John Redwood Portrait

John Redwood

Conservative - Wokingham

John Redwood is not a member of any APPGs
Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation
8th Sep 2004 - 5th May 2005
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions
15th Jun 1999 - 2nd Feb 2000
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
11th Jun 1997 - 15th Jun 1999
Secretary of State for Wales
20th Jul 1993 - 4th Jul 1995
Minister (Department of Environment) (Local Government)
15th Apr 1992 - 26th May 1993
Minister of State (Department of Trade and Industry)
1st Jan 1990 - 1st Jan 1992
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry)
26th Jul 1989 - 2nd Nov 1990


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Environment Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 300 Conservative Aye votes vs 1 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 307 Noes - 185
Speeches
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Environment Bill

As there is a lot of concern about this on both sides of the House, can the Minister give us …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Diagnosis
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the property costs are of the new NHS …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th June 2021
1. Employment and earnings
24 June 2021, received £35,000 as a bonus payment for the past year. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 24 June …
EDM signed
Monday 19th July 2021
Mountbatten diaries
That this House notes with concern that the personal diaries of Lord and Lady Mountbatten were purchased from the family's …
Supported Legislation
House of Commons (Precedence of Government Business) (European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, John Redwood has voted in 292 divisions, and 12 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 317
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 257 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 163
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
John Redwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All John Redwood Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
William Cash (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
Jesse Norman (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(63 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(31 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(25 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all John Redwood's debates

Wokingham Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.


Latest EDMs signed by John Redwood

19th July 2021
John Redwood signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 19th July 2021

Mountbatten diaries

Tabled by: Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)
That this House notes with concern that the personal diaries of Lord and Lady Mountbatten were purchased from the family's Broadlands Archive Trust, a decade ago, by Southampton University with a substantial sum of public money including almost £2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund; that, until the sale to …
23 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 11
Labour: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
18th March 2020
John Redwood signed this EDM on Wednesday 18th March 2020

Co-operation between Blind Veterans UK and the Blinded Veterans Association of America

Tabled by: Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)
That this House celebrates the forthcoming 75th anniversary on 28 March 2020 of the Blinded Veterans Association of America and recognises its close and developing partnership with Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, in the area of research into sight loss; acknowledges the unique value of the proposed …
41 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 15
Labour: 11
Scottish National Party: 8
Liberal Democrat: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Alba Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All John Redwood's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Redwood, 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.


John Redwood has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Redwood has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

John Redwood has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


160 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
27th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making COP26 a virtual conference which can recommend reducing air travel through leading by example.

Our intent remains to hold the conference in person, respecting the wishes of all parties, many of whom feel strongly that the COP must be in person. However, we also continue to explore how technology and other innovations can make it more resilient, safe and inclusive.

We are working with our Sustainability Consultant on the principle priority to reduce emissions from the conference within a robust Carbon Management Plan, with any unavoidable carbon emissions from COP26 to be offset. We will encourage all delegates to consider low-carbon travel options and will be offsetting the emissions associated with travel, including those of the COP President and UK officials in the run up to COP26.

As part of our COP26 carbon management planning process, we are currently developing a baseline assessment of the scale of carbon emissions and the priority areas for action. All carbon accounting is being carried out in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and other sources of best practice guidance and will be published once the event has been delivered.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether he plans to make virtual participation in COP26 available.

Our intent remains to hold the conference in person, respecting the wishes of all parties, many of whom feel strongly that the COP must be in person. However, we also continue to explore how technology and other innovations can make it more resilient, safe and inclusive.

We are working with our Sustainability Consultant on the principle priority to reduce emissions from the conference within a robust Carbon Management Plan, with any unavoidable carbon emissions from COP26 to be offset. We will encourage all delegates to consider low-carbon travel options and will be offsetting the emissions associated with travel, including those of the COP President and UK officials in the run up to COP26.

As part of our COP26 carbon management planning process, we are currently developing a baseline assessment of the scale of carbon emissions and the priority areas for action. All carbon accounting is being carried out in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and other sources of best practice guidance and will be published once the event has been delivered.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what estimate he has made of the carbon footprint of COP26 with all delegates attending in person.

Our intent remains to hold the conference in person, respecting the wishes of all parties, many of whom feel strongly that the COP must be in person. However, we also continue to explore how technology and other innovations can make it more resilient, safe and inclusive.

We are working with our Sustainability Consultant on the principle priority to reduce emissions from the conference within a robust Carbon Management Plan, with any unavoidable carbon emissions from COP26 to be offset. We will encourage all delegates to consider low-carbon travel options and will be offsetting the emissions associated with travel, including those of the COP President and UK officials in the run up to COP26.

As part of our COP26 carbon management planning process, we are currently developing a baseline assessment of the scale of carbon emissions and the priority areas for action. All carbon accounting is being carried out in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and other sources of best practice guidance and will be published once the event has been delivered.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his most recent estimate is of net migration into the UK since March 2020 and the introduction of covid-19 restrictions.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of migrants to the UK from 2012 to 2020 were from the EU.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many EU citizens moved to live in the UK from 2012 to 2020.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure goods flow between all parts of the UK's internal market as smoothly as before 1 January 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the Joint statement published following the meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 24 February. The Government is committed to facilitating the effective flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as required by the Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to smooth the flow of parcels from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

I refer the hon. Member to the Joint statement published following the meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 24 February. The Government is committed to facilitating the effective flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as required by the Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what representations he has received from (a) haulage and (b) ferry companies on the state of goods trade into and out of Northern Ireland from GB.

I refer the Hon. Member to the oral statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2 February and to the letter sent to Vice-President Sefcovic by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2 February.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to secure the effective passage of goods from GB to Northern Ireland.

I refer the Hon. Member to the oral statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2 February and to the letter sent to Vice-President Sefcovic by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2 February.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what matters he is raising with the EU in the Joint Committee on impediments to the trade in fish between the UK and the EU.

General trade in fish between the UK and the EU is covered by the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and therefore matters relating to this would not be raised at the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to bring forward proposals for the UK internal market legislative framework to clarify that the UK determines the passage of goods between GB and Northern Ireland.

I refer the hon. Member to the response by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2nd February and his letter published 3rd February to Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission available on gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure the free passage of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

I refer the hon. Member to the response by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 2nd February and his letter published 3rd February to Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission available on gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) number and (b) pattern of excess deaths.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to promote ethanol production in the UK.

The UK biofuel market, including bioethanol, has been supported since 2008 through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The RTFO is a certificate trading scheme which sets targets and provides financial incentives for the supply of sustainable biofuels. This month the government has introduced E10 as the standard petrol across Great Britain. The introduction of E10 increases the amount of bioethanol blended with petrol sold at forecourts in the UK. E10’s introduction has been welcomed by the UK bioethanol industry as positive for the environment and jobs in UK production plants and supply chain.

More broadly, the chemicals sector is crucial to the UK; with 83% of employment outside of London and the South East it provides high-skilled, highly paid jobs across the UK and supplies essential inputs to almost all other manufacturing industries.

Last year's UK Budget sets out our ambition to spread opportunity across the UK, led by vital investment, to help important businesses such as chemical companies to grow, and improve access to skills, capital and ideas. This ambition is being supported by measures such as the new two-year super-deduction that will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment and mean they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost. In addition, the Government has a target for total R&D investment to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and in the recent Innovation strategy we have committed to increase our annual public investment in R&D to a record £22billion.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much additional UK electricity demand from domestic heating systems he estimates there will be by 2030.

BEIS regularly publishes projections of energy demand and emissions (EEP) under current policies, including projections of electricity demand in the residential sector. The most recent edition (EEP 2019) was published on 30th October 2020. In these projections, electricity demand in the residential sector in 2030 is expected to be 120 TWh. The EEP only takes account of policies classed as implemented, adopted, planned or expired as of August 2019, as specified by international reporting guidelines.

Projections for the component of this demand that is due to electric heating are not available.

For further detail on the projections please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2019.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution set out an ambition to install 600 thousand heat pumps a year by 2028 to keep us on track for net zero. The forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out a range of policy approaches to reach this ambition. It will include regulations, targeted public investment policies, and a new market-based mechanism. Once these policies have been consulted on and finalised then they will be represented in published departmental energy projections.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much additional UK electricity demand from electric vehicles he estimates there will be by 2030.

BEIS regularly publishes projections of energy demand and emissions (EEP) under current policies, including projections of electricity demand in the transport sector. The most recent edition (EEP 2019) was published on 30th October 2020. In these projections, electricity demand from transport in 2030 is expected to be 19 TWh. The projections only take account of policies classed as implemented, adopted, planned or expired as of August 2019, as specified by international reporting guidelines.

The projection of electricity demand covers both electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as well as electric rail, but do not allow us to separate these out by mode.

For further detail on the projections please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2019.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent forecast he has made as part of his planning capacity of UK electricity demand for 2030.

BEIS published UK electricity demand projections in the Energy and Emissions Projections (EEP) report. The latest version of the projections, EEP 2019[1], was published in October 2020.

Annex O of EEP 2019 includes two illustrative net zero electricity demand and generation scenarios. The two scenarios are from BEIS’ UKTIMES Model (UKTM) and are consistent with reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the whole UK economy by 2050. These demand scenarios illustrate possible scenarios for future electricity demand but are neither forecasts of, nor bounds around, future levels of UK electricity demand.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2019

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the planned increase in production is of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for UK use by March 2021.

The Government has invested over £300 million to scale up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities. Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and vaccine supplies are part of our critical national infrastructure. Vaccines are a precious resource in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons, it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies and exact detail about deliveries.

We remain in close contact with all vaccine suppliers to ensure we can hit our target of offering vaccinations to priority groups 1 to 4, as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by 15 February 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to issue guidance to commercial property owners who wish to (a) improve or (b) modify their air flow, heating and air extraction systems to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Evidence shows that proper ventilation can be used to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19, alongside other measures. Ventilation into the building should be optimised to ensure the maximum fresh air supply is provided to all areas of the facility wherever possible.

Our workplace guidance includes a number of steps that will usually be needed to ensure that ventilation systems provide a good supply of fresh air. It is important that businesses check whether ventilation systems need to be services or adjusted. If businesses and employers are unsure we advise they seek advice from their heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.

The workplace guidance broken down by business type/environment can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he ha made of the rate of transfer from gas home heating to electric over the next five years.

Meeting?our?net-zero target?will?require?virtually?all?heat in buildings to?be?decarbonised, and we believe widespread use of electric heating has the potential to contribute very deep reductions in carbon emissions.

In 2017, 13% of heat was provided by electricity in comparison with 67% from natural gas. Electric heating on gas grid remains small scale. For example, of the c30k heat pumps installed in the UK in 2019, the majority has gone to new builds and off-gas-grid households. Over the next five years, we expect deployment to continue to focus on these sectors.

There are several key consumer barriers to the widespread deployment of heat pumps and BEIS is working with industry to address these. As part of this, we have launched a £16.5m Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale transition to electrification of heat in Great Britain, by installing heat pumps in a representative range of homes.

The Government is planning?to?publish a?Heat and Buildings?Strategy?in due course,?which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure UK energy self sufficiency.

The Government is committed to making sure consumers have secure, affordable and increasingly clean energy. Maintaining a diverse energy market is essential as we move to end our reliance on fossil fuels as part of our Net Zero ambition.

Great Britain’s (GB) gas market is one of the most liquid and developed markets in the world and provides security through diversity of supply. GB’s gas sources include indigenous production, six pipelines with Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands and three Liquefied Natural Gas terminals. In addition, the United Kingdom has a number of gas storage facilities, which act as a source of system flexibility when responding to short-run changes in supply and demand.

As an increasing proportion of electricity is generated from inflexible and intermittent low-carbon sources, diversity of electricity supply will continue to be critical to providing the necessary flexibility and system reliability. Alongside domestic generation, interconnection with other countries will support delivery of lower costs for consumers, continued security of supply and better-integrated low carbon generation.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what stets he is taking to avoid UK dependence on (a) continental European and (b) Russian gas.

The UK gas market is one of the most liquid and developed markets in the world, providing security through diversity of supply. In 2018-19 most of the gas supply to the UK came from domestic production (46 per cent) and imports from Norway (31 per cent).

The UK benefits from mutual gas trade with its mainland European partners (Belgium and the Netherlands). In the 2018-19 gas year our Continental interconnectors supplied 2 per cent of the UK’s gas.

There are no gas pipelines directly linking the UK with Russia. In 2018-19, 20 per cent of UK gas supply came from the international Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market. Russian imports represented less than 4 percent of the total supply of gas to the UK and our LNG supply was sourced from 12 different countries.

The UK’s gas market remains robust and the Government will continue to test national resilience to reflect the changing nature of gas supply chains and markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential increase in electricity demand in order to charge electric cars by 2025.

There are a number of important factors that will affect the way in which electric vehicle charging demand could impact the electricity system. BEIS officials engage with National Grid over their production of the annual Future Energy Scenarios (FES), which looks ahead to show what the future of energy in Great Britain might look like. The latest FES shows that, under all scenarios by 2025, there will be sufficient generation to meet peak demand. It also shows benefits provided by smart charging of electric vehicles, for example during periods when electricity demand is low or where there is plentiful renewable electricity generation, which can reduce peak demand and overall system costs, as well as benefitting consumers.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assumptions a business should make on when they can resume trading so they can produce a meaningful budget and loan proposal when seeking a loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government has now taken further steps to ensure that lenders have the confidence they need to process finance applications swiftly. We have changed the viability tests so lenders are only required to assess whether a business was viable pre-COVID-19. Any concerns over its short-to-medium term business performance due to the uncertainty and impact of COVID-19 cannot be taken into account in the loan decision. The applicant must however still satisfy the other eligibility criteria of the CBILS.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his plans are to encourage growing crops for fuel.

Biofuels used in the transport sector have been supported since 2008 through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), led by the Department of Transport. The RTFO is a certificate trading scheme which sets targets and provides financial incentives for the supply of sustainable biofuels. To qualify for support under the RTFO biofuels must meet mandatory sustainability criteria, which include measures to prevent deforestation and other negative land use impacts.

This month, the Government introduced E10 (petrol with up to 10% ethanol) as the standard petrol across Great Britain. The introduction of E10 increases the amount of bioethanol blended with petrol sold at forecourts in the UK. Bioethanol production in the UK results in valuable by-products, such as high protein animal feed and stored CO 2 for the food and drink industries, reducing the need to import these products. Increased UK demand due to the introduction of E10 has wider economic benefits in terms of providing support for UK bioethanol producers and farmers in the supply chain.

In the Government's response to the Climate Change Committee's (CCC) annual progress report to Parliament in 2020, we announced that we will publish a new Biomass Strategy in 2022. This will review what amount of sustainable biomass could be available to the UK, including feedstocks grown for transport biofuels. It will assess how this resource could be best used across the economy to help achieve our net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.

We are clear that we will support farmers to produce high quality crops in a more sustainable way, ensuring that policy supports the conditions where domestic farm businesses can thrive, whether that be production for food or fuel production. Our Agriculture Transition Plan (2020) sets out how we will use public money to reward farmers and land managers for delivering environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to expand UK food production by domestic farms.

The Agriculture Transition Plan published in November 2020 outlined how we will support farmers to reduce their costs and improve their profitability.

Between 2021 and 2028, we will offer a range of support to help farmers maintain and improve productivity through investment in research and development.

From autumn 2021, we will open the new Farming Investment Fund which will provide grants to farmers, foresters, and growers (including contractors to these sectors).

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will support smaller investments through a pre-determined list of items, while the Farming Transformation Fund will support more substantial investments in equipment, technology, or infrastructure, with the potential to transform business performance.

These grants will help producers to focus on more efficient and sustainable production methods to reduce resource costs, improve yields, and give a better return.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many inspections of EU vessels fishing in UK waters have been made in the last 12 months.

The table below provides a breakdown of inspection carried out by the MMO on

non-UK vessels in English waters over the last 12 months. Data on inspections in the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish zones are available from the respective devolved administrations.

Month:

Number Non-UK vessels inspected

Jun 2020

0

Jul 2020

8

Aug 2020

9

Sep 2020

13

Oct 2020

14

Nov 2020

16

Dec 2020

15

Jan 2021

0

Feb 2021

0

Mar 2021

41

Apr 2021

31

May 2021

24

During the national lockdowns introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic, inspections at sea were reduced to promote public safety. During this period, when fishing activity was reduced due to weather and the reduced markets for fish, only high-risk vessels would have been inspected at sea, although shore based inspections continued as usual. When infection levels reduced in March this year, inspections resumed at a higher level than ever.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fishery protection vessels are on patrol in UK waters at any time.

Fisheries protection is a devolved matter. Nonetheless, Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive continue to work together to share information and ensure a coordinated approach to monitoring, compliance and enforcement across UK waters. In England, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has significantly increased its maritime surveillance assets dedicated to fisheries protection. This includes two offshore MMO patrol vessels for at-sea surveillance, supplemented by up to 15 vessels from the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron and Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent EU over fishing of UK waters.

Overfishing in UK waters by vessels of any nationality is an extremely serious matter which endangers the sustainability of our stocks and the long-term interests of the UK fishing fleet. Given that fisheries management is a devolved matter, the four UK fisheries authorities work together to combat overfishing by a range of means. These include: applying scientific data and evidence to fisheries management to ensure sustainable fishing; sharing intelligence and coordinating assets when required through the Joint Maritime Security Centre; significantly increasing the number of onshore personnel and maritime surveillance assets; ensuring that all commercial fishing vessels operating in UK waters are licenced in a way which means that, regardless of nationality, they must all abide by the same regulations as UK vessels; and working closely with counterparts in EU Member States to ensure effective coordination of intelligence-sharing and inspections.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward his proposals to assist UK farmers in increasing food output and improving productivity.

In November 2020 we published the Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024. This document sets out our plans for how, in England, we will create a renewed agricultural sector, producing healthy food for consumption at home and abroad, where farms can be profitable and economically sustainable without subsidy whilst contributing significantly to environmental goals including addressing climate change.

In autumn 2021 we will launch the Farming Investment Fund, formed of two strands. The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will support smaller investments from a prescribed list of items; we are currently reviewing this to ensure it has an offer attractive to the horticulture sector. The Farming Transformation Fund will support more substantial investments in equipment, technology or infrastructure, including, on-farm reservoirs and related infrastructure, vital to the future success of the horticulture sector.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the planned additional woodland will be for sustainable wood production.

By delivering our England Trees Action Plan we aim to at least treble planting rates in England, supporting our manifesto commitment to increase planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of the parliament.

In England we will predominantly fund the establishment of native broadleaf woodlands at a large scale, but also support well-designed and managed majority conifer and mixed woodlands. Sustainable wood production can be carried out by land managers in all types of woodlands, in line with the UK Forestry Standard for sustainable forest management.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to set targets for substituting domestic wood production for imports as the forest area is expanded in the UK.

By delivering our England Trees Action Plan we aim to at least treble planting rates in England, supporting our manifesto aim to increase planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of the parliament.

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

Our England Trees Action Plan includes measures to encourage both supply and demand for UK grown timber, including a new Forestry Innovation Fund which will provide financial support to develop innovative timber products, and use of procurement policies to increase public demand for sustainably sourced timber.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the UK fishing industry access markets.

Defra is working closely with industry and with other Government departments to facilitate market access for UK seafood exports globally, including through negotiating ambitious new free-trade agreements with key markets for seafood such as Japan, and through tackling specific market access barriers as they arise in countries such as Ukraine and China. Defra is also ensuring that the interests of UK seafood businesses are represented in the Government’s live trade negotiations with countries including the USA and Norway. Defra also continues to work tirelessly with other government departments, industry and the relevant authorities to ensure smooth trade flow of our goods into and out of the EU and to minimise disruption at the border.

The Defra-led ‘Food is GREAT’ campaign also plays a significant part in supporting the industry access new markets and increase its market share. The campaign, run in coordination with the Department for International Trade and Seafish, promotes our excellent UK food and drink exports, including seafood, in international markets. Running between March and April 2021; this will promote UK seafood at trade shows in the US, Canada and Japan; and will develop content and materials to help promote UK seafood in market to buyers, importers and distributors.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote and support more protected growing of vegetables and salad crops to extend the UK growing season.

We have the ideal climate and landscape to enable us to produce a wide range of fruit, vegetables and salad crops throughout the year. Innovation such as the development of new plant varieties and growing systems has already allowed growers to extend the domestic growing season for products such as strawberries.

We will continue to encourage and support our growers to produce more high-quality home-grown fruits and vegetables, ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply of top quality and healthy home-grown fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year, all produced to high environmental standards.

Growers of protected and salad crops are currently able to apply for financial support to help them improve their productivity via the Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme, and looking ahead the Agriculture Act will provide powers to offer financial support to anyone starting, or improving the productivity, of an agricultural or horticultural activity.

Later this year, growers will have the opportunity to apply for support to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure via the new Farming Investment Fund. This will help them to boost their productivity whilst also reducing impact on the environment.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential to extend the UK fruit growing season; and what support his Department provides to growers to extend their season.

We have the ideal climate and landscape to enable us to produce a wide range of fruit, vegetables and salad crops throughout the year. Innovation such as the development of new plant varieties and growing systems has already allowed growers to extend the domestic growing season for products such as strawberries.

We will continue to encourage and support our growers to produce more high-quality home-grown fruits and vegetables, ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply of top quality and healthy home-grown fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year, all produced to high environmental standards.

Growers of protected and salad crops are currently able to apply for financial support to help them improve their productivity via the Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme, and looking ahead the Agriculture Act will provide powers to offer financial support to anyone starting, or improving the productivity, of an agricultural or horticultural activity.

Later this year, growers will have the opportunity to apply for support to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure via the new Farming Investment Fund. This will help them to boost their productivity whilst also reducing impact on the environment.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to encourage the use of UK-produced timber to reduce wood miles.

This spring we will publish a new England Tree Strategy, setting out plans to increase tree planting in line with our manifesto commitments, and to increase the management of existing woodlands. These actions will provide more domestic timber now and, in the future, reducing our reliance on imports. To drive sustainable investment into UK woodlands we also want to see the expansion and use of the Grown in Britain Certification mark throughout the supply chain, reducing the carbon footprint of the construction industry.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will work with Drax power station and UK forestry to source UK biomass to replace imports.

Our woodlands provide habitats, capture carbon and provide sustainable sources of fibre and fuel. We are seeking to increase planting across the UK in this parliament, and to bring more woodlands into management. This will increase the domestic supply of wood for a range of markets.

We are also developing a Biomass Strategy for publication in 2022 and will issue a call for evidence shortly. As part of the strategy we will review the amount of sustainable biomass available in the UK, and how this could be best utilised across the economy to achieve net zero.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help UK fish and meat producers to sell more of their produce in the UK.

As a Government, we have a manifesto commitment that we want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British. We welcome efforts from all parts of the food chain to promote and source British products, and work closely with industry and trade associations to engage with and support initiatives that highlight the qualities of British meat and seafood. We will always champion our farmers and producers, supporting them to grow more of our great British food, and to provide a reliable and sustainable food supply to the British public.

We want consumers to have a wide choice of products at prices which reflect the high quality of UK products and great work of our UK producers. Consumer behaviour continues to demonstrate the enduring demand for British produce. AHDB has recently launched a £1.5 million reputational campaign to encourage the role of meat as part of a healthy and balanced diet. AHDB undertakes regular marketing campaigns, including a social media campaign during July to promote lamb and working with Quality Meat Scotland and Meat Promotion Wales on a “Make it Steak” campaign during the spring lockdown.

We are working with the public sector to encourage them to buy seasonal and local produce, encourage variety in diets and support local businesses. This will include promoting the high standards of British produce. Now that we are an independent trading nation, we can align with World Trade Organisation rules which allow promotion of British products based on their own merits. Therefore, we are now working to build greater consumer awareness of the strengths of UK food and drink both internationally and at home. Officials are drilling down into the opportunities and work through the legal and operational constraints, and to make best use of our levers to ensure that more British food is consumed at home, in schools, hospitals and beyond.

Through the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme, we provided funding for projects that helped to increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets and help to increase consumption of locally caught seafood in the UK. Additionally, we have worked in partnership with Seafish on the ‘Sea for Yourself’ consumer facing campaign to inspire the UK to eat more locally caught fish and shellfish from UK waters. The launch of their ‘Love Seafood’ brand in October 2020 will help consumers across the UK reconnect with the enjoyment of seafood. ‘Love Seafood’ represents an ambitious long-term initiative to reframe the nation’s view of seafood and encourage consumers in the UK to eat more seafood over the next 20 years.

Alongside domestic consumption, we are also keen to promote the strong global reputation of our food and increase its market access. Defra’s Food is GREAT campaign is raising the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK. It builds global demand, drives awareness and increases positive perceptions of UK food and drink products amongst international trade audiences and consumers. The campaign promotes excellent food and drink products from across the four nations of the UK.

The Government remains committed to developing a food strategy that will support the development of a food system that is sustainable, resilient and affordable, that will support people to live healthy lives, and that will protect animal health and welfare.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take urgent steps to help expand the UK fishing fleet.

The Government remains committed to supporting the fishing industry and our coastal communities. The Trade and Co-operation Agreement with the EU reflects the UK's new status as an independent coastal state, and we have taken back control of our fishing waters. By the end of the five-and-a-half-year period, the share of fish in our waters which UK boats will catch will rise from half to two thirds.

The Government is supporting the opportunities available to the UK's fishing industry and has committed to providing £100m of investment to rejuvenate the industry and coastal communities across the UK. Further details will be set out in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect marine conservation areas from illegal fishing by large trawlers.

As an independent coastal state, the UK has full responsibility over how it manages all of our fisheries. All vessels fishing in our waters have to be licensed by a UK Fisheries Administration, and abide by the licence conditions and relevant legislation. We are also committed to ensuring an effective and robust enforcement system. To ensure appropriate arrangements to enforce fisheries regulations are in place to protect our waters, including marine protected areas, the Government has put in place a significant increase in the number of personnel and surveillance assets dedicated to fisheries protection, which includes offshore patrol vessels supported by aerial and radar surveillance. This strong presence will deter against any fisheries infringements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ban supertrawlers from fishing in UK waters to help protect fish stocks and the marine environment.

We are reviewing our policies for these vessels operating in UK waters including marine conservation areas. Any action needs to be evidence-based and in line with the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support people to acquire second hand fishing vessels from abroad or new vessels from UK yards to expand the UK fishing fleet.

The Government is committed to supporting the fisheries and seafood sector and helping new entrants into the industry. At the Spending Review we allocated funding that will enable all parts of the UK to deliver their own financial support schemes, which will promote long-term sustainable growth and be tailored to the characteristics of their sectors. The Prime Minister has also announced a new £100M fund to support UK fishing communities. One of the aims of this programme will be the modernisation of fleets and the fish processing industry. We will set out more detail on this programme in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what Government (a) grant and (b) loan assistance is available to people wishing to expand capacity of vegetable and fruit growing under suitable cover to extend the growing season and protect from weather damage.

The Government has provided some limited grant support for indoor horticultural growers through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for the purchase of innovative lighting, heating and irrigation technology. Funding continues to be available to producer organisations who implement operational programmes in the Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme.

From autumn 2021 my department will launch the new Farming Investment Fund, providing grants to farmers, foresters and growers to enable them to invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment. My officials are working with stakeholders and others on the detailed design of the scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to (a) reduce food miles and (b) improve security of supply by increasing domestic output of food.

Our food security depends on supply from diverse sources, strong domestic production as well as imports from stable sources. We produce 64% of our entire food supply need, and that increases to 77% for indigenous food that we can grow or rear here in the UK for all or part of the year. These figures have been steady over the past 20 years.

UK consumers have access through international trade to food products that cannot be produced here, or at least not on a year-round basis. This supplements our excellent domestic production, and also ensures that any disruption from risks such as adverse weather or disease does not affect the UK's overall security of supply.

Defra’s work on Agri-food chain sustainability is delivered through the ambitious WRAP-sponsored Courtauld 2025 voluntary agreement which has attracted signatories from across the food industry, and from central and local government. This work does not focus on food miles; it takes account of broader sustainability in the Agri-food chain from food waste to reduction of carbon and water. WRAP’s 2020 progress report showed that the strategies developed under Courtauld 2025 are working, including a 7% reduction in GHG emissions since the start of the programme in 2015.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to expand growing vegetables and fruit in the UK to reduce food miles on imports.

The Government recognises the crucial role our horticulture industry plays in feeding the country. We are fortunate in the UK to have the climate, landscape, and entrepreneurial farmers and growers to enable us to produce world-class fruit and vegetables. We will always champion our farmers and growers, supporting them to provide a sustainable supply of healthy, home grown food produced to high environmental standards.

The Rural Development Programme for England Countryside Productivity Small Grant (CPSG) scheme provides grant support which helps farmers buy the equipment they need to boost productivity and increase yields. Round 2 of CPSG, was launched in 2019 and included equipment such as direct drill, chlorophyll meters and fruit ripeness spectrometers to help support the productivity of the horticultural sector. A third round of CPSG is being planned for launch in autumn 2020.

The Agriculture Bill will provide powers to give financial support to anyone starting, or improving the productivity of, an agricultural, horticultural or forestry activity. Defra will continue working with the horticulture industry to consider the best way to support them, to allow them to grow and sell more fresh produce.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to expand the UK's fishing fleet in preparation for the cessation of the application of the EU Common Fishing Policy.

When the UK is an independent coastal state, we will be seeking a fairer share of quota for our fishing fleets across the UK. We will also have the opportunity to design a domestic set of fisheries policies more suited to our needs than under the Common Fisheries Policy. Decisions on fleet capacity (where in some cases we currently have an excess of capacity) depend on a wide variety of factors, including the level of quota available, and, most crucially of all, the long-term sustainability of our key stocks.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking with the UK fishing sector to encourage consumption of fish caught by that sector throughout the UK.

UK food is renowned for its quality, and high standards of food safety, traceability, animal welfare and sustainability. Defra will always champion UK producers and support them in producing more of our great British food, including seafood.

Defra is currently working in partnership with Seafish on the Sea For Yourself campaign, an initiative to promote seafood species caught in UK waters.

The campaign directs consumers across the UK to the Fish is the Dish website, with tips and recipes to show consumers how they can cook these species, as well as to information on online sales to direct them to websites where they can buy local fish and shellfish.

The campaign launched in March, was set up to support the fishing industry to encourage people to eat and buy UK seafood. Following our exit from the EU, we are taking steps to raise awareness of the wide number of species and opportunities that can be found in UK waters.

Defra has also announced a £1 million Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme to help seafood businesses in England sell their products locally and nationally. Managed by the Marine Management Organisation, the scheme has already allocated close to £900,000 to help increase the supply and consumption of domestically caught seafood in markets across England.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government is proceeding with trade talks with the US Administration during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 5 May, my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and the US Trade Representative launched negotiations for a UK-US Free Trade Agreement and agreed an ambitious timetable for virtual talks. The joint statement issued confirming the start of negotiations can be found on www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-us-start-trade-negotiations.

Negotiations will be carried out by video conference, ensuring that talks can progress during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More trade is essential if the UK is to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by Covid-19, and new trade agreements are an important part of the long-term economic recovery, providing new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs who have suffered most in this difficult period.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of the public service bus fleet is electric.

As of March 2020, two per cent of buses used by local operators in England were electric.

The latest data on the proportion of buses used by local bus operators is from the Department for Transport Annual bus statistics: year ending March 2020 which was published in October 2020. Information on buses used by bus operators by fuel consumption type, including electric buses, is provided in table (BUS0609b).

The Annual bus statistics: year ending March 2021 are due to be published in Autumn 2021.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average seat occupancy is on public service buses in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The table below shows average bus occupancy1 on local bus services by metropolitan area status and country in Great Britain, annually from 2004/05

Number

Year

London

English metropolitan areas

English non-metropolitan areas

England

Scotland

Wales

Great Britain

England outside London

2004/05

16.6

9.8

7.5

10.1

9.0

7.6

9.8

8.3

2005/06

18.3

9.7

7.3

10.4

9.2

7.3

10.0

8.2

2006/07

18.8

9.9

7.9

10.8

9.2

7.6

10.4

8.6

2007/08

20.3

10.3

8.5

11.6

9.1

7.8

11.0

9.1

2008/09

19.9

10.7

8.8

11.8

9.8

8.2

11.3

9.5

2009/10

19.6

11.0

8.6

11.7

10.0

7.6

11.3

9.4

2010/11

19.5

10.5

8.5

11.5

10.0

8.1

11.1

9.2

2011/12

19.7

10.1

8.6

11.6

9.5

8.9

11.2

9.2

2012/13

19.9

10.1

9.1

11.9

9.0

8.3

11.3

9.4

2013/14

20.6

10.2

9.4

12.3

8.9

8.4

11.6

9.7

2014/15

20.5

10.4

9.3

12.2

8.6

8.4

11.6

9.7

2015/16

19.8

10.2

9.0

11.9

8.4

8.4

11.3

9.4

2016/17

19.3

10.7

8.9

11.9

8.2

9.0

11.3

9.5

2017/18

20.2

10.5

9.1

12.2

8.2

8.8

11.5

9.5

2018/19

20.0

10.6

9.9

12.6

8.0

8.8

11.8

10.1

2019/20

18.7

10.8

10.6

12.8

7.6

8.8

11.8

10.7

1 Calculated as passenger miles (table bus0302) divided by vehicle miles (table BUS0203).

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the current level of seat occupancy is on the railway.

As published on Gov.uk, the week ending 06 September, rail passenger numbers were at 60% of the equivalent week in 2019.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made a comparative assessment of the average number of people commuting into London in the morning peak in (a) 2021 and (b) 2019.

The Department collates and publishes a wide range of data on transport usage. However, this is not in all cases broken down to precise time, mode and geographical specification. Recent data from the Rail Delivery Group suggests that rail commuting is currently 33% of pre-pandemic levels.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the rate of HGV driving tests undertaken.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on (a) passenger volumes and (b) ticket revenues on the rail network in (b) March to October (a) 2020 and (b) 2019.

Information on the number of rail passenger journeys and ticket revenue is collected within the rail industry’s LENNON (Latest Earnings Network Nationally Over Night) ticketing and revenue database, to which the Department is granted access on a strictly confidential basis.

The information requested is not currently available in the public domain, however with the agreement of the rail industry some information is made available, which you may find of interest.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department publish data comparing daily rail journeys since March 2020 to an equivalent day last year. This information is updated on the website below on a weekly basis:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Additionally, The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) publish data on journey numbers and revenue in a quarterly statistical release. The latest statistics, which cover up to the end of June 2020, can be found on their website:

https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/passenger-rail-usage/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of rail journeys made in (a) peak and (b) off peak fare times in the last quarter of (a) 2020 and (b) the same quarter in 2019.

The Department does not hold this information.

Information on the number of rail passenger journeys by ticket type is collected within the rail industry’s LENNON (Latest Earnings Network Nationally Over Night) ticketing and revenue database, for which the Department has an access agreement. However, information about the time and date a journey took place is not recorded as many tickets, such as season tickets, offer flexibility in travel times.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of potential future patterns of rail demand; and what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the rail industry on anticipating future demand.

The Department has made no formal assessment of future rail demand. The Department has conducted some rail demand scenarios which take a range of assumptions on potential drivers including economic forecasts and the potential duration of Covid restrictions. These assumptions are subject to ongoing update, refinement and review.

The Department has had discussions on different approaches to assessing rail demand with Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and Sub-National Transport bodies.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he is issuing to local authorities to make it easier for people to drive to town centres and park to boost local economies.

It is for local authorities to decide how to allocate road space on their roads and ensure suitable access to local shops and high streets.

The Department publishes a wide range of guidance to help them in this, including Local Transport Notes, Traffic Advisory Leaflets and guidance on managing parking enforcement.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding is available for local authorities to improve junction safety and capacity and to remove bottlenecks to make it easier for people to get into town centres by car and van.

Local highway authorities, such as Wokingham Borough Council, have a duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways network in their area. The responsibility for improving junction safety and capacity is also a matter for the relevant local highway authority. The Department for Transport is allocating over £1.7 billion for local highways maintenance and improvements in 2020/21 through the Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund to local highways authorities in England, outside London. Of this Wokingham Borough Council will receive over £5.1 million. It is entirely for each authority to determine how their share of this funding is utilised to meet local needs.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will issue guidance to highway authorities on using roundabouts rather than light controls for junctions on new and improved existing roads in the strategic road network.

Local authorities are responsible for providing appropriate traffic management schemes for their roads. They are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, including junction design and operation, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. The Department has provided guidance to highway authorities on various types of junction design, including those mentioned here, in the form of the Traffic Signs Manual and other documents. Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual in particular provides guidance on various methods for traffic light control. It is for local authorities to decide which methods to use for the roads in their region.

Last year the Department consulted on a proposal to add a new condition to the set of national permit scheme conditions to require that activities placing new apparatus underground should, where possible and practical, be placed under the footway, footpath or verge. Concerns were raised in consultation responses that this would be unworkable, impractical and difficult to enforce, and would adversely impact pedestrians, especially older and disabled people. The Government therefore decided not to proceed with the proposal.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will issue guidance to Highways England and to highways authorities to ensure new and replacement cables and pipes are not placed under new roads and where possible diverted to verges and pavements on existing roads.

Local authorities are responsible for providing appropriate traffic management schemes for their roads. They are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, including junction design and operation, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. The Department has provided guidance to highway authorities on various types of junction design, including those mentioned here, in the form of the Traffic Signs Manual and other documents. Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual in particular provides guidance on various methods for traffic light control. It is for local authorities to decide which methods to use for the roads in their region.

Last year the Department consulted on a proposal to add a new condition to the set of national permit scheme conditions to require that activities placing new apparatus underground should, where possible and practical, be placed under the footway, footpath or verge. Concerns were raised in consultation responses that this would be unworkable, impractical and difficult to enforce, and would adversely impact pedestrians, especially older and disabled people. The Government therefore decided not to proceed with the proposal.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will issue new guidance to English Highways Authorities to install segregated right turning lanes at junctions on new and improved roads forming part of a strategic local road network.

Local authorities are responsible for providing appropriate traffic management schemes for their roads. They are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, including junction design and operation, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. The Department has provided guidance to highway authorities on various types of junction design, including those mentioned here, in the form of the Traffic Signs Manual and other documents. Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual in particular provides guidance on various methods for traffic light control. It is for local authorities to decide which methods to use for the roads in their region.

Last year the Department consulted on a proposal to add a new condition to the set of national permit scheme conditions to require that activities placing new apparatus underground should, where possible and practical, be placed under the footway, footpath or verge. Concerns were raised in consultation responses that this would be unworkable, impractical and difficult to enforce, and would adversely impact pedestrians, especially older and disabled people. The Government therefore decided not to proceed with the proposal.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will issue new guidance to English Highways Authorities to usually allow two way running on green at a light controlled road junction at the intersection of two roads with right filters.

Local authorities are responsible for providing appropriate traffic management schemes for their roads. They are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, including junction design and operation, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. The Department has provided guidance to highway authorities on various types of junction design, including those mentioned here, in the form of the Traffic Signs Manual and other documents. Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual in particular provides guidance on various methods for traffic light control. It is for local authorities to decide which methods to use for the roads in their region.

Last year the Department consulted on a proposal to add a new condition to the set of national permit scheme conditions to require that activities placing new apparatus underground should, where possible and practical, be placed under the footway, footpath or verge. Concerns were raised in consultation responses that this would be unworkable, impractical and difficult to enforce, and would adversely impact pedestrians, especially older and disabled people. The Government therefore decided not to proceed with the proposal.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received on road traffic delays caused by poor junction design; and what steps is he taking to tackle poor junction design to improve traffic flows.

Local authorities are responsible for providing appropriate traffic management schemes for their roads. They are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, including junction design and operation, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. The Department has provided guidance to highway authorities on various types of junction design, including those mentioned here, in the form of the Traffic Signs Manual and other documents. Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual in particular provides guidance on various methods for traffic light control. It is for local authorities to decide which methods to use for the roads in their region.

Last year the Department consulted on a proposal to add a new condition to the set of national permit scheme conditions to require that activities placing new apparatus underground should, where possible and practical, be placed under the footway, footpath or verge. Concerns were raised in consultation responses that this would be unworkable, impractical and difficult to enforce, and would adversely impact pedestrians, especially older and disabled people. The Government therefore decided not to proceed with the proposal.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the latest recorded level of monthly fare revenues received by English train operating companies is; and how that data compares to the same revenues in January 2020.

Information on passenger ticket revenue is collected by LENNON, the rail industry ticket sales database. The data held within LENNON is provided to the Department on a commercially confidential basis and is not publicly available. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) publish aggregated information on passenger revenue from LENNON as a part of their quarterly rail usage statistics.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional funding from the public purse is planned to be made available to Network Rail in this financial year.

My department is not planning to provide any additional funding to Network Rail above and beyond the budget allocated as part of the published Control Period 6 settlement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether grant funding is available to local highway authorities to support the installation of traffic sensing lights to optimise flows at junctions.

Most UK signals are already traffic responsive in the way described. We have always encouraged local authorities to use responsive systems, as research has shown that where these are properly installed and maintained they can give significant benefits to all road users.

The Department provides block funding to local authorities for local transport, including traffic management, and it is for them to determine how this is best spent in their area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to replace railway level crossings with bridges.

Network Rail, in its role as national rail infrastructure manager, is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of approximately 5,670 public level crossings on the rail network in Great Britain and for taking decisions on where crossings need to be closed and replaced with bridges or underpasses. Since 2009, it has closed 1,170 of the highest risk crossings on the network and has invested over £200 million to improve safety at other crossings, including deploying automatic barriers, miniature stop lights, CCTV and obstacle detection systems. During the period 2019-24, Network Rail will continue to target high risk level crossings and make improvements wherever possible. In addition to planned closures of high risk level crossings on the network, Network Rail intends to invest in new technologies, improving training for level crossing managers, and promoting public awareness campaigns for pedestrians and motorists.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of what constitutes a safe number of people travelling (a) on a bus and (b) in a train carriage during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been working closely with operators to understand the limitations on passenger numbers. Capacity in a vehicle or carriage will vary depending on the specific type of bus or rail rolling stock. The 2 metre social distancing rule will leave effective capacity on public transport for 1 in 10 passengers on average compared to levels before the Coronavirus pandemic. Where it is not possible to maintain the recommended social distance, passengers are being advised to avoid physical contact, wear face coverings and wash or sanitise their hands as frequently as they can.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to make it easier for people to drive to work while the use of public transport is restricted during the covid-19 outbreak.

New guidance published on 12 May 2020 provides advice on how passengers should make journeys safely, and to consider changing their travel habits - including cycling, walking as well as driving, following the publication of the Government’s roadmap and strategy for the next phase of the pandemic. The public have been urged to continue to work from home if they can. Those driving their own cars have been asked to avoid busy areas.

To help reduce pressure on the transport network so there is space for social distancing where possible, the Secretary of State has spoken to train and bus operators and local authorities to ensure they increase the number of available services over the coming weeks towards pre-COVID-19 levels as quickly and safely as possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to control the number of people using (a) underground and (b) overground trains during the covid-19 lockdown.

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London and delivered by Transport for London (TfL). The management of passengers on the London Underground and Overground is a matter for TfL who, consistent with Government advice, are encouraging passengers to use public transport only when essential. Passengers are also being advised to wear face masks if possible when using public transport. We continue to work closely with TfL to monitor their plans on management of social distancing at TfL stations and wider plans for travel demand management.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on the condition of the highways network as a result of (a) maintenance and (b) new projects.

The Department for Transport has written to highway authorities in England, outside London, and the wider highway sector, to highlight the importance of continuing with (a) maintenance and (b) new projects where works can be undertaken safely and in accordance with the Public Health England and relevant safety operating procedure guidance. It is for each highway authority to decide on what level of works can be undertaken, working closely with their contractors and supply chain.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what plans he has for the safe use of trains when more commuters return to work.

Government advice to the public is to stay alert, and to only use public transport if they need to get to work if they cannot work from home. However, it is vital that our railways – and the transport sector as a whole - is ready to respond as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

My officials are working with SWR to understand what levels of capacity are possible on trains whilst maintaining social distancing. SWR are taking steps to protect passengers and staff through many means, including an increase in the cleaning regimes on trains and at stations, installing floor markings, removing every second Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) and encouraging passengers to download and use the SWR App to purchase tickets, using station posters and frequent PA announcements, removing where possible or restricting access to seats and benches at stations and closing waiting rooms, all to encourage social distancing. SWR are also working with the British Transport Police and Network Rail to manage crowding.

The rail industry is protecting staff in line with advice provided by Public Health England, and railway staff who are not essential to the safe and secure running of the railway continue to be able, wherever possible, to work from home.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the effect of traffic lights at four-way junctions where only one light is green at any time on (a) capacity and (b) flow at those junctions.

The management of traffic light junctions, including operational strategies and timings, is a matter for local traffic authorities. As such, the Department does not carry out such assessments.

The Department has always advocated the use of traffic responsive systems, and junction designs that optimise operation to reduce unnecessary delays and maximise junction capacity as far as possible.

The Department has recently updated its guidance on the design of traffic light junctions, in Chapter 6 of the Traffic Signs Manual. This makes clear that the most efficient way to operate a junction is to adopt sequences and techniques that allow one or more arms to run at the same time, to keep traffic moving safely. Chapter 6 is available to download from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-signs-manual

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for the next funding round for improvements to strategic local roads.

The most important local roads have been assigned Major Road Network status and are eligible for a new programme of funding. Scheme proposals for the first five years of Major Road Network and Large Local Majors funding were submitted in summer 2019.

A second announcement of a further six schemes for development funding, in the North and South West, was made on 11 February by the Prime Minister.

The timing of further announcements for funding scheme development and construction will be phased depending on how individual schemes progress.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the average number of passengers on a public service bus route.

The average bus occupancy on local bus services was 12.5 in England in 2018/19, an increase from 12.2 in 2017/18 and 11.7 in 2009/10.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to train more people to fill shortages in (a) HGV driving, (b) farming, (c) construction and (d) other areas with labour shortages.

The Department is continuing to work with the Department for Education, Devolved Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as other Government Departments to fill vacancies in construction, logistics, farming and other sectors, offering training for those who need it, and securing jobs directly for those ready to move into roles.

DWP’s Sector-Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) helps employers to fill job vacancies in sectors with a high demand for workers. In the haulage sector we have been running SWAPs in partnership with employers and trade associations, including the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Eddie Stobart Logistics, to deliver tailored training to our customers so that they can obtain their HGV licence and the skills they need to enter the logistics sector as a HGV driver.

In agriculture we have worked with DEFRA and key Trade Associations, including the National Farmers Union, to develop a regional recruitment strategy that utilises DWP’s Jobcentre Plus network, fosters strong local links between employers and Work Coaches, and gives jobseekers the skills and knowledge they need to enter the sector.

In construction, DWP support the Construction Skills Delivery Group to improve and promote the existing range of training offers which include new occupational traineeships, T Levels, flexible apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps, and free L3 qualifications for adults who do not already have A levels or equivalent.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many additional nurses and doctors he plans to recruit for his Department's waiting list initiatives.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a plan for how that funding will be used, including the recruitment and salaries of additional medical staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of the £36 billion announced by the Government to tackle waiting lists as a result of the covid19 outbreak will be spent on the salaries of additional medical staff.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a plan for how that funding will be used, including the recruitment and salaries of additional medical staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the property costs are of the new NHS community diagnostic centres announced by the Government on 1 October 2021.

The property cost of the new National Health Service community diagnostic centres is approximately £55 million. This figure represents the capital costs for a number of property-related costs including refurbishments, enabling works and pads for mobile units.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the projected spend on Test and Trace is for 2021-22; and how that figure compares with 2020-21.

NHS Test and Trace has been allocated £15 billion in 2021-22 compared to £22 billion in 2020-21 and expects to deliver within the current agreed funding. A final audited figure for spending in 2020-21 is not yet available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are for the current management bodies for health and social care as the new Integrated Care Boards are created.

The Health and Care Bill will establish statutory integrated care boards (ICBs), which will take on the commissioning functions of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as well as some of NHS England’s commissioning functions. CCGs will be abolished by the Health and Care Bill. NHS England will continue to discharge those functions that can be most effectively exercised at a national level to ensure the system works both locally and nationally. The Bill will not change the statutory health-related functions or social care responsibilities of local authorities.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many chief executives there are of bodies that are part of the NHS in England.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the estimated recruitment costs are for the new directors and chief executives of the Integrated Care Boards and Partnerships.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have minimised the costs of recruitment through national and regional coordination. However, the recruitment process for these posts is still ongoing and projected overall costs are not yet confirmed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many hospital beds are available in NHS England; and what the level of occupancy is at 13 September 2021.

The latest general and acute bed data available is for Quarter 1 2021/22. This shows the average daily number of general and acute beds open overnight was 96,998 with an average occupancy rate of 85.4%.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost has been of setting up and closing down the Nightingale hospitals introduced in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Total projected funding for the Nightingale hospital programme was agreed and separately ring-fenced at £466 million.

National Health Service providers are currently auditing their accounts for 2020-21 and the final spending outturn against this funding will be published in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his priorities are for spending the planned additional revenue from the increase in National Insurance.

The priorities are ensuring the health and care system has the long-term resources it needs; tackling the elective backlog; reforming adult social care; and bringing the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the budget is for Test and Trace in 2021-22; and how that compares to Test and Trace spending levels in 2020-21.

The budget for NHS Test and Trace for 2021-22 is £15 billion. The final accounts for 2020-21 are currently being audited and will be published in due course.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of NHS elective surgery (a) as at 13 September 2021 and (b) prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

While no formal comparative assessment has been made, surgery performance is monitored regularly.

Through the £2 billion Elective Recovery Fund, we are supporting the National Health Service to increase activity to pre-pandemic levels. We have also provided additional funding to deliver approximately 30% more elective activity by 2024-25, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to strengthen infection control in hospitals treating covid-19 cases.

National Health Service infection prevention and control (IPC) principles are applicable to all healthcare staff in all healthcare settings. The IPC measures recommended are underpinned by the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual practice guide and associated literature reviews and are aligned with World Health Organization guidance. The guidance sets out safe systems of working to reduce the risk of transmitting infection, including through administrative, environmental and engineering controls, as well as interventions such as cleaning and decontamination of the environment and shared equipment, social/physical distancing, hand hygiene personal protective equipment and ventilation.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) completed its investigation into how hospitals can minimise the risk of patients catching COVID-19 on acute hospital wards. The HSIB has produced safety recommendations at a national level, as well as practical advice for trusts.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what use is made of improved air cleaning and extraction in hospitals to tackle viral infection.

National Health Service infection prevention and control principles recommend healthcare settings implement interventions to reduce the risk of transmitting infection, which include cleaning and decontaminating the environment and shared equipment and increasing ventilation.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch has completed an investigation into how hospitals can minimise the risk of patients catching COVID-19 on acute hospital wards and has produced safety recommendations at a national level, as well as practical advice for trusts.

In addition, the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises is currently being updated and is going through final draft review and approval processes as is normal for all technical guidance. Health Technical Memoranda give comprehensive advice and guidance on the design, installation and operation of specialised building and engineering technology used in the delivery of healthcare.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much bed capacity has been reduced by to improve infection control in hospitals in England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The latest data shows that the average daily number of beds open overnight in Quarter 3 2020/21 was 121,524 compared to 128,326 in Quarter 3 2019/20.

Hospitals continue to flex their bed capacity as part of planning to meet the demand from both elective and emergency streams. We are working hard with trusts to maximise the number of open beds while maintaining safe care through the pandemic.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what level of infectious material is required for a positive PCR test for covid-19.

There are many different SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays in use across the United Kingdom. Each assay will have a slightly different limit of detection. The lowest concentration of virus that can be reliably and consistently detected by the assay and will be configured according to local arrangements. Some RT-PCRs are designed to identify a single gene target and others will detect multiple targets.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the criteria for a positive test for covid-19 has changed.

There has been no change in the criteria.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) issue guidance on and (b) undertake modifications to hospitals in respect of reducing the risk of infection through (i) air flow and (ii) heating systems in those buildings.

The current National Health Service infection prevention control principles are applicable to all healthcare staff in all healthcare settings. The guidance is available the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

The guidance sets out safe systems of working including administrative, environmental and engineering controls as well as interventions to reduce the risk of transmission of infection. This includes cleaning and decontamination of the environment and shared equipment, social/physical distancing, hand hygiene personal protective equipment and ventilation.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many beds in Nightingale hospitals are being used for covid-19 patients.

No beds in Nightingale hospitals are currently being used for COVID-19 patients. Nightingale hospitals were activated based on local clinical decisions in response to patient demand and are now in the process of being decommissioned.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current ratio is of AstraZeneca to Pfizer vaccines being administered in the UK.

This information is not currently available.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the progress that has been made in the testing of (a) anti-viral treatments, (b) immune modulators and (c) other existing medicines to help provide improved treatments for covid-19.

The Department is carefully considering all available evidence from clinical trials in the United Kingdom and overseas around the potential of different drugs across a variety of different modes of action for use in treating COVID-19.

On 7 January 2021, the REMAP-CAP clinical trial published results showing that two immunomodulators, tocilizumab and sarilumab, reduced the relative risk of death by 24% for critically ill patients and time spent in intensive care by up to 10 days.

The UK national priority platform clinical trials - RECOVERY, REMAP-CAP and PRINCIPLE - can test both licensed and unlicensed drugs. These are adaptive trials, meaning that results are monitored on an ongoing basis and treatments which are clearly ineffective will be discontinued. Trials may also add new potential treatments if other evidence suggests promise.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent advice he has received on the potential merits of using (a) Vitamin D, (b) Vitamin C and (c) Zinc to help deter or tackle covid-19 infection.

Throughout 2020 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) have considered emerging evidence on vitamin D and COVID-19, and acute respiratory tract infections, respectively. In December 2020, NICE, Public Health England (PHE) and the SACN published a rapid guideline on vitamin D for COVID-19. This concluded that there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19. The guideline is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng187

In 2020, the SACN conducted a rapid scoping exercise on nutrition and immune function in relation to COVID-19, which included consideration of vitamin C and zinc, and found a lack of robust evidence at this current time to suggest that specific nutrients or supplements can prevent individuals from catching COVID-19 or mitigate its effects.

NICE, PHE and the SACN are continuing to monitor evidence as it is published and will review and update guidance if necessary.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of using UV light as a cleaning agent to tackle covid-19 infection.

The Department has made no specific assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of using (a) air extraction and (b) air cleaning systems in buildings where the covid-19 virus is present.

The Department has undertaken no specific assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the decisions on local covid-19 tier restrictions was not made on the basis of unitary authority areas.

As the prevalence of the virus is widespread across the country, it is important to apply restrictions to broad geographical areas where there are significant interconnected economic and social networks. This approach enables the same restrictions to apply where people are likely to work and socialise.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases of covid-19 were recorded in (a) Wokingham Borough and (b) West Berkshire Council area in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the rate of hospital admissions was for people with covid-19 in each of those areas.

Information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the level of compliance with the policy of self-isolation for identified contacts with covid-19 infection in the latest period for which figures are available.

Anyone notified by NHS Test and Trace that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone who has is legally required to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace, with input from Public Health England and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza – Behavioural group, have conducted a survey to understand compliance with self-isolation. The results of this survey will be published in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on using Nightingale hospital capacity to ensure that patients with covid-19 are treated in isolation.

The Nightingale hospitals remain available to support the National Health Service when needed, responding to local demand pressures. Local clinical leaders are working to determine how this is done whilst considering the needs of all patients requiring NHS care. Local clinical leaders will therefore determine the type and condition of patients that are appropriate to be cared for in the facility. The use of Nightingale sites is being kept under active review alongside the monitoring of COVID-19 hospital activity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who have recovered from covid-19.

We do not currently publish these data as people recover to different levels and in different settings. Not all recovery cases are picked up through data collections.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Oct 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of productivity in the NHS in (a) October 2020 and (b) January 2020.

Since 2007, productivity in the National Health Service has outperformed the wider economy, growing at an average of 1% a year. In 2018/19, we believe that NHS productivity grew at 2.3%, greater than its 1.1% target.

However, we expect that NHS productivity will have fallen considerably in 2020/21 because of increased spending on the COVID-19 response and due to reductions in elective and non-elective admissions to prevent further infections in hospitals. Data collection and assessment of the NHS against Financial Test 2 to achieve 1.1% productivity growth was also paused due to COVID-19.

The latest independent figures on NHS productivity from the University of York and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), for the 2017/18 financial year, show that productivity grew by between 0.7% (ONS estimate) and 1.3% (University of York estimate).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made in trends in the level of elective surgery carried out by the NHS in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Published statistics for elective surgery are only available to the end of August 2020. These indicate that for July and August, total completed pathways from referral to treatment were 61% of those for the same period in 2019. However, there is an upward trend in activity, with 25% more completed admitted pathways per working day in August compared to July. 71% of last year’s activity for first outpatient appointments and 77% for follow-ups was carried out in August.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential spread of covid-19 infection in the hospitality sector; and what assessment his Department has made of how that sector is able to operate while minimising risk.

COVID-19 and Test and Trace programme data is used to understand risk factors for contracting the virus and understanding transmission better. This data includes individuals’ occupation and exposure activities, for example within hospitality venues, in the time before onset of symptoms or the positive test. Public Health England (PHE) publishes weekly influenza and COVID-19 surveillance reports here and this includes data on suspected and confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks by setting:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason covid-19 was removed from the list of high consequence infectious diseases on 19 March 2020.

The four nations public health high consequence infectious disease (HCID) group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID, based on the information that was available during the very early stages of the outbreak.

Once more was known about COVID-19, United Kingdom public health bodies reviewed the available information against the HCID criteria and noted certain changes. These changes included the increase in information available about mortality rates, which are low overall amongst the general population; greater clinical awareness; and the availability of a specific and sensitive laboratory test for the virus.

COVID-19 has not been considered a HCID in the UK since 19 March 2020, but this reclassification has not affected the Government’s response to COVID-19, which remains a comprehensive national effort.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many operations and treatments are being sent to private sector hospitals under NHS contracts as non-covid-19 work resumes in England.

The information is not held in the format requested.

National Health Service patients are benefitting from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals in the United Kingdom as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to secure all appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource across England. This has increased NHS capacity and ensured that more facilities are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Throughout this period, independent providers have continued to provide urgent operations for NHS patients, as well as their private pay or insured patients.

As part of preparing for winter, the Government has provided an additional £3 billion to the NHS. This will allow the NHS to continue to use the extra hospital capacity acquired from the independent sector and also to maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the NHS has made in resuming non-covid-19 related work in hospitals and surgeries in England.

The National Health Service has continued to progress with resuming non-COVID-19 services. There was an increase of 13% in patients beginning their first cancer treatment within 31 days following a decision to treat in June 2020 compared to May, whilst the number of completed admitted pathways following a consultant-led referral for treatment increased by 73% over the same period.

As the NHS has continued to restore services, further guidance was issued to local NHS providers and commissioners on 31 July outlining the next phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 and concurrent non-COVID-19 activity. The focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the most recent results are of trials of existing approved medicines as potential treatments for covid-19.

On 2 September, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued new interim guidance recommending the use of systemic corticosteroids in severe and critical COVID-19 disease. This is based on a meta-analysis of recent clinical trials including the United Kingdom supported REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY trials.

Clinical guidance has been issued recommending clinicians consider the use of systemic corticosteroids, including dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, for National Health Service patients with severe and critical COVID-19.

This updates previous NHS advice to consider dexamethasone for the management of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 who require oxygen or ventilation; the updated advice includes the use of intravenous hydrocortisone and aligns with the WHO guidance.

The NHS advice and WHO guidance can be found at the following links:

https://www.cas.mhra.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=103092

https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-Corticosteroids-2020.1

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current NHS intensive care bed capacity is compared to January 2020.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many intensive care beds the NHS has.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the beds and equipment provided for the Nightingale hospitals are now being used.

The beds originally designated for Nightingale Hospitals are being reallocated according to requirements across the National Health Service.

Small amounts of equipment remain in-situ at the Nightingale Hospitals to maintain a state of readiness in case of a second surge. However, critical items have been relocated to where they are most required: no equipment has been left unused at the Nightingales if it was needed elsewhere.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to isolate covid-19 wards from other parts of a general hospital.

On 19 May, the Government published best practice guidance on reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in hospital settings. This included guidance on patient placement, flow through the hospital, and inpatient settings. The guidance is publicly available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/reducing-the-risk-of-transmission-of-covid-19-in-the-hospital-setting

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made with trials of existing licensed drugs as potential treatments for covid-19.

The United Kingdom is trialling a number of drugs which are licensed for other reasons as potential treatments for COVID-19, including through the RECOVERY trial, which has recruited over 11,200 patients and is the world’s largest randomised controlled trial researching potential treatments for COVID-19. Results from the trials will be available in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of personal protective equipment used by the NHS is now produced in the UK.

There has been limited domestic manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE) to date. Lord Deighton is leading the Government effort to unleash the potential of British industry to manufacture PPE for the health and social care sectors. We have identified opportunities and sourced new supply channels for materials to make PPE at pace, enabling new manufacturing to commence. The Government is also working to support the scale-up of engineering efforts for small companies capable of contributing to supplies.

The Government has signed contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE through United Kingdom-based manufacturers, including aprons, facemasks, visors and gowns and has already taken delivery of products from new, certified UK manufacturers. These will contribute to the national effort to meet the unprecedented demand for PPE.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when non-urgent patients will be able to have hospital operations.

With evidence suggesting that we are through the peak of the first wave of COVID-19, and with the National Health Service well-placed to provide world-leading care for those who do still have the virus, we are bringing back routine services that had been temporarily paused. Where additional capacity is available, this includes routine electives, with a focus on prioritising long waiters. Recommended actions include making full use of all contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity to support with this.

The approach will be flexed at local level according to capacity and demand in different parts of the country, and will be gradual, over weeks. It will also be dependent on the type of services and different demographics affected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of whether Vitamin D can help immune systems tackle covid-19.

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring any new, high quality evidence on nutrition and COVID 19 and seeking further advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) as appropriate. PHE is currently carrying out a rapid review of recent evidence relating to vitamin D and the prevention of acute respiratory tract infections for SACN to consider.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the consignment of personal protective equipment supplied by Turkey was paid for in advance of delivery.

A private supplier in Turkey contacted an NHS Trust about the potential to procure 400,000 clinical gowns. An initial deposit was paid, and the order specified that the balance would be paid when all 400,000 gowns were received. This order was subsequently reduced to 240,000. Of that 240,000:

· 40,000 came over on the RAF flight

· 30,000 came over on a later DHL flight

· 170,000 are in the process of being shipped to the UK

The balance will be paid when the rest of the order is received in the UK.

45,000 gowns and 90,000 coveralls made up a second order. These also came over on the RAF flight from Turkey and were sent to Daventry and the bill was paid on receipt of delivery.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) quality and (b) specification checks his Department made in advance of the contract to purchase protective equipment from Turkey.

A private supplier in Turkey contacted an NHS Trust about the potential to procure 400,000 clinical gowns. An initial deposit was paid, and the order specified that the balance would be paid when all 400,000 gowns were received. This order was subsequently reduced to 240,000. Of that 240,000:

· 40,000 came over on the RAF flight

· 30,000 came over on a later DHL flight

· 170,000 are in the process of being shipped to the UK

The balance will be paid when the rest of the order is received in the UK.

45,000 gowns and 90,000 coveralls made up a second order. These also came over on the RAF flight from Turkey and were sent to Daventry and the bill was paid on receipt of delivery.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new suppliers of personal protective equipment based (a) in the UK and (b) overseas have been added to the NHS lists in the last two months.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government effort to expand supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from overseas and improve domestic manufacturing capability.

We are working with over 175 new suppliers to deliver PPE at the scale and pace the United Kingdom requires. This includes signed contracts for over 2 billion items of PPE through 31 UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons, ensuring we build and maintain a domestic base for the future.

Almost 28 billion items of PPE have been ordered overall from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply in the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS England supplied personal protective (a) clothing and (b) equipment to hospitals prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Prior to the current crisis, demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) by National Health Service trusts was partly serviced by NHS Supply Chain (SCCL Ltd, a company owned by the Department) and partly through direct buying by NHS trusts themselves, usually through wholesalers. Other health and social care organisations were responsible for sourcing their own PPE, for example through wholesalers or directly from suppliers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which body is responsible for buying personal protective equipment in a district general hospital.

National Health Service trusts are responsible for buying personal protective equipment. They can source this from the NHS Supply Chain or other sources.

Public Health England is responsible for the emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment for the NHS in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England is responsible for emergency stocks for all NHS England facilities.

National Health Service trusts are responsible for buying personal protective equipment. They can source this from the NHS Supply Chain or other sources.

Public Health England is responsible for the emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment for the NHS in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new domestic suppliers of personal protective equipment have been signed up in the last two months by NHS England and Public Health England.

We have rapidly processed over 24,000 offers of personal protective equipment (PPE) from over 15,000 suppliers to ensure they meet the safety and quality standards that National Health Service staff need, as well as prioritising offers of larger volumes. We've contracted with over 175 new suppliers able to deliver at the scale and pace the United Kingdom requires.

Lord Deighton, formerly Chief Executive of London 2012 Olympics, has lead on our domestic efforts to increase the supply of PPE. The Department has now signed contracts for over three billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons, ensuring we build and maintain a domestic base for the future.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which body is responsible for giving regulatory approval for a (a) new design of PPE clothing and (b) new supplier's PPE product.

A cross-Government personal protective equipment sourcing unit, staffed by over 400 people, is securing new supply lines from across the world and has published rigorous standards against which purchases will be made.

The Health and Safety Executive and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency are responsible for giving regulatory approval. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-specifications-for-personal-protective-equipment-ppe

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how long on average people with covid-19 remain infected.

In the case of COVID-19, infection is most commonly detected by utilising a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); a test that detects viral genetic material (in this case, ribonucleic acid; RNA). The detection of viral RNA alone does not necessarily indicate an active virus infection. On average, detection of RNA in the respiratory tract, from serial measurements on the first 16 cases in the United Kingdom showed that RNA was detectable was 11.6 days after onset of illness; this is in keeping with the findings in other countries.

Virus can be cultured from upper respiratory tract samples for about one week after the onset of symptoms. The RNA can be detected in faeces up to three or four weeks after the onset of symptoms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to prevent competition for supplies of personal protective equipment (a) between (i) individuals, (ii) hospitals and (iii) surgeries and (b) between (A) local and (B) national supply.

A new, dedicated unit has been set up to focus on securing supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). It is working to ensure that PPE matches specification, supply chains are secure, fraud is mitigated and the best value for money is achieved in a high demand market.

This is enabling us to coordinate the procurement of PPE through an open source approach.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the recovery rate is for people admitted to intensive care with covid-19.

The Public Health England COVID-19 Hospitalisations in England Surveillance System (CHESS) monitors intensive care unit admissions in all National Health Service acute trusts, including recovery. Patient outcome data are currently incomplete and so not yet published. Efforts are in progress to improve completeness and once of adequate quality the data will be reported.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the error rate is for the current tests for covid-19.

Public Health England’s RdRp assay which is the test that has been used to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 as part of pillar 1 of the Government’s testing strategy has a very high specificity over 95%.

The sensitivity of the test when it is used in the field is determined by a number of factors including when a person is sampled after their illness has started, where the sample is taken from, the device used to swab and the time taken for the sample to get to the laboratory.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it is the Government's policy that the supply of free covid-19 vaccines to qualifying countries will be counted as part of UK aid contributions at the cost valuation of provision.

Donations of the UK's surpluses to developing countries will be classified as Official Development Assistance (ODA), in line with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) rules on ODA. There are ongoing discussions at the OECD DAC about how donors should value the donation of vaccine doses.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is planning to take to help cover employment costs for businesses in the hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment sectors affected by required closures and social distancing rules due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on businesses and sectors like hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment across the UK.

We are introducing a new Job Support Scheme from 1 November. Employees must work a minimum of 33% of their normal hours, and in return, will receive at least 77% of their salary. For every hour not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their remaining salary up to a cap of £697.92. Large businesses will be required to demonstrate that their turnover has suffered as a result of COVID-19.

The Government has provided unprecedented support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic, and on 24 September the Government announced additional support measures as part of the Winter Economy Plan. In addition to the new Jobs Support Scheme, the Winter Economy Plan includes measures such as:

  • The SEISS Grant Extension, which provides additional taxable grant funding to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19;
  • An extension to the temporary VAT cut for hospitality and tourism businesses to March 2021;
  • An extension to the deadline for new applications to four of the COVID-19 loan schemes to 30 November; and
  • Help for businesses in repaying loans from Government-backed schemes through the Pay as you Grow scheme and allowing lenders to extend the terms of CBILS loans to up to 10 years.

Earlier this month, the Government also announced the Local Lockdown Grant Fund (now called the Local Restrictions Support Grants), to enable Local Authorities in England to provide business properties which are required to shut due to nationally-imposed local lockdowns with grants of up to £1,500 for each three week closure period.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support with regard to supporting public services, businesses, individuals, and sectors such as hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment as we respond to this pandemic.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, given how the overseas aid budget is determined, what adjustment will be made to the value of that budget in 2020-21 to reflect the fall in GDP.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA. Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who will return to work from furlough as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

The CJRS has helped over one million employers protect over 9.1 million jobs. As the country re-opens, Government support will need to be adjusted in a way that ensures people can get back to work, and get the UK economy up and running again.

The CJRS has been designed to flexibly and gradually enable employees to return to work. From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim a CJRS grant for the hours not worked. From August to October, an employer contribution will be introduced gradually.

It is the case that some employers and sectors will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others, and the Government will seek to support these firms appropriately. CJRS is just one form of support on offer to employers during this difficult period. The Government will continue to engage with businesses and representative groups with the aim of ensuring that the support provided is right for these sectors and for the economy as a whole.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the effect on (a) UK output and (b) tax revenues of changing the social distancing guidance from two metres to one metre.

We cannot isolate the impact of shifting from two metres to one metre in the social distancing guidance on UK output and tax revenues. However, it is clear that Covid-19 and the wider social distancing measures are having an unprecedented impact on the economy which has suffered a 20.4% fall in GDP in April.

We recognise the challenges facing businesses in adapting to the Covid-19 guidance during this time.

It is for this reason that the Prime Minister has commissioned a comprehensive review of the 2m guidance, which has been published and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance

As he announced to the House on Tuesday 23 June, where it is not possible to keep two metres apart, businesses will be able to maintain a social distance of ‘one-metre plus’ from 4 July, provided that they take precautionary steps to reduce risks to protect and customers.

The Government continues to publish Covid-secure guidance to help sectors reopen in the safest way possible, as well as continuing to take robust actions to protect jobs, income and support businesses while fighting the virus during this challenging and unique period.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will increase the Government's financial support for (a) self employed and (b) small businesses during the covid-19 lockdown.

On April 27 the Government announced the new Bounce Back Loans (BBL) Scheme, which will ensure that the smallest businesses can access loans in a matter of just days. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms’ turnover. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender.

Small businesses may also be able to benefit from the new Discretionary Grant Fund announced by the Government on 1 May. The Government has provided up to an additional £617m for Local Authorities in England to enable them to make grants payments to businesses which are facing high fixed property-related costs, but have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they are treated by the business rates system. Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for these funds, and businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants.

Businesses and self-employed individuals may also benefit from a range of other support measures including:

  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on providing hotel accommodation or more permanent homes for migrants arriving without permits.

Migrants who enter the UK unlawfully are not eligible to mainstream housing assistance. When someone applies for asylum, if they are destitute, they are provided with support and accommodation for the period that their claim is under consideration.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what further steps her Department plans to take to arrest people who take money from people seeking to cross the Channel illegally in unsuitable boats.

The Government stands resolute in its commitment to tackle Organised Immigration Crime (OIC). We continue to pursue the Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) who facilitate illegal travel to the UK and who exploit vulnerable migrants, knowingly putting people in life-threatening situations.

We are committed to prosecuting those who profit from dangerous and unnecessary Channel crossings in small boats. We are working with national and international partners in these investigations, and are continuing to improve the intelligence co-operation that underpins them. The multi-agency NCA-led OIC Taskforce is the UK government’s response to tackling people smuggling. It has been involved in more than 1000 arrests, both in the UK and overseas, with suspects convicted sentenced to more than 720 years in prison. It takes a whole of route approach, deploying over 150 officers to operate in 17 countries, with Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors placed in key source and transit countries to disrupt OCGs profiting from people smuggling.

We also pursue those involved in the financial flows that support this activity. Using criminal powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, an individual can be prosecuted for money laundering offences if sufficient evidence is obtainable and CPS agree to charging, or civil powers within the same act permit the action to be taken against the money concerned. Both these approaches are used to undermine the financial flows supporting small boat and wider clandestine smuggling, both in the UK and with foreign partners.

We are working with NCA and social media companies to agree a joint action plan to tackle content advertising illegal OIC services on online platforms, including content relating to small boat crossings.

Additionally, the Government published the New Plan for Immigration containing provisions to establish legislation to deter illegal entry into the UK, thereby breaking the business model of criminal people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger. In July 2021, the Government introduced this legislation through the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The Government will continue to work tirelessly to stop the criminal networks facilitating OIC and protect the lives of those they wish to recklessly exploit.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many outstanding cases her Department is considering for (a) asylum and (b) permission to be an economic migrant living and working in the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.

a) The Home Office publishes data on asylum and resettlement in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Data on the number of asylum applications currently awaiting a decision, either an initial decision or pending further review, are published in table Asy_D03 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks. The latest published statistics relate to data up to the end of June 2021.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘asylum and resettlement summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

(b) This information requested is routinely published as part of UKVI Transparency data.

The current data is available for Quarter 2 of 2021 and can be found in the attached link:

Visas and Citizenship data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Data for Q3 2021 will be published in the next transparency data release.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many vessels are on patrol in UK waters at any time to tackle migrant boats crossing the English Channel.

Border Force uses a combination of cutters and Coastal Patrol Vessels to patrol UK maritime borders and respond to maritime border security threats. The total fleet comprises five cutters and six Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPVs). Border Force’s deployment of maritime capabilities in the Channel is under constant review to meet operational demands.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Home Department, whether the costs of providing additional housing for recently arrived migrants is included in overseas aid totals.

In 2021/22 40% of the budget that provides support for destitute asylum seekers of all ages is classified as Official Development Assistance expenditure.

The costs of additional housing used to provide shelter to accommodate recently arrived migrants who claim asylum can be treated as Official Development Assistance for the first 12 months from arrival and where that migrant is shown to be from an eligible country.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU citizens have been granted settled status to remain in the UK.

The latest published information on EU Settlement Scheme applications can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to subject contracts for (a) naval support vessels and (b) warships to UK-only competition to increase shipbuilding capacity in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) updated shipbuilding policy was set out in the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, which stated that the procurement approach for each class of ship will be determined on a case-by-case basis. As well as considering the specific capability requirements, the MOD will consider the long-term industrial impact of different options, including delivering value for money for the overall programme and maintaining the key industrial capabilities required for operational independence.

For national security reasons, the UK needs to maintain a shipbuilding enterprise with the industrial capabilities to design, manufacture, integrate, modify and support current and future naval ships (both Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary). Overall, the MOD considers that a regular drumbeat of design and manufacturing work in UK yards is needed to maintain the industrial capabilities important for UK national security and to drive efficiencies which will reduce longer-term costs in the shipbuilding portfolio.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish his plans to procure more support and protection vessels from UK yards.

On 16 March 2021, the Shipbuilding Tsar announced a refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This will outline the Government's future plans for shipbuilding programmes and how we will set the conditions for a globally successful, innovative and sustainable shipbuilding enterprise.

Our new Defence and Security Industrial Strategy has already set out how we are moving away from global competition by default to a more flexible and nuanced approach. This will allow us to consider all the relevant factors and decide on the best strategy for the procurement of any given capability. This approach will enable us to take into account our national security requirements and the potential benefits for growth and prosperity across the UK in our procurement decisions.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to increase the number of his Department's patrol vessels to tackle crime around the UK's coasts.

The Home Office through Border Force and the Police, are responsible for policing and maritime security around the UK, including the UK's Territorial Waters. Defence continues to engage with colleagues from the Police and Border Force, and Defence assets may be provided in support if requested and appropriate.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will (a) encourage local authorities to provide additional free parking close to centres of employment while restrictions on the use of public transport during the covid-19 outbreak are in place and (b) reimburse those authorities for the provision of that free parking.

In line with the Government’s position on localism, parking is the responsibility of local authorities and it is for them to determine what is appropriate in their own area. However, central government does have an interest in how car parks are managed and is working closely with local government stakeholders to keep parking policies and guidance under review during the COVID-19 response.

We have recently published guidance on Safer Public Places, which includes recommendations for the adaptation and management of urban centres and green spaces to facilitate social distancing.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884698/A4_Portrait_Content_Document_REV_H_low_res.pdf

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to make changes to housing build out rates for local authorities as a result of the disruption to the industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is important to keep the planning system moving as much as we can, so that it is able to play its full part in the economic recovery to come. We note the concerns some authorities are raising on house building rates and we will continue to monitor the situation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance is Department issues to local authorities on building proposals for new homes on flood plains.

The National Planning Policy Framework states that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be directed away from areas at highest risk, including floodplains. If new homes are necessary in a flood risk area, and no suitable sites at lower risk are available, the local authority should ensure that the development will be safe and will not increase flood risk elsewhere. Where those tests are not met, development should not be allowed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure an equitable distribution of investment in new housing between the north and the South East of England.

We are committed to building more of the right homes, in the right places across the country, and ensuring the housing market works for everyone. The Government has so far allocated circa £3 billion from the Housing Infrastructure Fund across every English region, to unlock the development up to 272,862 homes across the country.

Furthermore, the Government has allocated £3.4 billion in Growth Deals to areas in the Northern Powerhouse - supporting locally determined projects to unlock economic growth.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of Government proposal on migration on the required level of new home builds in the next five year.

There is a consensus that housing supply needs to be significantly higher than its historical average, which is why it is this Government’s ambition to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)