Ian Lavery Portrait

Ian Lavery

Labour - Wansbeck

3 APPG memberships (as of 25 Aug 2021)
Greyhound, Housing in the North, Occupational Safety and Health
4 Former APPG memberships
Brass Bands, Coalfield Communities, Energy Studies, South Africa
Co-National Campaign Coordinator
14th Jun 2017 - 5th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
7th Oct 2016 - 5th Apr 2020
Party Chair, Labour Party
14th Jun 2017 - 5th Apr 2020
Campaigns and Elections Chair
11th Feb 2017 - 14th Jun 2017
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) (Trade Unions and Civil Society)
18th Sep 2015 - 7th Oct 2016
Energy and Climate Change Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015
Energy and Climate Change Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Regulatory Reform
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Deregulation Bill (Joint Committee)
10th Jul 2013 - 11th Dec 2013
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 24th Oct 2011


Oral Question
Tuesday 19th October 2021
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Topical Question No. 10
If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Save to Calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

While Members across the House were munching away this morning at the country’s favourite breakfast cereal, Weetabix, they will have …

Written Answers
Friday 24th September 2021
Work Capability Assessments
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to address the backlog …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 16th September 2021
North East Child Poverty
That this House notes the rapidly increasing levels of child poverty in the North East, including in Wansbeck, among other …
Bills
Wednesday 12th February 2014
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit in the Social Housing Sector (Regular Payments) Bill 2013-14
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
Tweets
Monday 27th September 2021
01:58
MP Financial Interests
Monday 10th February 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: RMT
Address of donor: Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1DU
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Royal Parks cleaners and playground attendants dispute
That this House supports members of the Public and Commercial Services Union employed by Just Ask Estate Services Ltd at …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ian Lavery has voted in 244 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Ian Lavery voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Ian Lavery voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 183 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
View All Ian Lavery Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(4 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Ian Lavery has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Ian Lavery's debates

Wansbeck 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

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 Lavery

22nd September 2021
Ian Lavery signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 23rd September 2021

Royal Parks cleaners and playground attendants dispute

Tabled by: Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour - Streatham)
That this House supports members of the Public and Commercial Services Union employed by Just Ask Estate Services Ltd at the Royal Parks in their dispute for employment equality and security; notes that the Royal Parks outsourced its public toilets and building cleaning contract to Just Ask Estate Services Ltd …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Scottish National Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
12th May 2021
Ian Lavery signed this EDM on Thursday 23rd September 2021

Giving every child the best start in life

Tabled by: Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat - Bath)
That this House notes the work of WAVE Trust and its 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of child abuse, neglect and domestic abuse by 70 per cent by 2030; further notes that over two-thirds of this House have endorsed that campaign, including a majority from all parties; recognises the role …
78 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 25
Scottish National Party: 24
Liberal Democrat: 11
Conservative: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 2
View All Ian Lavery's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ian Lavery, 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 Lavery has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ian Lavery has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Ian Lavery


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish the right of persons in receipt of housing benefit and universal credit in the social housing sector to receive said benefits at regular intervals; to provide that such persons should not be financially penalised in relation to the number of bedrooms in a residence; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 12th February 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require lip-reading to be classified as an essential skill for the purpose of skills funding; to require the Secretary of State to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have access to lip-reading classes provided by local learning providers at no cost to the learner; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 10th May 2011

Ian Lavery has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


189 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
3 Other Department Questions
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, for what reason the Anti-bullying grant fund has not been extended beyond March 2020; and if she will allocate additional funding to support the extensions of that fund.

We want to ensure that all children, whoever they are, are kept safe in schools. Since 2016, we have invested £4m to support schools in preventing and addressing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, reaching 2,250 schools in England. This programme concluded in March 2020 and we are currently evaluating it.

In our 2019 Manifesto, we made clear our commitment to continuing to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying, and the Government is continuing to fund anti-bullying projects. The Department for Education announced £750k of funding in June for three charitable organisations, including a project for victims of hate-related bullying.

The Department for Education is also rolling out new inclusive statutory Relationships Education in all primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education in all secondary schools, so that children leave school prepared for life in modern, diverse, Britain.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, for what reason the Government did not extend the Anti-bullying grant fund beyond March 2020.

We want to ensure that all children, whoever they are, are kept safe in schools. Since 2016, we have invested £4m to support schools in preventing and addressing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, reaching 2,250 schools in England. This programme concluded in March 2020 and we are currently evaluating it.

In our 2019 Manifesto, we made clear our commitment to continuing to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying, and the Government is continuing to fund anti-bullying projects. The Department for Education announced £750k of funding in June for three charitable organisations, including a project for victims of hate-related bullying.

The Department for Education is also rolling out new inclusive statutory Relationships Education in all primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education in all secondary schools, so that children leave school prepared for life in modern, diverse, Britain.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of re-introducing the daily covid-19 briefings that took place in Downing Street that included questions and answers.

The Government remains committed to providing the public with the information they need relating to Coronavirus. We will keep under review how best to provide this information, and the Prime Minister held a Covid-19 brief on 9 September.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the chair of the Infected Blood compensation framework has been given budget boundaries for that framework.

The purpose of this study is to provide the Paymaster General with advice on potential options for compensation framework design and solutions for victims of infected blood. Following public consultation, the study’s terms of reference will be finalised. It is important that the independent reviewer, Sir Robert Francis, is able to examine all options and design solutions. No budget boundaries have been set in respect of his considerations.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will introduce a full bereavement pension for people affected by the contaminated blood scandal in England.

Work is currently underway across the government on a number of infected blood issues. I will update the House shortly on progress.

The (then) Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster wrote to the Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry on 2 July 2018, approving legal support funding for people infected, and their families. Details of how to apply for funding are on the Inquiry’s website - Statement of Approach: Legal Representation at Public Expense.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure victims and their families involved in the contaminated blood scandal are able to access the necessary legal support required.

Work is currently underway across the government on a number of infected blood issues. I will update the House shortly on progress.

The (then) Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster wrote to the Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry on 2 July 2018, approving legal support funding for people infected, and their families. Details of how to apply for funding are on the Inquiry’s website - Statement of Approach: Legal Representation at Public Expense.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure individuals and families affected by the contaminated blood scandal are adequately compensated.

Work is currently underway across the government on a number of infected blood issues. I will update the House shortly on progress.

The (then) Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster wrote to the Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry on 2 July 2018, approving legal support funding for people infected, and their families. Details of how to apply for funding are on the Inquiry’s website - Statement of Approach: Legal Representation at Public Expense.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will (a) provide details of each (i) article and (ii) advertorial that has been sponsored by (A) the Government and (B) other bodies using public money in any paper and digital news platform and (b) publish the cost of each of those articles and advertorials from 1 January 2020 to date.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average wage in Wansbeck constituency is.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to consult people affected by the Contaminated Blood Scandal on the (a) effect of infection on their health and (b) adequacy of the treatment they received.

I will be meeting with members of the infected and affected community on Tuesday 28th January 2020 to listen to their experiences, so that I can hear first-hand about the issues that matter most to them.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to prevent the use of fire and rehire practices in the food production and processing sector.

This Government has been clear that we expect employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Using threats about firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is unacceptable. We expect employers and employees to negotiate new terms and conditions and there are laws around how this must be done, and legal protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

We asked Acas to conduct an evidence-gathering exercise to improve our evidence base. We welcome Acas’ report on this work which was published on 8 June.

The Acas report demonstrated that there are different views on whether the practice can ever be justified. For some of the organisations consulted by Acas, it is never acceptable. For others, in its most legitimate form ‘fire and rehire’ is a route for employers to avoid redundancies and business failures, after negotiations have been exhausted.

I have asked Acas to produce better, more comprehensive, clearer guidance to help employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’ and encourage good employment relations practice.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that businesses receiving Government covid-19-related support do not make staff redundant.

Throughout this crisis, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods whilst supporting businesses and public services across the UK.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is specifically designed to protect jobs, and it has been used by 1.2 million employers to support 9.9 million jobs.

The legal position in relation to redundancy and dismissal remains the same whether or not an employee has been furloughed or whether or not the employer has received Government funding. Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what direct financial support or grants the Government plans to make available for food and drink wholesalers as a result of those wholesalers not qualifying for support as they are not categorised as retail.

Food and drink wholesalers are able to benefit from additional financial support recently announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March 2021,?extension of the existing loan schemes?and Future Fund?to the end of January 2021, with an ability to top-up bounce back loans, and?increased support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

Additionally, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed?on the basis of?£20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the North Sea Transition deal; and if he will make a statement.

We are working closely with the offshore oil and gas sector to agree a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which we have committed to deliver within this Parliament.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that offshore oil and gas workers in north east England made redundant during the covid-19 outbreak are offered support to re-train for work in the offshore wind industry.

The Government is closely monitoring developments related to potential impacts on the upstream oil and gas industry and is in regular contact with a range of stakeholders from the sector.

In response to the pandemic, we have announced an unprecedented financial package to support businesses, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the offshore wind sector committed to developing an Offshore Energy Passport (recognised outside the UK) to accredit offshore workers and facilitate job-mobility between offshore renewable and extractive industries. The sector has established an Investment in Talent Group, supported by a skills professional, who will identify skills needs across the sector, and develop curricula and accreditation to deepen the skills base.

The Green Jobs Taskforce, which my Hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and I chair, forms part of the Government’s ambitious plan to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Its aim is to focus on the immediate and longer-term challenges of delivering skilled workers for the UK’s transition to net zero including supporting workers in high carbon transitioning sectors, like oil and gas, to retrain in new green technologies. This will also be a key aim for the upcoming North Sea Transition Deal.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether officials from his Department attend meetings of Oil and Gas UK’s Recovery Group.

We welcome the fact that Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) has established a group to address the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the low oil price. This is a trade association initiative, and as such, the Government is not a member of the group. However, as part of our engagement with a range of sectors during the pandemic, we have held regular meetings with OGUK, at both official and ministerial levels, where issues affecting the industry during this crisis are discussed.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure that trade unions organising (a) seafarers, (b) port workers and (c) offshore oil and gas workers are consulted as part of the work of the Green Jobs Taskforce.

The Green Jobs Taskforce brings together the views of businesses, employees and the skills sectors to support the Government’s ambitious plans to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The core membership of the Taskforce includes representatives from the Trade Union Congress and Prospect. We are committed to hearing from a diverse range of voices and there will be opportunities for other stakeholders to contribute.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Green Jobs Taskforce, how many jobs he plans to create in the offshore wind supply chain by 2030.

The number of jobs supported by the sector between now and 2030 will depend on the rate of build, the profile and level of investment, and the level of UK content in the supply chain. The offshore wind sector could support around 60,000 direct and indirect UK jobs by 2030, on the basis of 40GW of offshore wind being deployed, and the sector deal raising UK content in new projects to the target of 60%.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Department for Transport on the role of the Green Jobs Taskforce in creating employment across public transport modes to 2030.

The Green Jobs Taskforce forms part of the Government’s ambitious plan to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which will require action across Government.

Ministers and officials engage regularly with other departments, including counterparts at the Department for Transport, on tackling climate change and delivering our net zero commitments. Department for Transport officials have been involved in cross-Government discussions to support the work of the Taskforce. We will continue to work together across Government as the work of the Taskforce progresses.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of developing work hubs in towns to (a) support remote working and (b) increase opportunity when people apply for work.

The Government recognises that access to flexible working practices, including remote working, is key to helping many workers enter and remain in the labour market. There is currently a legal framework in place that grants all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer the statutory right to request flexible working, which includes working remotely.

As part of the Government’s Towns Fund programme, the 101 towns selected for “Town Deals” are each developing their own proposals for investment of up to £25m, or £50m in exceptional circumstances. Regeneration and skills are key themes of the Towns Fund and it is possible that some towns may wish to propose work hubs or similar shared spaces as part of their plans.

In our manifesto we committed to further encouraging flexible working and consulting on making it the default unless employers have good reasons not to.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of employees that are furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that are being consulted on redundancy.

The Department does not hold statistics on the number of employees that are furloughed who are being consulted for redundancies or those businesses using the job retention scheme that are planning or have already made employees redundant.

The legal position in relation to redundancy and dismissal remains the same whether or not an employee has been furloughed. Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

As per the latest updates to the guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. Please visit the gov.uk page for updates to the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses in receipt of grant funding under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that are consulting their workforces on redundancy.

The Department does not hold statistics on the number of employees that are furloughed who are being consulted for redundancies or those businesses using the job retention scheme that are planning or have already made employees redundant.

The legal position in relation to redundancy and dismissal remains the same whether or not an employee has been furloughed. Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

As per the latest updates to the guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. Please visit the gov.uk page for updates to the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses that are in receipt of grant funding under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that have made employees redundant to date.

The Department does not hold statistics on the number of employees that are furloughed who are being consulted for redundancies or those businesses using the job retention scheme that are planning or have already made employees redundant.

The legal position in relation to redundancy and dismissal remains the same whether or not an employee has been furloughed. Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

As per the latest updates to the guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. Please visit the gov.uk page for updates to the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many pubs and social clubs were operating in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East, (d) Northumberland and (e) Wansbeck on 20 March 2020.

BEIS does not hold this information. According to data from the ONS, as of March 2019 there were 30,885 pubs and bars in the UK[1]. ONS data for March 2017 shows that there were 38,935 pubs and bars in the UK. 33,045 of these were in England, 1,065 were in the North East and 255 were in Northumberland[2].

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/numberofrestaurantstakeawayscafesbarsandpubsintheuk

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/adhocs/008951pubsandbarsindistrictsoftheuk2010to2017

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on CO2 emissions.

Covid-19 has had a significant short-term effect on emissions – for example, BEIS statistics estimate that road fuel sales between 23 March and 24 May were 43 per cent below the preceding eight weeks, and electricity consumption has also reduced. Renewables have regularly been providing more than 50% of our power. But the fundamental challenge of climate change has not changed – these reductions are likely to be short-term and the need to tackle climate change and reaching net zero remains as urgent as ever.

Many of the actions we need to take to meet our future carbon budgets can also support our recovery from Covid-19 – for example through the investments we committed to in the Budget to support carbon capture and storage, electric vehicle infrastructure, and low carbon heating.

We will be setting out further plans in key sectors such as transport, heat and buildings this year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses entered administration in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Wansbeck constituency in each month since May 2015.

The Insolvency Service collates national data on insolvency cases.

(a) and (b): administrations in the UK and England

Insolvency data back to 2015 are held on a quarterly basis for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is not possible to identify only companies in England as the legal jurisdiction and recorded location is ‘England and Wales’. Quarterly information on companies entering administration since 2015 is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/company-insolvency-statistics-releases.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, insolvency data have recently been compiled on a monthly basis to provide faster indicators of the impact of the pandemic on insolvency. However, this information only includes a short historical time series back to January 2019. The first monthly report was published in May 2020 and covers England and Wales, and Scotland. Monthly Northern Ireland data were not available for this release. Monthly information on companies entering administration since January 2019 is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/monthly-insolvency-statistics.

(c) and (d): administrations in the North East and in Wansbeck constituency

Annual data are held on enterprises entering insolvency at regional level each year between 2015 and 2017, in response to (c). These statistics are available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/corporate-insolvencies-by-size-age-and-location-2015-to-2017.

The Insolvency Service does not hold information in response to (d). Breakdowns of corporate insolvency by Parliamentary constituency are not available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the event that businesses are unable to ensure the safety of their workers during the covid-19 outbreak, what steps the Government plans to take to support those businesses and their workers until they are able to reopen safely.

Every business is unique, and each employer will need to consider what COVID-19 means for their organisation. In order to help businesses consider this, we have provided guidance on how to carry out risk assessments to work safely in a number of different working environments, such as offices, factories, and working outdoors, so that employers can use the guidance which is most relevant to them. If a business does not reopen following a risk assessment, then that is its own choice.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers including the Bounce Bank Loans scheme. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has also extended the Job Retention Scheme to the end of October. Future decisions on the scheme will have to take into account the wider context of the economic conditions, social distancing and the public health response, the affordability of the scheme, and the need to provide certainty to employers and employees.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the risk of floodwater to coal slag heaps in ex-mining communities in England.

As part of its statutory responsibilities the Coal Authority, one of the Department’s Partner Organisations, has regular contact with Local Authorities in former coal field areas on a range of issues relating to liabilities arising from former coal workings. Following the recent floods, the Coal Authority will be writing to all Local Authorities to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to the management and oversight of coal tips, offering support and advice where required.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to allocate funding to scientific research in the North East.

We are committed to making the UK a global science superpower that attracts brilliant people and businesses from across the world.

The Government has already committed over £42m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund funding to organisations registered in the North East

We have announced plans for an ambitious place strategy for UK R&D to ensure funding builds on strengths in the regions, and nations of the UK including the North East. We will work closely with UK Research and Innovation to develop a strategy that ensures the whole country contributes to and benefits from the national 2.4% R&D target.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether adult gaming centres are non-essential retail as classified in the Government’s Shops Guidance; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to enable those centres to reopen with other non-essential retail when covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The government has published guidance to help businesses understand how to make workplaces Covid-secure and help tackle the spread of the virus. Adult Gaming Centres should follow the shops and branches guidance in addition to Bacta’s specific guidance for FECs and AGCs to ensure they can operate as safely as possible when they are open.

The shops and branches workplace guidance was intended as guidance for those businesses on how they could operate safely when the regulations permitted them to do so after the first national lockdown and beyond. It does not have a direct bearing on the timing for reopening of the businesses included in the guidance.

As announced by the Prime Minister, we intend to publish our plan for taking the country out of lockdown in the last week of February. That plan will depend on the continued success of our vaccination programme, and on a sustained reduction in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of support needed by community sports groups and clubs during the covid-19 pandemic.

I am having regular discussions with sector and industry bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sport and how we can provide support. This includes chairing a fortnightly meeting with over 25 sporting organisations.

The Chancellor has already announced a host of measures to help businesses, with £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK. In addition, Sport England, has also announced £210 million of funding to help sport and physical activity organisations deal with the short and long term effects of the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which arts organisations in the North East of England his Department plans to allocate funding to in 2020.

The list outlines Arts organisations and practitioners across the North East that have been allocated funding from Arts Council England for 2020. This list is not exhaustive as ACE expects further funding applications from practitioners and organisations based in the North East of England throughout the year.

Organisation Name

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

North Music Trust

North Music Trust

Durham & Darlington Music Education Hub

Tees Valley Music Service

Sunderland Music Education Hub

Music Partnership North

North Tyneside Music Education Hub

Gateshead and South Tyneside Music Education Hub

New Writing North

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

November Club

North Music Trust

Ballet Lorent Limited

The Forge

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

Dance City

Northern Stage (Theatrical Productions) Ltd

TIN Arts

The Maltings Berwick Trust Limited

Helix Arts Ltd

Baltic Flour Mills Visual Arts Trust

Middlesbrough Town Hall

Association for Cultural Enterprises

Stockton International Riverside Festival

Gem Arts

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

North East Theatre Trust Ltd

The Customs House

Bloodaxe Books Ltd

Theatre Hullabaloo

Woodhorn Charitable Trust

The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company

Generator North East

Amber Film & Photography Collective

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books

Vane Contemporary Art Limited

a-n The Artists Information Company

Durham County Council

Queen's Hall Arts

Sunderland Culture

Unfolding Theatre

The NewBridge Project

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Workplace Foundation

Inpress Ltd

Stockton Borough Council Tees Valley Museum Group

Arts&Heritage

Beamish Museum

Teesside University

Northern Print

Tyneside Cinema

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

Open Clasp Theatre Company

Stockton Arts Centre Ltd

The Bowes Museum

Umar Butt

Jamie Tansley

The Auxiliary Project Space

DJAZZ - Durham City Jazz Festival

Southpaw Dance Company

Lisette Rebecca Auton

Nadia Iftkhar

Kris Johnson

David Lisser

Vivien Wood

Lydia Brickland

Michael John Heatley

Jade Byrne

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

Festival of Thrift

South Tyneside Council

New Prospects Association Limited

Hartlepool Borough Council

Michael Evans

Curious Arts Ltd

Katie Doherty

Middlesbrough Council

Little Cog

Make & Mend Company

North Tyneside Council

Sunderland MAC Trust

Primate Productions Ltd

Patrick Ngabonziza

Amy Lord

Rachael Walsh

Little Inventors Worldwide Ltd

Sophie Buxton

Benedict Wellstood

MBC Arts Wellbeing

Kate Hunter

Gillie Kleiman

Tracks

Southpaw Dance Company

Rosa Postlethwaite

Amanda Ogden

Rebecca Glendenning-Laycock

Elizabeth Jane Klotz

Changing Relations

Beacon Films CIC

Middlesbrough Mela Association

Harambee Pasadia CIC

Katherina Radeva

Christopher Folwell

Tatwood Puppets

Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance

Alistair McDonald

Newcastle Asian Arts and Music

Hannah Thompson

Dora Frankel

Laura Harrington

Action for Children

The Middlesbrough Art Weekender

Let's Circus

Hannah Murphy

The Empty Space

Paul Miller

Durham County Council Arts Programmes Team

Eliot Smith Company

Alphabetti Theatre

Two Destination Language

Wesley Stephenson

Pineapple Black

Sheila Graber

COMMON

Regeneration NE CIC

Martin Hylton

Workie Ticket Theatre CIC

Norfolk Street Arts Community Interest Company

Aidan Moesby

Stellar Projects

Thoughtful Planet 3

William Steele

Cameron John Sharp

Teesside University

Zoe Murtagh

Miranda Tufnell

Ushaw College

Christina Castling

Newcastle City Council Culture

Tony Hopkins Entertainments Ltd

NTC Touring Theatre Company Ltd

Lindsay Duncanson

Northumbria University

Julian Germain

Mortal Fools

Opera Sunderland

Durham University

Jake Jarratt

Elizabeth Jane Klotz

fanSHEN

Lydia Brickland

Scott Turnbull

Tusk Music

Mad Alice Theatre Company

Payal Ramchandani

Chris Hornsby

Sunderland City Council

Tim Shaw

Becci Sharrock

North Music Trust

Charlie Bramley

Creative Spaces North East C.I.C.

COMMON

Elysium Theatre Company

The Creative Seed CIC

Curious Monkey Ltd

Abdulrahman Abu - Zayd

DAVE GRAY

Allan Hughes

Debra Carey

Izaak Gledhill

Hexham Book Festival

Moving Art Management

Cap-a-Pie

Alys North

blimey!

Juliana Mensah

Harriet Ghost

Transitions17

Sabina Sallis

Conversations in Painting

Faye MacCalman

Caroline Collinge

Robert Graham

Henry Amos

christopher fallow

Michelle Bayly

Leah Millar

Nell Catchpole

Melanie Rashbrooke

Slugtown

Hartlepool Wintertide Festival

Emma Dunn

Greyscale Theatre Company

D6 Culture Ltd

North East Theatre Trust Ltd

Michael Mulvihill

Teesside University

Cat Robey

Catherine Bertola

South Tyneside Council

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum

Matt Jamie

Bethan Kitchen

Woodhorn Charitable Trust

South Tyneside Council

Faculty of Arts, Design and Creative Industries

Jazz North East Ltd

Simon West

Eliot Smith Company

Chalk

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Durham University

Vindolanda Trust

Mortal Fools

Middlesbrough Council Cultural Services

Gary Wilkinson

Newcastle Gateshead Initiative

Dominic Nelson-Ashley

Martha Wheatley

Skimstone Arts

Luca Rutherford

Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC

Kerrin Tatman

Hannah Thompson

Gateway Studios

Liberdade community development trust

Nexus

Mathieu Geffré

identity on tyne

Shane Wreford-Sinnott

Michaela Wetherell

Steve Byron

Mi Viejo Fruta Ltd

Independent Sunderland

New Writing North

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

November Club

North Music Trust

Ballet Lorent Limited

The Forge

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

Dance City

Northern Stage (Theatrical Productions) Ltd

TIN Arts

The Maltings Berwick Trust Limited

Helix Arts Ltd

Baltic Flour Mills Visual Arts Trust

Middlesbrough Town Hall

Association for Cultural Enterprises

Stockton International Riverside Festival

Gem Arts

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

North East Theatre Trust Ltd

The Customs House

Bloodaxe Books Ltd

Theatre Hullabaloo

Woodhorn Charitable Trust

The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company

Generator North East

Amber Film & Photography Collective

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books

Vane Contemporary Art Limited

a-n The Artists Information Company

Durham County Council

Queen's Hall Arts

Sunderland Culture

Unfolding Theatre

The NewBridge Project

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Workplace Foundation

Inpress Ltd

Stockton Borough Council Tees Valley Museum Group

Arts&Heritage

Beamish Museum

Teesside University

Northern Print

Tyneside Cinema

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

Open Clasp Theatre Company

Stockton Arts Centre Ltd

The Bowes Museum

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he made of the safety of nursery settings remaining open during the January 2021 national lockdown.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 4 January 2021 that early years settings remain open for all children during the national lockdown. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home.

Schools have been restricted because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus. The wider significant restrictions in place as part of the national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the community enable us to continue prioritising keeping nurseries and childminders open, supporting parents and delivering the crucial care and education needed for our youngest children.

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

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.

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 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.

Early years childcare providers were one of the first sectors to have restrictions lifted last summer, in recognition of the key role they play in society. Childminders and nursery staff across the country have worked hard to keep settings open through the COVID-19 outbreak so that young children can be educated, and parents can work. The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. 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 working closely with local authorities to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, setting up dedicated regional teams that are in frequent contact. Bringing together expertise from across the department, these teams monitor the challenges local authorities are facing. Our London regional team is in close contact with Havering and will be assessing the situation for early years settings in the authority.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children who required a laptop in Wansbeck to carry out online learning have received one.

The Government is investing over £300 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing over one million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 560,000 laptops and tablets that have already been delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities in 2020.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most, during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

As of 18 December 2020, 455 devices had been delivered to Northumberland local authority. Devices have also been allocated to academy trusts in Northumberland which are not included in this figure. Constituencies can be spread over numerous local authorities and, as laptops have been distributed by local authority region or school, the Department does not have the data on the number of devices delivered within the Wansbeck constituency.

More information on the number of laptops delivered has been published here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will allocate funding to support the reintroduction of the Anti-bullying grant scheme.

On 7 June 2020, the department announced an additional £750,000 in funding to 3 organisations (the Diana Award, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust) to continue to support schools in their efforts to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, pupils who are victims of hate-related bullying and pupils who identify as LGBT. These grants are due to end in March 2021.

The department will confirm what funding is available for 2021-22 in the light of the Spending Review outcome. We will also consider what more the department can do to ensure that schools have the right support to prevent bullying of pupils with protected characteristics.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) stakeholders on cancelling examinations for (a) SATS, (b) GCSEs and (c) A Levels in the 2020-21 academic year.

The Government is committed to GCSE, AS and A level exams taking place next year. We are also preparing for primary assessments to take place in 2021, to allow us to understand the impact of COVID-19 and target ongoing support to those that need it most. The Department has been working closely with Ofqual, the exam boards, groups representing teachers, schools, colleges, students, and teaching unions to consider our approach to exams and other assessments next year.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, asked Ofqual in June to consider a short delay to the GCSE, A and AS level exam timetable in 2021, to free up additional teaching time. On 12 October, we announced the decision to delay the majority of exams by 3 weeks.

The Department is working with Ofqual to engage with the sector and other primary stakeholders to develop contingencies in the event that disruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak affects students’ ability to sit exams. As part of these discussions the Secretary of State for Education has spoken to Ofqual, his counterparts in the devolved administrations, trade unions, to school leaders via our reference groups, as well as to senior multi-academy trust leaders. In addition, the Department has been in regular contact with Ofqual and exam Boards.

The Department also recognises that primary school pupils have missed a critical period of their education due to school closures in the 2019/20 academic year and are planning on the basis that statutory primary assessments will take place in 2020/21 to allow us to understand the impact of COVID-19 and target ongoing support to those that need it most. Those stakeholders noted above have also been consulted on this matter.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government has provided additional funding to schools to meet the costs of additional supply teachers to cover teachers who are self-isolating during the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

As stated in the school reopening guidance, schools should be using their existing resources to ensure that all children are back in school. There are no plans at present to reimburse additional costs incurred as part of that process, but we continue to keep this under review. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Government has provided additional financial support for those who are unable to work because they have COVID-19, or are self-isolating, which is outlined in the 'Coronavirus COVID-19: what to do if you’re employed and cannot work' guidance. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-employed-and-cannot-work?priority-taxon=5ebf285a-9165-476c-be90-66b9729f50da#if-someone-you-live-with-has-symptoms-of-coronaviru.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure the ongoing needs of SEND pupils are being met in Wansbeck constituency.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been extremely challenging for many families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The department’s SEND and NHS England advisers continue to work with Northumberland County Council to support young people and families in Wansbeck and across the local area.

Supporting SEND pupils continues to be a priority for this government, and their wellbeing has been central to our response throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why we:

  • Asked schools to stay open to pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans where it was determined that their needs could be as safely or more safely met in the educational environment.
  • Published comprehensive guidance throughout the COVID-19 oubreak, including for full opening of all schools in July, with separate guidance on specialist settings. This guidance was updated in September.
  • Supported online educational resources, including specifically for children with SEND.
  • Are providing £37.3 million for the Family Fund this year to help over 75,000 families raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. This includes including £10 million specifically in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Have started a programme of visits by Ofsted and The Care Quality Commission working with local areas to understand the experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to support local areas to prioritise and meet their needs.

We have announced a major investment in education, including an additional £730 million into high needs next year, coming on top of the additional £780 million in the 2020-21 financial year, which means high needs budgets will have grown by over £1.5 billion, nearly a quarter, in just two years.

Northumberland’s provisional high needs funding allocation for the 2021-22 financial year will be £40.5 million, an 11.1% per head increase on the amount of high needs funding allocated in the 2020-21 financial year. The provisional high needs funding allocations for every local authority can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2021-to-2022.

The SEND Review remains a major priority for the government and we are considering improvements to make sure the SEND system is consistent, high quality, and integrated across education, health and care, to establish a sustainable system for the future.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much additional funding schools in Wansbeck constituency have received for additional personal protective equipment and extra cleaning costs since the start of the covid-19 outbreak, by school.

The first window for schools to claim funding back for exceptional costs due to the Covid-19 closed on 21 July 2020. Claims made by schools at that time in the Wansbeck parliamentary constituency for cleaning costs where there had been a case or suspected case of Covid-19 between March and July, are detailed in the attached table.

Claims for personal protective equipment were among those cost categories outside of the published scope of the scheme. An assessment is currently being undertaken to determine which of these other costs can be included, and we expect to write to schools and academies in November to confirm the outcome of that assessment.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the mental wellbeing of school staff; and whether his Department has plans to support the mental health and well being of those staff.

We recognise the pressure that teachers and leaders are under and are enormously grateful to school staff who have gone to great lengths to ensure children can get back into their classes safely this term.

The wellbeing and mental health of our staff in schools is of vital importance to the Department. Last year, the Department set up an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to advise on the wellbeing of staff in schools and colleges. Their recommendations were accepted by Ministers and published in June 2020. They include a commitment to develop a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector by the end of this year, which will include a range of commitments by the Government, schools and colleges to promote and protect staff wellbeing. The charter will help create an open culture around wellbeing and mental health and start to break down stigma. More information is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890547/Nick_Gibb_letter_to_EAG.pdf.

We have taken decisive action to respond to the mental health needs of school leaders managing the pressures caused by COVID-19 by funding a pilot led by the Education Support Partnership to provide online peer support and telephone supervision from experts to around 250 school leaders. This service will run until December 2020, and the outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing and mental health interventions.

The Government has invested significantly in mental health charities and support for teachers to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on pupils, parents and staff. Through the new £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme, we are supporting staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures some children and young people may be feeling as a direct result of COVID-19, as well as any negative emotional responses they or their teachers may still be experiencing. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/8m-programme-to-boost-pupil-and-teacher-wellbeing.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops, iPads and 4G routers were provided to children in Wansbeck constituency (a) in total and (b) by school.

The Government has invested over £160 million to support remote education and access to online social care.

As part of this, the Department for Education has delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, during the summer term, for disadvantaged children in Year 10, children receiving support from a social worker and care leavers. A breakdown of how many devices were delivered to each local authority or academy trust, including in Wansbeck, which is covered by Northumberland County Council, 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.

The laptops and tablets delivered in the summer term were an injection of support to help local authorities and academy trusts to provide access to education and social care during the COVID-19 restriction period. Local authorities and academy trusts were responsible for distributing the devices. The Department does not hold data on which schools the devices were distributed to.

The Department is now supplementing this support by making available 250,000 additional laptops and tablets in the event that face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and children become reliant on remote education.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools that requested supply teacher cover since 1 September 2020.

The Department does not hold the data requested centrally.

The Department collects information on teacher numbers from the School Workforce Census but does not hold live information on the use of supply teachers.

The Department has published guidance for schools for reopening which gives advice on how they can meet their workforce challenges, including advice on engaging supply teachers. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#school-workforce.

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to support the childcare sector to ensure that parents can access the childcare that they need during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 September 2020 to Question 95158.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to increase funding for (a) children’s centres, (b) youth workers and (c) other early intervention services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has provided £3.7 billion of funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures. This funding is un-ringfenced, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures in their local area, including on children’s centres, youth work and other early intervention services. We will keep this under very close review.

This funding is in addition to the £2.9 billion core spending power available to local authorities this financial year. This includes £1 billion of grant funding that can be used flexibly by local authorities to deliver adult and children’s services.

Longer term funding considerations are a matter for the next Spending Review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support children who have regressed with their reading levels during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government is committed to continuing to raise literacy standards. We want to make sure that all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding.

A catch up package worth £1 billion has been made available, including a ‘Catch Up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Our expectation is that this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support children and young people to catch up after a period of disruption to their education. This includes the new National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which will provide targeted tutoring support for the children and young people who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education. Up to £9 million of NTP funding will make the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) available at no cost to schools that would particularly benefit. A recent Education Endowment Foundation trial of NELI found that children made on average three months of additional progress compared to children in the comparison group.

Alongside this, the £26.3 million English Hubs Programme already supports nearly 3,000 schools across England to improve their teaching of reading through systematic synthetic phonics, early language development, and reading for pleasure. English Hubs are helping schools prioritise phonics and reading as a key part of their recovery plan to get children back up to expected standards as quickly as possible.

Recognising the importance of reading during the disruption to education this year, we published ten top tips for parents to support children to read and collaborated on a Reading Together Day to celebrate the benefits of reading. We continue to encourage schools to promote reading as one of their main priorities. The ten top tips can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/10-top-tips-to-encourage-children-to-read/10-top-tips-to-encourage-children-to-read.

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of ensuring that swimming lessons are free of charge for children whose families are in receipt of universal credit.

Swimming is a vital life skill and pupils should be taught to swim and about water safety at primary school as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The PE national curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 sets out the expectation that pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

In addition to their core curriculum provision, schools can choose to use the primary PE and sport premium to provide additional top-up swimming lessons to pupils who have not been able to meet the national curriculum requirements.

It is for local authorities and private providers to decide on the amount they charge for swimming lessons and whether to make them free to people on low incomes.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding from the public purse he plans to make available to schools to enable them to hire more staff so that pupils can work in smaller groups during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above guidance sets out a ‘system of controls’ which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

The guidance sets out that the use of small groups can restrict the normal operations of schools, presenting both educational and logistical challenges, so class sizes can return to normal. The overarching principle that schools have been asked to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate in class or year group sized ‘bubbles’ and through maintaining distance between individuals. These are not alternative options and both measures will help, but the balance between them will change depending on children’s ability to distance, the lay out of the school and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering a broad curriculum.

To implement the required protective measures, schools may also need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff and use existing staff more flexibly. Managers should discuss and agree any changes to staff roles with individuals. Schools should use their existing resources to make arrangements to welcome all children back.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what research is being done on younger students spreading covid-19 into the wider community.

The Department regularly reviews advice from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Public Health England (PHE) to ensure our policies are guided by the most up to date scientific evidence.

Public Health England have published preliminary results of the COVID-19 testing and antibody prevalence surveillance in schools programme (sKIDs), available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/914700/sKIDs_Phase1Report_01sep2020.pdf.

The report concluded that there was no evidence of an increased risk of COVID-19 infection in students or staff attending school during the summer half term in England, with no secondary cases identified among household or school contacts.

The SAGE sub-group, the Children’s Task and Finish Working group, has provided advice that focusses specifically on the transmission of COVID-19 in children and within schools. This has included data from a meta-analysis looking at the susceptibility to and transmission of COVID-19 amongst children and adolescents, available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903377/S0604_Annex_A_-_Update_on_susceptibility_and_transmission_of_SARS-CoV-2_by_children_and_adolescents.pdf.

SAGE have also considered principles for managing COVID-19 transmission associated with both schools and colleges.

The Rapid Response and the Rapid Rolling Calls, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are funding studies that aim to make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention, and management of COVID-19. Two prominent examples include the Coronavirus STORY (Serum Testing of Representative Youngsters) project led by the University of Oxford and in collaboration with Public Health England will study the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in children and teenagers 0 to 19 years old. The COVID-19 Mapping and Mitigation in Schools (CoMMinS) project led by Bristol University will, over a six-month period, test for infection in schools and test whether staff and pupils have current or past COVID-19 infection.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have also been clear that school attendance is very important for children and young people.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether daily testing will be provided for professionals working in schools.

Testing for COVID-19 is most effective for those who are experiencing symptoms. Anyone who develops symptoms should get tested.

The latest clinical advice is that testing of individuals without symptoms should only be used where clinically appropriate, predominantly for further investigation of outbreaks and infection control. This risk-based approach is essential to ensure testing is targeted where it is most effective.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that school children adhere to social distancing guidance.

Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of education and children’s future ability to learn, which is why we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.

On 2 July, the Department published guidance for schools to help them prepare for the autumn term. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-1-public-health-advice-to-minimise-coronavirus-covid-19-risks.

The guidance sets out the Public Health England-endorsed system of controls which schools should implement to reduce risks. This includes advice on minimising contacts and mixing between people, which can be achieved through keeping groups separate and through maintaining distance between individuals. Schools must do everything possible to minimise contacts and mixing while delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.

Schools should consider updating their behaviour policies with any new rules or policies, and consider how to communicate rules and policies clearly and consistently to staff, pupils and parents. Schools should set out the consequences for poor behaviour and deliberately breaking the rules and how they will enforce those rules, including any sanctions. This is particularly the case when considering restrictions on movement within school and new hygiene rules. Further guidance about behaviour and discipline in schools is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether maintained nurseries are able to access Catch Up Grant funding.

We are investing £1 billion in the COVID catch up fund. £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools to support all pupils over the 2020-21 academic year and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people over the same period. This includes £9 million to expand the Nuffield Early Language Intervention to support reception-aged children with poor language skills.

This funding is being focused on primary and secondary schools so they can help pupils catch up on time spent out of school. Early education is also vital, and we have prioritised getting the youngest children back into their childcare settings as quickly as possible. They have been able to return to nurseries and childminders since 1 June, so they have missed out on less education.

We will continue to support children’s early language and literacy skills through the Hungry Little Minds campaign.

Furthermore, the sector has benefitted from continued early years entitlement funding during the COVID-19 outbreak, on which we are planning to spend over £3.6 billion in 2020-21. On 20 July, we announced our commitment to continue funding local authorities for childcare this autumn term at the same levels as seen prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of whether fewer children are attending. If providers are open but caring for fewer children as a result of low demand, either from parents or due to public health reasons, they can continue to be funded for the autumn term at broadly the levels that they would have expected to see had there been no COVID-19 outbreak.

For maintained nursery schools, we also recently announced that they will continue to receive supplementary funding for the whole the 2020-21 academic year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will commit to further funding increases to schools for (a) building improvements and (b) teacher recruitment.

Both building improvements for schools and teacher recruitment are key priorities for the Department.

The Government is providing an additional £560 million in capital funding this year to maintain and improve school buildings, on top of over £1.4 billion already allocated in 2020-21. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister has also announced plans for a transformative ten-year school rebuilding programme that will benefit schools across England, starting with over £1 billion for the first 50 schools. Further details will be confirmed following the conclusion of the comprehensive spending review.

Last year, we published the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy which set out our priorities for reform and investment to ensure we continue to attract and retain recruits in the teaching profession. We have pledged to raise starting salaries for new teachers to £30,000 by September 2022, beginning with a 5.5% pay rise for new teachers in the next academic year as announced this week. Alongside investment in pay, we provide a package of financial incentives, including scholarships worth up to £28,000 and bursaries worth up to £26,000 in key secondary subjects, alongside early career retention payments totaling £6,000 in the second, third and fourth year of teaching. Additional uplifts worth up to £9,000 are available for teachers in 39 high-need local authorities.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support he plans to make available to children who live with elderly or vulnerable people in the Autumn in the event that there is a second wave of covid-19.

We now know much more about COVID-19 and so in future, there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils and students will be able to return to school. Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of COVID-19.

Schools should note that:

  • a small number of pupils and students will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19;
  • shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of COVID-19. This means that even the small number of pupils and students who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to their setting, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Current advice on shielding is available here:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19;
  • if rates of disease rise in local areas, children and young people (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent; and
  • some pupils and students are no longer required to shield, but those who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school in September (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). Advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is available here:
    https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-shielding-guidance-children-young-people#children-who-should-be-advised-to-shield.

Where a pupil is unable to attend their setting because they are complying with clinical or public health advice, we expect settings to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education. Settings should monitor engagement with this activity. For more detail, see the guidance for full opening, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

As part of remote education contingency planning, we are supporting sector-led initiatives such as the Oak National Academy. This new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from schools across England. It will provide 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from reception through to year 10. By 21 June, 3.9 million unique users had accessed the Oak National Academy website and 13.2 million lessons had been viewed.

Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize.

The government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, this includes: providing devices and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of education technology.

We have published a comprehensive range of advice and guidance to support schools in providing remote education during this time, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-schools-coronavirus-covid-19.

This includes a list of high-quality online resources, which have been assessed with support from some of the country’s leading educational experts, to help pupils learn at home. We also recognise the importance of schools learning from each other’s emerging practice in developing their approach to remote provision. Our guidance includes case studies from schools developing their practice in a variety of different circumstances. The list of online resources is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he plans to provide to schools to ensure that they can adequately plan catch-up programmes for children returning after the lockdown due to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 19 June, the government announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

The package includes a ‘catch-up premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Headteachers can decide how best to use their school’s premium allocation to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on their pupils, but are encouraged to spend it on evidence-driven approaches including small group or one-to-one tuition, support over the summer, or additional support for great teaching. To support schools to make best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools with evidence based approaches to catch up for all students, which is available at:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

Alongside this, we have also announced a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged children and young people. This will increase access to high-quality tuition, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers.

On 20 July, the department published further guidance on the £1 billion catch up package. This guidance outlines that, through the catch-up premium, a 1,000 pupil secondary school will receive £80,000 and a 200 pupil primary school will receive £16,000 to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on pupils as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes further detail on the £350 million National Tutoring Programme. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium.

Recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up, this £1 billion package is on top of the £2.6 billion increase this year in school budgets that was announced last year, as part of a £14 billion three-year funding settlement.

The government’s plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he plans to provide to schools to ensure that the needs of children with an Education, Health and Care plan are able to safely return to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July, the government published detailed guidance for schools, including special education settings, to help them plan for a full return of their pupils in September. The guidance, which has been developed with medical experts from Public Health England, provides specific advice on how schools should implement a ‘system of controls’ to reduce the risk of transmission.

The guidance for special educational settings can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings.

The guidance for mainstream settings can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Since May, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been necessary to modify Section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014 so that local authorities and health commissioners must use their ‘reasonable endeavours’ to secure or arrange the specified special educational health care provision in education, health and care (EHC) plans. We are committed to removing these flexibilities as soon as possible so that children and young people can receive the support they need to return to school. As such, unless the evidence changes, we will not be issuing further national notices to modify the EHC duties but will consider whether any such flexibilities may be required locally to respond to outbreaks. This means that children with EHC plans will be able to receive support as usual, upon their return to school.

We know that transport arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities will be critical to ensuring a safe return. We will publish guidance for local authorities who provide dedicated school transport shortly.

We will continue to work closely with and support special educational settings, parents and carers, local authorities and other partner organisations, as they plan for the autumn term.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he plans to provide to schools to ensure that children receive additional emotional and mental wellbeing support on returning to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that, across society, the COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on wellbeing and mental health, but it has had a particular impact on children and young people. That is why, as a government, we have made children’s wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Getting children and young people back into education, with settings devoting time to supporting wellbeing, will play a fundamental part in supporting children and young people’s mental health. The return to school will allow social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. The department has now published detailed plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September. The guidance for schools is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

We have been working hard to ensure that all pupils and learners will return to a full high-quality education programme in September. Our £1 billion Covid catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

As pupils return to school, staff need to be equipped to understand that some children and young people may be experiencing feelings in such as anxiety, stress or low mood as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and that these are normal responses to an abnormal situation. Our Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools Advice includes information about what to look for in terms of underlying mental health issues, linked to the graduated response and the support that might be suitable. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2.

The department has also published detailed plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September. The guidance highlights the particular need to focus on pastoral support and mental wellbeing as a central part of what schools provide, in order to re-engage them and rebuild social interaction with their friends and teachers. This will involve curriculum provision as well as extra-curricular and pastoral support, and our recently published relationships, sex and health education training module will support teachers with preparation to deliver content on mental health and wellbeing. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

We also remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams and testing approaches to deliver four week waiting times for access to NHS support.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open. Leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week, the government also announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities, including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.

The department in collaboration with Public Health England and NHS England, delivered two webinars in July to provide further mental health support. The first webinar was for schools and colleges to support teachers in promoting and supporting the mental wellbeing of children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak. The second event was for stakeholders across the local system to support strengthening of local partnerships to further support children and young people’s mental health as they return to school. We had around 10,000 sign up to the first webinar and around 1,300 to the second, and they are now available online for wider use.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the educational attainment gap in (a) Wansbeck and (b) other local education authorities when compared with higher educational attainment in London.

Standards are rising in England’s schools, to the benefit of all pupils. Compared with 2010, more pupils are taking core academic GCSEs - those subjects considered essential for many degrees that also provide a sound basis for a variety of careers. More children are reading fluently and most pupils now attend good or outstanding schools. Disadvantaged children are performing better relative to their peers; the attainment gap has narrowed at every stage from the early years to age 16 since 2011. Our widespread reforms have supported these improvements.

We are committed to maintaining these high standards and continuing to tackle the attainment gap as the country recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak. On 19 June we announced a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be shared across state primary, secondary and special schools over the 2020/21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the outbreak, regardless of their location or background.? School leaders will have discretion over how to use the funding but we expect it to focus on the most effective approaches. The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance to help schools make good decisions about how to use the money effectively.

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

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion core funding increase over three years announced last year, and the £2.4 billion pupil premium schools continue to receive on top of core funding to support their disadvantaged pupils. Schools in the Wansbeck constituency are sharing pupil premium funding of more than £4.4 million this year.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of recent locust swarms in Africa and South Asia on the supply of imported food into the UK.

We continuously monitor a range of regularly reported and publicly available statistics and data on supply of food to the UK. Through these close observations, we are aware of how locust swarms are affecting parts of Africa and Asia, and their impact on the countries affected. There is currently no specific impact on trade volumes as a direct result of the locust swarms.

We are also including a new requirement in the Agriculture Bill for the UK Government to report on food security to Parliament at least once every five years, demonstrating the importance we place on this subject. The report will contain information on food supply including the role of strong domestic production alongside diverse sources of supply. The report is a major undertaking and will draw evidence from a wide range of sources including an analysis of the key trends.

The UK has a robust and reliable food industry that is experienced in dealing with scenarios that can affect food supply, from adverse weather damaging crops to transport issues abroad. The size and diversity of the industry is a key factor in enabling the food sector to remain resilient to food supply chain disruptions. The expertise, capability, levers and resilience to plan for and respond to food supply disruption lies within the industry.

The Government has well established ways of working with the food industry on potential disruptions to the supply chain, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders and industry to support preparations for a range of scenarios. We also engage widely with international partners to share information and good practice guidance regarding the security and resilience of food supply.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking as part of the international response to the continued existence of wet markets in (a) China and (b) other countries throughout the world.

Whilst the sale of wildlife in “wet markets” has been suspected as the source of the current COVID-19 pandemic, conclusive evidence is not yet available. Research into the origin of the virus causing COVID-19 is ongoing, and the UK is working with the international scientific community to determine the source of the outbreak. When we have sound evidence, we will support the delivery of swift and effective policy interventions where needed.

We recognise however that ‘wet markets’ selling live animals and meat are a high risk environment for the transmission of disease from animals to other animals, and from animals to humans, if they are not subject to high standards of biosecurity and hygiene. It is essential that strict food hygiene and health standards are met, and we agree with the WHO that markets should close if these standards are not met.

In the meantime, the UK continues to provide leadership in the efforts to combat and end the illegal wildlife trade, which not only increases the risk of zoonosis, but contributes to loss of biodiversity and increased corruption.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of commercial recycling waste that became refuse derived fuel in each of the last 10 years.

Information on the amount of commercial waste collected for recycling and that became refuse derived fuel or solid recovered fuel is not available. Data specifically on the collection of commercial waste for recycling are not gathered from industry. Other available data through waste data returns on waste treatment do not make it possible to reliably derive the original source of the data.

Data on the amount of commercial waste sent for recycling are not routinely quantified and published each year. The best available estimate of the recycling rate for non-household municipal waste by the commercial sector is around 35 per cent. This is based on work carried out by WRAP and published in the impact assessment related to ‘Consistent municipal recycling in England’.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/consultation-on-consistency-in-household-and-busin/supporting_documents/recycleconsistencyconsultia.pdf

The Environment Bill includes powers to introduce electronic tracking of waste to help improve the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of waste data, including data on commercial waste. In parallel the Government is working with industry on the development of waste tracking technology to ensure it meets users’ needs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of commercial recycling waste that became solid recovered fuel in each of the last 10 years.

Information on the amount of commercial waste collected for recycling and that became refuse derived fuel or solid recovered fuel is not available. Data specifically on the collection of commercial waste for recycling are not gathered from industry. Other available data through waste data returns on waste treatment do not make it possible to reliably derive the original source of the data.

Data on the amount of commercial waste sent for recycling are not routinely quantified and published each year. The best available estimate of the recycling rate for non-household municipal waste by the commercial sector is around 35 per cent. This is based on work carried out by WRAP and published in the impact assessment related to ‘Consistent municipal recycling in England’.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/consultation-on-consistency-in-household-and-busin/supporting_documents/recycleconsistencyconsultia.pdf

The Environment Bill includes powers to introduce electronic tracking of waste to help improve the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of waste data, including data on commercial waste. In parallel the Government is working with industry on the development of waste tracking technology to ensure it meets users’ needs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of commercial recycling waste that was re-purposed in each of the last 10 years.

Information on the amount of commercial waste collected for recycling and that became refuse derived fuel or solid recovered fuel is not available. Data specifically on the collection of commercial waste for recycling are not gathered from industry. Other available data through waste data returns on waste treatment do not make it possible to reliably derive the original source of the data.

Data on the amount of commercial waste sent for recycling are not routinely quantified and published each year. The best available estimate of the recycling rate for non-household municipal waste by the commercial sector is around 35 per cent. This is based on work carried out by WRAP and published in the impact assessment related to ‘Consistent municipal recycling in England’.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/consultation-on-consistency-in-household-and-busin/supporting_documents/recycleconsistencyconsultia.pdf

The Environment Bill includes powers to introduce electronic tracking of waste to help improve the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of waste data, including data on commercial waste. In parallel the Government is working with industry on the development of waste tracking technology to ensure it meets users’ needs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the level of emissions from waste to energy plants in each of the last five years.

The UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) contains historic estimates of air pollutant emissions from emissions from waste (EfW) plants. EfW plants are permitted through the Environment Permitting Regulations and have to report annual site emissions to the UK regulators for inclusion in the UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), if they fall above the reporting threshold. This data is used to generate the NAEI estimates for this sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much waste was land-filled in the UK in each of the last five years.

The total tonnage of waste sent for landfill in the UK is available for alternate years only. The most recent data available is for 2016 and goes back to 2010:

Thousand tonnes

Year

Total waste sent for landfill (UK)

2010

50,707

2012

48,567

2014

48,178

2016

52,271

Full datasets are available on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/env23-uk-waste-data-and-management. The next update, with 2018 figures, will be published in March 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the amount of land-filled waste that was recyclable in each of the last 10 years.

This data is not available. The way that the data is reported for the particular waste categories does not make it readily possible to make reliable estimates for the amount of recyclable waste that was sent to landfill. The main data on waste that goes to landfill is from the permitted site returns that are submitted to the Environment Agency. A significant proportion (around 91 per cent in 2018) of the municipal waste sent to landfill was composed of two mixed waste categories: mixed municipal waste and sorting residues from mechanical treatment of waste.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much has been spent from the public purse on dealing with problem arising from historical landfill sites in each of the last 10 years.

The categorisation of contaminated land sites does not allow us to stipulate exact amounts spent specifically on historical landfill sites.

However, between 2011 and 2020, £3.8 million was spent on landfill remediation works as part of the Contaminated Land Capital Grant Scheme and through the Government’s investment in natural environment projects to deal with contaminated land.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the remaining capacity of landfill sites; and whether he has made an assessment of the timeframe for that capacity to be reached.

The Environment Agency (EA) has identified approximately 404,569,000m3 of remaining capacity at landfill facilities in England in 2018. The EA only predicts the years of capacity remaining for non-hazardous landfill sites. In 2018, there was around 6 years of non-hazardous landfill capacity remaining. However, assessing the timeframe for this capacity to be reached is difficult since we expect additional void space to be made available as the current available capacity reduces.

Total landfill capacity data is available here: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/237825cb-dc10-4c53-8446-1bcd35614c12/remaining-landfill-capacity

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many waste to energy plants were operating in (a) the UK and (b) the North East in each of the last five years.

Waste is a devolved matter. The Environment Agency only holds data for England. The number of waste to energy plants processing municipal waste operating in England and in the North East in the last five years is shown in the table below.

Location

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

England

36

39

39

41

45

North East

5

6

6

7

8

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the capacity of waste processing facilities.

The Government’s current view on the adequacy of capacity of waste processing facilities at a national level is set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) in section 3.2.2. Waste planning authorities are responsible for considering capacity needs at a local level and planning accordingly. The RWS can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resources-and-waste-strategy-for-england

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 estimate her Department has made of the amount of commercial recycling waste that went to landfill in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested is not available. It is not specifically collected from the commercial sector and cannot be routinely or reliably estimated from other available data.

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 estimate her Department has made of the amount of household recycling that was repurposed in each of the last 10 years.

Consistent data at this level of detail for the treatment of material collected for recycling is only available for the last four years when a new more detailed data reporting structure was introduced. Table 1 below shows the tonnages of all local authority waste collected in England for recycling as source segregated or comingled material that is sent to landfill, incineration and recycling.

All local authority waste will primarily relate to household waste (approximately 90 per cent) but will include a proportion of non-household waste. The data does not distinguish between material that became refuse derived fuel and solid recovered fuel; a total for material sent for incineration has been provided. Repurposing has been interpreted to mean recycling (including preparation for reuse); detailed information on the specific end uses is not collected.

Due to the complexity of the data and the multiple treatment stages that the material may go through, any consequent slight differences in data recording or cases of unknown treatments, it is possible that there are tonnages that are not fully captured in the landfill and incineration figures but these will be small (a combined maximum 20-40 thousand tonnes in total in any of these years).

Table 1 Treatment of non-residual local authority collected municipal waste in England

Figures are in thousand tonnes

Treatment of Non residual waste

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Sent to Landfill

146

148

103

78

Sent to Incineration

268

284

357

429

Recycled or Reused

10,473

10,627

10,249

10,215

Notes:-

  1. Figures relate to all (“Household” and “non-household”) local authority waste from non-residual waste streams.

  2. Incineration includes material reported as refuse derived fuel (RDF), incineration with energy recovery, incineration without energy recovery and other heat treatments. Outputs from incineration which are subsequently landfilled are not included in the landfill figures to avoid double counting.

  3. The “Recycled” total does not include material recycled from the residual waste stream and so will not agree with published totals for recycling.

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 estimate her Department has made of the amount of household recycling that became solid recovered fuel in each of the last 10 years.

Consistent data at this level of detail for the treatment of material collected for recycling is only available for the last four years when a new more detailed data reporting structure was introduced. Table 1 below shows the tonnages of all local authority waste collected in England for recycling as source segregated or comingled material that is sent to landfill, incineration and recycling.

All local authority waste will primarily relate to household waste (approximately 90 per cent) but will include a proportion of non-household waste. The data does not distinguish between material that became refuse derived fuel and solid recovered fuel; a total for material sent for incineration has been provided. Repurposing has been interpreted to mean recycling (including preparation for reuse); detailed information on the specific end uses is not collected.

Due to the complexity of the data and the multiple treatment stages that the material may go through, any consequent slight differences in data recording or cases of unknown treatments, it is possible that there are tonnages that are not fully captured in the landfill and incineration figures but these will be small (a combined maximum 20-40 thousand tonnes in total in any of these years).

Table 1 Treatment of non-residual local authority collected municipal waste in England

Figures are in thousand tonnes

Treatment of Non residual waste

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Sent to Landfill

146

148

103

78

Sent to Incineration

268

284

357

429

Recycled or Reused

10,473

10,627

10,249

10,215

Notes:-

  1. Figures relate to all (“Household” and “non-household”) local authority waste from non-residual waste streams.

  2. Incineration includes material reported as refuse derived fuel (RDF), incineration with energy recovery, incineration without energy recovery and other heat treatments. Outputs from incineration which are subsequently landfilled are not included in the landfill figures to avoid double counting.

  3. The “Recycled” total does not include material recycled from the residual waste stream and so will not agree with published totals for recycling.

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 estimate her Department has made of the amount of household recycling that became refuse derived fuel in each of the last 10 years.

Consistent data at this level of detail for the treatment of material collected for recycling is only available for the last four years when a new more detailed data reporting structure was introduced. Table 1 below shows the tonnages of all local authority waste collected in England for recycling as source segregated or comingled material that is sent to landfill, incineration and recycling.

All local authority waste will primarily relate to household waste (approximately 90 per cent) but will include a proportion of non-household waste. The data does not distinguish between material that became refuse derived fuel and solid recovered fuel; a total for material sent for incineration has been provided. Repurposing has been interpreted to mean recycling (including preparation for reuse); detailed information on the specific end uses is not collected.

Due to the complexity of the data and the multiple treatment stages that the material may go through, any consequent slight differences in data recording or cases of unknown treatments, it is possible that there are tonnages that are not fully captured in the landfill and incineration figures but these will be small (a combined maximum 20-40 thousand tonnes in total in any of these years).

Table 1 Treatment of non-residual local authority collected municipal waste in England

Figures are in thousand tonnes

Treatment of Non residual waste

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Sent to Landfill

146

148

103

78

Sent to Incineration

268

284

357

429

Recycled or Reused

10,473

10,627

10,249

10,215

Notes:-

  1. Figures relate to all (“Household” and “non-household”) local authority waste from non-residual waste streams.

  2. Incineration includes material reported as refuse derived fuel (RDF), incineration with energy recovery, incineration without energy recovery and other heat treatments. Outputs from incineration which are subsequently landfilled are not included in the landfill figures to avoid double counting.

  3. The “Recycled” total does not include material recycled from the residual waste stream and so will not agree with published totals for recycling.

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 estimate her Department has made of the amount of household recycling that went to landfill in each of the last 10 years.

Consistent data at this level of detail for the treatment of material collected for recycling is only available for the last four years when a new more detailed data reporting structure was introduced. Table 1 below shows the tonnages of all local authority waste collected in England for recycling as source segregated or comingled material that is sent to landfill, incineration and recycling.

All local authority waste will primarily relate to household waste (approximately 90 per cent) but will include a proportion of non-household waste. The data does not distinguish between material that became refuse derived fuel and solid recovered fuel; a total for material sent for incineration has been provided. Repurposing has been interpreted to mean recycling (including preparation for reuse); detailed information on the specific end uses is not collected.

Due to the complexity of the data and the multiple treatment stages that the material may go through, any consequent slight differences in data recording or cases of unknown treatments, it is possible that there are tonnages that are not fully captured in the landfill and incineration figures but these will be small (a combined maximum 20-40 thousand tonnes in total in any of these years).

Table 1 Treatment of non-residual local authority collected municipal waste in England

Figures are in thousand tonnes

Treatment of Non residual waste

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Sent to Landfill

146

148

103

78

Sent to Incineration

268

284

357

429

Recycled or Reused

10,473

10,627

10,249

10,215

Notes:-

  1. Figures relate to all (“Household” and “non-household”) local authority waste from non-residual waste streams.

  2. Incineration includes material reported as refuse derived fuel (RDF), incineration with energy recovery, incineration without energy recovery and other heat treatments. Outputs from incineration which are subsequently landfilled are not included in the landfill figures to avoid double counting.

  3. The “Recycled” total does not include material recycled from the residual waste stream and so will not agree with published totals for recycling.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has plans to bring forward legislative proposals in relation to the Hunting Act 2004.

The Government will not amend the Hunting Act 2004.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of recent locust swarms in Africa and South Asia on food security in those regions.

We are deeply concerned about the locust outbreak in Africa and South Asia, and the devastating impact on food security in those regions. It is destroying crops, livelihoods, and essential food supplies, compounding the effects of existing humanitarian disasters and putting millions of people at risk of food insecurity.

To date the UK has provided £5 million to FAO’s regional appeal for surveillance, control and coordination activities. Additionally, DFID Sudan has provided £2 million bi-laterally and DFID Pakistan £1 million to FAO’s response in-country. The Department for International Development (DFID) has significant humanitarian and development programmes in the affected regions that are adapting to support vulnerable communities in response to the outbreak. The Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, has also been using a DFID-funded super computer to predict movements of locusts and geographically target the response.

Our support is having an immediate impact. We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to help further.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of recent locust swarms in Africa and South Asia on those regions' ability to respond to the covid-19 pandemic.

We are deeply concerned about the locust outbreak in Africa and South Asia, which is compounding existing humanitarian need caused by the residual effects of humanitarian disasters, conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is affecting the regions’ ability to respond to these crises by destroying livelihoods and essential food supplies, putting millions of people at risk of further insecurity during the pandemic.

The UK is supporting the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Emergency Appeal for the locust outbreak and has contributed £5 million for the spraying of pesticides on the ground and by air. Additionally, DFID Sudan has provided £2 million bi-laterally and DFID Pakistan £1 million to FAO’s response in-country.

We are also playing a leading role in the global response to COVID-19, working with international partners to slow its spread and pledging £764 million of UK aid globally to end the pandemic. Additionally, the UK is providing up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment Relief Trust to help developing countries, including many in Africa and South Asia, meet their debt repayments so they can focus available resources on tackling COVID-19. The UK has worked closely with G20 creditors and the Paris Club on a temporary suspension of debt repayments from countries that request relief, further boosting response capacities.

Finally, the UK is urgently redirecting existing programmes in Africa and South Asia to respond to the locust outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our support is having an immediate impact. We are closely monitoring the situation and stand ready to help further.

29th Apr 2020
What steps she is taking to cancel the debt of countries in the Global South affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

It is essential to help developing countries deal with the secondary economic effects of coronavirus. This will protect vulnerable people and help the world economy recover. The UK is taking a leading role by contributing up to £150m to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, to fund the poorest countries’ debt repayments to the IMF. We also support the suspension of debt repayments from the poorest countries by G20 and Paris Club creditors. We are working hard to stop the poorest suffering the most.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the date on driving theory tests due to expire in 2021.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons, to ensure a candidate’s knowledge is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

It is important road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring now will have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, they have been unable to take lessons and practice for long periods of time, and not at all during recent lockdowns. It is difficult to maintain knowledge and understanding of driving theory at the level required during that time without being able to put it into practice. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the training of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what effect the Transport Decarbonisation Plan will have on the Green Jobs Taskforce launched on 12 November 2020; and when he last discussed the low carbon economy and employment levels in public transport with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Green Jobs Taskforce forms part of the government’s ambitious plan to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We will set out measures needed to reach net zero for transport in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. Department for Transport and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy ministers have regular discussions on a range of issues, including tackling climate change and delivering our net zero commitments.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long the average commute to work is by (a) bus and (b) train in (a) Wansbeck constituency, (b) the North East, (c) England and (d) the UK.

The average commute to work distance for employees by (a) bus and (b) train in (b) the North East and (c) England is shown in the table below. DfT do not routinely collect the required data to provide information for (a) Wansbeck constituency and (d) the UK.

Average commute (miles) by Bus

Average commute (miles) by Train

(b) North East

5.5

N/A

(c) England

5.4

22.1

Source: 2009 - 2018 National Travel Survey for English residents travelling in Great Britain

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long the average commute to work is for employees in (a) Wansbeck constituency, (b) the North East, (c) England and (c) the UK.

The average commute to work distance for employees in (a) Wansbeck constituency, (b) the North East, (c) England is shown in the table below. DfT do not routinely collect the required data to provide information for (d) the UK.

Average commute (miles)

(a) Wansbeck constituency2

11.4

(b) the North East1

8.4

(c) England1

9.0

1 These figures are based on the Department’s 2017 and 2018 National Travel Survey for English residents travelling in Great Britain.

2 Based on 2011 Census data published by the Office for National Statistics. Population is all usual residents aged 16 to 74 in employment the week before the census.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many accidents involving horses on public highways were recorded in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) the last 12 months.

Data on personal injury road accidents reported to the police held by the Department for Transport includes information on horses either as a vehicle (when they are ridden) or as a carriageway hazard for the accident (when they are not ridden and in the carriageway). When they are involved in an accident as a carriageway hazard, horses cannot be separated out from other animals.

The number of accidents involving ridden horses and where ‘animal (excluding ridden horses) in carriageway’ was recorded as a carriageway hazard on public highways in Great Britain is shown in the tables below.

  1. By year, 2009-2018

Year

Accidents involving ridden horses

Accidents where ‘animal (except ridden horse) in carriageway’ was recorded as a carriageway hazard

2009

102

834

2010

126

864

2011

135

851

2012

127

804

2013

108

734

2014

115

692

2015

101

610

2016

103

556

2017

84

477

2018

73

376

Source: DfT, STATS19

  1. By month, 2018

Month

Accidents involving ridden horses

Accidents where ‘animal (except ridden horse) in the carriageway’ was recorded as a carriageway hazard

January

3

23

February

3

31

March

8

22

April

9

27

May

6

38

June

7

27

July

5

30

August

4

43

September

12

33

October

8

36

November

2

33

December

6

33

Source: DfT, STATS19

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve customer service to help elderly people contacting her Department regarding the time taken to receive their state pension payments.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken for people turning 66 to receive the first payment of their state pension.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been affected by the recent administrative delays in receiving their state pensions since turning 66.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to address the backlog of people waiting for work capability assessments.

We are currently delivering health assessments through a variety of channels. We have reintroduced face-to-face assessments, alongside the telephone and video assessments introduced in response to the pandemic. Whenever possible we will conduct a paper based assessment.

We are always looking at ways to improve the assessment process and continue to work with the assessment provider to maximise the number of WCAs completed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the level of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Wansbeck.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Wansbeck is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty, before housing costs, in Wansbeck was 22%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Wansbeck and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many prohibition notices for each sector have been served by the Health and Safety Executive to employers for breaching covid-19 safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) takes Covid-19 safety at work very seriously and it is playing a critical role in the national response to the pandemic. The Government has provided additional funding of £14 million to HSE to strengthen its capacity to tackle Covid-19.

Since the start of the pandemic HSE has carried out over 110,000 Coivd-19 spot checks and responded to over 18,000 concerns. Over 700 checks a day are currently taking place. Spot checks have been targeted in those industries where workers are most likely to be vulnerable to transmission risks.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for enforcement notices. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

HSE has to date issued two prohibition notices for breaches of workplace COVID-secure standards, both in the oil and gas industry (part of the extractive utilities sector).

A further 212 COVID-19 related interventions have resulted in improvement notices, 1,422 in written correspondence and 6429 in verbal advice.

The tables below provide the breakdowns by industry sector. To note, sector comparisons cannot be made as the figures are not like for like in each sector due to our targeting approach.

Table 1: COVID-19 related interventions resulting in an outcome of improvement notice

Industry sector

Number of COVID-19 related interventions resulting in an outcome of an improvement notice

Agriculture

0

Construction

107

Extractive Utilities

2

Manufacturing

38

Services

53

Water / Waste Management

7

(Sector not specified)

5

Total

212

Table 2: COVID-19 related interventions resulting in an outcome of written correspondence

Industry sector

Number of COVID-19 related cases resulting in an outcome of written correspondence

Agriculture

8

Construction

457

Extractive Utilities

24

Manufacturing

474

Services

367

Water / Waste Management

65

(Sector not specified)

27

Total

1,422

Table 3: COVID-19 related interventions resulting in an outcome of verbal advice

Industry sector

Number of COVID-19 related cases resulting in an outcome of verbal advice

Agriculture

69

Construction

1,165

Extractive Utilities

107

Manufacturing

2,724

Services

2,030

Water / Waste Management

299

(Sector not specified)

35

Total

6,429

Note: This data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 9th February 2021 and is subject to change e.g. as there can be a delay of up to 10 working days before actions are updated on the database.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will assess the potential merits of introducing time-bound targets for increasing Pension Credit uptake.

The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics covering 2018-19 were published on 29 October 2020, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2018-to-2019. They show a small but encouraging improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit. Take-up of Guarantee Credit – the safety-net element of Pension Credit – has risen from 68% to 70% of those eligible to claim it. The statistics also show a significant improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit by expenditure, with some 76% of Pension Credit being claimed, up from 70% in the previous year.

This year we took steps to raise awareness of Pension Credit by launching a campaign aimed at dispelling some of the common misconceptions about Pension Credit eligibility. We engaged with our stakeholders to ensure that the key campaign messages could be widely disseminated because we know that trusted organisations working in the community are often one of the first places that people are likely to go to seek information.

We have updated our online Pension Credit toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit) with the recent awareness campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and information designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

In May we also launched the digital ‘Apply for Pension Credit’ (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim) service as part of our Covid 19 response to help people claim Pension Credit online with minimal delay and to ensure they can do so while adhering to social distancing or shielding measures. This online claim service for Pension Credit supplements the existing free Pension Credit claim line number (0800 99 1234) and postal claim facilities and around 50% of claims are being made using it.

We continue working with stakeholders to find the best ways to reach eligible pensioners and raise awareness of Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to develop new awareness raising campaigns to boost Pension Credit uptake.

The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics covering 2018-19 were published on 29 October 2020, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2018-to-2019. They show a small but encouraging improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit. Take-up of Guarantee Credit – the safety-net element of Pension Credit – has risen from 68% to 70% of those eligible to claim it. The statistics also show a significant improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit by expenditure, with some 76% of Pension Credit being claimed, up from 70% in the previous year.

This year we took steps to raise awareness of Pension Credit by launching a campaign aimed at dispelling some of the common misconceptions about Pension Credit eligibility. We engaged with our stakeholders to ensure that the key campaign messages could be widely disseminated because we know that trusted organisations working in the community are often one of the first places that people are likely to go to seek information.

We have updated our online Pension Credit toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit) with the recent awareness campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and information designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

In May we also launched the digital ‘Apply for Pension Credit’ (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim) service as part of our Covid 19 response to help people claim Pension Credit online with minimal delay and to ensure they can do so while adhering to social distancing or shielding measures. This online claim service for Pension Credit supplements the existing free Pension Credit claim line number (0800 99 1234) and postal claim facilities and around 50% of claims are being made using it.

We continue working with stakeholders to find the best ways to reach eligible pensioners and raise awareness of Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to implement innovative technological solutions to increase the uptake of Pension Credit.

The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics covering 2018-19 were published on 29 October 2020, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2018-to-2019. They show a small but encouraging improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit. Take-up of Guarantee Credit – the safety-net element of Pension Credit – has risen from 68% to 70% of those eligible to claim it. The statistics also show a significant improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit by expenditure, with some 76% of Pension Credit being claimed, up from 70% in the previous year.

This year we took steps to raise awareness of Pension Credit by launching a campaign aimed at dispelling some of the common misconceptions about Pension Credit eligibility. We engaged with our stakeholders to ensure that the key campaign messages could be widely disseminated because we know that trusted organisations working in the community are often one of the first places that people are likely to go to seek information.

We have updated our online Pension Credit toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit) with the recent awareness campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and information designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

In May we also launched the digital ‘Apply for Pension Credit’ (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim) service as part of our Covid 19 response to help people claim Pension Credit online with minimal delay and to ensure they can do so while adhering to social distancing or shielding measures. This online claim service for Pension Credit supplements the existing free Pension Credit claim line number (0800 99 1234) and postal claim facilities and around 50% of claims are being made using it.

We continue working with stakeholders to find the best ways to reach eligible pensioners and raise awareness of Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will produce an action plan for increasing the uptake of Pension Credit.

The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics covering 2018-19 were published on 29 October 2020, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2018-to-2019. They show a small but encouraging improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit. Take-up of Guarantee Credit – the safety-net element of Pension Credit – has risen from 68% to 70% of those eligible to claim it. The statistics also show a significant improvement in the take-up of Pension Credit by expenditure, with some 76% of Pension Credit being claimed, up from 70% in the previous year.

This year we took steps to raise awareness of Pension Credit by launching a campaign aimed at dispelling some of the common misconceptions about Pension Credit eligibility. We engaged with our stakeholders to ensure that the key campaign messages could be widely disseminated because we know that trusted organisations working in the community are often one of the first places that people are likely to go to seek information.

We have updated our online Pension Credit toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit) with the recent awareness campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and information designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

In May we also launched the digital ‘Apply for Pension Credit’ (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim) service as part of our Covid 19 response to help people claim Pension Credit online with minimal delay and to ensure they can do so while adhering to social distancing or shielding measures. This online claim service for Pension Credit supplements the existing free Pension Credit claim line number (0800 99 1234) and postal claim facilities and around 50% of claims are being made using it.

We continue working with stakeholders to find the best ways to reach eligible pensioners and raise awareness of Pension Credit.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full time equivalent staff members of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit team have been redeployed to other benefits teams during the covid-19 outbreak.

The number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff members of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) team that have been redeployed to other benefits teams during the covid-19 outbreak is 110 FTE. This was in response to a fall- off in IIDB claims and to support the departments other priority work areas. A small number of residual FTE (23) remain on the IIDB team to deal with SRTi cases and customer enquiries.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full time equivalent staff members of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) team have been dealing with asbestos related IIDB cases only, during the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 outbreak and whilst IIDB medical assessments have been paused, we have continued to deploy 8 Full Time Equivalent staff members to ensure that the “special rules” cases which do not require a medical assessment have continued to be processed. All claims received have been progressed to the point of where they are now awaiting a medical assessment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to process suspended Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit cases.

The suspension of face-to-face assessments for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) means the majority of new claims are not being assessed at present. We are urgently exploring approaches to safely progress new IIDB claims awaiting an assessment. We will restart face to face assessments in a safe manner with adherence to the latest public health guidance as soon as we are able to. As part of this work, we will carefully consider the demands on our services to manage the cases.

For claimants with the most serious or terminal conditions, claims continue to be processed and decisions made as normal. Furthermore, reassessment case awards have been extended to ensure that payments continue unhindered on those cases. Any deteriorations which would have meant an increase in award, will be backdated once face-to-face assessments recommence, to ensure no one is left out of pocket.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what additional resources she will make available to help manage the backlog of industrial injuries disablement benefit cases; and how her Department will prioritise the outstanding cases.

The suspension of face-to-face assessments for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) means the majority of new claims are not being assessed at present. We are urgently exploring approaches to safely progress new IIDB claims awaiting an assessment. We will restart face to face assessments in a safe manner with adherence to the latest public health guidance as soon as we are able to. As part of this work, we will carefully consider the demands on our services to manage the cases.

For claimants with the most serious or terminal conditions, claims continue to be processed and decisions made as normal. Furthermore, reassessment case awards have been extended to ensure that payments continue unhindered on those cases. Any deteriorations which would have meant an increase in award, will be backdated once face-to-face assessments recommence, to ensure no one is left out of pocket.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many members of full time equivalent staff were working in the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit team in January 2020.

In January 2020, the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff working on the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Team was 134 FTE.

The number of FTE staff members that deal with asbestos related IIDB Claims as ‘Business as Usual’ is 23 FTE.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full time equivalent staff members of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) team are dealing with asbestos related IIDB cases.

In January 2020, the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff working on the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Team was 134 FTE.

The number of FTE staff members that deal with asbestos related IIDB Claims as ‘Business as Usual’ is 23 FTE.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many industrial injuries disablement benefit applications have been received for (a) asbestosis, (b) diffuse pleural thickening since January 2020.

The number of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) applications that have been received for (a) asbestosis, (b) diffuse pleural thickening since January 2020 is;

Pneumoconiosis including Asbestosis and Silicosis – 1018 (we are unable to break this figure down to just asbestosis claims)

Diffuse Pleural Thickening – 417

We have also had the following Special Rules claims which are also associated with asbestos exposure:

Diffuse Mesothelioma – 1518

Cancer of the lung with evidence of Asbestosis – 122

Cancer of the lung – 157

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many assessments for industrial injuries disabled benefits have been suspended due to the covid-19 outbreak in respect of (a) asbestosis and (b) diffuse pleural thickening.

The number of Pneumoconiosis including Asbestosis and Silicosis category cases that are currently awaiting a medical assessment is 865 (we are unable to break this figure down to just asbestosis claims).

The number of Diffuse Pleural Thickening category cases that are currently awaiting a medical assessment is 347.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to assess whether there has been an increase in the number of children living in poverty due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We understand that this is a difficult time for people on low incomes and we’ve taken significant action to support those affected by coronavirus, including through income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters. For those most in need we’ve injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, which includes an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 this financial year. These policies implemented in response to the outbreak have made a huge difference, particularly to those with low incomes.

This was shown in HMT’s recently published distributional analysis about the Impact of covid-19 on working household incomes. This publication shows that the lowest income decile of working households has seen no fall in income due to Government measures that have been put in place. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/impact-of-covid-19-on-working-household-incomes-distributional-analysis-as-of-may-2020

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to respond to Question 48435, asked by the hon. Member for Wansbeck on 18 May 2020.

I apologise for the delay and refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave for question 48435 on 1 July 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many reports on the safety of workplaces were received by the Health and Safety Executive on each day since 23 March 2020.

The attached table provides numbers of all reports of safety in the workplace, received by HSE, for each day since 23 March until the latest data available on 18 May.

This table includes reports of incidents that are reported under the RIDDORs (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) by employers, and reports of safety workplace concerns raised by the public.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many reports in relation to the safety of workplaces were received by the HSE in (a) the UK, (b) England (c) the North East and (d) Wansbeck constituency in each month in 2020.

The tables below provide numbers of all reports i.e. reports of incidents under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDORs) and reports of workplace concerns received this year. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the regulator for Great Britain (GB) only and there is a separate regulator in Northern Ireland. HSE is unable to analyse data at constituency level, so data for Wansbeck is not provided.

1) RIDDOR Reports

HSE

Local Authorities

ONR

Month reported (2020)

GB

England

NE

GB

England

NE

GB

England

NE

January

6016

5082

243

2776

2442

92

7

5

-

February

6072

5134

278

2639

2292

99

7

5

-

March

5196

4351

235

2185

1941

69

7

6

-

April

4334

3692

191

1308

1217

44

2

2

-

1st – 18th May

3682

3109

196

1295

1174

35

1

-

-

Grand Total

25300

21368

1143

10203

9066

339

24

18

-

2) Workplace Concerns

Month reported (2020)

GB

England*

Concerns received for Counties: ‘Durham / Northumberland / Tyne & Wear / Cleveland’*

January

2396

2084

62

February

2494

2178

74

March

4584

3968

163

April

3809

3313

180

1st – 18th May

2118

1845

94

Grand Total

15400

13388

573

*Country and County are given by the notifier. 2 records in the same dataset had no ‘Country’ and 699 records in the same dataset had no ‘County’.

RIDDOR puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Figures represent all RIDDOR types of notifications made each day, as received in a HSE-managed system. These are as reported, no assessment has been made whether individual reports are reportable under RIDDOR, as some reports may not meet the reporting criteria. Reports relate to incidents occurring within Great Britain, excluding any made directly to the Office of Rail and Road about railways-related reports.

The RIDDOR reporting system is managed by HSE, so includes reports made which are enforced by others who access the system, namely local authorities (LA), and a small number assigned to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much has been paid in working-age benefits to claimants in (a) Wansbeck constituency and (b) postcode areas (i) NE61, (ii) NE62, (iii) NE63, (iv) NE64 and (v) NE22 in each of the last 10 years.

Information relating to payments of Working Age Benefits to claimants in Wansbeck Constituency can been sourced from DWP’s Published Benefit expenditure by Parliamentary Constituency 2018/19. This can be found by following the URL link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2019

DWP are unable to split out the specific amount that’s been paid for Working Age Benefits only as the Housing Benefit award is paid as a whole, rather than by different elements. Therefore we are unable to give the requested payments for Working Age benefits only by constituency, the information requested could only be made available at a disproportionate cost.

Information in respect of Working Age Benefits to claimants in Wansbeck Constituency by postcode area is not provided. The information requested could only be made available at a disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to make changes to universal credit.

Universal Credit is a modern, flexible and personalised benefit reflecting the rapidly changing world of work. It replaces six outdated and complex benefits with one, simplifying the benefits system and making work pay.

The Department regularly gathers and analyses feedback from our stakeholders which helps drive improvement to the service we deliver; ensuring welfare payments reach those who need them most, and effectively supporting those with insecure or fluctuating incomes.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are in receipt of disability living allowance in (a) Wansbeck constituency, (b) Northumberland and (c) England.

The information requested on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is published and is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/login.xhtml

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are in receipt of personal independence payment in (a) Wansbeck constituency (b) Northumberland and (c) England.

The information requested on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is published and is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/login.xhtml

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether additional mental health support is being made available to people affected by the contaminated blood scandal.

This Government is committed to providing mental health support for people affected by the contaminated blood tragedy. In England funding is available via the English Infected Blood Support Scheme for infected and affected individuals and their families to access counselling in addition to National Health Service-provided services. In May 2020 a significant change was made to the application process for this support so that beneficiaries can now receive funding for counselling without general practitioner approval or the need to access NHS waiting lists. The devolved administrations, who each run their own Infected Blood Support Schemes, also offer psychological support.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the contaminated blood support scheme is compatible with the Equalities Act 2010.

Under the general equality duty set out in the Equality Act 2010, the Department has assessed the effect of the English Infected Blood Support Scheme on groups protected under the Act, as well as the impact on families. We published our assessment of changes to the scheme in 2017 and keep this equality analysis under review. The assessment is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648221/Infected_blood_consultation_response_eqia.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many constituents have received the covid-19 vaccines in Wansbeck.

Since 24 December 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published weekly United Kingdom-wide vaccination data. In January 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement began to publish daily statistics by age and region, with a more detailed information provided weekly including the overall number of people who have been vaccinated by dose, those aged 80 years old and above and location.

Vaccination data is currently available at a national and regional level by sustainability and transformation partnership and integrated care system.

Further data is available at the following links:

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

coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-monitoring-reports

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many key workers have received the covid-19 vaccines in Wansbeck.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to assure Haemophiliacs that the Coronavirus vaccination is safe following evidence given by Professor Ludlam to the Infected Blood Inquiry.

The COVID-19 vaccine is made from a non-human source material and so there is no risk of infection from the manufacturing process. There are no components of human or animal origin in any of the COVID-19 vaccines. The quality data for any COVID-19 vaccine is robustly and thoroughly reviewed with scientific rigour before approval of the vaccine to ensure safety for all, including those with haemophilia. In addition, each batch is tested to ensure the absence of contaminating viruses and other microorganisms. This orthogonal approach, which is applied to all medicinal products and vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccines ensures that no batch of product would ever be released for use if it were to contain any viral or microbiological contaminants.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulances have attended schools in Wansbeck constituency since their reopening in September 2020.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to allow grandparents to be included in a support bubble to help working parents.

We recognise how difficult it has been for people to be cut off from their friends and family throughout the past few months. ‘Support bubbles’ are to assist the loneliest and most isolated in society. They were introduced to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the difficult effects of the social restrictions, while ensuring we continue to keep the rate of transmission low. The policy has been targeted at single-adult households.

People should socially distance from those not in their household or support bubble in order to keep people around them safe, limit the risk of the transmission of the virus and limit chains of transmission. We recognise that it may not always be possible or practicable to maintain social distancing when providing care to a young child or infant. People should still limit close contact as much as possible when providing childcare and take other precautions such as washing hands and clothes regularly.

This is guidance is continually under review. Guidance on meeting people from outside of your household has been published and can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) mean and (b) median average distance is that people from Wansbeck constituency have had to travel to access a covid-19 test.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children in Wansbeck constituency have been tested for covid-19 since schools reopened.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people accessed the covid-19 test centre in Wansbeck constituency on each day since that centre opened.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure people in Wansbeck can be tested locally for covid-19.

The Government has put in place the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including 77 drive-through sites, 155 walk-through sites, 21 satellite test sites, 258 mobile testing units, home testing and satellite kits and five lighthouse laboratories as of 13 October 2020.

Home testing enables anyone who can’t get to a testing site, such as those who are shielding, self-isolating, have mobility issues, live in very rural areas or are waiting for elective surgery, to take a test in their own home.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether patients with covid-19 were discharged from hospitals into care homes in Wansbeck constituency.

Our priority is the prevention of infection in care homes and ensuring that everyone receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Since the start of this pandemic, we have worked closely with the sector and public health experts to support safe and timely discharge. We have provided guidance to support safe admission to care homes and embed the Discharge to Assess model, backing this up with over £1.8 billion of funding.

We are working with the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service to ensure anyone who is likely to be infectious with COVID-19 is discharged to a designated care setting to complete a period of isolation before moving to a care home. These settings will meet a set of agreed standards to provide safe care for COVID-19 positive residents. This is to further support safe and timely discharge and protect care home residents and staff from COVID-19.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) minor and (b) major operations have been cancelled since January 2020; and what steps he is taking to minimise waiting times for those operations.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of covid-19 tests that have taken place each week in Wansbeck constituency since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when covid-19 restrictions will be lifted allowing partners to attend maternity appointments and scans.

The National Health Service is making arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during this pandemic.

Decisions on partners attending scans and appointments is subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies.

The new ‘Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services’ was published on 8 September to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services. was published on 8 September The Framework is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/par001599-framework-for-the-reintroduction-of-visitors-throughout-maternity-services-sep-2020.pdf

We expect trusts to use this Framework and consider as a priority how access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women can be reintroduced whilst maintaining the safety of all service users, staff and visitors.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that care homes are fully prepared for a potential second wave of covid-19 in autumn 2020.

Since the start of this pandemic, we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care.

The Social Care Sector COVID-19 Taskforce will give advice on what measures need to be in place across all parts of the care sector in England to respond to COVID-19 over the coming months, and for winter. We will draw on this advise in providing guidance to support the sector for a potential second wave before winter.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional mental health support has been provided during the covid-19 outbreak; and what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have accessed that support.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we have provided tailored guidance to help people deal with their mental health and wellbeing on GOV.UK and the Every Mind Matters website.

We have also provided additional funding of £5 million for mental health charities to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time as well as a further £4.2 million, as part of the Government’s United Kingdom-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector.

No estimate has been made of the number of people who have accessed this support. NHS Digital publishes monthly data on the number people who have been in contact with mental health services and the number of referrals to mental health services. Reports can be found at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-tools-and-services/data-services/mental-health-data-hub/mental-health-services-monthly-statistics

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that funding is ringfenced for local authorities to meet the demand for mental health support.

The public health grant supports local authorities’ statutory duty to take steps to improve the mental and physical health of their local population. The overall public health grant to local authorities in 2020/21 is £3.279 billion and this continues to be ring-fenced for health improvement.

Local authorities make their own funding decisions based on their assessment of local population need, hence we cannot specify how much is spent on individual services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that frontline workers are tested regularly for covid-19.

Frontline workers in health and care settings are in persistent close contact with a constantly changing number of potentially infectious people. This puts them at higher risk of infection, and we have extended testing to them regardless of whether they have symptoms, because doing this will help protect the people they care for. Regular asymptomatic testing is best conducted through a sample of staff enrolled in surveillance studies – for National Health Service staff this will be Public Health England’s SIREN study.

On 10 July, the Government also rolled out a pilot to test people without symptoms working in high-contact professions, such as taxi drivers, cleaners and sales assistants.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were tested for covid-19 in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Wansbeck constituency on each day since 28 February 2020.

The ‘people tested’ measure was initially used to count people who had not been previously received a test, deliberately excluding subsequent instances an individual would have been tested if they had been tested once or more previously. It no longer usefully reflects the volume of tests carried out as, for example, a healthcare worker receiving their second, third or fourth test since the start of the pandemic would not be counted as they have been tested once before. Therefore, the people tested figure will be published on a weekly basis within the NHS Test and Trace statistics rather than daily and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The Department has also published transparency data for the number of people tested for coronavirus (England): 30 January to 27 May 2020 which is weekly and covers the period before Test and Trace. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-people-tested-for-coronavirus-england-30-january-to-27-may-2020

Daily data for the period 20 March to 2 July is available for the United Kingdom as daily and cumulative people tested (discontinued measure) as part of the time series of testing statistics is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

This data is not available to finer resolutions than whole UK or England depending on the publication.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of NHS frontline staff have (a) been tested for covid-19, (b) tested positive for covid-19 and (c) died from covid-19.

The Department does not hold data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many companies have (a) contacted and (b) been engaged by the Government to assist with the manufacture of equipment to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Northumberland and (d) Wansbeck constituency.

We are building up United Kingdom manufacturing with signed contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) through UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons.

The Government is currently in contact with over 350 potential UK manufacturers. Engineering efforts by small companies are being scaled up and we have already taken delivery of products from new, certified UK manufacturers.

To date, we have authorised the release of over 139 million items of PPE to local resilience forums to help them respond to urgent local spikes in need across the adult social care system and some other frontline services, where providers are unable to access PPE through their usual, or dedicated wholesaler routes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were tested for covid-19 on each day from 28 February 2020 to date, by reason for test.

The ‘people tested’ measure was initially used to count people who had not been previously received a test, deliberately excluding subsequent instances an individual would have been tested if they had been tested once or more previously. It no longer usefully reflects the volume of tests carried out as, for example, a healthcare worker receiving their second, third or fourth test since the start of the pandemic would not be counted as they have been tested once before. Therefore, the people tested figure will be published on a weekly basis within the NHS Test and Trace statistics rather than daily and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The Department has also published transparency data for the number of people tested for coronavirus (England): 30 January to 27 May 2020 which is weekly and covers the period before Test and Trace. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-people-tested-for-coronavirus-england-30-january-to-27-may-2020

Daily data for the period 20 March to 2 July is available for the United Kingdom as daily and cumulative people tested (discontinued measure) as part of the time series of testing statistics is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

This data is not available to finer resolutions than whole UK or England depending on the publication.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the covid-19 reproductive (r) rate was in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East, (d) Northumberland and (e) Wansbeck constituency in each week from 3 February 2020.

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. The current range is estimated to be 0.7-0.9 and is based on latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates. We do not calculate the R rate for different UK regions.

The Government is committed to publishing the scientific evidence that has informed the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advice. These papers are being published in batches. The full list of papers reviewed to date is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response

This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at recent and future meetings.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) increase the training provided to and (b) improve the understanding of dealing with cases sensitively and effectively of (i) medical students and (ii) junior doctors on eating disorders.

Mental health should be an integral part of medical education and training so that all doctors have the necessary knowledge and experience of mental health to assess patients holistically, considering the individuals’ physical, social and psychological needs. All newly qualified doctors, as a condition of their registration with the General Medical Council (GMC), must explain and illustrate by professional experience the principles for the identification, safe management and referral of patients with mental health conditions.

The Government is committed to provide the best training experience for all doctors in training and will work with the GMC and relevant stakeholders to ensure doctors in training receive the necessary mental health training to meet the current and future needs of patients. The GMC, at the request of the Department held a roundtable on 21 November 2019 to use their influence to improve educational knowledge and skill in the recognition and treatment of eating disorders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that public health campaigns (a) take into account the welfare of people affected by eating disorders and (b) do not (i) inadvertently reinforce unhealthy thoughts and (ii) trigger harmful behaviour in those people; and if he will make a statement.

Messaging in public health campaigns aimed at healthy eating and physical activity is developed with guidance from Public Health England’s (PHE’s) nutritionists and tested with stakeholders and target groups such as parents and children. Change4Life recommends that those with special dietary requirements, medical needs, eating disorders or who require specialised nutrition advice, seek guidance from a registered health-care professional which can be found at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/about-change4life

PHE is currently not undertaking any marketing activity aimed at adults around eating behaviours.

In addition, PHE’s Rise Above social marketing programme aims to help build resilience and support the good mental health of young people aged 10 to 16. It delivers video resources enabling self-care, developed with guidance from PHE and independent experts in young people’s health. These are tested with young people to ensure they do not normalise or trigger unhealthy or harmful behaviours. These resources can be viewed at the following link:

www.NHS.uk/riseabove/schools

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of healthcare to UK citizens living in other EU countries after the UK has left the EU.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement we have reached with the European Union, there will be no changes to reciprocal healthcare access for pensioners, workers, students, tourists and other temporary visitors from the European Economic Area/Switzerland, the European Healthcare Insurance Card scheme, or planned treatment until 31 December 2020.

Longer term, we are discussing the future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU.

Regardless of any future healthcare arrangements, United Kingdom nationals that move to the EU and EU citizens that move to the UK before 31 December 2020, will continue to have life-long reciprocal healthcare rights provided they remain within scope of the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports by human rights organisations in Colombia of arbitrary arrests during national strike protests which started in that country on 28 April 2021.

The UK Government remains concerned about reports of human rights violations in Colombia. The fundamental human right to peaceful assembly and association must be guaranteed. Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we have raised our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia since protests began. Most recently, I spoke with acting Foreign Minister Adriana Mejía on 14 May to express our concerns, and welcome Colombia's commitment to transparent investigations into allegations of abuse.

We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any excessive use of force, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints thoroughly investigated. We will continue to work closely with the UN Verification Mission, and the UN Office of the High Representative for Human Rights in Colombia, as well as the wider international community, in support of their efforts to reduce tensions and promote dialogue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on urgently implementing agreements signed by the Colombian Government with communities in Buenaventura as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 19 March 2021.

The UK Government remains concerned about reports of violence and insecurity in Colombia, including in Buenaventura. Embassy teams have visited Buenaventura twice this year to meet with key local stakeholders to discuss peace and security challenges. In April, the Embassy attended and supported the launch of the Buenaventura Search Pact, signed by the Unit for the Search for Disappeared People, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the Truth Commission, and the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Pact is an initiative to support families of people that have disappeared and put in place measures to address forced disappearances, structural violence and insecurity in Buenaventura.

This support is part of the UK's efforts to help implement the 2016 Peace Accords and improve security, human rights, and justice in Colombia. In addition, UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues with their Colombian counterparts. Most recently, the UK's Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, raised our concerns around levels of violence, on a virtual visit to Colombia in February. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has been made of the implications for his policies of calls by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia for urgent action in response to high levels of violence and insecurity in the Colombian region of Buenaventura.

The UK Government remains concerned about reports of violence and insecurity in Colombia, including in Buenaventura. Embassy teams have visited Buenaventura twice this year to meet with key local stakeholders to discuss peace and security challenges. In April, the Embassy attended and supported the launch of the Buenaventura Search Pact, signed by the Unit for the Search for Disappeared People, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the Truth Commission, and the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Pact is an initiative to support families of people that have disappeared and put in place measures to address forced disappearances, structural violence and insecurity in Buenaventura.

This support is part of the UK's efforts to help implement the 2016 Peace Accords and improve security, human rights, and justice in Colombia. In addition, UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues with their Colombian counterparts. Most recently, the UK's Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, raised our concerns around levels of violence, on a virtual visit to Colombia in February. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2020
What diplomatic steps the Government is taking to help provide protection and support for LGBT+ communities in eastern Europe.

The UK plays an active role in Eastern Europe and across the world in support of LGBT+ rights. We became co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) in June last year, in partnership with Argentina. The ERC is a group of 42 like-minded States that share best practice and promote LGBT equality globally. Our plan is to deliver an ERC Strategy and Action Plan to re-energise the ERC. In addition to this, our embassies across the region proudly fly the rainbow flag for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the population was of St Helena in each of the last 10 years; and what assessment he has made of trends in the level of that population over that period.

The Saint Helena Government's Statistics Office has confirmed that the resident population of St Helena in June each year was:

2010 - 3966

2011 - 3982

2012 - 4050

2013 - 4220

2014 - 4349

2015 - 4458

2016 - 4542

2017 - 4345

2018 - 4554

2019 - 4346

The population increased during the construction of St Helena Airport (particularly between 2013 and 2016) but there was a slight fall in number before the airport opened for commercial flights in October 2017. In 2018 the resident population increased and subsequently fell in 2019 to around the same level as it was in 2014.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are subject to the Loan Charge as at 8 June 2021.

HMRC’s latest estimates for those affected by the Loan Charge are included in their GOV.UK publication titled Independent Loan Charge review: HMRC report on implementation.

As set out in this report, in January 2020, HMRC wrote to more than 55,000 individuals and employers who were identified as potentially affected by the Loan Charge. HMRC estimate the changes to the Loan Charge enacted in Finance Act 2020 took 11,000 people out of paying the charge altogether.

The report goes on to state that 5,600 employers and individuals settled their use of disguised remuneration schemes in the period to 30 September 2020.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in light of the conclusion of Round 4 of Offshore Wind Leasing, if he will review the formula for the Crown Estate’s annual payments to the taxpayer from net revenue profits,.

Her Majesty The Queen surrenders the profits from The Crown Estate (which she owns as reigning Monarch) to the Government. As a result, over the last ten years, The Crown Estate has paid to HM Treasury £2.9 billion for the benefit of all taxpayers and invested in vital public services such as the NHS, transport, schools and defence.

In return for The Crown Estate’s revenue, the Government provides funding, known as the Sovereign Grant, for use by the Royal Household to support Her Majesty’s official duties.

The level of the Sovereign Grant is determined according to a formula set in the Sovereign Grant Act. As required by the Act, the reference percentage used for setting the Sovereign Grant is reviewed every five years to ensure it remains at an appropriate level. The next review will take place in the coming financial year, and any change will take effect from April 2022.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will use Budget 2021 to end the sanctions system under universal credit, jobseeker's allowance and employment and support allowance.

The Chancellor will provide an update on the Budget on 3 March.

Sanctions are a core element of the conditionality approach to helping people back into work, and DWP work coaches will ensure that they are only ever used in a proportionate, reasonable way. In universal credit, jobseeker's allowance and new style employment and support allowance, sanctions are only considered where a claimant has not undertaken a work-related requirement as agreed in their Claimant Commitment without good reason. A personalised, tailored Claimant Commitment is agreed between the work coach and the claimant. They will only set reasonable requirements, based on the claimant’s circumstances and the local/national health guidelines – and no claimant can or will be sanctioned without a Claimant Commitment in place.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will allocate adequate funding in Budget 2021 to end the five week wait for universal credit.

No one has to wait five weeks for financial support when they make a claim for Universal Credit. Advance payments are available within days of making a new claim to ensure that families have money to support them through the period until their first full monthly payment.

Claimants moving from DWP legacy benefit and Housing Benefit are also eligible for a ‘run-on’ payment of up to two weeks of extra support when they move to Universal Credit.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing Machine Games Duty to five per cent to increase support for high street arcades.

The Government has no current plans to reduce Machine Games Duty. High street arcade operators will have been able to benefit from the package of measures introduced to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19 worth over £280 billion, including the Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until April, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the bounce back loan and payment deferral schemes.

However, HM Treasury keeps all taxes, including Machine Games Duty, under active review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 115670 on Offshore Industry and Shipping: Coronavirus, what recent estimate he has made of the number of employees aged (a) 16-24 and (b) 25 years or over that have benefited to date from the Job Retention Bonus payment introduced in the Plan for Jobs; and how many employers have received that payment in each industry.

The purpose of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) was to encourage employers to keep previously furloughed staff in work until the end of January. However, as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended to the end of March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB falls away. As such, the JRB will not be paid in February. We will set out details of how a revised retention incentive will work in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend business rates relief to all wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties. As set out in the guidance, support is available to premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; for assembly and leisure; or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, has also been made available.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend business rates relief to all wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties. As set out in the guidance, support is available to premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; for assembly and leisure; or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, has also been made available.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason workers in the (a) offshore oil and gas and (b) shipping industries were not specifically included in the Plan for Jobs announced on 8 July 2020; and what steps he has taken since that date to support levels of domestic (i) employment and (ii) training in those industries.

The Plan for Jobs, announced on 8 July, invested in opportunities for people to develop skills to find and retain a job, expanding the National Careers Service, tripling the number of sector-based work academy placements for 2020-21, tripling the scale of traineeships, and funding a brand new offer to all 18 and 19 year olds studying high value level 2 and 3 courses. Recognising young people are particularly at risk of labour marketing scarring, the Government also launched a new £2bn Kickstart Scheme, creating hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people (16-24) at risk of long-term unemployment across Great Britain. There is also a guaranteed foundation of support to all 18-24 year olds on Universal Credit in the Intensive Worksearch group, through its new Youth Offer. The Plan for Jobs’ focus on traineeships and jobs for young people was well received by Oil & Gas UK, the offshore oil and gas industry trade body. The offshore oil and gas industry and shipping industry can both access the economy-wide support measures offered through the Plan for Jobs.

On the 5 November, the Government announced a further extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, until the end of March. This means employees can receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The Government has also announced an increase to the third self-employed grant, covering November to January, from 55% to 80% of trading profits.

The Government is in frequent contact with the offshore oil and gas industry to support it in tackling the twin challenges of a low oil price and Covid-19. This has included regular engagement with the industry regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, and the trade body, Oil & Gas UK.

Furthermore, the Government remains committed to seafarer training through its Support for Maritime Training programme which will see its budget increase to £30m by 2024/25. In addition, the Maritime Skills Commission is undertaking a Cadet Review, led by the Maritime Coastal Agency, which will look at the skills needs of cadets. The Government also remains committed to the development and delivery of maritime apprenticeships.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the median wage is of people in receipt of Government support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by Parliamentary constituency.

It is not possible to provide an answer in the time available.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people who had wages paid using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been made redundant, to date.

Employers are not required to inform HMRC of redundancies.

CJRS is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will list all assets owned by the Government and their latest estimated value in Wansbeck constituency.

A comprehensive list of assets owned by the Government is not available at parliamentary constituency level. The Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) reports the cumulative value of assets owned by central and local government at the national level. This data is collated through returns from local authorities and central government departments. The Whole of Government Accounts is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/whole-of-government-accounts

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) businesses are using the furlough scheme and (b) employees have been furloughed in (i) Wansbeck, (ii) Northumberland, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April. By close 3 May 2020, HMRC had received 800,000 claims representing 6.3m furloughed employments and £8bn.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made for the implications for his policies on free ports of the potential risk of (a) tax avoidance, (b) money laundering and (c) other illegal activities taking place in those ports.

The UK plays a key role in tackling cross-border illegal activity and this is not going to change. UK Freeports will be innovative hubs that boost trade, attract inward investment and drive productive activity across the UK. HMRC have been closely involved in their design to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of tax towards funding our vital public services, while boosting growth in all regions of the UK.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether companies operating within free ports will be subject to (a) tax and (b) other financial incentives.

We are considering a wide range of measures to create vibrant, innovative Freeports which are attractive to domestic and international investors looking to start or grow their UK operations.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date she plans to publish the call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff; and what plans she has to ensure that shop staff are protected against violence and abuse.

The Government carried out a Call for Evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff to better understand the scale of the issue and the measures which may help prevent these crimes. We published the Government response to these findings on 7 July, setting out the steps we will be taking to help drive down these crimes:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-and-abuse-toward-shop-staff-call-for-evidence

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the increase in right-wing extremism.

We take the threat from right wing extremism and terrorism very seriously. There are regular discussions between departments on how we respond to that threat.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many foreign national NHS and social care workers have (a) paid and (b) been refunded the NHS surcharge since 21 May 2020.

This information is not readily available nor held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost due to the fact the IHS is payable across multiple application routes. For example, where the customer is on a visa with a general right to work and takes up employment, we do not have a record who the employer is. Since the Prime Minister’s announcement, we have been working at pace to identify and issue refunds to those customers who are eligible and hold Tier 2 (General) visas.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has revised her Department's targets for the processing of immigration cases during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office closely monitors the processing of immigration cases and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has not amended its service standards due to Covid-19. UKVI continue to process applications as quickly as possible.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of people from the Wansbeck constituency who served in the Armed Forces in each of the last ten years.

The information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of people wounded whilst serving in the Armed Forces from the Wansbeck constituency in each of the last ten years.

The information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of people killed whilst serving in the Armed Forces from the Wansbeck constituency in each of the last ten years.

The table shows the number of Armed Forces personnel with a birth place in the Wansbeck constituency killed whilst serving in the Armed Forces in each of the last ten years.

Year

Number of Servicepersons

2010

~

2011

0

2012

0

2013

0

2014

0

2015

0

2016

0

2017

0

2018

0

2019

0

*In line with departmental policy ~ represents 4 or fewer, values have been rounded to the nearest five.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the quality of service provided under contracts outsourced by his Department.

The Ministry of Defence routinely monitors the performance of all contractors, including those who provide outsourced services. Performance against contract targets is regularly scrutinised and officials take appropriate action when standards are not met.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of levels of social mobility in the armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on the socio-economic backgrounds of Armed Forces personnel which could inform an assessment of levels of social mobility. However, the Armed Forces are working in line with the Government's priority to build a fairer society, aiming to attract talent from the widest possible base from across the UK, regardless of socio-economic background, educational status or ethnicity. The skills, education, training and experience provided enable recruits to progress as far as their aptitude will take them, regardless of their background.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to provide additional support to tenants facing eviction following the end of the ban on bailiff-forced evictions came to an end on 31 May 2021.

As we gradually ease restrictions introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has to balance supporting tenants with landlords' ability to exercise their right to justice where needed.

The Government continues to provide support for tenants. A significant package of financial support is available to tenants to help them pay their rent. Local Housing Allowance rates were increased in April 2020 to the 30th percentile of market rents. In 2020/21 rates have been frozen in cash terms meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector will continue to benefit from the significant increase applied in April 2020. We have also made £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments funding available, for local authorities to distribute to renters who require additional support. This is in addition to the wider support available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit, which are in place until the end of September.

Tenants continue to benefit from longer notice periods of four months in most cases, giving them more time to make alternative arrangements where needed. New arrangements have also been introduced to protect tenants where a possession claim is made to the court. These include requiring landlords to provide information about how their tenant has been affected by the pandemic, and a review stage to enable tenants to access legal advice. A new mediation pilot integrated into the court process is supporting landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction to resolve issues and to help sustain tenancies where possible.

Evictions must be scheduled with a minimum of 14 days’ notice and will not be carried out if bailiffs are made aware that a member of the household has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating. In certain circumstances, tenants are able to apply to suspend an eviction, for example if a tenant missed the court hearing for a good reason and there would have been a good case for the possession order not to have been granted had they attended.

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 is Department has made of the number of people in Wansbeck in rent arrears after the end of the ban on bailiff-forced evictions on 31 May 2021.

We do not hold data on the number of people in rent arrears in Wansbeck following 31 May 2021.

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)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will (a) make it his policy to abolish no-fault evictions and (b) take further steps to prevent homelessness as a result of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

The Government remains committed to abolishing Section 21 through a Renters’ Reform Bill, which will enhance renters’ security. However, our collective efforts are currently focused on responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

Repealing Section 21 represents the largest change to renting in 30 years and it is only right that the reforms are taken forward in a considered manner. The Government’s consultation ‘A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the Balance of Rights and Responsibilities Between Landlords and Tenants’ sought views on the best way to provide tenants with greater security, but also ensure that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so. This balance is vital to ensuring the future supply of good quality housing in the rented sector. We will bring forward a Renters Reform Bill to implement the reforms at the appropriate time, once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed.

We’ve taken unprecedented action to prevent people getting into financial hardship by helping businesses to pay salaries, with the furlough scheme, and boosted the welfare safety net by billions of pounds. Local housing allowance rates (LHA) have been increased to the 30th percentile of local market rents in each area, which will be retained next year, even in areas where rents have gone down. Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available to those who require additional support, and the Government will make available £140 million in DHP funding for 2021-22.

To further tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, the Government will be spending over £750 million next year, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping and fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act. This includes the £310 million Homelessness Prevention Grant, an increase of £47 million compared to this year. This funding will help local authorities to manage homelessness pressures and enable investment in homelessness prevention.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will allocate funding in Budget 2021 to local authorities to cover costs and funding shortfalls incurred as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has allocated over £8 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic. According to our monthly financial monitoring returns estimated expenditure pressures for the financial year are £7.3 billion. Furthermore, the Chancellor already took action at the Spending Review to provide local authorities with over £3 billion of additional support for COVID-19 in 2021-22, taking total COVID support to over £11 billion.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

The Government has established an unprecedented package of support to protect renters throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, including measures to prevent tenants being evicted for 12 months.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 75319 on 24 July 2020.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people were placed in emergency housing as a result of a risk of homelessness between March and August 2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government publishes management information about the support for rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest data was published on 3 June and shows 14,610 people were provided emergency accommodation at May 2020. This data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people in Wansbeck constituency were placed in emergency housing as a result of a risk of homelessness between March and August 2020.

Nationally nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period. This includes people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic.??On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports this announcement.

This management information has been collected from over 300 local authorities nationally. We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society. Data is collected on an ongoing basis and we are currently working closely with local authorities to ensure that the data we hold is robust.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people are on the waiting list nationally for social housing.

Data on the number of households on social housing waiting lists is published in MHCLG's Live Table 600, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-rents-lettings-and-tenancies

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people are on the waiting list for social housing in Wansbeck constituency.

The Department does not collect waiting list data at constituency level. Data for Northumberland County Council can be found in MHCLG's Live Table 600, which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-rents-lettings-and-tenancies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will prioritise the building of additional homes and additional homes that people on low incomes can afford to rent.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes in a wide range of tenures, including Social Rent.

Building on this, we announced at Budget 2020 that we are investing £12 billion to build affordable homes between 2021/22 and 2025/26 and that this will deliver up to 180,000 affordable homes. This will be the biggest cash investment in affordable housing for a decade.

A mix of different tenures is vital to meet the needs of a wide range of people, and allow the sector to build the right homes in the right places. Alongside affordable home ownership to help those struggling to purchase their first home, our programme also offers affordable rent and social rent homes.

We will announce full details of the homes the programme will deliver in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will introduce longer minimum rental contracts to provide renters with more financial stability.

As announced in the Queen's Speech, the Government has committed to introduce a package of reforms to deliver a better deal for renters, and a fairer and more effective rental market. A Renters’ Reform Bill will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions.

The Government is committed to bringing forward legislation to abolish section 21 but such legislation must be balanced and considered to achieve the right outcomes for the sector. It is only right that providing tenants with greater security of tenure is balanced with an assurance that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so. This is vital to ensuring the future supply of good quality housing in the rented sector.

We will bring forward the Renters Reform Bill as a priority once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department takes to ensure that landlords are obligated to carry out essential maintenance on private rented property in a timely manner.

Local authorities enforce standards in privately rented homes. If they identify health and safety hazards or poor conditions, they have strong powers to oblige landlords to remedy these. Local authorities can also carry out remedial works themselves in cases where hazards are very serious or where landlords do not comply with enforcement action. We strengthened these powers in 2016 when we introduced banning orders and the rogue landlord database and gave local authorities the power to impose financial penalties of up to £30,000.

We also supported the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which empowers tenants to take their landlords to court, and extended Rent Repayment Orders. And this month our Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations came into force, providing even more protection against poor conditions.

Of course, the Covid-19 outbreak has meant people are spending more time in their homes, so standards are more important than ever. That’s why we’ve written comprehensive, common-sense guidance for tenants, landlords and local authorities to help everyone ensure rented homes are safe as possible during this difficult time. We have also issued guidance on working safely in people's homes which landlords should take account of when carrying out maintenance work. We recommend that no repair or maintenance work should be carried out in any household which is self-isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless that work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. We expect local authorities to take a pragmatic approach to enforcement that ensures tenants are kept safe and landlords are supported.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he is putting in place to ensure that there is no increase in homelessness as a result of the reintroduction of late rent evictions.

The Government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic. On 5 June we announced that the suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation had been extended by a further two months. This means that no action to evict a tenant will proceed before 24 August 2020.

We are supporting those at risk of homelessness, with an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system. This includes increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in April 2018 and means more people are entitled to support than ever before. Local authorities and other public bodies must now work together to actively relieve people of their homelessness or prevent homelessness for people at risk, irrespective of whether they are a family or single person, the reason they are at risk, or if they have a local connection to the area. Acting earlier and for a broader range of people means more people will get the help they need before they face a homelessness crisis.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the average number of years of experience of serving prison officers.

As at 31st March 2021 the average length of service, in years, held by all prison officers is given in the following table.

Table 1 – Band 3-5 Prison Officers1 in England and Wales average length of service2, as at 31st March 2021

Number of Prison officers in post

Cumulative Length of Service of all prison officers

Average Length of Service of all prison officers

(Full Time Equivalent)

21,926

244,275

11.1

Notes to tables:

1. Band 3-5 Officers includes Band 3-4 / Prison Officers (incl. specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officers, and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

2. The length of service in HMPPS is calculated from most recent hire date. Where staff have transferred in from another Government Department or have transferred in through HMPPS taking over a function, length of service is calculated from entry to HMPPS.

Having experienced staff is vital to ensuring prisons remain safe, secure and decent. That’s why we are investing £100m to improve safety and security in prisons, clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence. This includes tough measures such as X-ray body scanners and phone blocking technology. Body-worn cameras and PAVA spray are being rolled out across the estate, alongside SPEAR personal safety training, to make officers’ work safer. A retention working group including representation from HR and Psychology has been established to tackle both the national and local drivers of attrition, and each prison is being provided with a comprehensive report highlighting the reasons for high turnover, and additional support is then provided.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Jun 2020
What support the Government is providing to the prison estate during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have restricted regimes, minimised transfers between prisons and boosted staffing at the frontline and supported prisoners to maintain family ties.

Prisons are also implementing a ‘compartmentalisation’ strategy to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals.

Latest public health advice suggests that the measures we have been taking to tackle covid-19 have helped to limit the spread of the virus in prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels in prisons.

We recognise the need to recruit and retain staff to keep our prisons secure. We have invested significantly in increasing staff numbers, recruiting an additional 4,581 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and September 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500.

Since April 2017, governors have been empowered to manage workforce planning locally, and set their own staffing arrangements, including the number and grade of operational prison officers and other staff to be employed within their financial resource envelope. A ‘detached duty’ scheme is also in place to ensure that those prisons with urgent staffing needs can be prioritised.

We will continue to recruit officers and we are investing £100 million to bolster security, to ensure prisons are safe and decent for both staff and prisoners.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)