Jane Hunt Portrait

Jane Hunt

Conservative - Loughborough


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 313 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Tuesday 14th September 2021
Covid-19 Update

Last Friday, Leicestershire MPs met NHS officials locally. We were told that around three quarters of all those in hospital …

Written Answers
Monday 25th October 2021
Pets: Theft
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what animals will be included in the proposed …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 17th May 2021
8. Miscellaneous
On 23 April 2021, Great Central Railway provided me and a member of my staff with a trip on the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Jane Hunt has voted in 319 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Jane Hunt voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Jane Hunt 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(10 debate interactions)
Chi Onwurah (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(5 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(8 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Jane Hunt's debates

Loughborough 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

Bring in a law which enforces professional football clubs to have at least 51% fan ownership similar to how the Bundesliga operates this rule.

The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game. This should happen by December 2021.

Being the first to close and still no clue as to when we can open, this seasonal industry is losing its summer profits that allows them to get through the first quarter of next year.

Even if we are allowed to open in December, 1 months profit won't be enough to keep us open in 2021. We need help

The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.

Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.

The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.

Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.

Extend funding to nightclubs, dance music events and festivals as part of the £1.57bn support package announced by the government for Britain's arts and culture sector to survive the hit from the pandemic. #LetUSDance


Latest EDMs signed by Jane Hunt

Jane Hunt has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jane Hunt, 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.


Jane Hunt has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Jane Hunt has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Jane Hunt has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Jane Hunt has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


86 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
1 Other Department Questions
19th Feb 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that SMEs are represented at COP26.

The UK is committed to hosting an inclusive COP, recognising the importance of showcasing our partners from across the UK, including SMEs.

There was an Expression of Interest application for organisations to submit their proposals to be involved in the UK Government managed spaces of COP26. We encouraged a collaborative approach to applications, and set up a group on the COP26 LinkedIn platform to enable organisations, including SMEs, to find potential collaborators. The deadline for responses was 17:00 GMT on Friday 5 March 2021.

As Presidency, we are keen to showcase businesses and organisations which have set ambitious net zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, with a credible short term action plan, and are encouraging organisations to demonstrate their commitment by joining the Race to Zero campaign, which SMEs can do via the SME Climate Hub.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps her Department is taking to (a) review and (b) reduce the backlog of cases in Leicestershire awaiting assessment by the CPS for more than 28 days.

The Government is committed to swifter justice.

In Leicestershire during 2019, the average number of calendar days between first submission of a case to the last decision made to charge was under 26 days. This includes cases where the police were required to submit further evidence prior to a decision to charge.

The senior management of CPS East Midlands meet weekly to consider cases awaiting charge, prioritising the most sensitive and serious cases and ensuring Prosecutors have sufficient capacity to provide charging advice to police on a daily basis. At weekends, CPS Direct support CPS East Midlands by providing charging advice. Furthermore, Crown Advocates can be diverted from other work to complete charging cases as required.

The national CPS recruitment campaign will increase prosecutorial capacity significantly. .

Work with the police to improve police file quality is ongoing, with the aim of reducing the number of submissions rejected at basic administrative triage and requiring action plans.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on armed forces veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness and (b) steps his Department is taking to support armed forces veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The Government has taken a number of measures to identify and support veterans who are experiencing, or who are at risk of, homelessness. The Homelessness Reduction Act includes a statutory duty for members of the Armed Forces, who it is believed may be at risk of homelessness after discharge, to be referred to a local housing authority. The MOD, though Veterans UK, also provides a Defence Transition Service which offers those personnel who are known to be at risk of challenges, which may impact on making a successful transition back into civilian life, with enhanced support and a Veterans Welfare Service which provides support and assistance to veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Earlier this year King's College London was commissioned to undertake research on the impact of COVID-19 on veterans, the results of which will provide insight across a range of factors including housing and homelessness and other areas such as mental health and loneliness. Alongside this, the COVID-19 Impact fund has provided nearly £6m of support to over 100 Armed Forces charities including those working in the housing sector.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing capacity in the UK; and what steps he is taking to increase investment in hydrogen fuel cell usage.

The UK has strengths in electrochemical technologies. The 2019 Energy Innovation Needs Assessment identified that the UK has established research expertise and potential to establish a competitive fuel cell sector, capturing significant market share. British companies are already exporting this technology to markets in Europe and South East Asia. BEIS is working with industry to further assess these core strengths and potential opportunities for UK companies to support the domestic and global hydrogen economy. The forthcoming Hydrogen Strategy will set out what is required to build a hydrogen economy fit for 2030, Carbon Budget 6 and beyond, whilst maximising economic benefits.

The Government is providing a comprehensive framework of support for research, innovation and commercialisation of fuel cells. Four fuel cell projects have been funded through the BEIS Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, with a total grant of £2.2m, and will be in scope of the upcoming Longer Duration Energy Storage programme as part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. Government is also supporting the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles, expansion of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and development of fuel cells for automotive through the £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme, the £2m Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Fleet Support Scheme, and the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Automotive Transformation Fund, which have already committed over £38m in grant towards 16 projects with a total value of almost £85m. In addition, the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub will support a shared understanding on the role of hydrogen in a decarbonised transport system and put UK industry and technology at its forefront. Fuel cells will be a key technology explored. It will build partnership working across the region, improving co-ordination and cross learning of strategic R&D infrastructure investments at scale, co-locating transport end-use with hydrogen production and refuelling.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of allowing licensed venues to undertake their own risk assessments to determine how many people their facilities can hold whilst adhering to social distancing rules to enable events to go ahead.

There is no change from the usual requirements of risk assessment. Employers have a duty to conduct a risk assessment in consultation with workers and unions where applicable.

All employers and self-employed people whose activities may pose a risk to the health and safety of other people should meet the objectives in the guidance to help keep people safe, but the actions they take will depend on the working environment, the size of their workforce and the site.

Businesses that have fewer than five workers do not need to record their risk assessment but still need to take all reasonably practical steps to reduce the risks of COVID-19.

As per guidance outside of new tiering local restrictions, people will still be able to meet in a group of larger than 6 for work purposes while maintaining social distancing.

Any meeting in a hotel venue, or similar, should also follow relevant guidance for the specific venue, including any relevant risk assessment and compliance with social distancing requirements.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the feasibility of increasing the number of people allowed to attend weddings at licensed venues where the event is (a) seated and (b) social distancing measures can be adhered to.

Wedding receptions can only take place in a COVID-19 secure environment which adheres to the appropriate guidelines which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships.

The limit of 15 people at a wedding reception from 28 September will remain one of the few occasions when people are legally permitted to gather in groups of more than 6 people.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of removing the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown restrictions on solitary golf.

Sports and physical activity including golf are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.

In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised.

You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, in a public outdoor place and you should not travel outside your local area. You should maintain social distancing. Indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including golf courses, must close.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the (a) level of fiscal support available to Premiership Rugby clubs in response to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) potential merits of increasing that support.

The Government recognises the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sporting sector and our multi-billion-pound package of business support has enabled many of our sports clubs to survive. We have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

The Government has also supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans.

The safety and security of players and spectators remains of paramount importance. Work continues at pace to find solutions that will allow crowds safely back into stadia as soon as possible. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. Ministers and officials will continue to engage with Premiership Rugby as part of this process. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is also working with HM Treasury on what can be done to provide further support.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support (a) professional and (b) amateur sport during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

We have also supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans. The government also ensured Project Restart was shared with everyone by getting Premier League football on the BBC for the first time ever.

The government recognises the implications for sports clubs of not being able to admit spectators to stadia from 1 October, and are working urgently on what we can do now to support them. The Department will continue to work with colleagues across Whitehall to support the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the research entitled, Value of Swimming, published by Swim England.

Regular exercise has been shown to treat, manage and prevent a number of physical and mental health conditions and I recognise the role swimming plays in this. The Value of Swimming report helpfully sets out the value of swimming to individuals and society.

The Government is committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so and I welcome the work Swim England are doing with the sector to produce guidance on the re-opening of swimming pools. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report entitled, The Importance of Pools Post-lockdown, published by Swim England.

I recognise the impact that COVID-19 has had on the sport and physical activity sector. Sports and physical activity facilities including swimming pools play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

The Government is committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so and I welcome the work Swim England are doing with the sector to produce guidance on the re-opening of swimming pools. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Health and Social Care and (b) Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the maintenance of the PE and Sport Premium for the 2021-22 academic year.

Ministers at the Department meet regularly with their counterparts in the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss shared policy issues, including physical education (PE) and school sport.

The Government has confirmed that the primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will also be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that school staff receive training on (a) parental alienation and (b) male domestic violence; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making that training mandatory.

Whilst parental alienation is not an explicit element of training within educational safeguarding practice, all schools and colleges must have regard to statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). KCSIE sets out that all staff should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training and that all staff should read Part one of KCSIE as part of their induction process. Part one provides all staff with information regarding abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation and domestic violence. KCSIE is clear all staff should be in a position to identify abuse and neglect and should act immediately if they have any concerns about a child. The detail of the safeguarding training that staff receive is rightly a matter for individual schools who will base this on an assessment of the needs of their staff and their pupils.

The Teachers’ standards set the minimum requirements for teachers’ practice and conduct and make clear that all teachers must have ‘regard for the need to safeguard pupils' wellbeing’.

The department’s National Professional Qualifications for school leaders includes training for leaders on safeguarding. These qualifications have recently been revised to ensure that safeguarding is a core aspect.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the rollout of laptops and other devices to disadvantaged pupils to support remote learning during the covid-19 outbreak; and (b) what further steps he plans to take to ensure that every eligible child has access to their own device.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. The Department has now extended the Get Help with Technology scheme to provide disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds with technological support.

As of Monday 1 February 2021, over 920,000 laptops and tablets had been delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities. The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The rollout of laptops and tablets through this scheme is being continually reviewed to ensure support is offered in the most effective way.

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

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure there is enough space in schools to accommodate all students in line with covid-19 social distancing restrictions.

It continues to be our aim that all pupils, in all year groups, remain in school full-time. Being at school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing.

The leaders and staff of education settings have been doing an extraordinary job to remain open, keep settings safe, and provide education. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to minimise risk of transmission.

The Department published guidance to support schools to welcome back all children from the start of the autumn term. The full guidance is available through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Schools should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in this guidance. The overarching principle to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining the 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 (especially at secondary schools).

Schools should look to maximise the use of their site and any associated available space. The Department does not, however, consider it necessary for schools to make significant adaptations to their site, because class sizes have been able to return to normal and spaces used by more than one class or group can be cleaned between use. Following a risk assessment, some schools may determine that small adaptations to their site are required. This will be at the discretion of individual schools, based on their particular circumstances.

When timetabling, groups should be kept apart and movement around the school site kept to a minimum. While passing briefly in the corridor or playground is low risk, schools should avoid creating busy corridors, entrances, and exits. Schools should also consider staggered break times and lunch times (and time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and (b) Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the maintenance of the PE and Sport Premium for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Department is considering arrangements for the Primary PE and Sport Premium in 2020/21 academic year.

As part of this consideration, Department for Education officials have held discussions with their counterparts at the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding the primary PE and Sport Premium and wider PE and sport policy.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what animals will be included in the proposed pet abduction offence recommended by the Pet Theft Taskforce report.

We are currently developing the new ‘Pet Abduction’ offence and the details of this new offence are subject to further consideration. The scope of the offence should include dogs, and the applicability to other types of animal will be explored during the development of the policy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a 24 hour (a) mean or (b) exceedance level for fine particulate matter 2.5.

The Government recognises that short-term exposure to elevated levels of PM2.5 can impact health, particularly for vulnerable groups. This is why we provide alerts and advice during air pollution episodes to ensure people can access the information and health advice they need in order to minimise impacts. We are also taking action to increase public awareness about air pollution, including through an expanded £8 million funding pot which will be made available to local authorities through the Air Quality Grant scheme.

Under the Environment Bill, the Government will have a duty to bring forward a target for PM2.5 by October 2022. In setting our air quality targets, we have sought advice from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) on whether the priority aim should be long-term exposure rather than short-term. COMEAP advised that a focus on long-term average concentrations of PM2.5 is most appropriate to deliver public health benefits. This advice has been published and can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fine-particulate-air-pollution-pm25-setting-targets.

The two air quality targets that we plan to set will focus on reducing the long-term exposure to PM2.5 and its associated health impacts, actions taken to achieve these targets will contribute to reducing average daily concentrations of PM2.5.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of live emissions data monitoring being made a requirement in all environmental permits for incinerators in England.

In England, all large incinerators, also known as energy from waste (EfW) plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) and must comply with strict emission limits set by the Industrial Emissions Directive (as amended under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018). Permits are not issued if the proposed plant will have unacceptable impacts on human health or the environment.

Emission limits within permits are set for total particulate matter (TPM), which includes both PM10 and PM2.5. New permit applications are assessed to ensure that impacts from both types of particulate matter will be acceptable by assuming worst-case scenarios, whereby TPM is made up entirely of either PM10 or PM2.5. This allows the EA to determine the potential impact from each of these pollutants were they to make up the entirety of the TPM emitted. This is a precautionary approach as in practice TPM will be a mixture of sizes, and so the true impact will be less. The EA has not carried out a formal assessment with regards to setting limits for emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 individually because the TPM approach delivers effective control of both PM10 and PM2.5 emissions.

The EA takes into account the existing concentration of particulate matter in the areas surrounding EfW plants when setting TPM emission limits. The EA assesses new EfW plant permit applications using air quality modelling to predict the worst-case scenario for the concentration of particulates arising from the plant for both PM10 and PM2.5. This concentration is then added to the existing (background) concentration to determine the total predicted environmental concentration, which is then compared against the relevant air quality standard. If impacts from the EfW plant could cause an air quality standard to be exceeded, then a lower limit for total particulate matter could be specified in the permit, or the permit may be refused.

Finally, on the potential merits of live emissions data monitoring for EfW plants; all EfW plants in England are already required to continuously monitor emissions of oxides of nitrogen, total particulate matter, carbon monoxide, total organic carbon, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride. Some are also required to continuously monitor ammonia.

Operators are required to report the results from monitoring to the EA every 3 months, and to submit annual reports of their emissions to the EA’s Pollution Inventory. The EA also carries out regular inspections and audits to ensure plants comply with their permits.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 124345 on Incinerators: Air Pollution, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of requiring the Environment Agency to take into account existing levels of particulate matter in the surrounding area when setting total particulate matter limits in environmental permits for incinerators in England.

In England, all large incinerators, also known as energy from waste (EfW) plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) and must comply with strict emission limits set by the Industrial Emissions Directive (as amended under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018). Permits are not issued if the proposed plant will have unacceptable impacts on human health or the environment.

Emission limits within permits are set for total particulate matter (TPM), which includes both PM10 and PM2.5. New permit applications are assessed to ensure that impacts from both types of particulate matter will be acceptable by assuming worst-case scenarios, whereby TPM is made up entirely of either PM10 or PM2.5. This allows the EA to determine the potential impact from each of these pollutants were they to make up the entirety of the TPM emitted. This is a precautionary approach as in practice TPM will be a mixture of sizes, and so the true impact will be less. The EA has not carried out a formal assessment with regards to setting limits for emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 individually because the TPM approach delivers effective control of both PM10 and PM2.5 emissions.

The EA takes into account the existing concentration of particulate matter in the areas surrounding EfW plants when setting TPM emission limits. The EA assesses new EfW plant permit applications using air quality modelling to predict the worst-case scenario for the concentration of particulates arising from the plant for both PM10 and PM2.5. This concentration is then added to the existing (background) concentration to determine the total predicted environmental concentration, which is then compared against the relevant air quality standard. If impacts from the EfW plant could cause an air quality standard to be exceeded, then a lower limit for total particulate matter could be specified in the permit, or the permit may be refused.

Finally, on the potential merits of live emissions data monitoring for EfW plants; all EfW plants in England are already required to continuously monitor emissions of oxides of nitrogen, total particulate matter, carbon monoxide, total organic carbon, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride. Some are also required to continuously monitor ammonia.

Operators are required to report the results from monitoring to the EA every 3 months, and to submit annual reports of their emissions to the EA’s Pollution Inventory. The EA also carries out regular inspections and audits to ensure plants comply with their permits.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 124345 on Incinerators: Air Pollution, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring environmental permits for incinerators in England to set specific limits for (a) PM10 and (b) PM2.5 emissions rather than for total particulate matter.

In England, all large incinerators, also known as energy from waste (EfW) plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) and must comply with strict emission limits set by the Industrial Emissions Directive (as amended under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018). Permits are not issued if the proposed plant will have unacceptable impacts on human health or the environment.

Emission limits within permits are set for total particulate matter (TPM), which includes both PM10 and PM2.5. New permit applications are assessed to ensure that impacts from both types of particulate matter will be acceptable by assuming worst-case scenarios, whereby TPM is made up entirely of either PM10 or PM2.5. This allows the EA to determine the potential impact from each of these pollutants were they to make up the entirety of the TPM emitted. This is a precautionary approach as in practice TPM will be a mixture of sizes, and so the true impact will be less. The EA has not carried out a formal assessment with regards to setting limits for emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 individually because the TPM approach delivers effective control of both PM10 and PM2.5 emissions.

The EA takes into account the existing concentration of particulate matter in the areas surrounding EfW plants when setting TPM emission limits. The EA assesses new EfW plant permit applications using air quality modelling to predict the worst-case scenario for the concentration of particulates arising from the plant for both PM10 and PM2.5. This concentration is then added to the existing (background) concentration to determine the total predicted environmental concentration, which is then compared against the relevant air quality standard. If impacts from the EfW plant could cause an air quality standard to be exceeded, then a lower limit for total particulate matter could be specified in the permit, or the permit may be refused.

Finally, on the potential merits of live emissions data monitoring for EfW plants; all EfW plants in England are already required to continuously monitor emissions of oxides of nitrogen, total particulate matter, carbon monoxide, total organic carbon, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride. Some are also required to continuously monitor ammonia.

Operators are required to report the results from monitoring to the EA every 3 months, and to submit annual reports of their emissions to the EA’s Pollution Inventory. The EA also carries out regular inspections and audits to ensure plants comply with their permits.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of Public Space Protection Orders regarding dog control as a tool for encouraging responsible dog ownership.

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 each individual Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) should be reviewed every three years by the relevant local authority. This allows PSPOs to be assessed for their efficacy and to be possibly amended or cancelled.

In addition to PSPOs there are other tools that police and local authorities can use to control dogs and encourage responsible ownership. The 2014 Act includes specific measures to enable the police and local authorities to tackle irresponsible dog ownership before a dog attack occurs. The main tool to combat this form of irresponsible dog ownership is the Community Protection Notice (CPN). CPNs can be issued by local authority officers or the police on dog owners, or anyone temporarily in charge of a dog at the time of an incident, where dogs are behaving in an unruly way; for example, if a dog is running loose in a park and threatening children, or where a dog threatens, or is allowed to attack another dog.

The CPN could require the dog’s owner, or the person in charge of it, to take appropriate action to prevent a reoccurrence of the offending behaviour. To breach a CPN is a criminal offence and could lead to a significant penalty. The Government is determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership and to that end we are encouraging police forces across the country to use these new tools.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives from supermarkets on accessibility for (a) blind and (b) partially sighted people (i) under current covid-19 social distancing restrictions and (ii) as those restrictions are eased.

We are working closely with local authorities, retailers, food businesses and charities to enable blind and partially sighted people to access food through a variety of ways including: volunteers shopping for them, food deliveries from local retailers, wholesalers and food businesses, many of whom will take orders over the phone, as well increasing access to supermarkets for a priority delivery or click and collect slots. We have been able to secure a limited number of online delivery slots for the dedicated use of vulnerable people having difficulties getting food. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), alongside local authorities and other charities, can now help vulnerable individuals access these delivery slots.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme can be used by people who need to access food and essential supplies - they can be reached by calling 0808 196 3646 or visiting nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk. In addition, various sight loss charities are working directly with some of the major supermarkets to take forward some practical initiatives to help people with sight loss to access supermarkets.

We are conscious that vulnerable people, including those who are blind or partially sighted, need further information on support services as social distancing restrictions ease. We are working closely with local authorities, charities and retailers to understand how changes in Government advice may affect accessibility and will update the community in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on supporting farmers to (a) maintain existing and (b) develop new routes to market after the transition period.

Food and drink exports are a success story. Exports have increased by 24% in real terms since 2010. The Government is determined to help maintain existing and develop new export opportunities. This includes through ongoing market access and via showcasing and promoting our excellent food and drink even more in the years to come.

Exports are an important driver of growth in the food and drink sector, allowing it to become more resilient, competitive and profitable. The UK’s growing reputation for high quality food and drink, with high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability, is an excellent platform to increase overseas demand for our products further. Defra’s ‘Food is GREAT’ campaign is raising the profile and reputation of British food and drink overseas by building global demand and increasing positive perceptions of the UK’s food and drink products, as demonstrated by recent campaign activity in Japan to promote beef and lamb exports from the UK, following opening up of market access last year.

Defra, in collaboration with the Department for International Trade and representatives of the food and drink sector, is developing a replacement for the existing International Action Plan for Food and Drink, which will set out the future export ambitions for the sector. This includes reviewing the support we offer in market, building on the success of Defra’s first agriculture counsellor in Beijing.

As set out in the Government’s election manifesto, we have ambitious goals for British trade. As of 31 January 2020, when the UK left the EU, we had successfully concluded and signed trade continuity agreements with 48 countries. This accounts for £110 billion of UK trade in 2018. We will be continuing our programme to replicate existing EU trade agreements with trading partners to ensure continuity for UK businesses following the transition period. An up-to-date list of trade continuity agreements, signed and in discussion, is available on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries.

We aim to have 80 per cent of UK trade with countries covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This will further present new routes to market for British farmers. We are also working hard to secure a free trade agreement with the EU that will provide tariff-free access to the EU market for UK goods, and facilitative customs arrangements that will ensure smooth trade.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps the Government is taking to ensure small and micro businesses can continue to trade seamlessly with countries outside of the EU from 1 January 2021.

HM Government has now signed, or agreed in principle, trade agreements with 53 countries – accounting for £164 billion of the United Kingdom’s bilateral trade in 2019. We are working to make further progress before the end of the Transition Period, and beyond.

We will continue to seek to include specific small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) chapters in all of our future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to make sure that SMEs are provided with the information necessary to take informed commercial decisions – and seize the great new opportunities created by these agreements.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made in agreeing trade deals with the UK's Commonwealth partners.

We are committed to working with our friends and allies in the Commonwealth to remove barriers and liberalise the global trading environment. The Commonwealth has a large and diverse membership, with countries at all stages of development, and this is reflected in the trade relationship we have with them.

Through the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act, the United Kingdom has provided for duty-free quota free access for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and put in place a trade preference scheme for other developing countries. In addition, we have agreed four Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique; Eastern and other Southern African (ESA) states; Pacific states; and CARIFORUM states.

My Hon. Friend will know that we are committed to negotiating and securing ambitious free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible too, harnessing the opportunity to negotiate a high-quality agreement with like-minded, liberal trading nations. Similarly, both the United Kingdom and Canada agree on the importance of protecting and strengthening our trading relationship and we are engaging constructively with HM Government of Canada on a seamless transition of our trading relationship beyond 1st January 2020.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's guidance entitled Red, amber and green list rules for entering England, updated on 8 June 2021, (a) what constitutes as mixing in relation to transit stops and (b) whether a passenger who follows social distancing rules at all times while making a transit stop would be considered to have mixed.

Only passengers who are kept separated from other travellers at transit stops, for example on an aircraft, in a train carriage, or in a separate area of a terminal, are considered not to have transited through that country.

The Government expects all operators to manage the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The guidance is clear that social distancing of with risk mitigations should be observed where possible. Where social distancing is not possible, operators are advised to carry out a risk assessment and implement appropriate risk controls. For example, wearing a face covering can play a role in helping us to protect each other.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish (a) the outcome of the Creating a plan to decarbonise transport call for ideas and (b) the Government’s transport decarbonisation plan.

The “call for ideas” was one of several routes for stakeholders to provide their views on decarbonising transport. We received over 7,000 responses from the public all of which have fed into the development of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. We will be publishing the Plan shortly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) steps the Government is taking to ensure the safety of blind and partially sighted people at train stations and (b) assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of making tactile edging on platforms mandatory.

Operators involved in the management of stations are responsible for ensuring the safety of all passengers on the premises. The Office of Rail and Roads (ORR) is the safety regulator of Britain’s railway and can take enforcement action if these standards are not met.

There are clear safety and accessibility benefits of installing platform edge tactiles. Whenever the industry installs, replaces or renews platform infrastructure they must install appropriate tactile surfaces. Network Rail has also been asked to develop a programme to ensure all platforms have them installed as quickly as possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of introducing part month vehicle tax refunds.

It has been a long-standing feature that vehicle excise duty is issued from the first of the month and refunds are issued for complete months remaining. Issuing vehicle excise duty from a date other than the first of the month and refunding for part months would add a large amount of administrative complexity to the vehicle excise duty system. There are no plans to change the current arrangements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that rail fares support (a) new working patterns, (b) the UK tourism industry and (c) a green recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviour. To support a green recovery and new working patterns, the Department is working with industry to explore already available options for flexible commuters, such as carnets, and what steps could be taken quickly to make these as useful and convenient for passengers as possible.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is leading work to support the UK tourism industry, and the Department for Transport stands ready to support on any rail-related activities.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of (a) providing the Child Maintenance Service with stronger enforcement powers and (b) reviewing the standard of compliance used by the Child Maintenance Service.

No assessment has been made.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) already has tough enforcement powers including taking regular or lump sum payments from bank accounts or regular payments direct from earnings. Other sanctions such as sending parents to prison or disqualifying them from holding or obtaining a driving licence are used as a deterrent and as a last resort where all other methods of enforcement have failed.

These powers were reviewed as part of the Compliance and Arrears Strategy and in 2018 we introduced new powers to deduct child maintenance directly from a wider range of accounts, including certain joint and business accounts; and to disqualify parents from holding or obtaining a passport.

Compliance measures are published quarterly and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-june-2020-experimental/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-june-2020-experimental

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure pensioners who are eligible for pension credit are notified of their eligibility.

1.5 million pensioners currently receive Pension Credit. However, the Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. In February 2020 we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit and help dispel some of the misconceptions that people might have about Pension Credit eligibility.

The DWP targets activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or report a change in their circumstances.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of changing general practice data sharing from an opt-out to an opt-in system.

In line with the National Data Guardian's independent ‘Review of data security, consent and opt-outs’ in 2016, which considered an opt-in approach, an opt-out model provides the best balance between providing high quality services and providing individuals with a choice on how their data is used.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who have lost their voice or have difficulty speaking have access to communication equipment.

In 2014 NHS England undertook a procurement exercise to establish a network of specialised augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services. There are now 14 specialised AAC services in England which assess and provide specialised communication equipment to patients with complex communication needs. These services are now receiving approximately 2,000 new referrals and supplying 1,300 new communication systems a year to patients with a range of disabilities.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether additional support is being made available to the new management team at University Hospitals of Leicester following the decision to place the trust in financial special measures; and what steps he is taking to secure and maintain the £450 million investment for the new hospital.

A new national programme has been established to deliver the build of 40 new hospitals by 2030, working collaboratively with leadership of all the new hospital projects including advanced schemes like Leicester.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to recommendation 46 of Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer 2015-2020, what proportion of metastatic breast cancer patients have received a holistic needs assessment.

The NHS Long Term Plan, set a clear ambition that where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer, including those with secondary cancers, should have access to personalised care by 2021, which includes the holistic needs assessment.

The latest public data from December 2019 show that 94% of trusts offered personalised care and supporting planning for breast cancer patients.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to procure rapid covid-19 tests to facilitate an increase in visitor access to care homes.

All Care Quality Commission-registered adult care homes are receiving lateral flow device (LFDs) test kits to enable safe visits, where permitted.


Care home residents will be able to be visited indoors by a single, named individual from 8 March as part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions. The scheme will allow a single visitor to spend time indoors with their relative or friend in a care home, and make repeat visits under carefully designed conditions to keep residents, staff and visitors safe

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing (a) amusement arcades and (b) other entertainment venues where no alcohol is served and which have been made covid-19 secure, to remain open beyond 10pm.

We have made no such assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the White Paper on social care.

The Government’s current priority for adult social care is for everyone who relies on care to get the care they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and tackle one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking ensure that guidance on covid-19 relating to BAME people is more accessible to people whose first language is not English.

Since March 2020, Public Health England has translated key public guidance on COVID-19 in multiple languages including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu. This now also includes translation of shielding guidance into Bulgarian, Hindi and Nepali. Examples of guidance are available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of permitting GP practices to administer covid-19 tests on their own staff to reduce waiting times for (a) such staff and (b) members of the general public at covid-19 testing centres.

The Department is working with National Health Service and the general practitioner (GP) community to deliver a trial providing swab testing in a small number of GP surgeries across England. We are working with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and NHS England to deliver this in a way that works for both GPs and for their patients. Safety is our number one priority and this trial is only being delivered within the existing ‘COVID-19 safe’ working arrangements of GP surgeries which have the appropriate infection control measures in place. This does not replace any of the existing routes for accessing testing – instead it adds to the available routes. The aim of this is to make it as easy as possible for everyone who needs a swab test to get one.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of extending priority covid-19 testing to the children of key workers.

Essential workers can order four test kits for themselves and other symptomatic members of their households. For households of more than four, the 119 contact centre can raise an order on their behalf.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) officials of his Department and (b) NHS England on issuing guidance to GPs on dealing with pressures on their services during winter 2020-21.

In July NHS England and NHS Improvement set out in a letter to the system the priorities that the National Health Service must focus on for phase 3 of the COVID-19 response from August 2020, including over winter.

In November NHS England and NHS Improvement issued further guidance on winter pressures and priorities, and announced £150 million of ring-fenced funding to support expansion of general practice capacity up until the end of March 2021.

These communications and further guidance are available on the NHS website: www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-general-practice/

NHS England and NHS Improvement regularly reviews and updates its standard operating procedures and communications to primary care providers, to ensure that they are equipped to respond to the pandemic. Local commissioners will also have escalation plans in place to respond to and support general practice during winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) potential merits and (b) feasibility of carrying out temperature checks on hauliers entering the UK.

Throughout the outbreak, all of our decisions have been informed by the best scientific evidence. Temperature screening was considered and discounted as a border measure on the basis that it is not, at present, effective or reliable in accurately identifying or rapidly screening for COVID-19. For example, temperature screening would not detect those who are asymptomatic, nor those who are symptomatic but do not have a fever.

International arrivals are required to supply their contact and accommodation information, and self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days, unless they are exempt or travelling from a country on the travel corridors list. Lorry drivers do not need to self-isolate on entry into the United Kingdom as freight drivers are exempt from quarantine in order to keep vital supplies of goods moving.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that people requiring specialist medical food products have been able to access them during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Department has worked closely with the specialist medical feed producers throughout the COVID-19 response to ensure that specialist feeds are available to patients that require them.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the NHS has adequate (a) staff and (b) skills to support new and innovative models of delivery for cancer services.

Health Education England (HEE) published its first ever Cancer Workforce Plan in December 2017, which commits to the expansion of capacity and skills. The upcoming NHS People Plan will set out further actions to secure the National Health Service staff and cancer workforce we need for the future.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2021 to Question 52624 on the probate limit, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the probate limit of premium bonds.

As required by legislation governing NS&I, NS&I will request a Grant of Probate for any holding over £5,000. Making payment without probate comes with some risk, as there could be a subsequent successful claim on the deceased’s estate. The cost of having to pay out against a second claim would be borne by the taxpayer.

The Government will keep under review the effect of increasing the probate limit that applies to customer holdings in National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of further increasing the probate limit.

The Government has made no recent assessment in relation to the effect of increasing the probate limit. In most circumstances the provision of a bank’s services, including the administration around bereavement, are a commercial decision for the bank. The Government does not intervene in these decisions.

The treatment of customers by UK banks and building societies which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is governed by its Principles of Business. This includes a general requirement for firms to provide a prompt, efficient and fair service to all their customers, including those who have recently suffered a bereavement. The FCA does not have specific rules or guidance regarding probate in its rules. However, all firms regulated by the FCA are bound by its Principles which apply to the way banks and building societies conduct themselves. This includes how they handle probate.

The main current account providers also publish information about the additional services they offer consumers, including information on the bereavement services they offer. More information can be found on the FCA website: https://www.fca.org.uk/data/mandated-voluntary-information-current-account-services/providers-links#voluntary

The Government remains supportive of previous industry efforts to improve handling of these sensitive cases, including the implementation of the British Bankers’ Association’s (now known as UK Finance) Bereavement Principles. These Principles include a commitment from firms to provide support to meet individuals’ needs throughout the bereavement process and to work to resolve everything as quickly and simply as possible.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the criteria for business rates relief for empty properties beyond three months when there has been a change of ownership.

The Government maintains an Empty Property Relief (EPR) to support property owners between the reoccupation of vacated premises. The current structure of EPR strikes a balance between not penalising landlords who lose a tenant at short notice, while incentivising property owners and landlords to secure new tenants.

The fundamental review of business rates is considering all parts of the business rates system, including reliefs and any eligibility criteria.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if, after the transition period, he will extend import duty relief to pleasure craft with UK VAT-paid status which have been purchased in the EU but which have not yet been located in the UK.

Pleasure craft returning to the UK at the end of the transition period will be able to claim the Returned Goods Relief (RGR) for customs duty and import VAT, subject to all conditions for the relief being met. From 1 January 2021 in order to qualify for RGR goods must have previously been located in the UK. The Government has extended the eligibility conditions for RGR to take account of the situation faced by owners of pleasure craft. The normal three year time limit for returning goods to the UK has been extended so that goods can benefit from RGR if they return to the UK by 31 December 2021 and meet the conditions for relief.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of introducing a covid-19 financial support scheme for directors of limited companies who pay themselves through dividends which is based on the trading profits of the company contained in the corporation tax return.

In the development of the COVID-19 support schemes, HMRC have taken into consideration what is operationally feasible, while managing technical complexities and fraud risks, and ensuring that other schemes the Government has committed to are delivered in a timely way.

Income from dividends is a return on investment in the company, rather than wages. It is not possible for HMRC to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, and between dividends in lieu of employment income and as returns from other corporate activity.

Payment through dividends would require owner-managers to make a claim and submit information that HMRC could not manageably verify to ensure payments are made to eligible companies for eligible activity.

Company directors who are paid via dividends may be eligible for various elements of the support available, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (in respect of their salary but not their dividends), Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays and other business support grants.

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on debt relief for developing countries in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, G20 Finance Ministers approved the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to pause debt repayments from the poorest countries in 2020. On 14 October the Chancellor met with his G20 counterparts, including China, to agree an extension of the DSSI for 6 months. The G20 also agreed in principle a Common Framework on future debt treatments beyond the DSSI which will ensure fair, timely and sustainable debt reductions on a case by case basis when needed.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the cost to the mining and quarrying industries of the withdrawal of the red diesel fuel duty rebate from April 2022; and whether that assessment includes the availability of alternative non-fossil fuel heavy plant and machinery.

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except in agriculture, fish farming, rail and for non-commercial heating (including domestic heating). This change will ensure that most businesses using diesel in the UK pay the standard fuel duty rate on diesel, which more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce. These reforms are also designed to ensure that the tax system incentivises users of diesel to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery, invest in cleaner alternatives or use less fuel.

The Government recognises that this will be a significant change for some businesses, including in the mining and quarrying industries. It launched a consultation in July to make sure it has not overlooked any exceptional reasons why other sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022, and officials met with representatives from the industry on the 8th of September. As part of this, the Government has been seeking information from affected users on the expected impact of these tax changes, including on their capacity to shift to cleaner alternatives.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of extending the reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions beyond 12 January 2021 to further support business in those sectors.

The Government has temporarily applied a reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. It came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will end on 12 January 2021 and applies across the UK.

Applying the reduced rate for a longer period would come at a significant cost to the Exchequer. However, the Government keeps all taxes under review.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of providing businesses located in the vicinity outside a local covid-19 lockdown area with additional financial support to mitigate the effect of restricted movement.

The government has delivered on its promise to stand by businesses and workers throughout the pandemic and has provided one of the most comprehensive and generous packages of support globally. This support has included billions of pounds for businesses through loans and grants, support for millions of jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, deferred VAT payments, and a lease forfeitures moratorium for commercial tenants. The Chancellor recently extended the furlough scheme until the end of October and a host of these other support measures are still available to support businesses. Additionally, on 8 July the Chancellor announced the Plan for Jobs, the measures in which will provide additional support to all businesses as we reopen the economy.

We are continuing to review the economic situation and will continue helping businesses through this crisis where it is appropriate.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent (a) new county lines from starting up and (b) previous lines being resurrected by new prison leavers.

Since 2019 we have invested over £65m to tackle county lines and drug supply. Through our county lines programme we have surged our activity against these ruthless gangs. This has already resulted in more than 1,100 lines closed, over 6,300 arrests, and more than 1,900 vulnerable adults and children safeguarded.

The police have a range of orders available to respond to county lines activity, including Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restrictions Orders (DDTROs). Through our County Lines programme the National County Lines Coordination Centre has established a dedicated orders team to promote and maximise the use of civil orders to tackle county lines, with a particular focus on DDTROs.

We are also working collaboratively with HMPPS to ensure there is a co-ordinated and robust response to disrupt county lines, as well as safeguarding vulnerable individuals from being involved in this offending.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 105600 on dangerous dogs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a standardised method of recording non-assistance dog attacks across all police forces in England.

When setting national standard methods for classifying crimes reported to the police the benefits of consistent recording need to be balanced against other considerations. In this instance the Home Office has judged it better to allow local flexibility to manage incident recording in a manner most suitable to local needs. This allows police forces to develop the most appropriate approach to understand and respond to local issues.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a standardised method of recording dog attacks across all police forces in England.

Attacks where a person or assistance dog is injured constitute specific offences in law and police forces are required to record them consistently as set out in the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime. Other attacks, such as those on livestock, should be recorded by police when reported to them and we expect forces to be able to use the data to assess the risks in their area and take action accordingly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Recommendation 21 of the Third Report of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s report, Forensic science and the criminal justice system: a blueprint for change, published on 1 May 2020, HL Paper 333, what recent discussions she has had with forensic science stakeholders on the potential merits of establishing a Forensic Science Institute; and what the outcome of those discussions was.

My officials have been working closely with colleagues across Government as well as the forensic science sector to ensure that policing and the CJS benefits from advances in science and technology by developing and implementing new forensic techniques more coherently. The Home Office and the Ministry of Justice have strengthened further our working relationship with UKRI as we work with them and other strategic partners including providing funding for the police-led Forensic Capability Network to develop and set the research priorities for forensic science research and development.

The Forensic Capability Network have been working with user communities to identify what they need from the research system, and what changes are needed as well as interrogating existing links and resources to understand the extent to which the current system is ready to meet user needs. The Forensic Capability Network is actively identifying, the connections, infrastructures, or programmes in order to develop, support and coordinate research for the justice system.

A Science for the Justice System Advisory Group has also been established, working with a UKRI project to devise options for future mechanisms to effectively and efficiently coordinate forensic science in the UK. Initial consultation with key stakeholders has identified common areas of research need, and mapping of relevant UKRI investments has also been undertaken to support ongoing development of funding and coordination options to ensure research can better meet different forms of user need.

Considerations of the case for a National Institute are ongoing, but we consider work in progress to represent a significant step in the right direction and will continue to monitor progress at the Criminal Justice Board (CJB) Forensics Sub-Group.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure police forces have the necessary powers to enforce local lockdowns.

Under the Health Protection Regulations, the police have been given the powers they need to support compliance with essential social distancing measures to keep us all safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Secretary signed new regulations under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 in order to maintain and reimpose restrictions for Leicester, which came into force on 4 July.

These regulations also exempt Leicester from the national changes under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020, which came into force on Saturday 4 July.

We worked closely with our policing partners who issued operational guidance to all forces on enforcing the Leicester local lockdown. This operational guidance has been made available on the College of Policing website.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of (a) Welbeck College and (b) other relevant stakeholders on the future of that college with regard to the decision to end the Defence Technical Officer and Engineer Entry Scheme.

The Defence Sixth Form College at Welbeck is run as a Private Finance Initiative on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Department engages regularly with the Contractor and Welbeck staff over the administration of the College and education of its students. This close cooperation will continue as the College enters its last year of operation to ensure the continued provision of an excellent educational experience and facilitate appropriate support to members of staff. Work is ongoing with the Armed Services to implement the future Defence STEM Undergraduate Scheme (DSUS) which is replacing the Defence Technical Officer and Engineering Entry Scheme.

The future of the Welbeck site is part of an ongoing study to consider whether it may be required for an alternative Defence purpose. Should that not be the case it will be placed on the open market at which time discussions would take place with relevant stakeholders including the Local Authority and Partners Across Government, to seek the best possible future use of the site. It is too early to say what the outcome might be, but early market testing identified credible prospective interest from the private education sector.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of allowing continued public access to Welbeck College’s sporting facilities after the closure of that college.

Welbeck College has been pleased to be able to make some of its sporting facilities available for other users since it started operation in 2005. The future of the site is part of an ongoing study to consider whether it may be required for an alternative Defence purpose. Should that not be the case it will be placed on the open market at which time discussions would take place with relevant stakeholders, including the Local Authority and Partners Across Government, to seek the best possible future use of the site. It is too early to say what the outcome of the current study will be or how future use will impact on continued access to sports facilities, but early market testing identified credible prospective interest from the private education sector.

I will write to the hon. Member once a decision on next steps is made.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish its response to the Future of the New Homes Bonus consultation.

We are considering the responses to the consultation and expect to publish the Government response shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of whether the eligibility criteria of 25 or more flooded households for the Community Recovery Grant could be extended to 25 or more flooded households or businesses, in line with the eligibility criteria for the Property Flood Resilience Scheme.

MHCLG is currently conducting a cross-government review of the Flood Recovery Framework, the mechanism by which the government provides support to people, communities and businesses, helping them to recovery from serious flooding incidents. As part of the review, the Government will consider the eligibility criteria used for activating the Community Recovery Grant scheme.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that housing developers build on land allocated through local plans.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that strategic policies within local plans should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing. Such policies should, as a minimum, provide for objectively assessed needs for housing (and other uses). In addition, local planning authorities should identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide a minimum of five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirement set out in adopted strategic policies. Up to date plans and a five-year supply of housing land provide the best protection for local communities against speculative planning applications. The Government has set a deadline of December 2023 for all authorities to have up-to-date Local Plans in place.

The Government wants to see homes built faster and expects house builders to deliver more homes, more quickly and to a high-quality standard. New homes should be built out as soon as possible once planning permission is granted. We are clear that where sites are stalled or experiencing delays to delivery, it is for local authorities and developers to work closely together at a local level to overcome these barriers. The Planning for the Future White Paper also proposes that growth areas in local plans would benefit from an automatic grant of outline consent. This will ensure that developers, authorities and communities can have greater clarity at an early stage of the process about the expectations for development and reduce unnecessary delays as those developments progress.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the temporary regulations permitting local authorities to hold public meetings virtually beyond 7 May 2021.

The Government keeps all policy under review. To extend the facility for councils to continue to meet remotely, or in hybrid form after 7 May 2021 would require primary legislation. We have received representations from local authorities and sector representative organisations making the case for the continuation of remote meetings beyond 7 May 2021 and are carefully considering next steps in this area.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of current legislation in ensuring enforcement action can be taken against private landlords who reside overseas and who are not fulfilling their legal obligations to tenants.

The Housing Act 2004 gives powers to local authorities to regulate and enforce standards in the private rented sector. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 further introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders for use against the worst and most persistent offenders. Legislation also extended rent repayment orders which require a landlord to repay rent when they have not complied with the law.

We have also given local authorities strong powers to undertake urgent repairs where they identify health and safety hazards or poor conditions. If landlords do not comply, or if the risk is high enough, local authorities can carry out the remedial works themselves and recover the costs.

Enforcement action to ensure a property is safe for a tenant to live in can be taken when the landlord resides overseas. For example, absent landlords, including those overseas, may be subject to prosecutions and Banning Orders.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the merits of designating brownfield sites around cities for residential development over commercial.

It is for local authorities to determine where they meet local housing need, having regard to planning constraints in their area, to other planning goals, and to our National Planning Policy Framework. Local authorities should plan for all strategic priorities, not only the new homes we need but economic development, employment, and vibrant and prosperous town centres. The Framework expects local authorities to prioritise brownfield land for development wherever possible, and to assess and plan which land-use individual sites should serve. Our Planning for the Future consultation proposes that, under a reformed system, local authorities would use the plan-making process to categorise all their land as areas for growth, renewal or protection. They could direct development onto brownfield, ensure the continued protection of Green Belt and other valued countryside, and deliver - through a fast-track process - beautiful buildings that accord with design guidance.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential need to update his Department’s guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation provision, published in March 2020.

Government recognised the importance of issuing early guidance to domestic abuse safe accommodation providers to support service delivery during the pandemic. We will be working with Public Health England to review this.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the five-year housing land supply for 12 months due to the effect that the covid-19 outbreak has had on (a) new build starts and (b) the ability of local planning authorities to meet that supply.

I note the concerns you raise regarding demonstrating a 5 year land supply under current circumstances. However, it is important to keep the planning system moving to enable it to play its full part in the economic recovery to come and we will continue to monitor the situation.

As the Prime Minister set out on 30 June, home building will play an important role in kick-starting economic recovery across the United Kingdom. The Government announced a package of measures to support this recovery, including strong investment in infrastructure and support for smaller developers to boost the construction industry and speed up rebuilding.

In addition, the Business and Planning Act 2020, will support local authorities in delivering new housing, through measures such as allowing more flexible working hours on construction sites, to ensure that work can continue on sites whilst workers adhere to safe working practices, and extending the duration of certain planning permissions (and listed building consents) to ensure that they don’t lapse unnecessarily as a result of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives from (a) local authorities and (b) swimming pool operators on the challenges faced by swimming pool operators as a result of covid-19.

MHCLG continues to work?closely with local authorities to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on our society. My officials, together with officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are engaging with the sector to understand the impact which coronavirus has had across a range of areas, including leisure.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the level of risk of closures to swimming facilities as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

MHCLG continues to work?closely with local authorities to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on our society. My officials, together with officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are engaging with the sector to understand the impact which coronavirus has had across a range of areas, including leisure.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that high speed broadband infrastructure is included in new housing development sites before those houses are occupied.

New build connectivity is a priority for this Government. Ensuring new homes are built with the future in mind, ready to accept the next generation of digital infrastructure, remains vitally important.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, supported by my department, issued a policy consultation in 2018 outlining proposals to mandate gigabit-capable connections to new build developments.

Government confirmed its intention to legislate on new build connectivity in the Queen's Speech and the Government response, setting out the next steps, will be issued in the Spring.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to establish the Single Housing Infrastructure Fund; and to what timescale planning rules and regulations will be amended to reflect that policy.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech, this Government will introduce Single Housing Infrastructure Fund to provide the roads, schools and GP surgeries needed to support new homes. We will set out further details shortly.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the merits of regulating privately owned natural burial grounds.

Guidance on the operation of natural burial grounds and cemeteries is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/natural-burial-ground-guidance-for-operators. The Government anticipates that those operating private burial grounds will adhere to the standards and principles underpinning the framework of regulation and guidance which applies to local authority burial grounds.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider modernising and streamlining the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure his Department's estate delivers (a) effective public services and (b) value for money.

We continue to keep our estate under review to ensure it delivers effective public services and value for money. We have already launched the most ambitious prison building programme for generations, delivering over 13,000 places by the mid-2020s, and have dramatically increased the use of technology in the courts system. An extra £285m of improvements to courts and prisons will be made this year as part of the plan for economic recovery announced by the Prime Minister. This extra spending will keep thousands of people in work and generate jobs for thousands more, helping the UK recover from the economic freeze brought on by coronavirus. These improvements will also help to speed up justice through the courts and improve education in prisons and youth custody so that offenders leave less likely to reoffend.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) the Family Justice Council and (b) other stakeholders on the use of Mesher Orders in divorce cases.

There is guidance on Mesher Orders within the Family Justice Council’s Guidance on “Financial Needs” on Divorce (April 2018 – 2nd edition.). This was produced following the Law Commission’s recommendation in 2014 that the Family Justice Council prepare guidance on “financial needs” on divorce. The Department has not had recent discussions with the Family Justice Council or other stakeholders about Mesher Orders.

During the passage of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill through Parliament, the Government committed to set up a Lord Chancellor’s working group to conduct a review of the law of financial provision on divorce. This review will be led by the evidence, which is yet to be gathered, on whether there are problems with the current law and, if so, how these might be addressed. The Ministry of Justice is now considering terms of reference and membership of the working group. The Government will seek to ensure that the working group has a balance of members from across different professions.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has for the regulation of enforcement agents by an independent body.

The Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing the implementation of reforms, contained in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and introduced in 2014, which govern how enforcement agents (bailiffs) enforce debt. We held a call for evidence to inform our review, which ran from November 2018 to February 2019.

In a Written Ministerial Statement made on 22 July 2019, the Department set out its initial response to the call for evidence. We said that we would consider further how regulation of the sector might be strengthened, but we are clear that any further regulation must be effective, proportionate and sustainable.

We will respond in full to the call for evidence in due course.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to help reduce rates of prisoner re-offending.

This Government is committed to reducing reoffending by ensuring that all offenders have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime. The current proven reoffending rate is 28.7%.

We know that offenders typically have needs in a range of areas, such as education, employment, accommodation and family relationships. Many of these needs drive offending and the prison and probation system provides an opportunity to address them.

We have recently overhauled the prison education system, giving governors more control over the education budget for their establishments, and have implemented two new prison education frameworks. Additionally, the new Prison Education Service will build on this by improving the range of training available to prisoners which is directly linked to real jobs on release. We are also engaging with employers to take on ex-prisoners via the New Futures Network (NFN) and in May 2019 we introduced reforms to increase the opportunities available to prisoners to gain experience in real workplaces through Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL).

We are investing up to £6.4m in an accommodation pilot scheme to support individuals released from three prisons: Bristol, Leeds and Pentonville. Services have now commenced in all three areas, with the first individuals now being supported into accommodation following release.

We are also making positive progress in implementing the recommendations as set out by Lord Farmer’s review on the importance of family engagement to reduce reoffending and we have delivered 13 out of the 19 recommendations to date.

Although much is being done to reduce reoffending, this remains a complex issue that requires a combined effort across government and local partners in order to support ex-offenders when they are released.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)