Jane Hunt Portrait

Jane Hunt

Conservative - Loughborough

First elected: 12th December 2019


Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]
14th Jun 2023 - 19th Jun 2023
Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill
3rd May 2023 - 23rd May 2023
Firearms Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]
1st Mar 2023 - 7th Mar 2023
Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill
1st Feb 2023 - 8th Feb 2023
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill
25th Jan 2023 - 1st Feb 2023
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
19th Oct 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Shark Fins Bill
9th Nov 2022 - 16th Nov 2022
Carer’s Leave Bill
2nd Nov 2022 - 9th Nov 2022
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill
26th Oct 2022 - 2nd Nov 2022
Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
7th Sep 2022 - 9th Oct 2022
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2022 - 8th Sep 2022
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill
8th Dec 2021 - 15th Dec 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education [HL] Bill
24th Nov 2021 - 7th Dec 2021
Elections Bill
15th Sep 2021 - 21st Sep 2021
Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill
1st Jul 2021 - 8th Jul 2021
Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill
8th Jun 2021 - 15th Jun 2021


Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Police Grant Report
As the Minister said, police forces across the country do some great work. That applies to Leicestershire police, particularly those …
Written Answers
Wednesday 14th February 2024
Employment: Disability
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to help people with complex …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 10th July 2023
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: The United and Cecil Club
Address of donor: c/o Abbatt Group, New Penderel House, 283-287 High Holborn, …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th July 2023
Safety cameras Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish revised guidance on the deployment, visibility and signing of speed …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Jane Hunt has voted in 956 divisions, and 3 times 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
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Jane Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Jane Hunt voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
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)
(15 debate interactions)
Shaun Bailey (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(24 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(23 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

21st February 2024
Jane Hunt signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
70 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 40
Scottish National Party: 29
Independent: 1
View All Jane Hunt's signed 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

1 Adjournment Debate led by Jane Hunt

Monday 28th February 2022

Jane Hunt has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


155 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
2 Other Department Questions
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the total number of people employed in full and part time diocesan roles across the UK was, excluding parish priests and lay readers, in (a) 1959, (b) 1979, (c) 1989, (d) 1999, (e) 2010 and (f) 2020, including Bishops, Suffragen Bishops, Archdeacons, governance managers, human resource management, operations directors, inclusivity and diversity managers, directors of giving, mission enablers, directors of social justice, environment managers, training leaders, youth leaders, conference centre managers and wardens, and all associated support staff.

No information is held centrally about the number of staff employed by each diocese, so the requested information is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

For most of the information requested, figures have not been collected consistently, if collected at all. However, the following information about clergy numbers was provided in response to a similar question asked at the General Synod November 2021 group of sessions:

Category

1959

1979

2000

2010

2020

Archdeacons

106

104

106

109

129

Suffragan bishops

1

70

72

67

58

67

Diocesan bishops

2

43

43

41

39

39

  1. For 1959 to 2000, this includes Suffragan and Assistant Bishops. For 2010 onwards, this includes Suffragan bishops only
  1. For 1959, this includes Archbishops and Diocesan Bishops. For 1979, this includes Diocesan Bishops only

All figures are taken from publications available on the Church of England web page: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/research-and-statistics . These publications also contain methodological information and further detail.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
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.

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.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether a (a) Minister and (b) delegation from her Department will attend the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum in September 2023.

While a formal invitation to the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) Summit in Bangladesh has yet to be received, officials from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) plan to attend while ministerial attendance has yet to be decided. DBT and FCDO and continue to work closely with CWEIC to further strengthen intra-Commonwealth trade and investment – particularly following the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting in June, where members agreed ambitious objectives to boost support for trade digitalisation and inward investment ahead of CHOGM in 2024 in Samoa.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to the Government's planned expenditure on buildings decarbonisation between 2022 and 2025, whether (a) schools and (b) hospitals are able to use their allocated share of that funding on the removal of asbestos while installing replacement heating equipment.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Removal of asbestos may be considered an eligible ‘enabling cost’ provided the asbestos survey or removal is directly linked to measures that are part of the approved programme of works. Applicants should consult the guidance published by Salix Finance, who deliver the scheme, for the full eligibility criteria.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April 2023 to Question 180257 on Energy: Business, what steps his Department is taking to support business which do not meet the criteria for the Energy Bills Discount Scheme with their energy bills.

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) provides a baseline discount to all eligible businesses and non-domestic customers. The discount is subject to a wholesale price threshold of £107/MWh for gas and £302/MWh for electricity. Businesses experiencing energy costs below this level will not receive support. The EBDS discount is comparably lower than the Energy Bill Relief Scheme discount and reflects the significant fall in energy prices since last September whilst striking the right balance by supporting businesses over the next year, ensuring fiscal responsibility and limiting the taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets.

The Government has extended support comparable to the EBDS to non-domestic energy customers who receive gas or electricity delivered over public networks from non-licensed providers.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment his Department has made of the potential financial effect of the £650 million Life Sci for Growth package on (a) the East Midlands, (b) Leicestershire, (c) Loughborough constituency and (d) the Life Sciences Opportunity Zone at Charnwood Campus.

The call for proposals for the £38m biomanufacturing fund and £250m LIFTS initiative are open UK-wide. Additionally, funding for skills and regulations will benefit companies across the UK and £121 million for clinical trials will support the delivery of clinical trials across England. With 66% of the sector employed outside London and South-East, these UK wide initiatives will benefit all regions. Nottingham has been awarded at least £935k for the Mental Health Mission, including activities at the Midlands Translational Research Centre of Excellence demonstrator site and under the Children and Young People’s Mental Health workstream.

12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential development of (a) facilities and (b) technologies that could result from funding in hydrogen in (i) regions across the UK and (ii) the East Midlands.

The Energy Security Strategy doubled its ambition from 5GW to 10GW for low carbon production capacity by 2030 and will drive significant private sector investment across the value chain via the Hydrogen Business Model. The UK Hydrogen Strategy supports multiple production technologies with low carbon hydrogen providing opportunities for UK companies and workers across the UK. The Government analysis suggests that the sector could support over 12,000 jobs and unlock over £9 billion in private investment by 2030. The Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, a UK-wide £1 billion fund, will accelerate the commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies, systems and business models through the 2020s.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to businesses that signed fixed contracts before 1 April 2022.

The Government announced it would expand the eligibility criteria to include all fixed contracts signed from 1 December 2021, to ensure that the support offered through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to businesses and other non-domestic energy users covers all recent energy price increases.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) size and (b) contribution of the UK economy of the inhaler production sector.

The Bioscience and health technology sector statistics 2019 shows that in 2019, 3,300 people were employed in businesses primarily involved in the development of anaesthetic and respiratory technology, which includes the production of inhalers. These businesses generated £780m in turnover.

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
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

8th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to help support and maintain British-owned semi-conductor manufacturing in the UK.

The Government recognises the importance of semiconductor technology to the global economy. Semiconductors are a fundamental enabling technology for electronic devices and the UK holds current and historical strengths in certain aspects of the semiconductor supply chain, notably design.

The Government is reviewing its approach to the UKs domestic semiconductor sector, working with industry experts and representative bodies, in order to protect and grow the UKs domestic capabilities. We are also collaborating closely with international partners, recognising that the supply chains for semiconductor products are incredibly complex, and these issues cannot be solved by the UK alone.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the social value of swimming pools for local communities; and what steps he is taking to support swimming pools affected by the covid-19 lockdown.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous pressures on Local Authorities, and the government’s furlough scheme has assisted swimming pool operators during the lockdown phase.

Consideration is being given to how we can help Local Authorities open these important public assets particularly in areas where there is most need. Government Departments are working with Sport England and other sector bodies to identify the economic and social impact and look at what financial interventions are needed to ensure that pools which deliver so many health benefits for our communities can re-open.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of using (a) the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and (b) other enrichment opportunities to develop skills for the workplace within a further education setting alongside the work placement required in T-Level qualifications.

Employability, enrichment and pastoral (EEP) are an important part of current post-16 study programmes as they prepare students for future education, employment and life.

T Levels were introduced in 2020, and are high-quality, Level 3 qualifications that equip students with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to progress into skilled employment. As set out in the department’s delivery guidance, providers are encouraged to take advantage of EEP support and work taster activities in the first and/or second year of the T Level programme to help with student preparation. This guidance can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1163906/T_Level_industry_placements_-_delivery_guidance.pdf.

As part of the T Level, students also complete a minimum of 315 hours in an industry placement working with external employers. The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and other enrichment opportunities can be incorporated into a T Level industry placement, provided that the activity is occupationally relevant to the T Level and meets all requirements outlined in our T Level delivery placements guidance. To do this, providers may choose to incorporate one or more of the flexible delivery approaches outlined in our guidance.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the outcome of the rebuilding survey at Rawlins Academy in Loughborough.

Rawlins Academy is part of the School Rebuilding Programme which will transform buildings at 500 schools and sixth-form colleges over the next decade. It will rebuild or refurbish poor condition buildings, providing modern designs, with new buildings being net zero carbon in operation.

The department’s surveys at Rawlin’s Academy have recently started and are due to complete in the New Year. The department will share the outcome of these surveys with the school shortly.


Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that training centres have the (a) resources and (b) developed curriculum to train heat network installers.

In the 2021 Heat and Buildings Strategy, the government committed to a range of policies enabling a zero-carbon heating system in the UK. In the strategy, the government committed to investing £338 million into the Heat Network Transformation Programme over 2022/23 to 2024/25.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s 2020 Heat Network Skills Review found, among other things that:

  • Skills challenges in the energy and engineering sectors were a barrier to the uptake of heat networks.
  • The heat networks sector lacks data to support workforce planning.
  • Occupations particularly in demand include project delivery managers, heat network development managers, and control system specialists.
  • Heat network training is often informal and completed on-the-job as continuing professional development. There are some private organisations that deliver specific training on heat networks.

Earlier this year, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero ran the Heat Training Grant competition for education providers in England. This funding facilitates the ability to provide training on the designing, building, and maintenance of heat networks. A further round of the scheme will run for training to be delivered in academic year 2024/25.

There are existing courses funded by the department for education that provide the skills needed to build and operate heat networks. These are highlighted in the list below:

  • The building services engineering craftsperson level 3 apprenticeship provides learners with the experience and training necessary to install large-scale heating systems in buildings like factories and hospitals, including those powered by sustainable energy.
  • Skills Bootcamps have been delivered on a range of green heating technologies. The courses are open to adults aged 19 and over and are designed with employers to meet short to medium-term skill shortages and to boost productivity.
  • The Building Services Engineering for Construction T Level supports learners to progress to a job as a heating & ventilation engineer, which can include low carbon technologies like heat networks.
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is currently developing an occupational standard for an apprenticeship at level 3, entitled district heat network maintenance technician.
  • The network of 21 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) is committed to supporting the government’s targets for sustainability and net zero. With access to £300 million of capital funding to develop industry-standard facilities and equipment, IoTs are delivering higher level technical provision in key STEM subjects, such as net zero carbon energy production.
  • The department has launched the Local Skills Improvement Fund to implement the training facilities needed to meet the workforce needs set out in an area’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP). £80 million of capital and revenue funding is in the process of being awarded, and a further £85 million of capital funding will be made available in 2024/25. This funding can be used for the equipment needed to deliver training on heat networks if that is designated as a local workforce need in an area’s LSIP.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is taking steps to implement the recommendations in the report by the Children's Commissioner entitled Beyond the Labels: A SEND system which works for every child, every time, published on 14 November 2022.

The department welcomes the Children's Commissioner's report, a response to the department’s consultation, which provided a range of recommendations for the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system. This includes improving the education, health and care (EHC) plan process and the support that is available for through alternative provision (AP) providers. The SEND and AP Green Paper set out the department’s proposals for how the SEND system can be improved, so that it delivers improved outcomes, experiences and financial sustainability. The department will publish a SEND and AP Improvement Plan that will set out the consultation feedback and our next steps in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the absence rates from education of blind and partially sighted pupils at (a) primary and (b) secondary school were in each year from 2012 to date.

The department publishes annual statistics on absence from school broken down by pupils’ type of special educational need (SEN). The most recent figures, for the 2020/21 academic year, are published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england.

The publication includes figures for pupils whose type of SEN is visual impairment. The figures for primary and secondary schools are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/34b7634d-01b2-45bb-be2e-5003ac8ea73f. For comparative purposes, ‘Total’ includes all pupils, including those who have no SEN.

The figures do not include the 2019/20 academic year, because the publication was cancelled that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Environment Agency has plans to provide funding for flood mitigation in Loughborough over the next 5 years.

The Environment Agency (EA) is working with partners to manage flood risk within Loughborough.

The EA has allocated funding to develop the Wood Brook and Tributaries Flood Risk Management Scheme which will better protect over 150 properties. Under the Government’s partnership funding policy, £4.7 million of Flood Defence Grant in Aid is available for the scheme.

The EA is also working with partners to develop a Strategic Catchment Plan to create a holistic and long-term approach to managing flood risk within Loughborough and the wider catchment.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to increase the level of financial support available to dairy farmers.

We recognise the challenges facing the dairy sector. The Prime Minister set out new support for farmers to strengthen food security and grow the economy at the Farm to Fork Food Summit on 16 May 2023. This includes the creation of a £1 million programme to help dairy businesses, particularly SMEs, to seize export opportunities.

In addition, the Government has acted to support the agricultural sector, including dairy farmers, in a number of ways.

  • The Farming Investment Fund offers opportunities for dairy farmers (and others) to apply for grants towards the purchase of equipment and technology, and to help fund transformational infrastructure projects, that increase productivity, boost environmental sustainability and improve animal health and welfare. Eligible investments include slurry infrastructure and robotic milking systems for example.

  • Furthermore, in May 2023, the Government more than doubled the funding available in the first round of Slurry Infrastructure grant, with further rounds to follow. The scheme will support a large number of dairy farmers to upgrade their slurry systems, to improve organic nutrient use, reduce pollution and improve farm productivity.

  • The Government made changes in 2022 to guidance on farmers using manures and steps aimed at bringing about more sustainable fertiliser technologies through the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI).

  • 2022 also saw increased grants for farmers and growers and boosting research and development through the Farming Innovation Programme.

  • In 2022, the Basic Payment Scheme payment was amended so that payments are made in two instalments to give farmers greater financial fluidity for the remainder of the agricultural transition period.

  • In January 2023, I set out in the Environmental Land Management Update details of new SFI actions that will be available in 2023. In 2024 we will be adding new actions to those currently available in SFI and Countryside Stewardship and improving a number of existing Countryside Stewardship options, which will provide more support to the industry and drive uptake at a time of rising costs for farmers as a result of global challenges.
Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 May 2023 to Question 182475 on Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control, if she will make it her policy to change the compensation calculation for farmers in England whose cattle have been culled due to tuberculosis so that each animal is individually valued.

Until 2006, compensation for TB affected cattle in England was determined using individual valuations. There was however significant evidence of overcompensation so, following a public consultation in 2004, Defra moved to a table-based valuation system. Almost all cases of TB compensation in England are now determined using table valuations. Table valuations are objective and based on real market data. There are no plans to alter this approach.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Welsh Government on differences between compensation payments in England and Wales for farmers whose cattle have been culled as a result of tuberculosis; and whether she plans to take steps with her counterpart to align compensation payment levels.

Bovine TB is the most significant animal health problem facing cattle keepers in England and Wales and so my Department works closely with Welsh Government to support the development of more effective disease eradication policies. However, responsibility for animal health matters, including approaches to compensation, is fully devolved.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to help ensure that businesses separate recyclable waste from general waste.

We want to increase the recycling of packaging material, food and other recyclable material in the ‘non-household’ municipal sector, which includes businesses, public organisations (e.g. schools, universities, hospitals and government buildings) and other organisations. This will help us to increase the amount of material that we recycle and reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfill.


Following support in response to initial consultation, the Environment Act 2021 stipulates that all businesses will be required to arrange for the collection of a core set of materials (glass; paper and card; plastic; metal; and food waste) for recycling in England


In 2021 we published a second consultation on recycling consistency. This consultation sought views on increasing consistency in recycling, including on the materials in scope of collection; exemptions; statutory guidance for waste collectors and cost reduction options for micro firms.


We are finalising our policy positions and analysis for impact assessment – we aim to publish the consultation response soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to impose a moratorium on new build incinerators and withhold any increase in capacity requests to licences already in place until additional research on incinerator overcapacity has been concluded.

Defra has no plans to introduce a moratorium on new energy from waste (EfW) capacity in England. In the Resources and Waste Strategy we committed to monitoring residual waste treatment capacity and we intend to publish a fresh analysis over coming months. Local authorities are responsible for determining their waste treatment capacity needs at a local level via Waste Local Plans and need to factor national policy measures being implemented into their forward planning. A proposed plant must not result in overcapacity of EfW waste treatment at a national or local level.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support new entrants into farming.

Attracting new talent into food and farming is vital for a sustainable and productive agriculture sector. As set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 – 2024, this Government will provide funding to create lasting opportunities for new entrants to access land, infrastructure and support to establish successful and innovative businesses.

The new entrant scheme is being developed through a co-design process with stakeholders, including representatives of local authorities with council farm estates, new entrants, providers of innovation support, cooperative and community land organisations and private landowners.

In January 2022 the Secretary of State announced plans for pilot incubators to support new entrants to trial some of the solutions emerging from the co-design process. The details of these pilots are being worked up, with the aim to launch the pilot scheme this year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to co-ordinate with (a) the Department for Health and Social Care, (b) the NHS and (c) the MHRA on his Department’s upcoming F-Gas review.

We are engaging with the Department for Health and Social Care, the NHS and the MHRA on considerations for the medical sector as part of our review of the F-gas regulation. This includes one-to-one engagement and engagement through sector-specific stakeholder groups.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to reduce levels of PM2.5 pollution (a) in total and (b) emitted from (i) existing and (ii) future incinerators.

Our Clean Air Strategy, published in 2019, set out the comprehensive action required across all parts of Government and society to reduce our emissions of five key pollutants, including particulates, to meet legally binding targets for 2020 and 2030.

We are taking action now to deliver these commitments. For example, we recently passed legislation to phase out the sale of house coal and small volumes of wet wood for domestic burning across England – measures focused on tackling a key source of PM2.5.

Our landmark Environment Bill delivers key parts of the Strategy. It introduces a duty to set a legally binding target for fine particulate matter, in addition to a further long-term air quality target. In August, Government published a policy paper on environmental targets which outlined our objectives for air quality targets – to reduce the annual mean level of PM2.5 in ambient air and reduce population exposure to PM2.5 in the long-term.

Emissions from incinerators in England are regulated by the Environment Agency under environmental permits. Permits contain limits for total particulate matter (TPM) which includes particulates of all sizes, including PM2.5. All incinerator permits issued since 3 December 2019 have contained a lower daily average TPM limit of 5 mg/Nm3 (compared with permits issued before then for which the limit was 10 mg/Nm3). Permits for incinerators issued before 3 December 2019 will be changed to require compliance with the lower 5 mg/Nm3 limit by 3 December 2023. Operators must continuously monitor their TPM emissions and the Environment Agency carries out regular inspections and audits to ensure that plants are complying 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
Attorney General
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
Attorney General
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
Attorney General
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.

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.

8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the change in the amount of granite that will be mined as a result of the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2.

No granite would have been mined for the construction of the Phase 2 route from Birmingham to Manchester because granite does not occur naturally in the ground along the chosen route

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the policy paper entitled Network North, published on 4 October 2023, whether the £150 million funding for improving bus services in (a) northern England and (b) the midlands (i) is ringfenced and (ii) can be used by local authorities to fund bus routes which were commercially viable before the covid-19 pandemic but are no longer.

The new £1 billion Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) funding for buses in the North and the Midlands, announced on 4 October, will continue and expand the improvements started by the £1.2 billion for BSIPs announced in 2022 and 2023. The first downpayment of £150 million has been indicatively allocated for 2024-25.

The new funding can be used in the same way as existing BSIP funding. LTAs may use the funding to deliver the interventions that they and local operators, where they have an Enhanced Partnership, expect will deliver the best outcomes for passengers. Further details on the terms of funding will follow in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate she has made of when the full electrification of the Midland Mainline will be complete.

The Integrated Rail Plan published in November 2021, set out the electrification of the Midland Mainline is planned to be completed around 2030 (subject to business case approvals).

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the home-to-school services exemption to the Public Services Vehicle Accessibility Regulations beyond 31 March 2022.

Bus and coach operators have already had many years to comply with the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000, and I am disappointed that some operators in the rail replacement and home-to-school sectors are still unable to provide relevant services using compliant vehicles.

When writing to the industry in July to offer further temporary exemptions to 31 March 2022 to enable essential services to operate, the buses Minister Baroness Vere was clear that to be eligible for future (qualified) exemptions beyond 31 March 2022, operators would need to demonstrate steps they have taken to comply with the Regulations.

We are finalising the scope and eligibility criteria for such exemptions and will provide further information in due course.

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
Solicitor General (Attorney General's 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
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
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.

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
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to help people with complex disabilities find suitable employment opportunities.

The Government has a wide range of initiatives to support disabled people and people with health conditions, including people with complex disabilities, to start, stay and succeed in work. These include:

  • The Work and Health Programme providing tailored and personalised support for disabled people;
  • Access to Work grants helping towards extra costs of working beyond standard reasonable adjustments;
  • Disability Confident encouraging employers to think differently about disability and health, and to take positive action to address the issues disabled employees face in the workplace;
  • A digital information service for employers providing better integrated and tailored guidance on supporting health and disability in the workplace;
  • Increasing access to occupational health, including the testing of financial incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed;
  • Increased Work Coach support in Jobcentres for disabled people and people with health conditions to help them move towards and in to work;
  • Disability Employment Advisers in Jobcentres offering advice and expertise on how to help disabled people and people with health conditions into work;
  • Introducing Employment Advisors to Musculoskeletal Conditions (MSK) services in England, helping individuals with MSK conditions to return to or remain in employment.
  • Work in partnership between the DWP and health systems, including Employment Advice in NHS Talking Therapies, and the Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) programme, a Supported Employment model (place, train and maintain) delivered in health settings, aimed at people with physical or common mental health disabilities to support them to access paid jobs in the open labour market.

Building on existing provision and the £2 billion investment announced at the Spring Budget 2023, we announced a new package of support in Autumn Statement 2023. This includes:

  • Doubling the number of places on the Universal Support employment programme, to provide support for 100,000 people per year when fully rolled out;
  • Formally launching WorkWell, which will bring together the NHS, local authorities and other partners, in collaboration with jobcentres, to provide light touch work and health support in approximately 15 pilot areas;
  • Building on the extension of the certification of the fit notes to a wider range of healthcare professions, exploring new ways of providing individuals receiving a fit note with timely access to work and health support; and
  • Establishing an expert group to support the development of the voluntary national baseline for Occupational Health provision.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to support young disabled people into employment.

Access to Work is a demand-led discretionary grant which supports the recruitment and retention of eligible disabled people aged 16 and over in sustainable, paid employment. Access to Work plays an active role in supporting the transitions of young disabled people into employment, by providing funding for in work support including vocational programmes such as Supported Internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships.

To help raise awareness of support available when young disabled people move into employment, identify adjustments and reduce the need for multiple assessments, a series of passports and planners have been developed, with the Adjustments Planner focusing on transitions from education to employment.

The Adjustments Planner provides students with a transferable record of their adjustments, support, and work requirements and can help the student settle into college/university life. It can also offer support beyond education by smoothing the transition into employment - reducing the burden when applying for Access to Work, enabling support to be put in place quickly and removing the need for the student to repeat personal details.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to tackle non-payment of housing benefit to district councils when the beneficiary is not a registered social landlord.

There are no current plans to change subsidy rules in Supported Housing which are in place to help ensure quality and value for money for taxpayers. Under the Housing Benefit subsidy arrangements, DWP reimburses local authorities for the cost of Housing Benefit in their respective areas subject to the rules set out in legislation. For supported housing cases, 100% subsidy is usually paid to the local authority by DWP where the landlord or provider is registered with the Regulator for Social Housing in England. In cases where the landlord or provider is not registered, the subsidy will still be payable to local authorities, but will be restricted in line with the rules set out in legislation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the time taken to process Access to Work applications; and what steps he is taking to ensure that applications are processed in a timely manner.

There has been a significant increase in applications for the Access to Work grant scheme over the last year, leading to longer processing times.

Processing times are continually assessed, and the department has reviewed processes to support applications being processed in a timely manner. To deal with the increased demand, we have recruited additional staff and have plans for further recruitment. We are also modernising the Access to Work service through increased digitalisation; this will make the service more efficient, make the application process easier, and improve the time taken from application through to decision.

Customers making a new application for Access to Work and are starting work within the next 4 weeks, or have a current grant award coming to an end requiring a renewal application, are prioritised to ensure they are able to enter and remain in the labour market.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2023 to Question 148528 on Asbestos: Regulation, what the outcome is of the further review by the Health and Safety Executive of its retained EU Law which could impact on the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is not in a position to confirm the outcome of its review of retained EU law at this current time. HSE will communicate its decisions as soon as possible at the appropriate time.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people had gained employment through the Way to Work scheme as of 13 June 2022.

As of 21 June, we estimate that at least 485,000 unemployed Universal Credit claimants and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants have moved into work during the Way to Work Campaign between 31 January and the end of 19 June 2022.

This total figure is composed of our into work measure to the end of May (over 386,000) and our internal management information up to 19 June (46,000). We are now also able to include JSA claimants who have moved into work between 31 January and 9 June 2022 (29,000) into our total. Furthermore, we have also included those claimants with a sanction in place that moved into work during the period of the campaign up to 19 June (24,000). Both these figures were not part of our previous reported totals as the data was not available. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but is provided in the interests of transparency and timeliness.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a housing benefit taper for recipients who have entered into employment but temporarily remain in supported accommodation.

This is already in place. The income taper in Housing Benefit ensures claimants will always be financially better off working than not being in work. In addition to any financial advantage, there are important non-financial benefits of working. These benefits include learning new skills, improved confidence and independence as well as a positive effect on an individual's mental and physical health.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the evidence each parent must provide in order to permit an accurate assessment of the level of child maintenance required to be paid.

The calculation is initially based on historic income information received directly from HM Revenue and Customs. Parents may need to supply additional evidence which is considered on a case by case basis.

Both parents have the right to request a mandatory reconsideration and supply further evidence to challenge a decision.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of (a) the impact of off-setting private pension income against income-based employment and support allowance earnings for people who have been able to draw their pension early due to ill health and (b) the potential merits of allowing people who have drawn their pension early due to ill health to retain their employment and support allowance earnings.

Entitlement to income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA (IR)) is based on financial need and both income and capital will affect entitlement. Any pension income received is deducted from the amount of ESA (IR) payable. Cash lump sums taken from a pension savings are deemed to be capital. Claimants are not entitled to ESA (IR) if their household has capital of more than £16,000. Capital in excess of £6,000 and up to £16000 reduces the amount of ESA (IR) payable.

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 Transport)
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 Transport)
15th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of excluding ADHD spend from Mental Health Investment Standard money and Mental Health service development funding on (a) waiting lists and (b) ICB core funding.

No such assessment has been made. We expect integrated care boards to continue to meet the Mental Health Investment Standard so that investment in mental health services increases in line with their overall increase in allocation for that year. All but one of the integrated care boards met the Mental Health Investment Standard in 2022/23.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department is making funding available to (a) pharmaceutical companies and (b) researchers to conduct medical studies into B12 injectables.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR is not currently supporting pharmaceutical companies or research specifically on injectable vitamin B12.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including injectable vitamin B12. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made based on the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that healthcare information is accessible to blind and partially-sighted people; and whether she has had recent discussions with NHS England on the effectiveness of the accessible information standard.

It is the responsibility of individual National Health Service organisations and publicly funded social care providers to comply with the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) and to meet the communication needs of patients and carers with a disability, impairment or sensory loss, including blind and partially-sighted people.

NHS England has completed a review of the AIS to help ensure that everyone’s communication needs are met in health and care provision.

The review considered the effectiveness of the current AIS, how the standard is implemented and enforced in practice, and identified recommendations for improvement. Following publication of the revised standard in due course, NHS England will continue work to support its implementation with awareness raising, communication and engagement and updated e-learning modules on the AIS to ensure NHS staff are better aware of the standard and their roles and responsibilities in implementing it. The e-learning modules are accessible to everyone working in the NHS and adult social care services

A key part of the AIS review is the strengthening of assurance of compliance with implementation of the AIS. As such, an AIS self-assessment framework has been developed to support individual providers of NHS and social care services to measure their performance against the AIS and develop targeted improvement action plans to address gaps in implementation. The self-assessment framework has also been designed to help the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to gain insight into people's experiences and whether their accessible communication needs are being met, and to better understand organisational performance for inclusion in the CQC assessment framework for provider organisations.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the early diagnosis of (a) Crohn’s disease and (b) ulcerative colitis.

To support healthcare professionals in the early diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced a range of guidance, including guidance specifically on the use of faecal calprotectin tests as a way of diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). NICE’s IBD quality standard outlines that referral to a specialist assessment for suspected IBD should be within four weeks.

NICE guidelines represent best practice and health professionals, including general practitioners, and service commissioners are expected to take them fully into account. Guidelines published by NICE are not mandatory and do not replace the judgement of clinicians in determining the most appropriate treatment for individual patients.

In addition, NHS England’s Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) specialty report on gastroenterology, published in September 2021, sets out actions and recommendations for the National Health Service to improve patient care and ensure consistency of care across the country.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population, including the diagnosis and management of IBD.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of implementing the recommendations of the APPG on Brain Tumours report entitled Pathway to A Cure – breaking down the barriers, published on 28 February 2023; whether his Department is taking steps to support brain tumour research applications to the National Institute for Health and Care Research; and whether his Department has plans to ring-fence funding for (a) discovery, (b) translational and (c) clinical research into brain tumours.

The Department welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group report. We are taking steps to ensure that funders work closely together to coordinate work along the translational pathway, from the discovery and early translational science typically supported by the MRC, feeding through to the applied health and care research funded by the NIHR.

It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. As with other Government funders of health research, the NIHR does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

NIHR is taking action to help researchers develop high-quality proposals, including working with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission on workshops and courses for applications in development. Similarly, the NIHR Research Support Service will support researchers applying for funding with expert advice, to help them develop the best funding applications.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he expects University of Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust to receive funding to (a) rebuild at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield and (b) build new facilities at Leicester General; and if he will take steps to increase funding for building work at these facilities.

The New Hospital Programme continues to work closely with the Trust on the development of their plans in alignment with our national approach to standardisation for the new hospitals we have committed to build. This ensures value for money is realised in delivering new, cutting-edge facilities for staff and patients. We continue to collaborate with all trusts in the Programme to ensure the funding they receive is reflective of an ongoing assessment of costs.

Up to the end of 2022/23 University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust scheme received £7.46 million in funding for their new hospital scheme, which includes funding for work to prepare the site for construction of the new hospital. The funding for the full scheme will only be confirmed once its full business case has been reviewed and agreed, including by HM Treasury.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure there is no regional variation in access to radiotherapy.

NHS England is responsible for setting evidence-based national service standards for radiotherapy and for ensuring that these, as well as any applicable Technology Appraisal Guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, are implemented within local systems. These arrangements will be further strengthened by the establishment of nine specialised commissioning joint statutory committees, which will bring regional specialised commissioning expertise and integrated care systems together.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of cancer patients received radiotherapy cancer treatments in Loughborough in the latest period for which data is available.

This data is not held centrally in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the data available on the trends in the levels of practitioners in the dental workforce.

The Department and it’s arms length bodies utilise data collected by NHS Digital on the dental workforce, including on levels of practitioners in the dental workforce, which are available via the following links:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-dental-statistics

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/dental-working-hours

This data is adequate for the role of informing policy in relation to National Health Service dentistry.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to train new dentists; and if he will make a statement.

Approximately 800 dentists are trained each year. However, the cap on dental school places was temporarily lifted for students who completed A-Levels in 2020 and in 2021 and who had an offer from a university in England to study dentistry, subject to their grades. As a result, 895 dental students entered training in 2020 and 980 dental students entered training in 2021.

The Government has committed to publishing a workforce plan next year, which will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years, taking account of improvements in retention and productivity. This will include dental care professionals.

22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Education and (b) Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the Government's plans for the future of School Games funding.

The Department for Health and Social Care has regular discussions with the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the delivery of the School Sport and Activity Action Plan. Arrangements for the School Games Organisers programme, including the position on future funding, will be confirmed in due course.

15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department provides funding to assist dentists with relocation.

Health Education England provides assistance to dentists in training for some removal and relocation costs. The guidance for trainees requiring assistance is available at the following link:

https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/HEE%20National%20Relocation%20Framework%20Final%201%20November%202020.pdf

National Health Service trusts have individual relocation policies and eligibility criteria which are determined at a local level.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish (a) the outcome of the Women's Health Strategy call for evidence and (b) the Women's Health Strategy.

On 23 December 2021, we published ‘Our Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England’, which is informed by the call for evidence. This sets out our ambitions to improve the health and wellbeing of women in England and reduce disparities and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-vision-for-the-womens-health-strategy-for-england

We also published the results of the call for evidence survey, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/womens-health-strategy-call-for-evidence

We will publish the analysis of the over 400 written submissions in due course and the Women’s Health Strategy in spring 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including community pharmacies in IT systems that fully integrate local health and care records, where appropriate permissions are given.

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework sets out the shared vision for community pharmacy to play an increased role in the delivery of primary care. There is consensus that community pharmacists should have the ability to view and contribute to the medical records of patients, where appropriate permissions are given.

NHSX is developing interoperable IT systems to fully integrate local health and care records, while considering issues such as patient consent and data security. This will allow clinicians across the National Health Service to access patients’ records, make informed clinical decisions and populate those records, ensuring transfers of care are safe and effective and improve health outcomes.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of further integration between all areas of primary care.

The NHS Long Term Plan described the role of Primary Care Networks, which establish a basis for more collaborative working, expanded capability and the ability to proactively co-ordinate care for neighbourhood-based populations. Primary care is an important part of integrated care systems and will continue to deliver care to local communities, in partnership with health and care services in the area. The Health and Care Bill will enable the direct commissioning functions of NHS England to be jointly commissioned, delegated or transferred at an appropriate time to integrated care boards.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing engagement of GPs in the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service.

The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) can alleviate pressures on general practitioner (GP) practices by providing health advice to support self-care and minor illnesses. As part of the 2021/2022 GP Contract Investment and Impact Fund, Primary Care Networks are being incentivised to increase referrals to the CPCS by 31 March 2022. In October 2021, NHS England launched a £250 million winter access fund for general practice. Participation in the CPCS is a condition of a practice benefitting from the fund.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the NHS inhaler switchover policy on the UK inhaler industry.

We have made no specific assessment. We will continue to engage closely with industry and monitor the impact on businesses and supply chains.

The National Health Service remains committed to reducing the carbon impact of inhalers used in the treatment of respiratory conditions. All inhaler prescriptions, structured medication reviews or planned asthma reviews taking place in primary care should consider moving or facilitating patients to lower carbon options where it is clinically appropriate to do so.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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.

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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure (a) patients with secondary breast cancer and (b) other patients having noncurative treatment are not deprioritised for treatment ahead of a potential second wave of covid-19.

Ensuring cancer services have continued throughout the pandemic has been, and continues to be, a priority for this Government. This includes services for those with secondary cancers, and patients receiving noncurative treatments.

The strategy for maintaining services through the second wave stands, with key messages including: maintaining or stepping up hubs for cancer surgery; maximising independent sector use; ensuring good patient communication, with use of pathway navigators and safety netting; continue to step up cancer clinical trials; and further rolling out of Rapid Diagnostic Centres and stratified follow up, with redeployment of staff or pausing of invitations considered only as a last resort.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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 (Ministry of Justice)
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
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether a (a) Minister and (b) delegation from his Department will attend the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum in September 2023.

We are still awaiting a formal invitation for Ministerial attendance. However, on current plans officials from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) will attend the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) Summit in Bangladesh.

The FCDO and DBT continue to work closely with CWEIC to further strengthen intra-Commonwealth trade and investment - particularly following the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting in June, where members agreed ambitious objectives to boost support for trade digitalisation and inward investment ahead of CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in 2024 in Samoa.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) feasibility and (b) potential merits of extending the retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief scheme beyond 31 March 2024 for businesses in business improvement districts.

The 2023-2024 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Business Rates Relief scheme provides eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75 per cent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business. This was an expansion from the 50 per cent rate in 2022-2023. Currently, around 230,000 properties are eligible for this relief, representing a tax cut worth over £2 billion.

Businesses may also benefit from other business rates measures, including the multiplier freeze, and the Supporting Small Business scheme, which caps bill increases at £600 per year for businesses losing some or all of their eligibility for Small Business or Rural Rate Relief due to the recent revaluation.

Any future announcements regarding business rates relief will be made at a fiscal event.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
10th May 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help banks and payment service providers to easily (a) identify and (b) prevent romance scams.

The Government takes the issue of authorised push payment (APP) fraud, of which romance fraud is one form, very seriously, and is dedicated to protecting the public from this devastating crime. Working alongside the regulators, law enforcement, and industry, the Government continues to support numerous fraud-prevention initiatives, including the Payments Systems Regulator’s work to enhance information sharing between payment providers.

Information sharing between firms plays a key role in identifying scammers and preventing scams. As noted in the Home Office’s recent Fraud Strategy, the Government, regulators and industry are working together to identify opportunities for greater information sharing to better tackle fraud ‘up stream’. The PSR has set up an industry working group, including Pay.UK and UK Finance, to agree what data could be shared.

In order to prevent APP fraud, HM Treasury is investigating amending legislation to enable payment service providers such as banks to delay payments beyond the existing legislative timescales in limited, high-risk fraud scenarios. This will allow enhanced customer engagement to take place. This could enable firms to take more of a ‘risk-based’ approach to payments processing.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether there is a time limit on HMRC's pursuit of outstanding monies owed under the loan charge.

Where a taxpayer cannot pay their liability in full, HMRC’s priority is to agree a manageable and sustainable Time to Pay instalment arrangement with any taxpayer who engages with them to seek a resolution. There is no maximum repayment period, and these arrangements are flexible and can be updated if the taxpayer’s circumstances change.

In the small number of cases where the taxpayer has insufficient disposable income to agree a Time to Pay arrangement, HMRC will pause debt collection activity. HMRC will inform the taxpayer and aim to review each case every six to twelve months to see if the taxpayer’s circumstances have materially changed.

Where a taxpayer’s circumstances materially change, HMRC will restart debt collection activity even if a number of years have passed, because there is no statute of limitations on tax debts. This ensures the tax system is fair to all taxpayers who pay what they owe when they have the ability to do so.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much Social Investment Tax Relief was claimed by investors of Social Impact Bonds in each successive tax year since that relief was introduced.

The information is not available as investors claiming Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) are not required to inform HMRC whether they have invested in Social Impact Bonds. HMRC publishes National Statistics annually which break down total investment into SITR companies by tax year, as shown below.

Tax Year

Amount raised by SITR enterprises (£ million)

2014-15

0.5

2015-16

2.3

2016-17

2.5

2017-18

2.5

2018-19 [p]

4.7

2019-20 [p]

3.3

Total

15.8

‘p’ denotes a provisional estimate

HMRC’s National Statistics on SITR can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/enterprise-investment-scheme-seed-enterprise-investment-scheme-and-social-investment-tax-relief-may-2021
Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimates she has made of the total value of UK inhaler exports to the rest of the world.

HMRC is responsible for the collection and publication of data on imports and exports of goods to and from the UK. HMRC releases this information monthly, as a National Statistic called the Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics (OTS), which is available via their dedicated website: www.uktradeinfo.com. From this website, it is possible to build data tables based upon bespoke search criteria: https://www.uktradeinfo.com/trade-data/ots-custom-table/

The Tariff Classification of inhalers differs dependent upon whether medication is dispensed from them and, if so, what type of medicine. Consequently, published statistics applicable to empty inhalers, and medicinal inhalers at an aggregated level, within Harmonised System code 3004, have been provided.

The total value of UK inhaler exports to the rest of the world can be found in the table below:

Table 1: Total Non-EU export Trade Value (£), for calendar years 2019 - 21

Commodities

2019

2020

Jan-Sep 2021

All commodities under HS4 3004 -

Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic use, put up in measured doses “incl. those for transdermal administration” or forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006)

7,401,780,279

7,517,387,269

5,261,039,814

HS4 9019, CN8s: 90192000 & 90192090 - Mechano-therapy appliances; massage apparatus; psychological aptitude-testing apparatus; ozone therapy, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiration apparatus

46,136,530

73,847,317

62,942,879

Total

7,447,916,809

7,591,234,586

5,323,982,693

Data source: Overseas Trade Statistics

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
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
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
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.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the fiscal framework on farmers who have diversified from farming activity.

A longstanding feature of the UK tax system is that a person’s UK farming income is treated as one trade. When a farming business diversifies, any non-farming activities are treated as separate sources of income that need to be declared separately on the tax return. The Government recognises that this creates additional administrative burdens. However, taxing diversified rural businesses as one unit would carry a risk that uncommercial activities might be grouped together with profitable trades. The Government keeps all taxes under review but has no plans to change the current tax rules for diversified rural businesses.

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
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
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
President of the Board of Trade
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
President of the Board of Trade
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle the theft of tools from vans.

The Government is working with Combined Industries Theft Solutions (CITS) and the police-led National Business Crime Centre to explore ways to prevent the theft of tools including theft from vans.

We are working closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, chaired by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime, taking forward a programme of work to prevent and reduce theft of and from vehicles, which includes training police officers on methods used to steal vehicles, encouraging vehicle owners to secure their vehicles and working with industry to address vulnerability in vehicles.

The Government is tackling acquisitive crime as a priority and is committed to reducing the ability for criminals to profit from crime, making it less attractive for offenders to commit thefts of goods, including tools. We have established a group of expert policing and academic partners who are taking forward work across a number of themes. These include actions to identify where and how stolen goods are sold; examining ways to ensure property is marked, identifiable and traceable; and encouraging due diligence checks by second-hand traders and increased enforcement from police.

We are looking at adding this by SI to the matters covered by Greg Smith's PMB once it has passed.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

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.

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.

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.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) the police and (b) other stakeholders on introducing further measures to tackle drug driving.

The Government has established a project team, consisting of Department for Transport, Home Office and the National Police Chiefs Council to take stock of how the police and other agencies currently carry out road traffic enforcement and understanding what can be done better to tackle road crime including tackling drug driving.

We are gathering evidence on the current position for roads policing enforcement and will look to pilot initiatives this year and will consider next steps when the review concludes.

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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) creating an Investment Zone at Charnwood Campus and Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park and (b) extending his plans for an Investment Zone for the proposed East Midlands Mayoral Combined County Authority to include Charnwood Campus and Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park.

At the Spring Budget on 15 March 2023, the Chancellor announced 12 Investment Zones (IZs) across the UK. We have invited eight areas in England to co-develop proposals with the Government. We will keep the list of Investments Zones under review subject to the overall fiscal envelope of the programme.

Places invited to co-develop an Investment Zone proposal with government have been selected based on a transparent and robust methodology, published in full on gov.uk. Further guidance on the co-development process was published in the Technical Document in July.

Investment Zones are locally led and, recognising local leaders know their areas best, all stages of co-development has allowed flexibility and autonomy for each place to identify and select the best mix of interventions for their proposal - and where that funding is spent. Decision making regarding how and where to spend this envelope ultimately resides with the proposed East Midlands Mayoral Combined County Authority (EMMCCA).

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans for High Street Rental Auctions to come into effect.

High Street Rental Auctions policy will come into effect as soon as possible after Royal Assent of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of requiring all new build domestic properties to be fitted with rainwater harvesting tanks.

Following DEFRA’s consultation ‘measures to reduce personal water consumption’, Government made a commitment to develop a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in new developments and retrofits, including the exploration of revised building regulations and how the development of new technologies can contribute to meeting these standards. We will ensure that the underlying legislation can, where appropriate, accommodate any potential future expansion of rainwater harvesting, water re-use and storage options. The full written ministerial statement by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can be found here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-07-01/hcws140

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of new homes.

We are driving up the supply of new homes by diversifying the market, investing in affordable housing, and increasing land supply for new homes by investing in infrastructure.

We have announced £10 billion investment in housing supply since the start of this Parliament, with our supply interventions due to unlock over 1 million new homes over the Spending Review period and beyond.

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.

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.

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.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of planning policy on encouraging development of brownfield land.

It is for local authorities to identify brownfield land suitable for housing in their published registers, and to assess and plan how all brownfield land might best be used, in line with chapter 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)


It is too soon to calculate the effects of the revised NPPF

Our Land Use Change statistical release provides data on the proportion of new residential addresses created on previously developed land and on other individual land uses as well. In 2017-18, 53 per cent of new residential addresses were created on previously developed land. The proportion of new residential addresses created on previously developed land has remained above 50 per cent since the data was first collected in 2013-14. Statistics for 2018-19 will be published in due course.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
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.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent progress his Department has made on expanding the availability of 12-week transitional accommodation for prison leavers.

The transitional Community Accommodation Service-Tier 3 (CAS3) was launched in 2021, initially in five probation regions, providing up to 12 weeks' accommodation on release, with support to move on to settled accommodation. Between 1 July 2021 and 17 June 2022, over 2,300 individuals, who would have otherwise been homeless, were accepted on to CAS3.

We expanded the service to cover Wales in June 2022, and are now in the process of extending it to the remaining six probation regions in England, to support the thousands of offenders who leave prison homeless.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will provide a breakdown of what the £200 million allocated by his Department to be spent on prisoner rehabilitation each year by 2024-25 will be spent on; and how that spending will be measured.

As set out in our Prisons Strategy White Paper, we are building on the £50 million investment made in 2021 by spending £200 million a year by 2024-25 on reducing reoffending. We will spend this on improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation, by transforming education in prisons and how we get offenders into work, substance misuse treatment and further measures for early intervention to tackle youth offending.

We will set plans out in further detail when our Outcome Delivery Plan 2022-25 is published, in the coming months.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent progress he has made on supporting offenders into employment following their release from prison.

We are delivering on our commitments in the recent Prisons Strategy White Paper to improve employment outcomes for prison leavers:

  1. Creating a presumption in favour of enabling vetted and appropriate inmates, and offenders released on licence, to take up work opportunities;
  2. Introducing new Resettlement Passports, bringing together all of the essentials that prison leavers need to lead crime-free lives on release into one place, such as ID that demonstrates a prisoner’s right to work and a bank account;
  3. Putting a dedicated Employment Advisor in every resettlement prison;
  4. Developing a digital candidate matching system to match prisoners to roles on release;
  5. Establishing Employment Hubs, a ‘job-centre in a prison’ where prisoners can get support and find opportunities;
  6. Establishing Employment Boards, which link prisons with local business networks to provide advice and challenge so that prisons deliver the skills that employers need.
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
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
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
Minister of State (Home 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
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
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
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport