Helen Morgan

Liberal Democrat - North Shropshire

Helen Morgan has no previous appointments


Scheduled Event
Friday 28th October 2022
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Bus Services Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 19th July 2022
Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement: Scrutiny
When l have spoken to farmers in my constituency, they have said that they are very concerned about the deal. …
Written Answers
Thursday 21st July 2022
Levelling Up Fund
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has conducted an impact assessment on …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Ambulance waiting times
That this House recognises the crisis in our ambulance services, particularly in rural and coastal communities; welcomes the Government’s commitment …
Bills
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Bus Services Bill 2022-23
A Bill to place a duty on the Government to ensure that every town with a population of more than …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
8. Miscellaneous
Until 14 March 2022, Parish Councillor, Broughton and Harmer Hill Parish Council. This was an unpaid role. (Registered 07 January …
EDM signed
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Reopening of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre
That this House strongly opposes plans by the Home Office to re-open Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire; …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Kinship Care Bill 2022-23
A Bill to provide for a statutory definition of kinship care; to make provision about allowances and parental leave for …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Helen Morgan has voted in 149 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Helen Morgan 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.

View all Helen Morgan's debates

North Shropshire 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

The Government should reduce the cost of fuel through a reduction of 40% in fuel duty and VAT for 2 years. This can effectively offset the rise in fuel prices since 2020.


Latest EDMs signed by Helen Morgan

20th July 2022
Helen Morgan signed this EDM on Wednesday 20th July 2022

Reopening of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre

Tabled by: Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon)
That this House strongly opposes plans by the Home Office to re-open Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire; notes that, following the recommendations of the Shaw Report, and a long campaign by local residents opposed to the practice of indefinite detention, the site was shut down in 2018; …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 14
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Labour: 1
11th July 2022
Helen Morgan signed this EDM on Wednesday 20th July 2022

Accessible council meetings

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House is concerned that the emergency regulations that allowed councils to conduct meetings remotely between 2 April 2020 and 7 May 2021, and which enabled disabled people and people with caring responsibilities to fully and fairly participate, are no longer in place; notes the Local Government Association's (LGA) …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Liberal Democrat: 5
Independent: 3
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Helen Morgan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Helen Morgan, 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.


Helen Morgan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Helen Morgan

Thursday 31st March 2022

1 Bill introduced by Helen Morgan


A Bill to place a duty on the Government to ensure that every town with a population of more than 10,000 people has a regular bus service operating seven days a week, and that local health services, including hospitals and GP surgeries, are served by those buses; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 28th October 2022
Order Paper number: 15
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

2 Bills co-sponsored by Helen Morgan

Kinship Care Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Munira Wilson (LDEM)

Sewage Discharges Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tim Farron (LDEM)


45 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department allocated to Shropshire Council under the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant; and how much funding his Department allocated to that council under the Additional Restrictions Grant for businesses that were impacted by Omicron but not covered by that scheme.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support for businesses. Nearly £27 billion has been allocated to Business Support Grants in England, including over £700 million announced in December for businesses most impacted by the Omicron variant.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme supports businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. The third top-up to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) discretionary scheme provides support for other businesses. Shropshire Council has been allocated £5,856,507 in OHLG funding, and £667,495 in further ARG funding. This brings the total ARG funding package for Shropshire to £12,766,827


All data on Government allocations and Local Authority payments is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure homes in areas with poor mobile signal can access energy smart meters.

Second generation smart meters use a dedicated national smart metering communications network, which deploys a variety of technologies to deliver connectivity to premises. These include cellular mobile technology, wireless mesh radio, and long-range radio.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of switching off the Public Switched Telephone Network in 2025 on rural areas with poor broadband connectivity.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services (the Public Switched Telephone Network’s replacement) require a minimum stable connection speed of just 0.5Mbps in order to function correctly, and voice-only services will still be available to consumers in the UK who do not wish to purchase a general internet connection. Thus, even in the small number of rural areas with poor broadband connectivity, the migration will not have an impact on most consumers’ ability to use digital landlines.

More importantly, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) migration does not affect the universal service obligations set in the Electronic Communications (Universal Service) Order 2003 which require the designated providers to offer telephony services throughout the UK. BT and KCOM are therefore still required to maintain access to a range of telephony services as well as provide a series of special measures designed for users who have a disability.

As a response to complaints from customers, BT announced this week that it will pause the forced migration of customers until new products are available that provide greater power resilience. For more information you can read the full announcement here.

Whilst the upgrade of UK landlines from the PSTN to VoIP technology is an industry-led initiative, the government and Ofcom are working together to ensure consumers and sectors are protected and prepared for the upgrade process.

As of September 2021, 99.6% of premises in the UK were able to access a decent broadband connection from either a fixed or a fixed wireless access broadband connection. Properties without a decent broadband connection may be eligible for a connection under the broadband Universal Service Obligation. The Government is also investing £5bn as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of switching off the Public Switched Telephone Network on the resilience of the telecare device network to power-cuts.

The department is aware of the potential impact that the upgrade of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) could have on telecare devices. Following the migration to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, it is possible some telecare devices may have compatibility issues with the new network and others may need digital adaptors to continue to function correctly.

In order to mitigate this risk, telecoms companies have established test laboratories to enable the manufacturers of telecare devices to test their equipment, ensuring it will work correctly following the transition to VoIP telephony, and to make the necessary arrangements to replace and adapt their technology if required. It is the responsibility of the telecare providers to ensure they have adequately tested their equipment.

Whilst the upgrade is an industry led initiative, DCMS and NHSx have been working together to facilitate communication between telecoms providers and the telecare sector to ensure telecare users are prepared for the upgrades.

Additionally, Ofcom has also issued guidance on how telecoms companies can fulfil their regulatory obligation to ensure that their VoIP customers have access to the emergency services during a power outage. This guidance was prepared following consultation with Ofgem and the industry, looking at data on the length and frequency of power outages among other factors.

As a response to complaints from customers, BT announced this week that it will pause the forced migration of customers to improve the awareness and understanding of customers, as well as to continue to develop industry best practice in coordination with the government convened working groups. For more information you can read the full announcement here.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools closed in rural areas in England in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

This data has been taken from Get Information About Schools, the department’s register of schools[1]. The data includes all types of mainstream local authority maintained schools, academies, and free schools. Schools are identified as rural via the Office of National Statistics Rural Urban Classification. The data excludes closures of schools where they become an academy as a result of intervention following an Inadequate Ofsted judgement or acquire a new Unique Reference Number on transfer between trusts.

Calendar Year

Number of rural schools closed

2018

13

2019

8

2020

7

2021

2

The presumption against the closure of rural primary schools means that when considering proposals to close a rural local authority maintained primary school, decision makers must refer to the list of rural designated schools. For a rural academy, both the department and the local authority need to agree to the closure.

The national funding formula (NFF) recognises the essential role that small, rural schools play in their communities through additional support provided through the sparsity factor. As a result of the changes to the design sparsity factor for the 2022/23 financial year, the total number of schools eligible for sparsity funding through the NFF has increased from over 1,200 to over 2,500, and the total allocation to small, remote schools through the sparsity factor has more than doubled, from £42 million in the 2021/22 financial year to £95 million in the 2022/23 financial year.

[1] Responsibility for updating Get Information about Schools is shared between the department, schools, and local authorities and therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have closed in England since 2018, by parliamentary constituency.

This data has been taken from Get Information about Schools, the department’s register of schools[1]. The data shows all types of mainstream local authority maintained schools, academies, and free schools. The attached pdf document shows all parliamentary constituencies where a school has closed between 2018 and 2021, with the number per year provided for each.

The data excludes closures of schools where they become an academy as a result of intervention following an inadequate Ofsted judgement, or acquire a new unique reference number on transfer between trusts.

Constituencies not shown have 0 closures between 2018 and 2021.

There are a variety of reasons for closing a school. These include where there are surplus places elsewhere in the local area, where provision has been rationalised, for example where an infant and a junior school have been amalgamated to form a primary school, or if a school is no longer financially viable.

The table below shows the numbers of schools that have opened between 2018 and 2021.

Calendar Year

Number of schools opened

2018

92

2019

58

2020

34

2021

24

[1] Responsibility for updating GIAS is shared between the department, schools, and local authorities and therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools closed in England in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

Calendar Year

Number of schools closed

2018

30

2019

24

2020

19

2021

26

This data has been taken from Get Information about Schools, the department’s register of schools[1]. The data shows all types of mainstream local authority-maintained schools, academies, and free schools. The data excludes closures of schools where they become an academy as a result of intervention following an inadequate Ofsted judgement or acquire a new unique reference number on transfer between trusts.

There are a variety of reasons for closing a school. These include where there are surplus places elsewhere in the local area, where provision has been rationalised, for example where an infant and a junior school have been amalgamated to form a primary school, or if a school is no longer financially viable.

The table below shows the numbers of schools that have opened between 2018 and 2021.

Calendar Year

Number of schools opened

2018

92

2019

58

2020

34

2021

24


[1] Responsibility for updating GIAS is shared between the department, schools, and local authorities and therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the impact of trends in the levels of covid-19 infections on the ability of students to take (a) GCSE and (b) A-Level examinations.

Exams and other formal assessments are the best way of judging students’ performance. By sitting exams, students have a fair chance to show their knowledge and understanding of a subject. The government is fully committed to exams going ahead this summer and does not expect that to change, except in the very unlikely case of a public health emergency which would prevent students being able to physically sit exams.

If a student due to take their exams has tested positive for COVID-19 or is unwell with relevant symptoms, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance is clear that they should stay at home. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/people-with-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-infection-including-covid-19#what-to-do-if-you-have-a-positive-covid-19-test-result. They should not attend examinations for the time-period recommended by UKHSA. This is 3 days for children and young people who are 18 years old and under, or 5 days for adults 19 and over. UKHSA guidance covers what to do if someone has symptoms of a respiratory infection at the end of this period.

If someone is staying at home in line with UKHSA guidance, they are considered to have an acceptable reason for absence for the special consideration process. Their centre will provide them with a self-certification form which they or their parent/carer/guardian should complete. Provided they meet the criteria for special consideration, their grade can then be calculated based on the exams and assessments they have already completed, and the exams they complete once they recover.

To address the risk of students missing all their exams, the exam boards have spaced out the exam timetable so that there are at least ten days between the first and last exam, with most subjects having more than 10 days and some quite substantially more. Exceptionally for this year, the Joint Council for Qualifications has confirmed that eligible students can access the special consideration process where they complete at least one whole component within the specification, rather than the usual requirement to cover at least 25% of the total assessment.

In all cases, students, teachers, and schools should adhere to the guidance on living with COVID-19 and candidates are expected to attend their exams wherever possible, and school and college staff should encourage them to do so.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department is providing to (a) parents and (b) schools on children who miss exams due to covid-19 infection.

Exams and other formal assessments are the best way of judging students’ performance. By sitting exams, students have a fair chance to show their knowledge and understanding of a subject. The government is fully committed to exams going ahead this summer and does not expect that to change, except in the very unlikely case of a public health emergency which would prevent students being able to physically sit exams.

If a student due to take their exams has tested positive for COVID-19 or is unwell with relevant symptoms, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance is clear that they should stay at home. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/people-with-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-infection-including-covid-19#what-to-do-if-you-have-a-positive-covid-19-test-result. They should not attend examinations for the time-period recommended by UKHSA. This is 3 days for children and young people who are 18 years old and under, or 5 days for adults 19 and over. UKHSA guidance covers what to do if someone has symptoms of a respiratory infection at the end of this period.

If someone is staying at home in line with UKHSA guidance, they are considered to have an acceptable reason for absence for the special consideration process. Their centre will provide them with a self-certification form which they or their parent/carer/guardian should complete. Provided they meet the criteria for special consideration, their grade can then be calculated based on the exams and assessments they have already completed, and the exams they complete once they recover.

To address the risk of students missing all their exams, the exam boards have spaced out the exam timetable so that there are at least ten days between the first and last exam, with most subjects having more than 10 days and some quite substantially more. Exceptionally for this year, the Joint Council for Qualifications has confirmed that eligible students can access the special consideration process where they complete at least one whole component within the specification, rather than the usual requirement to cover at least 25% of the total assessment.

In all cases, students, teachers, and schools should adhere to the guidance on living with COVID-19 and candidates are expected to attend their exams wherever possible, and school and college staff should encourage them to do so.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the impact of unregulated canine fertility clinics on animal welfare.

Fertility clinics which offer the diagnosis of diseases, perform tests for diagnostic purposes, or carry out medical or surgical treatment such as artificial insemination on dogs, are subject to the requirements of The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. The 1966 Act prohibits anyone who is not a veterinary surgeon registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) from undertaking any non-exempt procedure. Concerns about a person's legitimacy to practice should be reported to the RCVS as Regulator for the Act.

Those operating canine fertility clinics, and owners using their services, are required under The Animal Welfare Act 2006 to protect the animals involved from harm and to provide for their welfare in line with good practice. A breach of these provisions may lead to imprisonment, a fine, or both.

The 2006 Act is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs which provides owners and keepers with general welfare information, including a specific section on how to protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease. That section of the Code of Practice recommends owners seek veterinary advice before breeding their dogs and that owners should take all reasonable steps to ensure that they are able to provide the care required during pregnancy.

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs and/or who breeds three or more litters in a 12 month period needs to have a valid licence from their local authority.

Under the 2018 Regulations licencees must achieve and maintain statutory minimum animal welfare standards, linked to the welfare needs of the Animal Welfare Act 2006: Dog breeding licensing: statutory guidance for local authorities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Steve Double
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill on exports of agricultural products to the EU.

All goods placed on the EU Single Market must comply with EU legislation. Precision bred products would therefore be able to enter the EU market if they have received an EU GMO authorisation and are marketed as such.

The EU are currently consulting on a new regulatory framework for plants produced by precision breeding technologies and intend to implement this framework by 2023. We will continue to monitor progress of this new framework as this develops.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of rising fertiliser prices on (a) wheat and (b) other food crop production in (a) 2022 and (b) future years.

The situation and impacts on farmers in particular, and industry more widely, of increasing fuel prices, are being monitored closely. Defra is in regular contact with key industry figures including the National Farmers Union, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and key sector representatives.

The Government has announced steps to assist farmers with the availability of fertilisers to address uncertainty amongst growers and keep costs down for farmers, such as delaying changes to the use of urea fertiliser by at least a year to help farmer manage costs in light of pressure on the supply of ammonium nitrate fertilisers. Alongside revised and improved statutory guidance on the use of slurry and other manures during autumn and winter, we have introduced new slurry storage grants to help farmers meet the Farming Rules for Water and reducing dependence on artificial fertilisers by storing organic nutrients until needed or for onward processing.

In addition, further details of the Sustainable Farming Incentive have also been published. Given current fertiliser prices, the priority must be to pioneer new technologies to manufacture more organic-based fertiliser products, and rediscover. The Government will pay farmers to help them with the costs of sowing nitrogen fixing plants and green manures in their crops or in advance of their crops to substitute some of their fertiliser requirements for the coming season and reduce their dependence on manufactured fertilisers linked to the price of gas.

Last week I chaired an industry fertiliser roundtable to continue to work on these issues, identify solutions and better understand the impact of current pressures on farmers. In addition, Defra is extending the membership of its longstanding Market Monitoring Group, which involves industry expertise to understand trends in markets.

We understand from industry intelligence that the vast majority of fertiliser needs for this planting season have been met. The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain that has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges. We speak regularly with food industry figures, who remain confident in the food supply chain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many meetings the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State of his Department has had with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on Whitchurch Driving Test Centre in the last 18 months.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) updates Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, on driving test centre (DTC) closures, including Whitchurch, through written correspondence.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take steps to help ensure that councils provide access to bus services for isolated communities in North Shropshire constituency.

I recognise the importance of transport provision in rural and isolated areas and we as a Government are committed to finding solutions which ensure that local communities in areas such as those in North Shropshire have viable and improved transport services.

We have provided nearly £1.86bn in emergency and recovery grant funding for bus services in England outside London to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. Shropshire Council has so far received a total of £2.17m. Shropshire have also been allocated a further £558,906 through the Local Transport Fund, to continue supporting bus services from April until October, as well as £512,447 in funding from the £42m LTA Bus Service Operators Grant in 2020-21.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of rising fuel prices on the haulage industry.

I am working closely with Cabinet colleagues to consider support we can provide in these challenging times. My Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has recently announced a 12 month cut to duty on petrol and diesel of 5p per litre, representing a saving worth around £200 for the average van driver, and £1,500 for the average haulier. This is on top of fuel duty rates having been frozen for twelve consecutive years.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what risk assessments were carried out in relation to pedestrian safety when determining the route of HGV traffic for the HS2 construction project through the parish of Woore.

The Environmental Statements published for HS2 Phase 2a assessed the impacts of construction traffic for the proposed Phase 2a construction routes, including impacts on pedestrians and their safety for the parish of Woore.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are the Government is taking to address trends in the levels of critical incidents declared by ambulance trusts.

Ambulance trusts receive continuous central monitoring and support from the National Ambulance Coordination Centre. NHS England has allocated an additional £150 million to address ambulance service pressures in 2022/23 and support improvements to response times through call handler recruitment and retention.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure adequate staffing levels across Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust is monitoring staffing levels on a monthly basis through its Quality Safety Assurance Committee and has established mutual aid agreements with local partners to assist during times of significant pressure. The Trust has also worked with NHS England to develop a plan to increase the substantive nursing workforce in 2022/23 and enhancing nursing associate, advanced care practitioner, physician associate and apprenticeship roles.

As of March 2022, there were 5,980 full time equivalent (FTE) staff working at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, an increase of 3% from March 2021. This includes a 4.7% increase in the number of FTE doctors and nurses.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there are sufficient training posts available for newly qualified doctors.

All medical undergraduate students can access a foundation programme training post and those due to begin foundation training in 2022/23 have been allocated places. After foundation training, a medical doctor can apply to enter specialty training. In 2021, the fill rate for training posts was 99.2% across all specialties, following a 35% increase in applications. For those who have applied to begin training in 2022, Health Education England is investing in more than 750 additional training posts across all specialty programmes.

22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce ambulance (a) response and (b) handover to A&E times in Shropshire.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is working with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and community partners to reduce conveyances of some patients to hospital as clinically appropriate, providing alternate treatment and care at home or in the community. The Trust is also working with WMAS to cohort ambulance patients at accident and emergency (A&E) departments. This involves a single ambulance crew taking responsibility for three to four patients within the A&E department, releasing crews to respond to outstanding calls in the community.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System also launched a winter health campaign to the end of March, designed to influence public behaviour with messaging to encourage the use of NHS 111 and local pharmacies, so that A&E departments are only used when necessary. Ambulances also have direct access to a same day emergency care centre at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his department is taking to ensure that domiciliary care is available to isolated rural residents where care contractors do not deem it commercially viable to provide services to them due to the travel time involved.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to shape their local markets to ensure that a range of high quality, sustainable, person-centred care and support services are available to meet the needs of the local population. The Government has made £1.4 billion available to support local authorities to move towards paying providers a fair cost of care. Local authorities will be required to conduct an exercise to understand the costs of providing care in the local area. These exercises should reflect geographic variation in costs, such as staff pay and travel time.

We have also announced up to £30 million to support local areas to implement new models of care, supporting innovation in delivery, investment, market-shaping and commissioning practices for care.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what extra assistance the Government plans to provide to NHS trusts in England that have ambulance queues almost three times greater than the national average.

The National Health Service will receive an extra £5.4 billion to April 2022 to support performance and the response to COVID-19. This includes £478 million to continue the enhanced hospital discharge programme to ensure bed capacity, improve patient flow through hospitals and improve accident and emergency (A&E) performance. We have also invested £450 million to upgrade A&E facilities in over 120 trusts to improve capacity through expanding waiting areas, increasing the number of treatment cubicles, reducing overcrowding and supporting social distancing.

In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing support to hospital sites with ambulance queues and handover delay challenges. This includes the placement of specialised hospital ambulance liaison officers, safe cohorting of patients and direct access other area of hospitals to accelerate ambulance handovers. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also provided an extra £55 million for ambulance trusts to increase staffing levels, such as more than 700 additional staff in control rooms and on the frontline. This includes £1.85 million to place hospital ambulance liaison officers at the most challenged hospitals to help address ambulance queues.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assistance the Government plans to provide to NHS trusts in England that have average A&E waiting times almost double the national average.

The National Health Service will receive an extra £5.4 billion to April 2022 to support performance and the response to COVID-19. This includes £478 million to continue the enhanced hospital discharge programme to ensure bed capacity, improve patient flow through hospitals and improve accident and emergency (A&E) performance. We have also invested £450 million to upgrade A&E facilities in over 120 trusts to improve capacity through expanding waiting areas, increasing the number of treatment cubicles, reducing overcrowding and supporting social distancing.

In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing support to hospital sites with ambulance queues and handover delay challenges. This includes the placement of specialised hospital ambulance liaison officers, safe cohorting of patients and direct access other area of hospitals to accelerate ambulance handovers. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also provided an extra £55 million for ambulance trusts to increase staffing levels, such as more than 700 additional staff in control rooms and on the frontline. This includes £1.85 million to place hospital ambulance liaison officers at the most challenged hospitals to help address ambulance queues.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what extra assistance the Government plans to provide to NHS trusts in England that have hospital bed waiting times over double the national average.

The National Health Service is working with local authorities and partners to ensure that medically fit patients can be discharged home as soon as possible seven days a week. People who are clinically ready and no longer need to be in hospital are supported to return to a familiar environment where possible, until they are assessed for their long-term health and care needs.

We have established a national discharge taskforce and allocated approximately £3.3 billion to support safe and timely hospital discharge since March 2020. This includes an additional £478 million to continue hospital discharge programmes until March 2022. Systems are also making full use of non-acute beds in the local health and care system, including in hospices, community beds and the independent sector.

17th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure individuals with dyslexia and other disabilities are not disqualified from obtaining insurance.

It is a priority for the Government that everyone has access to suitable and affordable financial products and services.

Insurers must abide by the Equality Act 2010 and are also required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to treat customers fairly. The FCA is responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry, including insurers.

In addition, from April 2021, the FCA requires all firms offering retail travel insurance to signpost consumers to a directory of specialist providers if they are declined cover, offered cover with an exclusion, or charged a significantly higher premium based on their serious pre-existing medical condition.

15th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of rising inflation on people who are unable to access large supermarkets and shops based in towns.

We understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, and that a range of factors mean individuals may experience cost rises differently, such as those who are unable to access large supermarkets and shops. We are providing support worth over £20 billion across this financial year and next that will help families with the cost of living. This includes the £9.1 billion package announced in February 2022 to help households with rising energy bills.

6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she is taking steps to introduce a national strategy to reduce the exploitation of children in county lines drug trafficking.

The Government is committed to tackling county lines drug trafficking and supporting those exploited by this harmful activity.

On 6 December the Government published a ten-year Drug Strategy which sets out a whole-system approach of how the Government is doing more than ever to cut off the supply of drugs by criminal gangs.

Through the Strategy, we are bolstering our flagship County Lines Programme, investing up to £145m to tackle the most violent and exploitative distribution model yet seen. Since November 2019 police activity funded by the County Lines Programme has closed over 2,400 lines, made over 8,000 arrests, and engaged over 9,500 individuals through safeguarding interventions.

As part of the County Lines Programme, we are investing up to £5m over three financial years 2022-25 to provide support to victims of county lines exploitation and their families. This includes specialist support for under 25s from London, the West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester who are criminally exploited through county lines, to help them safely reduce and exit their involvement and a confidential national helpline service to young people and their families/carers who are affected by county lines exploitation.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help increase the number of police officers in rural parts of England.

We are recruiting an additional 20,000 officers by March 2023. This is unprecedented and reflects the biggest recruitment drive in decades, and will help ensure the public is better protected, including in rural communities.

The latest data publication published on 27 April shows that as at 31 March 2022 over 13,500 additional officers have been recruited as part of the police uplift Programme in England and Wales, 68% of the 20,000 officer target.

The deployment of these officers is an operational decision for Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help increase the proportion of people who commit burglaries in rural parts of England being identified.

This Government recognises the devastating impact burglary has on communities and businesses. That is why we are recruiting 20,000 extra police officers and why we have introduced the Safer Streets Fund - which encompasses rural locations - to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place, supporting the deployment of solutions such as home security, increased street lighting and CCTV in high crime areas.

We have also taken measures to tackle reoffending, including the scheme electronically to monitor burglars and other neighbourhood crime offenders released on licence, and work driven by the Residential Burglary Taskforce includes encouraging forces to learn from each other and share best practice about effective investigations.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help increase the number of police officers in rural parts of England.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help increase the proportion of people who commit burglaries in rural parts of England being identified.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what is the deadline for the submission of bids for the Levelling Up Fund Round Two.

This second round of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will allocate further funding to infrastructure projects that will improve everyday life for residents across the United Kingdom.

I am aware that applicants across the UK have been working hard to develop ambitious bids to this second round of the Levelling Up Fund. I am therefore delighted to confirm that the application portal opened on Friday 15 July. To allow adequate time for the submission of bids, the portal will remain open until noon 2 August.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has conducted an impact assessment on the effect of delays to the opening of the Levelling Up Fund portal.

I am delighted to have opened the application portal for the second round of the Fund on the 15 July. I am aware that applicants across the UK have been working hard to develop ambitious bids. I am pleased that they have benefitted from some extra time, enabling them to make further use of the support materials provided to them including guidance and technical teach-ins. I look forward to announcing the outcome later this year, which will see much needed further investment awarded to places in need of levelling up.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022, if her will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending restricting ground rents charges to new leaseholders to include existing leaseholders.

The Government is committed to creating a fair and just housing system that works for everyone and to delivering the second phase of our major two-part leasehold reform within this Parliament.

We have already taken action to end unfair practices in the leasehold market, beginning with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 Act, which will come into force on 30 June. The Act will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by preventing landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent.

We understand the difficulties some existing leaseholders face with high and escalating ground rents. In this Parliament our reforms will supercharge leaseholders' ability to buy their freehold, helping 4.6 million households genuinely to own their own home with significant discounts for those trapped with egregious, escalating ground rents.

Unfair practices have no place in the housing market. This is why we asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate potential mis-selling of homes and unfair terms in the leasehold sector. The Government has welcomed the action to tackle potential mis-selling and unfair terms in the leasehold sector and wants to see homeowners who have been affected obtain the justice and redress they deserve.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the timeline is for his Department to release further plans for levelling up areas not referred to in the Levelling Up White Paper.

The Government is committed to levelling up all parts of the UK. We will go further in putting money and power in local hands. Alongside the White Paper, we set out how Shropshire and other local areas will be empowered through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to invest in local priorities which will build pride in place and increase life chances. We also expect to launch the next round of the Levelling Up Fund this spring.

Finally, the White Paper sets out for the first time a clear framework for devolution in England, supporting areas to develop devolution proposals which demonstrate effective leadership and sensible geography.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support will be available to level up rural areas which have been unsuccessful in previous bids to the Levelling Up Fund and are not named as recipients of funding in the Levelling Up White Paper.

Levelling up is for all parts of the UK, including rural areas. Building on the Levelling Up White Paper, we will publish the second report on rural proofing in England this spring, setting out how government departments are working to support levelling up in rural areas and how we are strengthening the rural economy, developing rural infrastructure, delivering rural services and managing the natural environment. Rural areas in particular will also benefit from the Government’s mission to reach nationwide gigabit capable-broadband and 4G coverage by 2030.

As well as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, of which details were published alongside the White Paper, we expect to launch the next round of the Levelling Up Fund this spring, with further details to be announced soon. Further, the White Paper sets out a clear framework for devolution in England, supporting all areas, including rural counties, to develop devolution proposals which demonstrate effective leadership and sensible geography.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his Department's policy is on expanding planning consent beyond the area allocated for housing in the Local Plan.

My policy is to support a plan-led system which engages communities and gives a clear indication of what will happen where. There will be some circumstances where development is appropriate on other sites – for example where plans are out of date or new regeneration opportunities arise – which is why plans need to be reviewed regularly. I am considering how further reform of planning could support the preparation of timely, accessible and effective plans.

4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the complaints process for members of the public corresponding with the Office of the Public Guardian.

OPG manage customer complaints through a tiered complaints process. Complaints are initially handled by the business area responsible, which is the ‘first tier’. If a customer is unhappy with the response, the complaint can be escalated to the ‘second tier’ complaints team. At this stage the complaint, and its handling, is reviewed by the Public Guardian or a member of the senior leadership team on their behalf. If a customer is not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they can ask an MP to refer their complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for an independent review.

The target for responding to complaints is 10 working days. OPG is currently experiencing backlogs in processing LPAs and the corresponding increase in correspondence has had an impact on OPG’s ability to respond to complaints within the target. OPG understands the importance of customers receiving timely responses to complaints. In order to improve the service that is provided, OPG has recruited more staff to process LPAs and to respond to complaints, which is already having a positive impact on the length of time customers wait to receive a response.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on the efficiency of the Office of the Public Guardian.

It currently takes up to 20 weeks for an LPA to be registered. OPG’s target to register LPAs is 40 days. It should be noted that OPG must carry out checks on receipt of the LPA before notices are issued, and then must observe a statutory waiting period of 4 weeks to allow for objections before the registration process can be completed. This statutory waiting period cannot be waived and is included in the calculation for the number of days to register an LPA. Like many organisations, Covid had a significant impact on the OPG, particularly in the processing and registration of LPAs.

A backlog to register LPAs was initially created at the start of the pandemic when the numbers of staff in the office significantly reduced due to self-isolation, shielding and caring responsibilities. From April 2021 incoming workload increased significantly as restrictions were lifted. There was then a significant period of Covid related sickness from September 2021 for a number of months. The backlog has been exacerbated by record daily applications for LPAs at c4,200 per day (compared to c3,600 a day pre-pandemic). This has caused an increase in average time taken to register an LPA.

The OPG know the delays are frustrating the customers and is committed to reducing the time it is currently taking to register LPAs. OPG staff are working day and night to tackle the Covid backlog. Frontline operational staff whose role requires them to be office-based have worked in the office throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. The OPG rapidly changed working practices and processes during the pandemic to continue to deliver their services and the number of LPAs being processed each month is back to what it was before the pandemic. The OPG has continued to deliver its wider statutory functions throughout the pandemic, including supervising deputies and guardians appointed by the Court of Protection and the High Court, and investigating representations, complaints, or allegations of abuse, made against guardians, deputies, and attorneys acting under registered powers.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the frequency of duplicate payments made by members of the public for services provided by the Office of the Public Guardian.

OPG launched a new card payment process in November 2021. The introduction of this system led to some duplicate payments, which was identified quickly. Measures have now been put in place to significantly reduce the risk of duplicate payment requests being made. There is no indication that duplicate payments are taking place frequently and the OPG successfully processes payments to register LPAs every week.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many orders are currently waiting to be processed by the Office of the Public Guardian; and what the average number of orders waiting to be processed by that office was during the period between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

There are currently (as of 5 July 2022) 350,000 LPAs waiting to be processed by the Office of the Public Guardian. This represents all applications which the OPG has received and is currently processing and is not a reflection of the applications which have exceeded the 40-day target and might be considered to be part of a "backlog". OPG does not hold data on the average number of LPAs waiting to be processed between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken by the Office of the Public Guardian to register Legal Powers of Attorney (LPAs) is from the date of receipt of orders during the period between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022; and what the average time taken by the Office of the Public Guardian to register LPAs was from the date of receipt of orders during the period between 1 June 2018 and 31 May 2019.

The average time taken by the OPG to register Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) between 1st June 2021 and 31st May 2022 was 73 days. The average processing time during 1st June 2018 to 31st May 2019 was 39 days. OPG’s target to register LPAs is 40 days. It should be noted that OPG must carry out checks on receipt of the LPA before notices are issued, and then must observe a statutory waiting period of 4 weeks to allow for objections before the registration process can be completed. This statutory waiting period cannot be waived and is included in the calculation for the number of days to register an LPA. OPG know that delays are frustrating for customers, and they are committed to reducing the time it is currently taking to register LPAs.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps his Department is taking to work with the (a) Welsh Government and (b) Department for Transport to ensure that English bus passes used for travel between two English destinations are valid on bus routes which pass through Wales on their journey.

Under Section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 local authorities in England and Wales can agree with neighbouring authorities to offer discretionary travel concessions on local services where the route may cross the border.