Ian Byrne Portrait

Ian Byrne

Labour - Liverpool, West Derby


Oral Question
Thursday 28th October 2021
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral Question No. 6
When he plans to publish the Government’s response to the National Food Strategy.
Save to Calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 165 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Thursday 21st October 2021
Building Safety Bill (Fourteenth sitting)

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. We are back to the point about a change …

Written Answers
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Coronavirus: Public Inquiries
If he will take steps to consult bereaved families on the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 9th September 2021
AOC Europe 2021
That this House opposes the planned staging of the AOC Europe 2021 electronic warfare event, organised by Clarion Defence and …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th March 2020
1. Employment and earnings
31 December 2019, received £3,592.08 from IPSA for work as an MP's office manager until 12 December 2019. I repaid …
EDM signed
Tuesday 19th October 2021
COP26 and the Glasgow Action Plan
That this House acknowledges that the COP26 conference is the important moment when countries that have signed the Paris Agreement …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021
A Bill to impose duties on certain education and training providers in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ian Byrne has voted in 272 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Ian Byrne 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
Shaun Bailey (Conservative)
(11 debate interactions)
Mike Amesbury (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(9 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(7 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Finance Act 2020 - Government Bill
(665 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Ian Byrne's debates

Liverpool, West Derby 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

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme


Latest EDMs signed by Ian Byrne

18th October 2021
Ian Byrne signed this EDM on Tuesday 19th October 2021

COP26 and the Glasgow Action Plan

Tabled by: Rebecca Long Bailey (Labour - Salford and Eccles)
That this House acknowledges that the COP26 conference is the important moment when countries that have signed the Paris Agreement on climate change must present new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions; notes that this is critical for keeping temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celcius and preventing the world’s poorest …
31 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 23
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Green Party: 1
23rd September 2021
Ian Byrne signed this EDM on Monday 18th October 2021

Staff of hon. and Rt. hon. Members

Tabled by: Charlotte Nichols (Labour - Warrington North)
That this House recognises and celebrates the efforts of staff of hon. and Rt. hon. Members; applauds their efforts on behalf of constituents, particularly during the course of the covid-19 pandemic when workloads have increased enormously; specifically thanks caseworkers who have recently worked tirelessly to aid people stranded in Afghanistan …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 12
Conservative: 2
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Ian Byrne's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ian Byrne, 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.


Ian Byrne has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ian Byrne has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Ian Byrne has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


67 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
23rd Sep 2021
If he will take steps to consult bereaved families on the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our deepest sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones. The Government remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that these families secure the opportunity to scrutinise the Government’s response to managing the pandemic that they deserve.

The Prime Minister made clear in his statement to this House on 12 May that bereaved families and others will be consulted on the inquiry’s terms of reference before they are finalised.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for his Department's Facilities Management Framework of the merger of Mitie and Interserve, and if he will publish that assessment; and if he will take steps to introduce a social value framework in relation to the public contracts for facilities management operated by Mitie following their merger with Interserve.

The Crown Commercial Service engaged with both suppliers prior to the merger to ensure that no unfair competitive advantage over other suppliers can be achieved under the Facilities Management (RM3830) framework agreement. . The Cabinet Office has recently issued guidance that sets out how Central government organisations should use a new Social Value model to take account of the additional social benefits that can be achieved in the delivery of its contracts. The guidance applies to in-scope procurements advertised after 1 January 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on central government facilities management contracts of the proposed merger between Mitie and Interserve.

Interserve and Mitie have announced a proposed merger of Interserve's Support Services division with Mitie. Interserve and Mitie are both strategic suppliers to the Government, and as such are monitored by the Cabinet Office. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the Competition and Markets Authority investigation of the proposed merger is ongoing.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the proposed merger between Mitie and Interserve, what plans he has to require the suitability of the resulting commercial entity to be reviewed under the Cabinet Office (Crown Commercial Service) Framework.

Interserve and Mitie have announced a proposed merger of Interserve's Support Services division with Mitie. Interserve and Mitie are both strategic suppliers to the Government, and as such are monitored by the Cabinet Office. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the Competition and Markets Authority investigation of the proposed merger is ongoing.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the resulting commercial entity of the proposed merger between Mitie and Interserve will assume responsibility for the social value responsibilities of Interserve; and whether a new assessment under the Facilities Management Framework will take place.

Interserve and Mitie have announced a proposed merger of Interserve's Support Services division with Mitie. Interserve and Mitie are both strategic suppliers to the Government, and as such are monitored by the Cabinet Office. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the Competition and Markets Authority investigation of the proposed merger is ongoing.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make extended financial support available for freelancers in the arts sector when the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme end to respond to venues not being (a) permitted to open as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and (b) able to offer contracts of employment to freelancers in that sector.

"DCMS recognise that these are extremely challenging times for freelancers, and understand the crucial role they play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. We are working hard to ensure that we help to provide financial support to freelancers during this period.

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

As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers. Each organisation that receives money will know what best they can do to support their workforce, including their freelance workforce.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has also been extended with applications opening in August for a second and final grant. The grant will operate in the same way as the existing scheme with self-employed workers eligible for a single payment covering three months, at a level of 70% of average monthly earnings up to a maximum of £6,570 (i.e. down from 80% and a maximum of £7,500).

Alongside this funding, ACE have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, which can include freelancers. This involves things such as an additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups and freelancers are eligible to apply to this directly. National Portfolio Organisations can also apply to create new work with bids that create employment opportunities prioritised. A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will also open in the autumn, which will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career. ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will make it its policy to reinstate the provisions under the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for people employed in the arts sector in the event of a second wave of covid-19.

Currently, DCMS are working to aid sector reopening, and support organisations who are in need of financial support due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are tracking the public health situation and scientific guidance closely in order to ensure we are able to support sectors using clear guidelines. Should the scientific guidance change in the future, or the coronavirus situation worsen, we will continue to work through what guidance and support is necessary to support our vital arts and creative sectors.

From the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund we have held back £258m in reserve to provide us with flexibility to respond to the path of covid-19 and its impact. The Government will conduct a Spending Review this year and all decisions regarding funding for future financial years will be considered at that event.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to provide backdated financial support to freelancers in the arts sector who are not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

DCMS recognise that these are extremely challenging times for freelancers, and understand the crucial role they play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. We are working hard to ensure that we help to provide financial support to freelancers during this period.

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

As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers. Each organisation that receives money will know what best they can do to support their workforce, including their freelance workforce.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has also been extended with applications opening in August for a second and final grant. The grant will operate in the same way as the existing scheme with self-employed workers eligible for a single payment covering three months, at a level of 70% of average monthly earnings up to a maximum of £6,570 (i.e. down from 80% and a maximum of £7,500).

Alongside this funding, ACE have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, which can include freelancers. This involves things such as an additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups and freelancers are eligible to apply to this directly. National Portfolio Organisations can also apply to create new work with bids that create employment opportunities prioritised. A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will also open in the autumn, which will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career. ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will (a) provide and (b) encourage insurers to provide freelance workers in the cultural sector with a personal insurance scheme that includes cover for covid-19-related illnesses.

DCMS recognise that these are extremely challenging times for freelancers, and understand the crucial role they play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. We are working hard to ensure that we help to provide financial support to freelancers during this period.

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

As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers. Each organisation that receives money will know what best they can do to support their workforce, including their freelance workforce.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has also been extended with applications opening in August for a second and final grant. The grant will operate in the same way as the existing scheme with self-employed workers eligible for a single payment covering three months, at a level of 70% of average monthly earnings up to a maximum of £6,570 (i.e. down from 80% and a maximum of £7,500).

Alongside this funding, ACE have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, which can include freelancers. This involves things such as an additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups and freelancers are eligible to apply to this directly. National Portfolio Organisations can also apply to create new work with bids that create employment opportunities prioritised. A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will also open in the autumn, which will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career. ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to underwrite the £270 million of repayable finance in his funding package for arts and cultural organisations in England; and what the repayment timeframe is for those loans.

The Repayable Finance Scheme is intended to assist larger organisations who need more than £3m, and that have a history of financial resilience. Thorough financial checks will be conducted prior to awards being granted, and recipients will need to demonstrate financial viability as a result of receiving the award. This support package represents the most cost effective way of preventing key cultural and heritage organisations from insolvency, and the repayable finance option will ensure a return to the taxpayer on their investment.

Loans will be available on generous terms including a payment term of up to 20 years, an initial repayment holiday of up to four years and a 2% interest rate per annum. Further details are available in the guidance published by Arts Council England.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason (a) institutions and (b) individuals in the arts sector will be required to demonstrate how they have contributed to wider economic growth in order to access the Government's support package for the arts; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the criteria for eligibility will not exclude smaller provincial venues and artists from being eligible for those funds.

On 5 July, the Government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. In order to receive support, organisations will need to demonstrate that they are at risk in this financial year and have done all they can to exhaust other options. Guidance published by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund sets out further details on eligibility requirements for the package.

While we would like this investment to go as far as it can in spreading support across the country, funding will not be available for every organisation. As such, the delivery bodies will be prioritising institutions of national and international significance and those that are crucial to levelling up places and communities and economic growth across the country. As part of that, we are ensuring that funding is distributed fairly, and that smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities are protected.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the criteria his Department will use to determine the distribution of the £880m grant funding to the arts sectors.

On 5 July, the Government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance has been published by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for applicants to the Culture Recovery Grants application rounds, and by Arts Council England for applicants to the Repayable Finance Scheme. Further details on eligibility and application processes are available in the published guidance.

This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, with one of our core objectives being to support the cultural organisations that are crucial to places across the whole country. We will ensure that funding is distributed fairly, and that smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities are protected.

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

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish a timeframe for the release of the £880m grant funding for the arts sector.

On 5 July, the Government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance has been published by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for applicants to the Culture Recovery Grants application rounds, and by Arts Council England for applicants to the Repayable Finance Scheme. Further details on eligibility and application processes are available in the published guidance.

This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, with one of our core objectives being to support the cultural organisations that are crucial to places across the whole country. We will ensure that funding is distributed fairly, and that smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities are protected.

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

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June to Question 10698 on Primary Education: Sports, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of uncertainty on the primary physical education and sport premium for the 2021-22 academic year on (a) school finances and (b) the ability of schools to agree programmes of support for pupils for the next academic year.

The Department aims to give as much notice as possible to schools of future funding to support effective planning and has now confirmed the overall funding for the primary physical education (PE) and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure it is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery. Funding will be allocated according to a formula and details will be confirmed in the autumn.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timetable is for announcing arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium funding for the 2021-22 academic year; and how he plans to calculate that funding.

The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding. We will confirm arrangements for the primary physical education and sport premium for the 2021/22 academic year as soon as possible.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate the Government has made of the rate of transmission of covid-19 in SEND schools in England; what steps his department is taking to support SEND schools in Liverpool West Derby to reduce covid-19 transmission ; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including SEND school staff in the first phase of the covod-19 vaccination rollout.

During national lockdown restrictions, all schools and colleges, including special schools and special post-16 settings, remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers. We recognise that the characteristics of the cohorts in special schools will mean that these settings continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils, where appropriate. This is because we know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families, can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education. The department has published new guidance on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history

It is important that staff in these settings continue to be supported. The rapid asymptomatic testing programme will include testing staff, vulnerable pupils and students, and children of key workers, including those within special schools and special post-16 settings. Further announcements on the roll out of testing to staff in primary schools will follow in due course, to help support the reopening of education settings.

Public Health England have advised that the current guidance on the system of controls should continue to be followed. When implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, this creates an inherently safer environment where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced.

The personal protective equipment (PPE) portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 PPE. These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum. Our published guidance clearly outlines the circumstances in which PPE should be used, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The department will input into this cross governmental exercise.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate the Government has made of the rate of covid-19 transmission in nurseries in England; what steps his department is taking to support nurseries in Liverpool West Derby to reduce transmission of covid-19; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including nursery staff in the first phase of thecovid-19 vaccination rollout.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to less than 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission. There is no evidence that the new strain of COVID-19 causes more serious illness in either children or adults, or that it disproportionately affects young children.

Public Health England (PHE) advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments. This report from PHE shows that, at present under 5s have the lowest confirmed case rate of all age groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020, and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a significant rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools. Further information on this evidence is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886994/s0257-sage-sub-group-modelling-behavioural-science-relaxing-school-closures-sage30.pdf.

We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

These plans are being kept under review in the light of emerging scientific evidence. We are working with the scientific community to understand the properties and dynamics of the new variant VUI-202012/01 in relation to children and young people.

The department has been in regular contact with all local authorities, including that of Liverpool West Derby. During these meetings we collect and feedback the concerns and issues raised by providers and the local authority to the relevant policy teams within the department, to ensure that policy is reflective of the needs and experiences of those delivering essential early education.

PHE have endorsed a ‘system of controls’ which are the set of actions all early years settings must take. These are outlined in more detail here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

These build on the hierarchy of protective measures that have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. When implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Regarding the next phase of vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The Department will input into this cross governmental exercise.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on replacing the temporary arrangements for supplementary funding with a new strand of the Early Years National Funding Formula for grant-maintained nursery schools.

We announced on 24 August 2020 that local authorities will continue to receive supplementary funding for their maintained nursery schools for the whole of the 2020-21 academic year. The department has regular discussions at official and ministerial level about all aspects of the education system for the forthcoming spending review.

We are committed to funding for maintained nursery schools in the longer term. Any reform to the way they are funded in the future will be accompanied by appropriate funding protections. The Government plans to spend more than £3.6 billion on early education entitlements in 2020-21.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of school children who did not have access to broadband and computer equipment have been given the equipment required to enable them to carry out school work from home where required in Liverpool West Derby constituency.

The Department has invested over £195 million to support remote education through laptops and tablets, internet provision, and online education platforms.

Over 220,000 laptops and tablets were delivered during the summer term for disadvantaged children who would not otherwise have access. This data can be found here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912888/Devices_and_4G_wireless_routers_progress_data_as_of_27_August_2020.pdf and includes data on Liverpool Council and trusts in the Liverpool region.

The Department have supplemented this support by making an additional 340,000 laptops and tablets available in the event face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of local Covid-19 restrictions, and children become reliant on remote education.

Over 100,000 devices have been delivered to schools since September, which includes 5,728 delivered to schools in the Liverpool region.

We have already provided over 50,000 4G wireless routers, with free data for the autumn term, to support disadvantaged children to access remote education and vital social care services.

In partnership with select mobile network operators, the Department ran a small-scale trial with a limited number of local authorities and academy trusts to identify and support disadvantaged families who would benefit from free mobile data uplifts to engage in remote education. Following the success of this pilot, we are now working with mobile network operators to provide a national service for disadvantaged children.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the health and safety of teachers and staff in the workplace at schools and colleges during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) to develop specific guidance for education settings, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare. DHSC and PHE endorsed system of controls outlined in our guidance sets out the measures that school and college leaders and staff should follow.

Where settings implement the system of controls outlined in our guidance, in line with their own workplace risk assessment, DHSC and PHE confirm that these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

While the national restrictions introduced from 5 November are in force, those individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to work from home where possible and not to go into work. Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP, and may have been advised to shield in the past. Staff should talk to their employers about how they will be supported, including to work from home where possible, during the period of national restrictions. All other staff can continue to attend work, including those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to provide meals for disadvantaged school children during school holidays in 2020 in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) the UK.

During the 2018 summer holidays the Department awarded £2 million to 7 organisations to deliver free healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children. With this money, the Department were able to support more than 280 clubs and reach around 18,000 children.

In 2019, this funding was more than quadrupled to explore a model of local coordination of free holiday provision in 11 local authority areas, reaching around 50,000 children.

In 2020, the Department will again invest £9 million to support children and their families. Officials are currently processing the bids received and the Department will announce the outcome and the chosen organisations and locations in due course. This has been a competitive bidding process and all areas were able to apply for this funding.

The scheme operates in England only as education is a devolved matter.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding he has allocated to support (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils with special educational needs in Liverpool, West Derby constituency; and how that allocation compares with the average funding level across England.

We recently announced £780 million additional high needs funding for 2020-21, a 12% rise bringing the total to over £7 billion. Every local authority in England will see an increase in high needs funding of at least 8% per head of population aged 2 to 18. Liverpool will receive £57.9 million in total high needs funding next year. The department does not break down high needs funding by constituency.

When the costs of additional support required for a pupil with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) exceed £6,000, the local authority should also allocate additional top-up funding to cover the excess costs. This top-up funding, and funding for special schools, comes from the local authority’s high needs budget.

We have also allocated £365 million special provision capital funding to local authorities in England from 2018 to 2021, to increase number of places available locally and enhance facilities for children with the most complex SEND. This could include re-purposing areas so that they meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what effect the national funding formula for schools has had on levels of socioeconomic inequality in (a) Liverpool, West Derby constituency, (b) Liverpool and (c) Liverpool City Region.

The National Funding Formula commits extra funding for pupils with additional needs, based on levels of deprivation, low prior attainment, English as an additional language and mobility. This is because evidence shows that pupils with these characteristics are more likely to fall behind, and need extra support to reach their full potential.

In 2020-21, £6.3 billion will be allocated in the national funding formula for 5-16 year olds with additional needs in England. Areas with high levels of additional needs will attract more funding and, as a result Liverpool, West Derby constituency and the local authority of Liverpool will receive higher than average per pupil funding. Next year, primary schools and secondary schools in the Liverpool, West Derby constituency will attract, on average, £4,626 and £5,775 per pupil respectively. Across the local authority of Liverpool they will attract on average £4,560 and £5,744 per pupil respectively. In both cases, this is above the national average of £4,352 for primary schools and £5,578 for secondary schools.

In 2020-21, the local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helen’s and Wirral) will receive a total cash increase of £49.2 million in additional schools funding. Overall, these local authorities will receive a 5.1% increase in their total cash funding.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the risk of private sector forestry operators bringing foreign plant pathogens to the UK via imported trees.

From January 2021, trees entering Great Britain from the EU have been subject to third country import requirements and controls on the highest risk products have been applied. This includes requirements to pre-notify, the need for a phytosanitary certificate to accompany regulated consignments and physical inspections on imports once they have arrived in Great Britain. It was already the case that imported trees from non-EU countries were subject to import controls and risk-based checks at the border. All forestry operators and businesses supplying such operators, including those from the private sector, must comply with these requirements when importing trees or other regulated material.

Plant health risks are continually identified, assessed, and managed by the UK Plant Health Risk Group which includes key experts from within Defra, the Forestry Commission, and across the Devolved Administrations. This analysis, and the underpinning biological and economic data and evidence, is captured by the UK's publicly available Plant Health Risk Register, including how the pest has been or could be introduced into the UK. Over 1200 pests are currently recorded on the Risk Register, and the numbers are increasing. Through this screening process, we are able to identify significant threats and to prioritise our actions and resources accordingly, making evidence-based decisions on whether to regulate the pest and the control measures necessary to protect our crops, trees, gardens and countryside. It is through this mechanism that a number of tree genera are already prohibited from being imported from non-EU sources, with stringent requirements in place for other genera, which must be met before they can be imported.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that the England Tree Strategy maximises the use of domestically grown British trees and minimise reliance on imports.

We are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this parliament. We published our ambitious England Trees Action Plan on the 18th May which sets out our plans to at least treble tree planting rates in England in support of this, using more than £500 million from the Nature for Climate Fund.

Planting and establishing more domestic trees will play an important role in supporting the green economy, levelling up rural areas and creating thousands of new jobs. Using UK grown timber can reduce our carbon footprint from imports and reduce emissions by replacing carbon-intensive materials.

We committed in the Clean Growth Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan to increase the use of timber in construction, identifying it as key measure in encouraging commercial forestry. Our England Trees Action Plan includes measures to encourage both supply and demand for UK grown timber, including a new Forestry Innovation Fund which will provide financial support to develop innovative timber products, the use of procurement policies to increase public demand for sustainably sourced timber and increase the safe use of timber in construction.

Through the England Trees Action Plan, we are also working to increase tree production in our domestic nursery sector through targeted activities supported by the Nature for Climate Fund. This will build on current facilities and explore innovative ideas and technologies to improve production capacity. This is necessary to create a resilient, healthy, and genetically diverse planting stock, which is ready for our future climate in the UK. This should encourage further development of domestically grown trees and minimise the reliance on tree imports.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of the Wykeham Nursery site in North Yorkshire on Forestry England's ability to fulfil planting targets without increasing reliance on the import of trees to the UK.

Forestry England manages two nursery sites, one at Delamere in Cheshire and the other at Wykeham in Yorkshire. Following a detailed review of future tree seedling supply needs, Forestry England plan to close Wykeham nursery and to concentrate production at its Delamere facilities. Forestry England is strengthening the resilience of tree supply by investing to adapt to the impacts of climate change and biosecurity challenges.

The nurseries exist primarily to supply trees for Forestry England; the closure at Wykeham will not impact upon current or future tree planting ambitions nationally or by Forestry England. In support of their biosecurity assurance protocols Forestry England only plant trees grown in Britain with Plant Healthy certification.

Forestry England has been proactive in strengthening biosecurity across their operations and were the first locations in which the Plant Healthy audit protocols were tested. Forestry England are working closely with industry partners in encouraging the development of robust biosecurity assurance across the whole tree nursery sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) private forestry sector's current stocking density levels and (b) ability of private sector operators to fulfil public contracts without increasing reliance on imported trees.

We do not keep track of the private sector's current stocking density levels. However, through the England Trees Action Plan, we have set out measures to expand our data on trees, woodlands and forests. This includes establishing a Nursery Notification Scheme which will provide information on supply and demand of different kinds of tree, which will support nurseries and seed suppliers to produce the right stock at the right time.

We do not hold information or make assessments on the ability of private sector operators to fulfil public contracts. However, we are working to increase tree production in our domestic nursery sector through targeted activities supported by the Nature for Climate Fund. This will include capital investment in nurseries to improve the quantity, quality, diversity and biosecurity of domestic tree production. This is necessary to create a resilient, healthy, and genetically diverse planting stock, which is ready for our future climate and grown in the UK. This should encourage further reliance on domestically grown trees.

We know that collaborative engagement with both the public and private forest nursery sector is crucial to enhance nursery production. Through the England Trees Action Plan, we are setting out a roadmap for future engagement, building on what we already have in place. This will allow us to develop collaborative, committed and transparent relationships with the nursery sector that delivers better strategic alignment and enhances plant and seed production further.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to reduce air pollution in (a) Liverpool and (b) other cities.

As a result of the 2017 NO2 Plan and 2018 supplement, 61 local authorities including Liverpool have been required to assess what action is needed to address NO2 exceedances in their area and develop local plans. The Government is committed to improving air quality in the UK and have provided £572 million to support the development and implementation of required measures by these local authorities.

Liverpool City Council submitted a final plan to deliver compliance with legal limits for NO2 in the form of an Outline Business Case in October last year. We continue to work with the Council to ensure their final plan delivers compliance with legal NO2 limit levels in the shortest possible time.

Our Clean Air Strategy (CAS) sets out an ambitious programme of action to reduce air pollutant emissions from a wide range of sources. The World Health Organization has recognised the CAS as an example for the rest of the world to follow. Our Environment Bill was reintroduced to Parliament on 30 January 2020 and makes a clear commitment to set an ambitious target for fine particulate matter, the pollutant of most concern for human health. It also ensures that local authorities have a clear framework and simple to use powers to tackle air pollution in their areas, and will provide the Government with new powers to enforce environmental standards for vehicles. All this action will improve air quality across the UK, including in the most affected areas

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2020
What recent discussions she has had with the UK's trade partners on protecting International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

While the details?of?free trade agreements?are?reserved?for formal negotiations,?HM Government has been clear that?increased trade does not have to come at the expense of?our high?labour standards.?The United Kingdom?is an active member of the International Labour Organisation and we?will?continue to uphold our world-leading standards and?international?commitments.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to ensure that the terms of the covid-19 emergency management arrangements with train operating companies do not financially benefit those organisations compared with their franchise agreements prior to the covid-19 lockdown.

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the existing franchise agreements' financial mechanisms for an initial period of six months. They were developed at an early stage of the covid-19 crisis as a bespoke solution to address the particular circumstances of rail franchises. These include the fact that the government would face large and direct financial exposure via its obligations under the Railways Act if any franchise were to fail financially and become unable to operate its services. The EMAs include explicit provisions to prevent 'double recovery', ensuring franchisees cannot be compensated through the EMAs where funding from other government support schemes has been obtained.

Operators are required to continue to fulfil their obligations under the EMAs for a small, pre-determined management fee. Fees are set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to establish new rail links (a) in Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) the North West.

To help communities across the country, we have pledged £500m to start reopening lines closed following the Beeching report, reconnecting smaller towns, regenerating local economies and improving accessibility to jobs, homes and education.

I encourage MPs, to work with local authorities and community groups in their constituency to come forward with proposals to reinstate axed local services and stations. This funding will help develop these proposals, and accelerate the delivery of schemes that are already being considered for restoration.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward measures to remove the six-month rule, which forces terminally ill people to prove how long they have left to live in order to access fast-track support.

The DWP announced in July 2019 that it would consider how the benefit system supports people nearing the end of their life. The DWP has conducted a wide ranging evaluation which considered the views of claimants, stakeholders and clinicians on how it supports those nearing the end of their lives. The evaluation has shown that there are three key areas for the Department to consider: a consensus to change the six-month rule; improving ​consistency with other services used by people nearing the end of their lives; and raising awareness of the support that is available. The Department is committed to delivering an improved benefit system for claimants that are nearing the end of their lives and is working across Government to bring forward proposals following the evaluation.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for universal credit lapsed or were withdrawn due to the death of the applicant in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency, (b) Merseyside and (c) England since the introduction of universal credit.

The breakdown requested is not available and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs. However, in the 12 months to end of 2019, 2,300, or less than 0.07 per cent, applications were made to Universal Credit where the claimant passed away and the claims closed after the declaration, but prior to receiving the first payment.

Universal Credit can be claimed by a range of working age people, some of whom have health conditions or disabilities, which may be degenerative or life limiting. The decision to claim Universal Credit can be prompted by a range of a factors, including when someone is terminally ill, so mortality figures should not be viewed in isolation.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to provide additional support to people with long covid in (a) Liverpool, West Derby constituency and (b) Liverpool.

The data requested is not collected centrally at constituency or city level.

On 15 June, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a new 10-point plan and announced an additional £100 million expansion of care for patients with ‘long’ COVID-19 in England. This additional investment includes £70 million which will be used to expand National Health Service treatment and rehabilitation services and establish 15 paediatric hubs to coordinate care for children and young people. A ‘long’ COVID-19 clinic is available as part of Liverpool University Foundation Hospital Trust, while one of the paediatric hubs will be set up within Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. The remaining £30million will be used for an enhanced service for general practice to support care and enable consistent referrals.

Research is ongoing so we can better understand the virus and its long-term effects. Over £30million of funding has already been committed to research projects and a further £20million is available for a further research call which closed on 12 May. Successful applicants from this call will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) adults and (b) children have been diagnosed with long covid in Liverpool, West Derby constituency to date.

The data requested is not collected centrally at constituency or city level.

On 15 June, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a new 10-point plan and announced an additional £100 million expansion of care for patients with ‘long’ COVID-19 in England. This additional investment includes £70 million which will be used to expand National Health Service treatment and rehabilitation services and establish 15 paediatric hubs to coordinate care for children and young people. A ‘long’ COVID-19 clinic is available as part of Liverpool University Foundation Hospital Trust, while one of the paediatric hubs will be set up within Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. The remaining £30million will be used for an enhanced service for general practice to support care and enable consistent referrals.

Research is ongoing so we can better understand the virus and its long-term effects. Over £30million of funding has already been committed to research projects and a further £20million is available for a further research call which closed on 12 May. Successful applicants from this call will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of mask wearing being voluntary (a) on public transport and (b) in shops on rates of covid-19 transmission.

The Government’s decision on moving to step four of the roadmap will involve undertaking impact assessments, as part of the duties placed on it by the Public Sector Equality Duty.

We will continue to encourage the wearing of face coverings and highlight that wearing a face covering may still help to reduce risk of transmission.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what modelling his Department has undertaken on the effect of air pollution on hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19.

Public Health England has not undertaken any direct modelling on the effect of air pollution on hospitalisations and deaths for COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution on covid-19 mutations on 2 February 2021, if he will write to Members representing any related constituencies in Liverpool on risks posed by mutations discovered in that place.

The Parliamentary under-Secretary of State (Lord Bethell) called those hon. Members whose constituencies would be affected by surge testing due to the new South African variant and contacted the affected Metro Mayors and the Combined Authority Mayor of Liverpool.


We are committed to keeping Parliamentarians updated.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of covid-19 vaccinations administered each day are administered in Liverpool West Derby constituency.

NHS England and NHS Improvement publish weekly data for vaccinations in England. This provides data on vaccinations by local authority, constituency and region. This is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

We do not publish daily vaccination figures at constituency level.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he estimates that people in priority groups one and two will have received their (a) first and (b) second covid-19 vaccine.

Everyone in the top four priority cohorts was offered their first dose by 15 February. The Government will ensure everyone will be able to access their second COVID-19 vaccine within the specified time limit as outlined in the United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan. Local National Health Service delivery plans are ensuring second doses are given in line with timescales set out by the independent regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Everyone will be offered a second dose within 12 weeks of their first. Therefore, we would expect all people in priority groups one and two to be offered the opportunity to receive their second dose by mid-May.

The National Health Service across the United Kingdom will continue prioritising the first dose of the vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups; however, this will not interfere with everyone receiving their second dose within 12 weeks of their first.

Further information can be found in the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-the-health-and-social-care-secretary-on-covid-19-vaccination-to-protect-severely-immunosuppressed-adults/letter-from-jcvi-on-considerations-on-covid-19-vaccination-of-adult-household-contacts-of-severely-immunosuppressed-adults-24-march-2021

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment the Government has undertaken on the effect of keeping schools and colleges open during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England on the transmission of covid-19 in the community.

The Department of Health and Social Care has worked closely with the Department for Education and Public Health England to ensure that we are appropriately assessing the impact of keeping schools and colleges open during the November 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and to develop specific guidance for school and college settings.

The Government is mindful that being at school is important for children’s education and for their wellbeing and that there can be detrimental cognitive and academic impacts of being out of school, particularly for disadvantaged children. Where schools and colleges implement the system of controls outlined in our guidance, in line with their own workplace risk assessment, we are confident that these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. As a result, on current evidence, the Government’s advice is that schools and colleges are not currently considered high risk settings when compared to other workplace environments.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific advice the Government received from SAGE on keeping schools and colleges open during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England and the potential effect of that decision on the transmission of covid-19 in communities.

The Department of Health and Social Care has worked closely with the Department for Education and Public Health England to ensure that we are appropriately assessing the impact of keeping schools and colleges open during the November 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and to develop specific guidance for school and college settings.

The Government is mindful that being at school is important for children’s education and for their wellbeing and that there can be detrimental cognitive and academic impacts of being out of school, particularly for disadvantaged children. Where schools and colleges implement the system of controls outlined in our guidance, in line with their own workplace risk assessment, we are confident that these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. As a result, on current evidence, the Government’s advice is that schools and colleges are not currently considered high risk settings when compared to other workplace environments.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment has been undertaken on the potential effect of the tier 3 covid-19 restrictions on the transmission of covid-19 in the Liverpool City Region; and what further support he will provide to health and social care services in that region.

A national impact assessment on the potential effect of COVID-19 restrictions on transmission across the country, including in the Liverpool City region, is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925856/S0770_NPIs_table__pivot_.pdf

The Government is supporting councils, including the Liverpool City region, by allocating over £8 billion of funding for the pandemic within England.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment has been undertaken on the potential effect of gym closures in tier 3 covid-19 areas on (a) health and wellbeing and (b) mental health and wellbeing.

In areas in local COVID alert level Very High, due to the impact of these new measures, we will work with local authorities to shape the set of restrictions that apply. In the case of Liverpool City Region, local leadership and the Government decided that leisure venues, such as leisure centres and gyms, should be closed in order to control the spread of COVID-19. This was considered a proportionate and necessary response given the rate of infection in the region.

We realise the impacts that these regulations have on people’s health and wellbeing and we aim to minimise the impact wherever possible and noting that these restrictions are time limited. The Government have published guidance on mental health and wellbeing which includes guidance on looking after physical wellbeing at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#what-can-help-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the scientific advice he received on closing gyms in tier 3 covid-19 areas.

We know that the virus spreads readily in any indoor environment where members of different households and/or support bubbles spend time together, so the transmission risk in indoor settings, such as gyms, remains high. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies provided advice to the Department and considered the risks of transmission through different routes and environments in a paper which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/933225/S0824_SARS-CoV-2_Transmission_routes_and_environments.pdf

A national impact assessment on the potential effect of COVID-19 restrictions on transmission across the country, including in tier 3 areas, is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925856/S0770_NPIs_table__pivot_.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the request of 1 October 2012 from Liverpool City Region MPs and leaders in a joint statement for the Government to provide the scientific evidence relating to covid-19 measures, for what reason the advice from SAGE of 21 September 2020 was published after (a) the Downing Street press conference of 12 October 2020 which announced further measures to control covid-19 in the Liverpool City Region and (b) his meeting with Liverpool City Region MPs to discuss those measures at 12.00pm on the same day.

There was policy under consideration prior to publication of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ (SAGE) advice. Decisions are released as soon as these considerations permit. Further information on the validation and publication of SAGE minutes is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-sage-minutes

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 cases in Liverpool, West Derby constituency were affected by the reporting error in NHS Test and Trace; and what steps (a) were taken and (b) are being taken to ensure those affected are made aware of that reporting error.

A total of 875 of 15,841 COVID-19 cases not initially reported to Public Health England between 25 September and 2 October 2020 related to individuals from the Liverpool local authority.

This issue did not affect people receiving their COVID-19 test results and all people who tested positive have received their COVID-19 test result in the normal way.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what economic impact assessment has been undertaken on gym closures in tier 3 covid-19 areas; and what further economic support will be provided to gyms that are forced to close as a result of those restrictions.

The Government has announced an expansion of the Job Support Scheme for businesses which are legally required to temporarily close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions. The Government will provide employers with a grant for employees unable to work, covering two thirds of their usual wages and subject to a cap. Support will be available from 1 November for 6 months.

The Government has also introduced the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. Businesses which are required to close due to a local lockdown in England can now receive up to £3,000 per month and are eligible for payment after two weeks of closure.

For local authorities that agree to being placed at Very High Alert, a small amount of additional business support may be made available subject and proportionate to local needs, to complement national measures to protect jobs and businesses.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what impact assessment has been made of the potential effect of tier 3 covid-19 restrictions on the economy of the Liverpool City Region; and what further economic support he will provide to that region in response to those restrictions.

The government recognises that every region and community will be feeling the impact of this crisis and remains committed to helping the unemployed return to work and supporting those most vulnerable to job losses. We will continue to work closely with local areas to make sure that individuals and businesses are directed to the right support during this difficult period. To support those on low incomes throughout the outbreak, the government has created a package of temporary welfare measures, including a £20 per week increase in the Universal Credit standard allowance and an increase in the Local Housing Allowance.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will provide businesses in England which are forced to close due to local restrictions with up to £3,000 per month, depending on their rateable value.

Additionally, and from 1 November, in line with the Jobs Support Scheme, businesses in England which have been forced to close on a national basis or which have not been able to reopen since the national lockdown was introduced in March, will also be eligible for these grants.

In order to protect jobs and UK businesses, we are expanding the Job Support Scheme for businesses legally required to temporarily close their premises as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions. The Government will provide employers with a grant for employees unable to work, covering two thirds of their usual wages and subject to a cap. Support will be available to eligible businesses from 1 November for 6 months, with a review in January.

The Prime Minister also announced on Monday that a further £1bn will be made available to LAs in England to support them during this unprecedented time; and that up to £465m would be provided to LAs at High or Very High Alert through the Contain Outbreak Management Fund. This is in addition to the more than £4.8bn of funding which has already been provided to LAs in England to help them manage the impacts of Covid.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of the 12 July 2021 to Question 28365 on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, when her Department plans to publish the equality impact assessment relating to Part 4 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

We aim to publish an equality impact assessment covering the Home Office measures in the Bill before Lords Second Reading.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make available the equality impact assessment relating to Part 4 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021.

We will be publishing an equality impact assessment in relation to the Home Office provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, including Part 4.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the rates of (a) gun and (b) knife offences in Liverpool.

The Government is committed to tackling gun crime and knife crime across England and Wales. Through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 we have introduced a ban on certain rapid-firing rifles and we are also introducing greater regulation of antique firearms to prevent their misuse by criminals.

We have also consulted on statutory guidance on firearms licensing to improve standards and the consistency of police licensing decisions, and we have established a multi-agency national firearms threat assessment centre to improve our capability to disrupt the supply and use of illegal firearms by criminals and Organised Crime Groups. This unit works closely with Merseyside police and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 will also give the police with more powers to tackle knife crime and make it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives in the first place. The Act also introduces Knife Crime Prevention Orders which will give the police an important new tool to help them to help to steer those most at risk away from serious violence and knife crime.

Funding for Merseyside Police increased by £18.3 million last year and the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner has set out her plans to use this funding to recruit 80 more police officers. In addition, the Home Office has provided £100 million in 2019/2020 through the Serious Violence Fund. Of this, Merseyside Police has been allocated and additional £4.2 million this year from the Home Office Serious Violence Fund to pay for a surge in police operational activity against serious violence, and a further £3.37 million to develop Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Unit. This is a non-statutory partnership which offers leadership and strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence by bringing together police, local government, health and education professionals, community leaders and other keypartners to identify the drivers of serious violence and agree a multi-agency response. The Government has announced a further £35 million to continue funding Violence Reduction Units next year, and Merseyside has been allocated a further £3.37 million for 2020/21 as part of this.

The Government has also provided Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner with £700,000 over two years through our £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund for an early interventions programme targeting young people aged 8-19, to tackle serious violence and criminal exploitation. Under year 3 of the anti-knife crime Community Fund (2019-20), we have funded 5 community-based projects in Liverpool and Merseyside totalling £132,550.

We are also providing a targeted £25million to tackle county lines drugs gangs, given the links between drugs, county lines and serious violence.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what impact assessment his Department has made of the effect of reintroduction of bailiff enforcement from 1 June 2021 on the risk of covid-19 transmission.

The ban on bailiff enforcement has now been lifted, reflecting the gradual easing of national restrictions and ensuring that landlords are able to exercise their right to justice. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service, which runs the bailiff service, has worked with the Ministry of Justice's Health and Safety team and Public Health England to ensure that measures are put in place to protect all parties to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission during the enforcement of possession.

Where an eviction is scheduled with the mandatory minimum notice period of 14 days, the tenant can inform the court if they or anyone they live with has coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive for Covid-19 or are is waiting for a test result, or has been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate. Where this is the case, the appointment will be rescheduled for a later date with a minimum of 14 days' notice. The tenant can also apply to suspend the eviction in certain circumstances, for example where they were unable to attend the original hearing and would have had a good chance of defending the claim for possession had they done so.

When carrying out an eviction, the bailiff will follow the latest Public Health England and government guidance. They will conduct the eviction wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and maintain social distancing. They must ask if anybody in the household has symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding. If that is the case, or if the bailiff observes any visible symptoms of Covid-19, then they must withdraw from the property immediately. Bailiffs also will not evict if the household is quarantining in line with government guidelines on return from an amber list country, and the eviction will be rescheduled. Bailiffs have also been asked to undertake regular Covid-19 tests and not to attend work if they or anyone they live with has tested positive for Covid-19.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what impact assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the reintroduction of bailiff enforcement from 1 June 2021 on homelessness.

Bailiffs are now able to enforce an eviction if a landlord has a valid warrant of possession. This reflects the gradual easing of national restrictions and ensures that landlords are able to exercise their right to justice. The bailiff measures were appropriate at the height of the pandemic to help control the spread of infection but these restrictions could only ever be temporary. They prevent landlords from repossessing properties when they have valid grounds to proceed.

The latest statistics for the first quarter of 2021 show that the volume of possession claims by landlords is down by 74% compared to the same quarter in 2020. This suggests that landlords are bringing significantly fewer claims for possession than before the pandemic. The reduction in claims means that fewer cases will proceed to the stage at which someone could be evicted, compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Where an eviction is scheduled, this will not be carried out by bailiffs if they are made aware that the tenant or anyone they live with has coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive for Covid-19, is waiting for a test result, or has been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate.

To mitigate against the accumulation of rent arrears and associated possession action, the government has put in place an unprecedented financial package. This includes support for businesses to pay staff salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has been extended until the end of September 2021, continued support for low income households with an extension of the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit until the end of September, and maintaining Local Housing Allowance rates at the increased level applied in April 2020 in cash terms.

Tenants will further be protected through longer notice periods, as landlords are now required to serve four months' notice in all but the most serious cases, giving them more time to find alternative accommodation.

The latest homelessness statistics covering the period October - December 2020 show a 40% decrease in households owed a homelessness duty due to the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy compared with the same period in 2019.

Where a person is at risk of losing their home, local authorities have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent homelessness. In 2021/22 we are providing local authorities with £310 million to discharge their duties under the Act, a £47 million increase on previous years funding. This can be used to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions, or to provide temporary accommodation to ensure families have a roof over their head. This underlines the government's commitment to fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 by ensuring councils have the funding they need to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the potential number of households that will be in 2 months’ or more accumulated rent arrears as of 1 August 2021 in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) England.

Data from the English Housing Survey (EHS) Household Resilience Study November-December 2020 suggested that approximately 1% of private renters were 2 months or more behind. Additionally, approximately 3% of social renters were 2 months or more behind. Most renters in arrears had arrears of less than 2 months.

We do not hold data on the potential number of households that will be in 2 months' or more accumulated rent arrears as of 1 August 2021 in Liverpool West Derby constituency.

The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support which is available to support tenants with living costs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit are in place until the end of September helping renters to continue paying their rent. Local housing allowance rates have been maintained at their increased level in cash terms in 2021/22, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the local housing allowance rates applied in April 2020. For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. For 2021-22 the Government has made £140 million available in DHP funding.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, wat estimate he has made of the number of households with 4 months’ or more accumulated rent arrears as of 1 June in (a) Liverpool West Derby Constituency and (b) England.

Data from the English Housing Survey (EHS) Household Resilience Study November-December 2020 suggested that 1% of private renters were 2 months or more behind. Additionally, approximately 3% of social renters were 2 months or more behind.

The Department does not hold information about the number of households with 4 months' or more accumulated rent arrears in Liverpool West Derby Constituency.

The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support which is available to support tenants with living costs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit are in place until the end of September helping renters to continue paying their rent. Local housing allowance rates have been maintained at their increased level in cash terms in 2021/22, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the local housing allowance rates applied in April 2020. For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. For 2021-22 the Government has made £140 million available in DHP funding, building on the £180 million provided last year.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many households were at risk of bailiff enforcement in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) England as of 1 June 2021.

The Department does not hold information on the total number of households which were at risk of bailiff enforcement on 1 June 2021.

However, the latest published figures on warrants issued show that there were 2,480 warrants of possession issued to landlords and 43 warrants of possession issued to mortgagors in England and Wales in January to March 2021. The volume of mortgage possession warrants issued was down 99% compared to the same Quarter in 2020, whilst the volume of landlord possession warrants issued was down 80% on Q1 2020. Repossessions in mortgage cases were down almost 100% compared to the first quarter of 2021, whilst repossessions in landlord cases were down by 96%. Across all claim types, there were 37 warrants of possession issued in the Liverpool Local Authority area in Q1 2021, compared to 234 in Q1 2020. The statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-january-to-march-2021/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-january-to-march-2021

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason his Department did not extend the landlord licensing scheme in Liverpool; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure the protection of tenants in the private rental sector in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) Liverpool.

Liverpool City Council made an application for selective licensing under the condition of low housing demand across the whole city.

The evidence provided by the local authority was carefully considered against all the relevant statutory conditions, including those contained within section 80(4) of the Housing Act 2004. The application did not meet the statutory tests because it did not sufficiently evidence the existence of low housing demand in every ward in the city, nor that every ward in the city would become an area of low housing demand. Selective licensing is part of wider robust enforcement powers available to councils to protect vulnerable tenants, tackle rogue landlords and support responsible landlords in the private rented sector, including civil penalties and banning orders for the most serious offences.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what additional steps his Department is taking to support the mental health of prisoners during the covid-19 outbreak.

Visits to children in the youth custody estate and compassionate visits to adult establishments have continued throughout national lockdown. In line with changes to the stay at home guidance and travel restrictions in the community, over the coming weeks and months we will support establishments to ease some of the regime restrictions currently in place. This will be done when it is safe to do so and guided by public health advice. Our National Framework, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

Maintaining safety and the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners continues to remain a priority, as it has throughout the pandemic. A range of tools have been made available to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans designed to mitigate any risks. Healthcare providers have continued to provide access to services for prisoners throughout the pandemic.

We recognise that family contact provides a crucial lifeline for those in our care. Secure video calls have now been introduced at all prisons across England and Wales. As of 5 April, over 169,000 secure video calls have been made. Currently 66% of prison cells have in-cell telephony.

We have tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures put in place. We are delivering more in cell-activity and are continuing to improve our offer to support prisoners during this period.

Work is currently underway to roll-out of a revised version of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT), which is the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm. This is first being rolled-out in the female estate and ten ACCT pilot sites from April 2021, followed by roll-out in the rest of the estate in Summer 2021. We will, however, be keeping these timeframes under review to ensure they remain feasible in the context of covid-19.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to support the wellbeing of prisoners that are unable to receive social visitors due to covid-19 health restrictions.

Visits to children in the youth custody estate and compassionate visits to adult establishments have continued throughout national lockdown. In line with changes to the stay at home guidance and travel restrictions in the community, over the coming weeks and months we will support establishments to ease some of the regime restrictions currently in place. This will be done when it is safe to do so and guided by public health advice. Our National Framework, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

Maintaining safety and the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners continues to remain a priority, as it has throughout the pandemic. A range of tools have been made available to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans designed to mitigate any risks. Healthcare providers have continued to provide access to services for prisoners throughout the pandemic.

We recognise that family contact provides a crucial lifeline for those in our care. Secure video calls have now been introduced at all prisons across England and Wales. As of 5 April, over 169,000 secure video calls have been made. Currently 66% of prison cells have in-cell telephony.

We have tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures put in place. We are delivering more in cell-activity and are continuing to improve our offer to support prisoners during this period.

Work is currently underway to roll-out of a revised version of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT), which is the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm. This is first being rolled-out in the female estate and ten ACCT pilot sites from April 2021, followed by roll-out in the rest of the estate in Summer 2021. We will, however, be keeping these timeframes under review to ensure they remain feasible in the context of covid-19.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate visits to prisons that are not currently allowing social visitors; and what steps he is taking to support prisons in reaching stage 3 of the covid-19 national framework for prison regimes and services.

Visits to children in the youth custody estate and compassionate visits to adult establishments have continued throughout national lockdown. In line with changes to the stay at home guidance and travel restrictions in the community, over the coming weeks and months we will support establishments to ease some of the regime restrictions currently in place. This will be done when it is safe to do so and guided by public health advice. Our National Framework, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

Maintaining safety and the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners continues to remain a priority, as it has throughout the pandemic. A range of tools have been made available to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans designed to mitigate any risks. Healthcare providers have continued to provide access to services for prisoners throughout the pandemic.

We recognise that family contact provides a crucial lifeline for those in our care. Secure video calls have now been introduced at all prisons across England and Wales. As of 5 April, over 169,000 secure video calls have been made. Currently 66% of prison cells have in-cell telephony.

We have tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures put in place. We are delivering more in cell-activity and are continuing to improve our offer to support prisoners during this period.

Work is currently underway to roll-out of a revised version of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT), which is the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm. This is first being rolled-out in the female estate and ten ACCT pilot sites from April 2021, followed by roll-out in the rest of the estate in Summer 2021. We will, however, be keeping these timeframes under review to ensure they remain feasible in the context of covid-19.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timeframe is for the (a) easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions in prisons and (b) the resumption of prison visits in England and Wales as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

As a result of the strong but necessary measures we introduced in prisons, including suspending social visits, lives have been saved and the NHS is being protected from the impact of widespread local outbreaks.

Some prisons have already started to ease restrictions, including re-starting social visits with appropriate social distancing and hygiene arrangements, and enabling more time out of cell. More prisons will do so over the coming weeks, guided by public health advice and with safety remaining the absolute priority.

Individual prisons and the youth estate will progress at their own speed, taking full account of their specific local circumstances.

A temporary video call service to support prisoners maintaining contact with family and friends has also been introduced. This is intended for use whilst contact is limited and we are considering the benefits of maintaining these digital solutions in the longer term, in line with the recommendations of Lord Farmer’s reviews.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding his Department has allocated to ensure access to free legal support for people on low incomes in (a) Liverpool West Derby constituency and (b) the UK.

The Lord Chancellor has a duty to ensure that legal aid is made available in accordance with the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2012) and last year the Government spent £1.7bn on legal aid.

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal. Legal Aid is not allocated by constituency but is available for cases where the relevant criteria, such as the financial eligibility of the applicant and/or the degree of legal merit in their case, is met, where applicable. Legal aid may not always be ‘free’, for instance where contributions are required towards the overall subsidised costs depending on the means of the applicant, or where this must be paid back, such as upon conviction in criminal matters, or where assets are recovered in civil proceedings.

Alongside this, in February 2019 the Ministry of Justice published the Legal Support Action Plan which outlines how the Government aims to improve the breadth of support on offer to people when they experience legal problems. As part of this, a series of pilots will be launched to test early forms of intervention that stop people’s problems from escalating and becoming more complex. This includes an investment of up to £5m into a Legal Support Innovation Fund to explore the role technology can play in helping people identify and resolve their legal issues, and we are enhancing the support on offer to litigants in person by providing a further £3m of funding over the next two years, ensuring that those representing themselves in court understand the process and are better supported through it. Many of the measures announced in the action plan will help people, including those on low incomes, access free legal support.

Access to justice is a fundamental right and the Government is committed to ensuring that everyone can get the support they need to access the justice system across England and Wales.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)