statements. The United Kingdom unfailingly votes in favour of the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo. We have been working actively with the Cuban Government and other organisations on ideas to reform the business environment, and provide direct support to UK companies wishing to do legitimate business with Cuba.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Cuban authorities supporting British nationals stranded on the cruise ship MS Braemer, what assistance the Government is providing to Cuba to help that country tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

We are grateful to the Cuban authorities for having led an exceptional operation to bring back to the UK 684 British citizens and people of other nationalities who were on board the Braemer cruise ship. The UK Government is working with its Cuban counterparts, both bilaterally and via multilateral fora, to deliver a robust global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Ambassador to Havana continues to engage in conversations with the Cuban authorities about how to deepen and broaden our bilateral relationship, and what we can do to help our countries weather this crisis.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the operational effect is on his Department of the industrial dispute with Interserve staff.

Interserve are fulfilling their contractual obligation to provide facilities management services during an industrial dispute, mitigating any potential effects on service delivery.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) size of armed groups trained by the United Arab Emirates operating in Yemen; and if he will make a statement.

The complex situation on the ground makes it difficult to assess the number and size of armed groups trained by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen. The UAE announced they were reducing their military presence in July 2019, and have now withdrawn many of their troops from Yemen.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of freedom of expression in the United Arab Emirates.

We continue to raise the importance of respect for freedom of expression with the United Arab Emirates. We believe that freedom of expression is a universal human right. Citizens must be allowed to freely discuss and debate issues, challenge their governments and make informed decisions in accordance with international human rights law.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many reports he has received from Interserve about a potential break-in at a confidential waste room in his Department's headquarters between June and July 2019.

There was no break-in at a confidential waste room. The door to a room containing confidential waste was forced in a controlled manner by appropriately cleared Interserve staff. This was the result of the key being misplaced. The room is managed by Interserve in accordance with the delivery of contracted facility management services.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many reports of (a) uncompleted cleanliness tasks and (b) rodents were reported to Interserve at his Department's headquarters in each month from April 2019 to November 2019.

The Facilities Management Client Unit measure the delivery of key areas of Interserve performance in line with contracted service standards.

For reactive cleaning requests we measure the performance against the initial response time and the rectification time. The cleaning figures attached represent the number of occasions where Interserve failed to meet the contracted standard and the representative percentage based on the total number of tasks reported. The level of cleaning performance is generally within contracted tolerances and is monitored on a monthly basis as part of contractual governance procedures. Where failures exceed tolerances, these are assessed and actions taken with the Service Provider to address them. Where rodents are reported, visits are made to the rooms to ensure adequate prevention methods are in place and that no food is left out overnight.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many planned preventative maintenance issues were missed by Interserve at his Department's main building in each month from April 2019 to November 2019.

The Facilities Management Client Unit measure the delivery of key areas of Interserve performance in line with contracted service standards.

The figures below represent the number of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) tasks that were not delivered in month and in accordance with the contracted standard and the representative percentage based on the total number of PPMs due in the month.

Performance in relation to PPMs is monitored on a monthly basis as part of contractual governance procedures. In the main performance is within contracted tolerances. Where failures exceed contracted tolerances, these are assessed and actions taken with the Service Provider to address them. A new PPM regime was instigated from February 2019 under a new contractual arrangement.

È

PPMs failed

No.

%

2018

April

3

1.25

May

0

0

June

0

0

July

0

0

August

0

0

September

0

0

October

0

0

November

0

0

December

0

0

2019

January

0

0

February

2

1.1

March

1

0.38

April

1

0.4

May

32

4.9

June

91

11.5

July

56

6.3

August

33

4.1

September

16

3.1

October

30

7.4

November

0

0

December

2

0.4

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many incidents of security breaches involving (a) unescorted visitors and (b) visitors with inadequate security clearance in secure areas being used by contracted staff were reported at his Department in each month from April to November 2019.

​a)

2018

2019

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Unescorted visitors

12

11

0

7

12

7

7

8

8

8

6

7

5

11

2

b) All those who visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office without requisite Government security clearance must be escorted. FCO contractors are appropriately security cleared to be able to undertake their duties around the premises. We seek to reduce the number of breaches being committed through targeted communications and training offers including specific briefings to departments with poor breach records.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and what proportion of staff in his Department would receive an increase in their salary in the event that their hourly pay rate was (a) £8.72, (b) £9.30 and (c) £10.

All civil servants are paid at least the current statutory National Minimum or National Living Wage rates of £7.70 and £8.21 per hour respectively. The Government is committed to paying people a decent living wage, which is being addressed through the statutory National Living Wage. In April 2020, the National Living Wage increases to £8.72 per hour. By 2024 the National Living Wage will rise to £10.50 per hour, reaching 66% of median United Kingdom earnings. The scope will be expanded to everyone aged 21 and over and is expected to benefit over 4 million low paid workers.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the increase in the National Living wage announced by the Government on 31 December 2019, what discussions he is having with private sector companies undertaking facility management work for his Department to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees are not passed on to his Department.

To date, there have been no discussions with private sector companies undertaking facilities management work for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to ensure that the cost of wage increases for their employees, as a result of the increase in the Government National Living Wage, are not passed on to the FCO.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will identify the 20 constituencies most in need of levelling up; and if he will make it his policy to deliver investment to strengthen local economies and increase the employment rate and average wage in those areas.

The Government’s levelling up agenda aims to spread opportunity and investment across every region and nation of the UK. We will deliver this pledge by boosting jobs, wages and prospects for all communities. In light of Covid-19, the government has introduced unprecedented support for businesses, households and workers, and local economies across the UK to protect them against the current economic crisis.

Furthermore, at the Budget, the government announced policies that will benefit places most in need, including additional funding for skills and job support, launching the prospectus for the Community Renewal Fund and the first round of the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund, to invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and support economic recovery.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the estimates that his Department uses for the number of new jobs that will be created in each year to 2025 at each of the freeport locations announced in Budget 2021.

Our focus has been on getting places to send us their bids and proposals, rather than second-guessing what they will do. The modelling we have done to support that process remains sensitive at this point and liable to change significantly now the locations have been announced.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward proposals to cap credit card transaction fees to the level introduced by the EU in 2015.

The Government has legislated to ensure that interchange fees remain capped for UK domestic card transactions, where both the card issuer and acquirer are located in the UK, through the Interchange Fee (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The UK domestic interchange fee caps are at the same levels as before the end of the Transition Period.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2021 to Question 138922 on Charities: Finance, what the deadline is by which charities must have used grant funding.

The latest that grants must be spent is 31 March 2021. The £750m funding package was made available to address the immediate impacts of the pandemic, so that charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The government keeps all sector support packages under review.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to supply teachers who are ineligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given on 25 January 2021 to PQ UIN 140813.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 2020 Spending Review and the £800 million allocated to the high-risk, high-reward programme, when the remaining £750 million will become available, and whether this will be in phases or in one instalment.

In the Spending Review the Government announced an annual profile for high-risk, high-reward research rounded to the nearest £0.1bn. This profile is £0.1bn in 2021-22, £0.3bn in 2022-23, £0.3bn in 2023-24 and £0.3bn in 2024-2025.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 2020 Spending Review and the £800 million allocated to the high-risk, high-reward programme, which body will be responsible for allocating those funds.

In the Spending Review the Government announced an annual profile for high-risk, high-reward research rounded to the nearest £0.1bn. This profile is £0.1bn in 2021-22, £0.3bn in 2022-23, £0.3bn in 2023-24 and £0.3bn in 2024-2025.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his Department plans to announce (a) the value of and (b) the eligibility criteria for Grant 4 of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 11 January to UIN 130691.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of self-employed workers not currently eligible for support under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

By 31 October 2020, 1,648,000 individuals have been assessed as ineligible for the second SEISS grant.

This figure was taken from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme statistics published on 25 November 2020.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 2020 Spending Review, whether the £14.6 billion announced for Research and Development in 2021-22 is part of the £22 billion announced in March 2020.

Spending Review 2020 provides funding to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of international scientific leadership and a global leader in tackling climate change. To cement the UK’s future as a scientific superpower and drive economic growth, the government is providing almost £15 billion for R&D next year.

Science will underpin our response to the greatest challenges ahead, including tackling climate change and delivering transformative economic growth. Recognising this, the Spending Review commits £14.6bn to R&D next year, as well as confirming multi-year funding for certain key R&D priorities.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 2020 Spending Review, when the £350 million of funding announced for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will be made available; and how that funding will be allocated among the seven research groups.

The £350 million of funding for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced at the Spending Review will be made available from the next financial year.

The allocation of this funding between the Research Councils will be determined in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on funding for sector specific support for the coach industry.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the coach sector as a result of Covid-19, and firms experiencing difficulties are able to draw upon the unprecedented package of cross-economy measures the government has put in place, including Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and tax deferrals. These measures have been designed to ensure that firms of any size receive the help they need to get through this difficult time.

Treasury Ministers meet with the Secretary of State for Transport on a regular basis to discuss a variety of important issues.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the contribution of the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury of 9 November 2020, Official Report, column 707, if he will publish the evidence to support the statement that there are breweries in all Members’ constituencies that will benefit from changes to Small Brewers Relief.

Further evidence about changes to Small Brewers Relief will be published alongside the forthcoming technical consultation.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much the Government has allocated to Research and Development in each of the last five years.

The Office for National Statistics publish official data based on the Government Research and Development Survey. Data until 2018 are available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/researchanddevelopmentexpenditure

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much of the £14.6 billion announced in the Spending Review 2020 for research and development is new funding which had not previously been announced.

In the Spending Review the government announced, for the first time, that it will be investing £14.6bn in Research and Development in 21/22 to forge the UK’s future as a global scientific superpower.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the seafarers earnings deduction in tax year 2020-21.

Estimates of the number of qualifying claimants and cost to the public purse of Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction in the tax year 2020-21 are not available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of qualifying claimants for seafarers earnings deduction in tax year 2020-21.

Estimates of the number of qualifying claimants and cost to the public purse of Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction in the tax year 2020-21 are not available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he last made an assessment of the effectiveness of the (a) structure and (b) purpose of the seafarers earnings deduction.

The Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction (SED) entitles seafarers to a 100% deduction from income tax for their foreign earnings in certain circumstances. The deduction is available for an eligible period of at least 365 days provided that a minimum of half of the period is spent outside the UK, and that no more than 183 consecutive days are spent in the UK during that period.

Eligible periods for SED are not bound to the tax year, and seafarers are able to add periods of work abroad to previous, or future, eligible periods. Seafarers that claim SED each year are likely to be able to add work done before COVID-19 restrictions to their previous eligible period, and so are unlikely to lose their SED entitlement.

As Financial Secretary to the Treasury, I have engaged recently with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Aviation and Maritime on the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction.

The Government keeps all taxes under review as part of its annual Budget process.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the effect of covid-19 on the seafarers earnings deduction.

The Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction (SED) entitles seafarers to a 100% deduction from income tax for their foreign earnings in certain circumstances. The deduction is available for an eligible period of at least 365 days provided that a minimum of half of the period is spent outside the UK, and that no more than 183 consecutive days are spent in the UK during that period.

Eligible periods for SED are not bound to the tax year, and seafarers are able to add periods of work abroad to previous, or future, eligible periods. Seafarers that claim SED each year are likely to be able to add work done before COVID-19 restrictions to their previous eligible period, and so are unlikely to lose their SED entitlement.

As Financial Secretary to the Treasury, I have engaged recently with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Aviation and Maritime on the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction.

The Government keeps all taxes under review as part of its annual Budget process.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 113535, how many breweries in Easington constituency have indicated their support for the changes to Small Brewers Relief.

The Government has not categorised comments by brewers on the proposed changes to Small Brewers Relief by constituency.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the annual total of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction was in each year from 2006-07 to 2019-20.

The estimated number of qualifying claimants and cost to the Exchequer of Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) from 2008-09 to 2019-20 is presented in the table below.

Year

Estimated cost to the Exchequer of Seafarers Earnings Deduction (£m)

Estimated number of qualifying claimants for Seafarers Earnings Deduction

2008-09

160

17,000

2009-10

170

17,000

2010-11

180

17,000

2011-12

195

19,000

2012-13

250

20,000

2013-14

280

21,000

2014-15

280

23,000

2015-16

250

22,000

2016-17

240

21,000

2017-18

240

22,000

2018-19

260

22,000

2019-20

280

22,000

Comparable figures prior to 2008-09 are not held.

The estimated cost to the Exchequer of SED from 2012-13 to 2019-20 and the estimated number of qualifying claimants for SED from 2017-18 to 2018-19 was published in HMRC’s non-structural tax relief statistics, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/main-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs.

.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many qualifying claimants there were for seafarers earnings deduction in each year between 2006-07 and 2019-20.

The estimated number of qualifying claimants and cost to the Exchequer of Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) from 2008-09 to 2019-20 is presented in the table below.

Year

Estimated cost to the Exchequer of Seafarers Earnings Deduction (£m)

Estimated number of qualifying claimants for Seafarers Earnings Deduction

2008-09

160

17,000

2009-10

170

17,000

2010-11

180

17,000

2011-12

195

19,000

2012-13

250

20,000

2013-14

280

21,000

2014-15

280

23,000

2015-16

250

22,000

2016-17

240

21,000

2017-18

240

22,000

2018-19

260

22,000

2019-20

280

22,000

Comparable figures prior to 2008-09 are not held.

The estimated cost to the Exchequer of SED from 2012-13 to 2019-20 and the estimated number of qualifying claimants for SED from 2017-18 to 2018-19 was published in HMRC’s non-structural tax relief statistics, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/main-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs.

.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 pandemic on income tax reliefs granted under the Seafarers Earnings Deduction in tax year 2020-21.

The Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) entitles seafarers to a 100% deduction from income tax for their foreign earnings in certain circumstances. The deduction is available for an eligible period of at least 365 days provided that a minimum of half of the period is spent outside the UK, and that no more than 183 consecutive days are spent in the UK during that period.

Eligible periods for SED are not bound to the tax year, and seafarers are able to add periods of work abroad to previous, or future, eligible periods. Seafarers that claim SED each year are likely to be able to add work done before COVID-19 restrictions to their previous eligible period, and so are unlikely to lose their SED entitlement.

The Government has made support available for seafarers through many other measures. It has ensured that people who need it have received help with their utility bills, had access to mortgage and consumer credit holidays and could benefit from temporary welfare measures, including an increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element.

The Government has taken recent steps to ensure that seafarers receive pay protection through the National Minimum Wage, ensuring that more than 10,000 seafarers across the UK will no longer be undercut. This builds on the Government’s work to help British maritime worker