Julian Knight Portrait

Julian Knight

Conservative - Solihull

Public Accounts Commission
16th Nov 2017 - 18th Mar 2020
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
12th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 12th Sep 2017
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
12th Dec 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 18th Apr 2017
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 18th Apr 2017


Department Event
Thursday 22nd September 2022
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
22 Sep 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Online Safety Bill
Those areas are still incredibly broad and open to interpretation. Would it not be easier just to remove the Secretary …
Written Answers
Tuesday 26th July 2022
Playgrounds: Disability
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to encourage …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th July 2022
1. Employment and earnings
30 June 2022, received £100. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 04 July 2022)
EDM signed
Wednesday 12th December 2018
TEMPORARY COMMONS CHAMBER DURING RENOVATIONS TO THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
That this House notes that the proposal to demolish Richmond House is an environmentally unsound and financially wasteful destruction of …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Digitally Altered Body Images Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require advertisers, broadcasters and publishers to display a logo in cases where an image of a human …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Julian Knight has voted in 429 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Julian Knight 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
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Julian Knight voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Julian Knight voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
View All Julian Knight 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
Nigel Huddleston (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
(20 debate interactions)
Oliver Dowden (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(7 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(5 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(1 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Bill 2021-22
(2,511 words contributed)
Dormant Assets Act 2022
(1,075 words contributed)
Finance Act 2021
(164 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Julian Knight's debates

Solihull 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

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Julian Knight

11th December 2018
Julian Knight signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 12th December 2018

TEMPORARY COMMONS CHAMBER DURING RENOVATIONS TO THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER

Tabled by: Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
That this House notes that the proposal to demolish Richmond House is an environmentally unsound and financially wasteful destruction of a perfectly usable office building; recognises that the recommendation of the Joint Committee of the Palace of Westminster to build a temporary Commons chamber in the courtyard of Richmond House …
8 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 6
Labour: 2
10th December 2018
Julian Knight signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 12th December 2018

PAROLE BOARD DECISION ON DAVID MCGREAVY

Tabled by: Mike Penning (Conservative - Hemel Hempstead)
That this House notes the Parole Board has recently granted release to David McGreavy, who in 1973 murdered three small children he was babysitting and impaled their bodies on garden railings; further notes that the murders have had a devastating life-long impact on the life of their mother; notes that …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Mar 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 3
Labour: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Julian Knight's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Julian Knight, 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.


Julian Knight has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Julian Knight

Julian Knight has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


129 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
10 Other Department Questions
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment has the House of Commons Commission made of the impact of reduced visitor numbers to the parliamentary estate due to covid-19 restrictions on the House of Commons' finances.

In 2020/21 the closure of the estate to visitors, along with the much-reduced number of people working onsite, significantly affected income. In 2020/21 income from tours reduced by £2.4 million. Many tours staff were reassigned to other roles so there was no clear offsetting saving. The impact on catering and retail was a net increase in costs of £4.6 million (catering) and £0.85 million (retail). With no education visits spending on the transport subsidy for schools was reduced by £0.6m.

Financial year

HoC income from paid-for tours (£m)

2018–19 (a)

1.9

2019–20 (a)

2.1

2020–21 (b)

*0.0

(a) Taken from House of Commons Administration Annual Report and Accounts for 2019–20.

(b) Taken from House of Commons Administration Annual Report and Accounts for 2020–21. See below for explanation of the figure.

*The House of Commons had budgeted to receive £2.4 million in income from tours in 2020–21 but, in the event, there was no income because tours were cancelled. It is important to note that this is income foregone, which is not the same as a net loss. (We noted on page 27 of the accounts that the loss in income is a gross figure; many tours staff were reassigned to other roles so there was no clear offsetting saving.)


In 2021 commercial tours, along with public access to retail and catering outlets, restarted over the summer. Income and expenditure in these areas continue to be closely monitored, as with all House of Commons 2021/22 budgets.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether meetings of the House of Commons Commission are held in public.

The established practice of the Commission is to meet in private. This is to enable free and open discussion between commissioners, and to enable officials to provide impartial and frank advice.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether House of Commons employees and lay members of the House of Commons Commission have the same voting rights as Members of Parliament on the House of Commons Commission.

The House of Commons officials and external members who sit on the Commission do not have voting rights. However, their views are sought in respect of any Commission decision. This is in line with the recommendations of the Report of the House of Commons Governance Committee, House of Commons Governance, Session 2014–15, HC 692, paragraph 141, which was endorsed by the House on 22 January 2015.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the House of Commons Commission has the power to make decisions outside of its formal meetings.

Schedule 1 (Paragraph 6(2)) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 empowers the House of Commons Commission to determine its own procedure. The Commission has an established practice of making decisions by correspondence outside of its formal meetings. Such decisions usually relate to matters that are considered either uncontroversial or time-critical.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the votes of the members of the House of Commons Commission on items requiring decision are recorded.

Schedule 1 (Paragraph 6(2)) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 empowers the House of Commons Commission to determine its own procedure. Its established practice is to operate by consensus, and formal votes on items requiring decision are rare. Where votes do take place, they are recorded in the Commission’s record of deliberations.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to guidance issued to Members on covid-19 by the Commission on 2 November 2021, whether (a) all members of the House of Commons Commission were consulted on the measures that guidance contained and (b) all Members of the Commission were in agreement with the guidance's recommendations.

The urgent request for approval for the revised guidance on covid-19 was sent to all members of the Commission on 1 November, following advice from the UK Health Security Agency earlier that day. The revised guidance was agreed by a majority of the parliamentarian members of the Commission before it was issued.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Commission has made of the mental health implications of requiring MPs' and House staff to work from home.

The House of Commons Commission has implemented relevant Government guidance which at times required individuals to work from home. Since legal restrictions were lifted no member of House staff has been required to work from home where this would have an impact on their health.

Arrangements for their staff are a matter for the Member as the employer, who likewise have been able to allow their staff to work on the estate once legal restrictions were lifted where there was a health need.

The health and wellbeing of all on the estate remains the highest priority for the Commission. A range of services are offered by the House to support the wellbeing of Members and staff, including:

  • Mental Health Guidance, including Mental Health: A Guide for Managers
  • Wellness Action Plans
  • In partnership with Mind – a number of additional resources recognising the impact of Coronavirus on individuals
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Occupational Health, Wellbeing & Medical Services


Through the use of these tools suitable arrangements for an individual can be put in place based on their specific circumstances.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many members of House of Commons staff have been made redundant because of Parliament's reduced income during the covid-19 outbreak.

No staff have been made redundant. Staff have been redeployed to alternative roles as required.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the House Service has made of the number of potential redundancies among parliamentary staff which are consequential to (a) the closure of catering and hospitality venues and (b) restrictions placed on the number of visitors to the parliamentary estate.

No redundancies have been made, or are expected, consequential to (a) the closure of catering and hospitality venues and (b) restrictions placed on the number of visitors to the parliamentary estate.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service in the West Midlands.

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) published a report on CPS West Midlands on 12 October 2021.

The report found that the Area added significant value and excelled in making good prosecutorial decisions. In addition, the report found that the Area’s RASSO casework was particularly strong, and its handling of victim and witness care issues was also praised by inspectors.

However, there were some aspects of performance that require improvement, such as the quality of case strategy at both the pre and post charge stages.

HMCPSI will conduct a follow-up inspection of CPS West Midlands next year to assess whether improvements have been made.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase funding to (a) UK Research and Innovation and (b) mathematical sciences.

UKRI’s council level allocations were published on 30 May. The total UKRI allocation is £25.1 billion for 2022-25 and will reach its highest ever level in 2024-25 (over £8.8 billion).

This multi-year settlement provides UKRI and its constituent research councils with stability and certainty to deliver world class research and innovation across their portfolio, including in mathematical sciences.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish the data it holds on the number of households in the Solihull Constituency that received the Warm Homes Discount scheme in 2021.

Energy suppliers are responsible for providing rebates to eligible households and are only required to report on the number of rebates provided in England, Scotland and Wales. The Government does not hold data on the number of rebate recipients by constituency.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department holds data on the number of RP06 forms submitted to Companies House in 2021.

Companies House holds the data on the number of RP606 forms submitted to them. 2960 RP06 forms were submitted during the 2021 calendar year.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for bringing forward the Employment Bill, proposed in the Queen's Speech of December 2019.

The Government is committed to building a high skilled, high productivity, high wage economy that delivers on our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to work and grow a business. We will bring forward reforms to our employment framework when Parliamentary time allows. In the meantime, we will continue to take necessary action to support businesses and protect jobs.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on providing support to SMEs to help them transition to net-zero.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer and I have agreed to give the British Business Bank a new mission to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses. The Bank has already made good progress in this area. Between 2014 and the third quarter of 2020 a total of £160m has been invested into clean technology businesses by equity funds backed by the British Business Bank.

Ahead of COP26, BEIS has launched the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders’ campaign, which has encouraged over 1,900 small and micro businesses across the UK to join the Race to Zero by making the SME Climate Commitment.

Small and medium-sized businesses have a vital role in the transition to Net Zero. Smaller businesses make up 99% of the UK’s 5.87 million enterprises and produce 50% of all UK business emissions. Small businesses will drive this transition through developing new technologies and ways of working.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of issuing a public policy exclusion order to regional mutual banks to allow them to scale up their business.

The Government welcomes the efforts to establish regional mutual banks in the UK. The Government is also committed to seeing a highly competitive banking sector, working in the interests of all consumers and businesses across the country, and recognises the potential of regional mutual banks in achieving this goal. HM Treasury officials have been engaging with prospective mutual banks over challenges to their establishment.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that copyright owners take adequate account of fair dealing before issuing take-down notices on social and digital media platforms.

Fair dealing exceptions have an important role to play in a balanced copyright framework. The Government is aware that many of the online services operating notice and take down also provide a mechanism for users to have the content reinstated if it has been mistakenly identified as infringing copyright; for example, where a user has uploaded content under a copyright exception.

The Government believes that effective notice and takedown processes are an important mechanism for protecting content online and has facilitated a number of initiatives with intellectual property rights holders and online providers to ensure that such mechanisms work well. The Government does not however intervene in specific instances of take down of content, which are private to the parties involved.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the introduction of an international copyright regime on UK (a) authors and (b) publishers.

The Government is currently considering all options for the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The Government is aware of many of the arguments in favour and against an international exhaustion of IP rights regime, but will be consulting on the potential impact of different exhaustion of rights regimes in early 2021. Information from that consultation will be taken into account before the Government makes any decisions on a future regime.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with the Intellectual Property Office on the potential role of a national copyright exhaustion regime in supporting the UK’s (a) publishing industry and (b) other creative exports.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is already considering the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The Department will work with officials at the IPO and stakeholders to assess the potential impact of the different exhaustion of IP rights regimes that could be implemented in the UK. This will include consideration of impacts on the publishing industry and exports of goods in the secondary market, including goods from the creative industries.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to encourage private investment in the renewable energy sector.

The Department has a number of policies to encourage private investment in the renewable energy sector.

For example, the Contracts for Difference Scheme is the main mechanism of support for new renewable electricity deployment. The scheme provides long-term price stabilisation for new projects, making projects that have high upfront costs attractive to investors, while protecting consumers when electricity prices are high. Our support through the Contracts for Difference and other legacy schemes has helped to successfully unlock £94bn[1] of private sector investment in clean energy since 2010 and has driven down the cost of renewables. For example, offshore wind costs have fallen 65% since 2015.

In March 2019, the Government published the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which aims to work in partnership with the industry to boost the UK supply chain, develop new technologies and increase the UK’s export potential. As part of this Sector Deal, an Offshore Wind Growth Partnership was launched in June 2019, in which the private sector committed £100m towards a 10-year programme to support the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the growth in offshore wind around the world.

[1] https://about.bnef.com/clean-energy-investment/

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in HM Treasury on tax reliefs for electric vehicles.

Officials in the Department have regular discussions with HM Treasury officials on a range of subjects, including incentivising the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles and associated infrastructure.

The Government is supporting the early market for electric vehicles with demand incentives. Government grants for plug in vehicles continue to be available to help reduce the up-front purchase price of electric vehicles. Drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles also receive other benefits, including lower tax rates, and grants towards the installation of chargepoints. For instance, to accelerate the shift to zero emission cars, all zero emission models will pay no company car tax in 2020-21, 1% in 2021-22 before returning to the planned 2% rate in 2022-23 – a significant tax saving for employees and employers. A number of local authorities also provide additional incentives such as free parking or exemption from the congestion charge. We stated in our Road to Zero strategy that consumer incentives in some form will continue to play a role beyond 2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the 2018 Automotive Sector Deal, what steps her Department is taking to (a) allocate and (b) facilitate funding for research and infrastructure for (i) connected and (ii) autonomous vehicles; and if will she make a statement.

The Government has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. Through the Automotive Sector Deal, we are working with industry to put the UK at the forefront of the next generation of new automotive vehicles and technologies. For example, together we have committed £1 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) until 2023.

As part of the Sector Deal, we are also investing over £200 million, match-funded by industry, to accelerate the safe development and deployment of connected and automated vehicle technologies and anchor them in the UK. This funding supports more than 90 collaborative research and development projects involving over 200 organisations. It is also creating a world-leading ecosystem of controlled and real-world test sites stretching from the West Midlands to London, coordinated by Zenzic.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress her Department has made on the development of test tracks for (a) connected and (b) autonomous vehicles to ensure that the UK is a global leader in that sector; and if will she make a statement.

The Government has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. Through the Automotive Sector Deal, we are working with industry to put the UK at the forefront of the next generation of new automotive vehicles and technologies. For example, together we have committed £1 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) until 2023.

As part of the Sector Deal, we are also investing over £200 million, match-funded by industry, to accelerate the safe development and deployment of connected and automated vehicle technologies and anchor them in the UK. This funding supports more than 90 collaborative research and development projects involving over 200 organisations. It is also creating a world-leading ecosystem of controlled and real-world test sites stretching from the West Midlands to London, coordinated by Zenzic.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to increase tourism in Solihull constituency.

The Government is committed to supporting tourism recovery in the UK, which is why we published the Tourism Recovery Plan in June 2021.

In March 2022, the national tourist board and DCMS’ arms-length body, VisitBritain, welcomed 9 international trade buyers from Canada to the West Midlands for an educational visit. In May 2022, VisitBritain took part in a global multinational press trip to Birmingham to promote the Commonwealth Games and the wider region. Ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, VisitBritain is promoting the West Midlands as a premier UK holiday destination, focusing on key markets in Australia, India, and Canada.

VisitBritain has done extensive work with the West Midlands Growth Company on the business events front including marketing support, North American trade mission support, and opportunities to participate in trade shows at heavily discounted rates.

Birmingham was also a featured city in VisitBritain’s GREAT funded £10 million ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’ international campaign. Birmingham was also a featured city in VisitEngland’s recent ‘Escape the Everyday’ domestic marketing campaign, which encouraged people to book a city break in spring.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to Baroness Grey-Thompson's independent report entitled Duty of Care in Sport Review on 21 April 2017, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of that report's recommendation on introducing a sports ombudsman.

The safety, wellbeing and welfare of everyone taking part in sport is absolutely paramount. National Governing Bodies are responsible for the regulation of their sports and for ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to protect participants from harm. With that in mind, we expect sports to do all they can to protect their athletes.

The Government has carefully considered the recommendations, including for a sport ombudsman, that were made as part of the Duty of Care Review in 2017.

We recognise that this is a very complex area with different challenges across elite and grassroots sport that means a one size fits all solution is not viable. We will continue to strive to improve the culture in sport at all levels.

Our focus has been on strengthening existing structures rather than establishing a new body to deliver the same functions. Working with Sport England and UK Sport, progress has included:

  • UK Sport piloting a complaints handling disclosure service with the objective of addressing issues of independence of reporting of complaints.

  • Legislation introduced to extend the definition of a ‘position of trust’ within the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to include sports coaches making a vital step in making our sports clubs more secure to young people.

We will continue to keep the option of an ombudsman under review.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that all landlords sign a wayleave for their properties to allow the installation of fibre for broadband by the end of 2024-25.

In my response to question 138959, I expressed my view on the critical role that landlords play in enabling access to full fibre broadband. I also set out the measures DCMS is taking to ensure landlords understand that role, as well as ways the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act will help address situations where landlords do not engage with requests for wayleaves.

Additional measures in the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill are intended to encourage more collaborative negotiations and faster dispute resolution in relation to requests for rights to install telecommunications apparatus.

This should lead to better engagement from landlords, meaning that more tenants across the country can benefit from fibre broadband. This will support our ambition for a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage across the UK by 2025.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Department has for informing consumers about changes that will happen to their telephone and internet services over the next three years.

Between now and 2025, the way landlines work in the UK is changing. Providers are moving from the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. The PSTN is a privately-owned telecoms network and the decision to upgrade it has been taken by the telecoms industry.

As this is an industry-led migration, communications providers will contact their customers with information ahead of their line being upgraded. The exact migration process will depend on the provider and the type of equipment the customer has at their premises.

We are working together with Ofcom to ensure customers receive appropriate levels of communication and vulnerable consumers are protected. Ofcom requires that providers must engage in effective communications to ensure all vulnerable customers understand the risk in the migration to VoIP. We are also ensuring the telecoms industry is engaging with priority sectors such as Critical National Infrastructure and Telecare providers ahead of time.

Ofcom has set out initial proposals for the process for retiring the fixed copper broadband network. This is a separate process to the PSTN migration and we do not expect to see copper retirement in the next three years.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to assess Ofcom's performance against its strategic objective of delivering fair and effective competition between existing network operators and new entrants; and when her Department plans to publish its assessment of that measure.

Ofcom set out last year its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review (‘WFTMR’) which establishes the frameworks it considers necessary to meet its duties under the Communications Act 2003, including the Statement of Strategic Priorities, to promote competition and investment in gigabit-capable networks.

The measures established under this WFTMR are now monitored through Ofcom’s Openreach Monitoring Unit.

Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom - rather than the government - is responsible for publishing a report of what it has done in consequence of the Statement every twelve months. The most recent report from Ofcom is on Ofcom’s website.

However, the fixed telecoms network market is as competitive as it has ever been and there are currently more than 80 providers building gigabit-capable networks across all parts of the UK.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department plans to get a full-fibre connection to every property in the UK and set a new, evidence-based, target for when that will be achieved.

The Government has set an ambitious target for at least 85% of premises in the UK to have access to gigabit-capable networks by 2025, and we will continue to seek to accelerate roll-out further to get as close to 100% as possible by this date. In addition, the connectivity mission in the recent Levelling-Up White Paper sets out our aim to deliver nationwide gigabit coverage (at least 99% of premises) by 2030.

The cost of connecting a small number of premises, approximately 0.3% or c.100,000 premises, to gigabit-capable technologies is likely to be prohibitively expensive. For these very hardest to reach premises we are exploring all possible options to improve their broadband connectivity.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of starting an information campaign to make landlords aware of the critical role they play in the provision of the UK's communication network to full fibre.

I agree that landlords play a critical role in enabling everyone in the country to have access to full fibre broadband.

If landlords are not prepared to grant access to operators who wish to install full fibre broadband in their buildings, this could create a digital divide which this government is keen to avoid. We need to make sure all landowners are properly informed, not only of the benefits of greater connectivity, but also their rights under the Electronic Communications Code.

My officials hold monthly workshops with a range of stakeholders in this sector, including those representing landowner interests. These workshops are aimed at encouraging greater cooperation between landowners and telecoms operators.

One outcome of these workshops may be the creation of a sector wide body for Electronic Communications Code matters, encompassing both landowner and operator interests, which is a development that I would welcome. This body may not just represent all stakeholder interests, but also educate them on how they can assist with the expansion and improvement of existing digital networks.

This Government has also introduced measures in the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act to assist both operators and tenants where a landlord is unresponsive to repeated requests for access to install equipment in blocks of flats. The implementing regulations will be laid before Parliament when Parliamentary time allows.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department is making with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities of the potential merits of introducing a voucher scheme for small landlords to deal with the costs associated with processing a wayleave.

Small landlords are already able to recover the costs of processing a wayleave. Wayleaves fall within the scope of the Electronic Communications Code, which makes provision for landowners to receive compensation from telecoms operators for any loss they incur due to entering into a wayleave or any other access agreement.

The costs should therefore be met by the operator seeking the wayleave and the government has no plans at this stage to introduce or fund a voucher scheme for these purposes.

4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of OFCOM's recommendation in July 2021 that the accessibility of on-demand services should become a legal requirement.

The Government recognises that as part of a digitally inclusive society, television content should be accessible for all UK audiences regardless of which platform is used to view that content. As viewing habits continue to shift from linear to on demand, the Government is committed to seeing an improvement in the provision of access services for video-on-demand (VoD).


The Government is giving careful consideration to Ofcom’s latest recommendations on how accessibility requirements can be extended to on demand services and will set out next steps in due course.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will make an assessment of the effectiveness of Ofcom in ensuring that broadcasters (a) meet minimum targets for audio description of programmes and (b) take effective steps to publicise awareness of their audio description services.

As part of promoting a digitally inclusive society, the department engages with a range of stakeholders including disability charities, broadcasters, and Ofcom to support improving accessibility requirements in DCMS sectors.

In broadcasting, Ofcom is responsible for enforcing statutory targets for the provision of access services, including audio description, for broadcasters’ linear TV services. These targets are set out in Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services. In their most recent report on Access services, Ofcom found that in the first half of 2021 channels continued to meet or exceed their requirements to provide access services. Ofcom’s Code also makes clear that Ofcom requires broadcasters to make potential users aware of the available audio description through electronic programme guides, on-air announcements and information in relevant publications.

In addition to the statutory targets for audio description on linear TV services, the government is giving careful consideration to the improvement of audio description services. In particular we are evaluating Ofcom’s recommendations on how accessibility requirements can be extended to on demand services.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to improve audio description services among broadcasters.

As part of promoting a digitally inclusive society, the department engages with a range of stakeholders including disability charities, broadcasters, and Ofcom to support improving accessibility requirements in DCMS sectors.

In broadcasting, Ofcom is responsible for enforcing statutory targets for the provision of access services, including audio description, for broadcasters’ linear TV services. These targets are set out in Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services. In their most recent report on Access services, Ofcom found that in the first half of 2021 channels continued to meet or exceed their requirements to provide access services. Ofcom’s Code also makes clear that Ofcom requires broadcasters to make potential users aware of the available audio description through electronic programme guides, on-air announcements and information in relevant publications.

In addition to the statutory targets for audio description on linear TV services, the government is giving careful consideration to the improvement of audio description services. In particular we are evaluating Ofcom’s recommendations on how accessibility requirements can be extended to on demand services.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with disability charities on improving audio description services.

As part of promoting a digitally inclusive society, the department engages with a range of stakeholders including disability charities, broadcasters, and Ofcom to support improving accessibility requirements in DCMS sectors.

In broadcasting, Ofcom is responsible for enforcing statutory targets for the provision of access services, including audio description, for broadcasters’ linear TV services. These targets are set out in Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services. In their most recent report on Access services, Ofcom found that in the first half of 2021 channels continued to meet or exceed their requirements to provide access services. Ofcom’s Code also makes clear that Ofcom requires broadcasters to make potential users aware of the available audio description through electronic programme guides, on-air announcements and information in relevant publications.

In addition to the statutory targets for audio description on linear TV services, the government is giving careful consideration to the improvement of audio description services. In particular we are evaluating Ofcom’s recommendations on how accessibility requirements can be extended to on demand services.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Online Safety Bill will result in a measurable improvement in the protection of children from online pornography.

The strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. Services in scope of the legislation which are likely to be accessed by children will need to take steps to prevent children from accessing content which poses the highest risk of harm, including online pornography. The draft Bill covers many of the most-visited pornography sites, social media platforms, video-sharing sites, forums and via search engines - thereby capturing many of the sites through which children access pornography.

The Government recognises the concerns that have been raised, including from the Joint Committee scrutinising the draft Online Safety Bill, about protecting children from online pornography on services which do not currently fall within the scope of the Bill.

Ofcom will set out in its codes of practice the steps companies need to take to comply with their duties under the Bill. Ofcom will have a range of information and transparency powers which it will use to understand whether companies are meeting their safety duties. These will help build an understanding of the impact that the framework is having on users, including children.

The Bill includes the requirement that the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport must undertake a review on the effectiveness of the regulatory framework, two to five years after it comes into force, producing a report which will then be laid in Parliament. This review must consider how effective the regulatory framework is at providing higher levels of protection for children than for adults.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending Ofcom's powers to include the regulation of commercial pornography sites which do not implement safety by design and age verification.

The strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. Companies in scope of the legislation which are likely to be accessed by children will need to take steps to prevent children from accessing content which poses the highest risk of harm, including online pornography. Ofcom will set out in its codes of practice the steps companies need to take to comply with their duties under the Bill which we expect will include the use of age verification technologies.

The draft Bill covers many of the most visited pornography sites, social media platforms, video-sharing sites, forums and via search engines - thereby capturing many of the sites through which children access pornography.

The Government recognises the concerns that have been raised about online pornography on services which do not currently fall within the scope of the Bill. We are giving careful consideration to the Committee’s recommendations and remain committed to introducing the Bill as soon as possible.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of France and Germany introducing compulsory age verification for adult content online.

The threat posed by online harms is global. The UK, France, Germany and the EU have similar objectives in our efforts to protect our citizens, including children. We work closely with France and Germany in the G7 and were pleased to see the agreement of Internet Safety Principles under our Presidency of the G7 in 2021. We are watching the development of the EU Digital Services Act with interest.

Our engagement with international partners on online harms includes the key issues of child online safety and the use of age verification. Protecting children was one of the agreed G7 Internet Safety Principles.

The strongest protections in the Online Safety Bill will be for children. Age assurance technologies, including age verification solutions, are a valuable child safety tool and will play an important role in supporting the Bill. Ofcom will take a robust approach to sites that pose the highest risk of harm to children, including sites hosting online pornography. This may include recommending the use of age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing pornography content.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to undertake a child impact assessment on the Online Safety Bill.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave to the Member for Sunderland Central on 11 January, UIN 96883.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that digital and social media platforms apply equitable (a) terms, (b) conditions and (c) policies to (i) general, (ii) local, (iii) specialist and (iv) individual news reporters.

The Online Safety Bill will create a new legal requirement on the biggest social media companies to put in place safeguards for journalistic content shared on their platforms. They will need to put in place policies to ensure that the importance of journalistic content is taken into account when making moderation decisions and apply these consistently and transparently. Platforms will be required to ensure protections are applied to all content produced for the purposes of journalism, irrespective of the individual or organisation that generated the content.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government has plans to create a domestic sovereign cloud capability similar to the European Gaia-X project.

On Wednesday 24 November 2021, DCMS published the National Data Strategy Mission 1 Policy Framework: Unlocking the value of data across the economy, which provides a framework for government action to set the right conditions to make private and third sector data more usable, accessible and available. The Framework identifies seven priority areas for action, three of which contribute to the goal of supporting the development of data sharing infrastructure within the UK.

The recently formed Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in the Cabinet Office is working on standardising the approach that government organisations take to the use of cloud services and data hosting and continues to regularly review strategies taken by other countries to assess their relevance for the UK government. CDDO is working closely with other parts of Cabinet Office and government departments through the One Government Cloud Strategy forum to ensure it takes a multi-functional view on all decisions.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that sports journalists' freedom of expression right to use short extracts of current events in news reports on digital and social platforms is protected.

The Government recognises the value of local journalism, including sports reporting, to local communities, as well as the prominent role of broadcasters in generating coverage of popular sporting events.

The online use of short extracts of copyright protected broadcasters’ sports content by other news providers and journalists is subject to fair dealing exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This provides for the use of copyrighted works, including extracts of TV broadcasts, for the purposes of criticism, review, quotation or news reporting. Fair dealing exceptions must be applied to each case based on its own circumstances, and can apply to online use as well as in traditional media. Where there is any uncertainty in the application of the exceptions, some industries choose to develop their own voluntary codes.

The Sports News Access Code is a voluntary, broadcaster-owned initiative intended to provide clarity and confidence where broadcasters use each other’s content under the current legislation.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that (a) local news providers on digital and social platforms are on a level playing field with broadcasters and (b) the Sports News Access Code is extended to the operations of those news providers.

The Government recognises the value of local journalism, including sports reporting, to local communities, as well as the prominent role of broadcasters in generating coverage of popular sporting events.

The online use of short extracts of copyright protected broadcasters’ sports content by other news providers and journalists is subject to fair dealing exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This provides for the use of copyrighted works, including extracts of TV broadcasts, for the purposes of criticism, review, quotation or news reporting. Fair dealing exceptions must be applied to each case based on its own circumstances, and can apply to online use as well as in traditional media. Where there is any uncertainty in the application of the exceptions, some industries choose to develop their own voluntary codes.

The Sports News Access Code is a voluntary, broadcaster-owned initiative intended to provide clarity and confidence where broadcasters use each other’s content under the current legislation.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Events Indemnity Sprint Team will consider a Government-backed scheme for live events; and what plans that team has to engage directly with the insurance industry.

This Government recognises the importance of the UK’s live events sector and has provided significant financial support including an additional £300M to the Culture Recovery Fund.

As the Secretary of State made clear at the DCMS Select Committee on Thursday 13th May, the government is aware of the wider concerns around securing indemnity for live events and we continue to assess options to provide further support to the sector within the public health context, engaging with relevant stakeholders as necessary.

We need to be confident that any intervention would lead to an increase in activity, and that insurance represents the last barrier to events reopening. The government’s first priority is to remove remaining barriers (such as social distancing) by reaching Stage 4 of the Roadmap.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the events indemnity sprint team recently created in his Department, what the remit of that team is; what form the recommendations of that team will take; and when that team plans to report its conclusions.

This Government recognises the importance of the UK’s live events sector and has provided significant financial support including an additional £300M to the Culture Recovery Fund.

As the Secretary of State made clear at the DCMS Select Committee on Thursday 13th May, the government is aware of the wider concerns around securing indemnity for live events and we continue to assess options to provide further support to the sector within the public health context, engaging with relevant stakeholders as necessary.

We need to be confident that any intervention would lead to an increase in activity, and that insurance represents the last barrier to events reopening. The government’s first priority is to remove remaining barriers (such as social distancing) by reaching Stage 4 of the Roadmap.

22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will extend the insurance support for the film industry to (a) sports clubs, (b) theatres, (c) exhibitions and (d) live events.

DCMS regularly engages with businesses and sector representative bodies in order to properly understand the issues being faced as well as to develop means of offering support, including on the issue of insurance provision. The government is also in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation.

We encourage businesses experiencing financial difficulty to research the initiatives in the Government’s support package such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Our schemes are continuously under review to make sure our schemes are accessible, fair and targeted to help those who need it the most.

Some of the support the government has offered includes the unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund - the largest ever one-off investment in culture - to help countless organisations weather the COVID storm

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support teachers wishing to take on leadership positions within schools.

The department is delivering the single biggest programme of teacher development ever undertaken in this country and investing further in the skills and careers of teachers.

We will deliver 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by 2024, giving all teachers and school leaders access to world-class, evidence-based training and professional development at every stage of their career.

This includes supporting school leaders to develop their expertise through delivering three refreshed leadership National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) in Senior Leadership, Headship, and Executive Leadership.

The government is investing £184 million in NPQs in this parliament, and have confirmed that our fully-funded scholarships for leaders at all levels will be continued for the next two years.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to retain senior leaders within education.

To ensure the department continues to retain teachers and leaders, we are building a world-class teacher development system for teachers and school leaders at all levels. The reforms create a golden thread of high-quality, evidence-based training and support running from initial teacher training through to school leadership. The department will deliver 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by 2024.

The department has launched a refreshed suite of fully funded National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for teachers and school leaders. The leadership NPQs will give school leaders the expertise needed to improve teaching quality and pupil outcomes in their schools.

The department has also created an Early Headship Coaching Offer. This is for head teachers in their first five years of headship who are currently undertaking or have recently undertaken the NPQ for headship. The offer forms a targeted package of unassessed support when head teachers are less experienced and most at risk of leaving the profession.

The department is also funding a scheme for school leaders to improve and promote good mental health and wellbeing. The scheme, delivered by the charity Education Support, is providing one-to-one counselling, supervision, and peer support from experts to around 2,000 school leaders. Support is available for those at deputy head level and above in state-funded schools in England.

The education staff wellbeing charter is a set of commitments from the department, Ofsted, schools, and colleges to protect and promote the wellbeing of staff. Through the charter, the department pledges to work with the sector to drive down unnecessary workload, improve access to wellbeing resources, and champion flexible working, among a range of actions to support staff wellbeing.

The department is also taking action to ensure the schools system supports leaders and teachers. We want to spread the benefits of the best multi-academy trusts so that every child learns with the benefits of a strong, supportive family of schools. The department is supporting teachers and leaders to deliver higher standards of behaviour in schools by delivering an ambitious programme of work. This includes publishing the revised behaviour in schools guidance, implementing the department’s £10 million behaviour hubs programme, and delivering the national behaviour survey.

Additionally, building on the success of Oak National Academy’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the department will establish a new arms-length national curriculum body. These resources will ensure high-quality lessons are available nationwide for the benefit of all children. It will free teachers to teach using the best possible resources, reducing workload so teachers can concentrate on delivering lessons, and creating new resources only when there is a reason to do so.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact that providing young people with the opportunities to apply their learning in relevant context has on (a) pupil engagement, (b) levels of persistent absence and (c) pupil attainment; and if his Department will take steps to support more secondary schools to provide such opportunities to apply learning across their curriculum.

Regular school attendance is vital for children’s education, wellbeing and long-term development. Given the disruption already caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the department's focus is on maximising the number of children who regularly attend school.

The department publishes detailed pupil absence data as part of the school census and includes the most recent periods of national lockdown. The latest publication can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-2020-and-spring-2021.

The department also recently published new guidance for schools, trusts and local authorities setting out how we expect them to work together to ensure as many young people are regularly attending school as possible.

The department recognises that enrichment activities play an important role in an engaging school experience and supporting more children to attend. Research shows that engaging in enrichment activities can benefit children’s mental health, social skills, confidence, and general wellbeing. That is why the department is committed to ensuring young people have access to high-quality extra-curricular activities and are supporting a range of initiatives to expand access to these through schools, including Duke of Edinburgh and Cadets.

The government is investing over £200 million a year in the Holiday Activities and Food programme for the next three years. This programme provides healthy meals and enriching activities to children from low-income families, benefiting their health, wellbeing, and learning, and supporting their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To build on this foundation, the department is also supporting schools to navigate the resources available to develop a high-quality extracurricular offer, by providing guidance on how to make these activities a success and working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to help schools ensure their pupils are getting the most out of the National Youth Guarantee.

The department's recent Schools White Paper also outlined our ambitions for the curriculum as a whole. The department is clear that all children should be entitled to take part in sport, music and cultural opportunities. These are an essential part of a broad and ambitious curriculum, and they support children’s attendance and engagement in education.

It is crucial that every school has a well-designed and well-sequenced curriculum which includes the teaching of skills, to ensure children build knowledge in a broad range of subjects before going on to specialise after the age of 16 and develop skills needed for further education and training.

The programmes of study for each national curriculum subject set out the ‘matters, skills, and processes’ to be taught at each key stage. The programmes of study are subject-specific. This ensures that pupils can secure key knowledge in specific subjects, before transferring and applying their understanding to new contexts and real-world problems. Without this secured understanding, pupils are likely to find it difficult to apply their knowledge to new situations and are at risk of developing misconceptions in the process.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the extent to which pupil disengagement with school after lockdowns has contributed to higher than usual pupil absence levels and (b) the role that extra-curricular activities within a school can play in driving up pupil attendance.

Regular school attendance is vital for children’s education, wellbeing and long-term development. Given the disruption already caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the department's focus is on maximising the number of children who regularly attend school.

The department publishes detailed pupil absence data as part of the school census and includes the most recent periods of national lockdown. The latest publication can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-2020-and-spring-2021.

The department also recently published new guidance for schools, trusts and local authorities setting out how we expect them to work together to ensure as many young people are regularly attending school as possible.

The department recognises that enrichment activities play an important role in an engaging school experience and supporting more children to attend. Research shows that engaging in enrichment activities can benefit children’s mental health, social skills, confidence, and general wellbeing. That is why the department is committed to ensuring young people have access to high-quality extra-curricular activities and are supporting a range of initiatives to expand access to these through schools, including Duke of Edinburgh and Cadets.

The government is investing over £200 million a year in the Holiday Activities and Food programme for the next three years. This programme provides healthy meals and enriching activities to children from low-income families, benefiting their health, wellbeing, and learning, and supporting their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To build on this foundation, the department is also supporting schools to navigate the resources available to develop a high-quality extracurricular offer, by providing guidance on how to make these activities a success and working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to help schools ensure their pupils are getting the most out of the National Youth Guarantee.

The department's recent Schools White Paper also outlined our ambitions for the curriculum as a whole. The department is clear that all children should be entitled to take part in sport, music and cultural opportunities. These are an essential part of a broad and ambitious curriculum, and they support children’s attendance and engagement in education.

It is crucial that every school has a well-designed and well-sequenced curriculum which includes the teaching of skills, to ensure children build knowledge in a broad range of subjects before going on to specialise after the age of 16 and develop skills needed for further education and training.

The programmes of study for each national curriculum subject set out the ‘matters, skills, and processes’ to be taught at each key stage. The programmes of study are subject-specific. This ensures that pupils can secure key knowledge in specific subjects, before transferring and applying their understanding to new contexts and real-world problems. Without this secured understanding, pupils are likely to find it difficult to apply their knowledge to new situations and are at risk of developing misconceptions in the process.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to increase the provision of financial education to help support the Levelling Up agenda.

Levelling up is at the heart of the agenda to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and to deliver for every part of the UK. In education, ability is evenly spread but opportunity is not. The department aims to reduce the dependency of people’s education and skills outcomes on where they live by ensuring that in every area children are able to access excellent schools, progress to high quality technical and higher education, and go on into good jobs.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. Finance education forms part of the citizenship national curriculum which can be taught at all key stages and is compulsory at key stages 3 and 4. Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

The department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic knowledge that pupils should be taught. This knowledge is vital, as a strong grasp of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding and skills in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver these subjects, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils. The Money and Pensions Service published financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England, to support school leaders to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools to make it memorable and impactful. This guidance is available here: https://maps.org.uk/2021/11/11/financial-education-guidance-for-primary-and-secondary-schools-in-england/.

The department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as HM Treasury, to consider learning from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help develop open online tests and skills training that enables people to demonstrate they have the right skills needed to join the UK full-fibre workforce.

Through the National Careers Service, we already have the online ‘Skills Health Check’, which enables people to explore the skills they have.

The department also funds a wide range of digital education and training provision, which will support people in a range of digital careers including fibre and broadband roles. This includes:

  • A digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake new improved digital qualifications, up to Level 1, free of charge.
  • New Essential Digital Skills qualifications at entry level and level 1 and reforms to digital Functional Skills Qualifications, based on new national standards which set out the digital skills people need to get on in life and work.
  • A range of high-quality apprenticeships in the digital sector including the Level 4 Network Engineer and the Level 6 Data Scientist apprenticeships.
  • Skills Bootcamps in a range of skills areas, including technical skills such as engineering and broadband installation.
  • A number of digital qualifications included in the Free Courses for Jobs offer.
  • Specific Digital T Levels that support progression to digital occupations and relevant digital skills built into every T Level qualification.
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to schools regarding students diagnosed with long covid.

It is important that children and young people continue to attend their education and childcare providers. Long COVID symptoms can vary and range in severity and will not necessarily impact on pupils’ or students’ ability to attend their education or childcare provider. Most adults, young people, and children who develop COVID-19 resolve within the first four weeks. However, everyone is different and recovery time can vary from one individual to another. Pupils or students absent from their education for a prolonged period due to long COVID should be supported in the same manner as those absent due to other medium to long-term illnesses or medical conditions.

Department for Education guidance states that local authorities must arrange suitable full-time education (or as much education as the child’s health condition allows) for children of compulsory education age who, because of illness, would otherwise not receive suitable education. This should be provided as soon as it is clear that the child will be away from education for 15 days or more, either consecutively or cumulatively. Education providers should liaise with appropriate medical professionals to ensure minimal delay in arranging appropriate provision for the child. If a child is looked-after or previously looked-after, their virtual school head should also be involved in making these arrangements. Further detailed information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-for-children-with-health-needs-who-cannot-attend-school.

The NHS website offers further guidance for those experiencing long COVID, this can be found here: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential impact of the RMT strikes on 21 June 2022 on levels of air pollution in London.

Each year Defra undertakes an air quality assessment across all zones in the UK, including London. This latest report is available here:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/viewonline?year=2020_issue_1&jump=5-1#report_pdf

Changes in transport trends across the UK are considered in our modelling of ambient concentrations, used to supplement our monitoring network in our annual compliance assessments. Monitoring data in London is uploaded and available in near real-time on UK-Air ( https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/).

The impacts of changes in transport activity on the emissions of air pollutants will also be reflected in our National Atmospheric Emissions inventory.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's Action Plan for Animal Welfare, published on 12 May 2021, when he plans to examine the use of cages for laying hens.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 23 March 2022 to the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown, PQ UIN 129858.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ban the use of cages for laying hens.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 23 March 2022 to the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown, PQ UIN 129858.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the European Union's decision to ban the use of cages for farm animals in the European Union by 2027.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 23 March 2022 to the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown, PQ UIN 129860.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made representations to the devolved Administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the use of banning cages for laying hens.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 23 March 2022 to the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown, PQ UIN 129859.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to increase foreign direct investment into (a) Solihull constituency and (b) England.

The Department for International Trade’s regional teams engage with Metro Mayors, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), local authorities, and our overseas network to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in England, supporting 925 single site projects and creating 28,012 new jobs in 2020-21.

The Department leads several activities promoting FDI across the UK through mechanisms such as the Investment Atlas, our High Potential Opportunities Programme, and the GREAT global trade campaign.

We continue to promote Solihull’s investment capabilities through schemes such as Arden Cross. This is one of the UK’s largest development projects, which will be crucial to the Government’s levelling up agenda.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2022 to Question 796, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the licensing authority, Transport for London, is enforcing compliance in the context of unlicensed private hire vehicles continuing to operate in London as a result of regulation 9(14), issued by Transport for London following the Divisional Court’s judgment in December 2021, lacking enforcement power.

Private hire vehicle (PHV) legislation in London requires London PHV operator licence holders to comply with conditions attached to their licence, such as that set by regulation 9(14) of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) (Operators' Licences) Regulations 2000, as amended. If a London PHV operator licence holder fails to comply with a condition of their licence the legislation provides that the licensing authority, Transport for London, can suspend or revoke the licence.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has had discussions with Transport for London to ensure that private hire operators in the capital are compliant following the judgment in Uber London Limited v Transport for London & Others [2021] EWHC 3290 (Admin).

The Government sets the regulatory framework for taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, with licensing authorities responsible for licensing decisions and enforcement. Following the Divisional Court's judgment, Transport for London, the licensing authority for London, has amended its regulations governing private hire vehicle operator licences and in April 2022 issued guidance on complying with the legislation.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to clarify legislation for the rest of the UK following the judgement in Uber London Limited v Transport for London & Others [2021] EWHC 3290 (Admin).

This High Court declaration was on the legislation that applies to private hire vehicle operators in London. Different legislation applies in the rest of the UK. The High Court considered the legislation that applies in the rest of England (except Plymouth) and Wales in reaching its decision on the London legislation, but it did not make a declaration on that legislation. Interpretation of the law is ultimately a matter for the courts and any clarification the Department could give would be couched in such terms.

Taxi and private hire vehicle policy is a devolved matter in all UK nations and any clarification in respect of the legislation that applies in their nation would be a matter for the relevant devolved administrations.

The issue of plying for hire was also considered by the High Court. However, the question of whether a vehicle is plying for hire in particular circumstances is a matter of fact and degree. It is not therefore possible to provide a list of factors which could be sufficiently determinative as to give clear guidance on this matter.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of mandating the compulsory use of helmets for motorists using a quad bike.

The Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1988, which require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, do not apply to quad bikes as they fall outside the definition given of a motor bicycle, which is defined as a “two-wheeled motorcycle”. However, The Highway Code (Rule 83) does include advice that riders and passengers of motor tricycles and quadricycles, also called quad bikes, should wear a protective helmet.

There are no immediate plans to make the wearing of helmets compulsory but we are keeping the position under review; there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration such as, the level of use, the safety of riders in a collision and the availability or otherwise of seat belts.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce DVLA application waiting times in Solihull constituency.

The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is to use its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process paper applications as quickly as possible.

Together with the ending of industrial action, these measures are having a positive impact. The queues are reducing, and customers will continue to see an improving picture in terms of turnaround times.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what is the Housing Benefit administration subsidy allocation for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the 2022-23 financial year.

The allocations of Housing Benefit Administration Subsidy are published annually within Housing Benefit Subsidy Circulars. The allocations for 2022-23 can be found in Circular S6/2022 on www.gov.uk

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department plans to take to support young people aged 16 to 24 in (a) Solihull and (b) England to find employment.

The Plan for Jobs provides a comprehensive package of support for young people, including the Youth Offer and Kickstart.

The Kickstart scheme is dedicated to helping 16 to 24-year olds at risk of long-term unemployment develop their skills and experience through fully funded six-month jobs. As of the 31st January 2022, over 130,000 Kickstart jobs have been started by young people.

The DWP Youth Offer provides intensive work search support to young people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit and in the Intensive Work Search group. It includes the Youth Employment Programme, Youth Employability Coaches for young people with complex needs and additional barriers, and over 150 Youth Hubs across England, Scotland, and Wales.

In Solihull, Support for Schools advisers are engaging with secondary schools across Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC), including supporting a recent careers fair at Solihull College. Solihull Youth Hub in Chelmsley Wood is co-located and co-delivered with SMBC to support young people into employment, education, and training opportunities. We are also working with Solihull Children in Care team to ensure that all 16 to 24-year olds leaving care are included in the Universal Credit advance claim process and receive Work Coach support.

We continue to work with partners to deliver job fairs and Kickstart employer events as part of our commitment to supporting young people into sustainable employment.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were claiming benefits in Solihull constituency in (a) November 2020 and (b) November 2021.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The Department does publish Experimental Statistics on Benefit Combinations and the latest available statistics to May 2021, which can be broken down by parliamentary constituency, are available on the Department’s Stat-Xplore website:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for users of Stat-Xplore is available at:

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

Statistics for a majority of the individual benefits administered by the Department are available at:

Statistics at DWP - Department for Work and Pensions - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Most of these statistics are available by parliamentary constituency on the Stat-Xplore website and in particular, the statistics for People on Universal Credit are available for both November 2020 and November 2021.

The Department also publishes annual benefit expenditure tables and the latest publication by parliamentary constituency covers 2010/11 to 2020/21 and is available at:

Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits for Solihull constituency of her Department's new office at Jago House, Solihull.

The Department has seen an increase in demand for its services and as a result, is rapidly expanding the space available, on a temporary basis.

This will enable more customers to be served and provide them with the support they need, enabling Work Coaches to provide tailored, face-to-face support in a safe and secure environment. This expansion will drive forward our ambitious £30 billion Plan for Jobs, helping people back into the Labour Market right across the UK.

The Department is focusing on locations where they have already been an increased demand for services. The property secured is well positioned in Solihull’s town centre and within close proximity to multiple modes of transport.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policies of the AARS2 genetic disorder; and whether his Department has made funding available for research into that disorder.

We have no plans to make a specific assessment. However, following the publication of the ‘England Rare Diseases Action Plan 2022’ in February 2022, the Department continues to monitor progress on its actions and resolve any barriers to implementation. The second England Rare Diseases Action Plan will be published at the start of 2023 and will report on progress and propose updated and new actions.

The Department funds the majority of research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In the last five years, the NIHR has not funded specific research into AARS2 disorder.

James Morris
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using the forthcoming dementia strategy to encourage the concept of brain health.

We are developing the approach for dementia in England for the next 10 years, which will focus on the specific health and care needs of people living with dementia and their carers, including diagnosis, risk reduction and prevention and research. We are exploring the concept of brain health in encouraging people to reduce their dementia risk.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prioritise dementia through the National Dementia Strategy.

We will set out plans for dementia in England shortly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ensure that the 10-Year Cancer Plan includes specific targets on less survivable cancers, including brain cancer, to ensure that progress is made on survival rates for those cancers.

Officials are currently analysing the responses received to the call for evidence to develop the 10 Year Cancer Plan. The Plan will address all cancer types, including rarer and less survivable cancers such as brain cancer.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ensure that the 10-Year Cancer Plan commits to providing access to a clinical nurse specialist for all brain tumour patients.

Officials are analysing the responses received to the call for evidence to develop the 10 Year Cancer Plan. The Plan will set out how we will improve cancer services and further details will be available in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the performance of contracts issued by NHS England to British Sign Language interpretation providers.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned the North of England Commissioning Support Unit to undertake an independent review of commissioning arrangements for British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting services in the National Health Service in England. The review has concluded and NHS England and NHS Improvement anticipate that its report will be published shortly.

NHS England issued ‘Guidance for Commissioners: Interpreting and Translation Services in Primary Care in September 2018’, which aims to provide practical advice to commissioners including details of the legal position, principles for high quality interpreting and translation services and commissioning and contracting considerations. While this guidance was initially provided for primary medical care services, it states that commissioners may find the contents applicable to other settings, such as other primary care settings or hospital sites.

No specific assessment of the performance of contracts issued to BSL provider has been made.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance NHS England has issued to issues to healthcare Trusts on accessibility of British Sign Language interpreters for patients with hearing impairments.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned the North of England Commissioning Support Unit to undertake an independent review of commissioning arrangements for British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting services in the National Health Service in England. The review has concluded and NHS England and NHS Improvement anticipate that its report will be published shortly.

NHS England issued ‘Guidance for Commissioners: Interpreting and Translation Services in Primary Care in September 2018’, which aims to provide practical advice to commissioners including details of the legal position, principles for high quality interpreting and translation services and commissioning and contracting considerations. While this guidance was initially provided for primary medical care services, it states that commissioners may find the contents applicable to other settings, such as other primary care settings or hospital sites.

No specific assessment of the performance of contracts issued to BSL provider has been made.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department issues to GP practices on providing face to face appointments for patients.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s guidance states that general practices must offer face to face appointments alongside remote appointments, both by telephone and online, and that clinical appropriateness and patient preference should be taken into account. Online tools must always be provided in addition to, rather than as a replacement for, other channels for accessing general practice and practice receptions should be open so that patients without access to telephone or online services are not disadvantaged.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of average telephone waiting times within Primary Care Networks.

No estimate has been made.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure Parkinson’s research is fully funded in the UK.

The government has committed to invest at least £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. The Government will provide this funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The NIHR and UKRI welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including Parkinson’s disease. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the availability of covid-19 vaccines in Solihull.

As of 27 January 2022, there are 32 walk-in sites across Solihull and Birmingham. In Solihull, two vaccination centres are available without the need to book an appointment, as well as regular dedicated sessions for 12 to 15 year olds. Local vaccination services, community pharmacies and Primary Care Network led sites are operational in the Solihull area.

As of 27 January 2022, over 84% of the population aged 12 years old and over in Solihull had received their first dose, 79% aged over 12 had received their second dose and over 69% of those aged 18 years old and over had received either their third primary or booster dose.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the length telephone waiting times for primary care networks in 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with a number of areas to test advanced telephony requirements and specifications, which will improve telephone capacity. NHS England and NHS Improvement intend to share learning from these areas to support practices across the country to improve telephony in primary care.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a one-off bonus for NHS frontline staff who have worked during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has confirmed it will provide a pay increase to National Health Service staff, while uplifts in the wider public sector have been paused. In doing so, the Government is acknowledging the extraordinary work of NHS staff through the pandemic.

The Government has submitted its written evidence to the independent pay review bodies and has asked them to report in the late spring. We will carefully consider their recommendations.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data is available on mental health outcomes for care leavers.

National data on mental health outcomes for care leavers is not currently available. NHS England and NHS Improvement are carrying out exploratory work to include data on care leavers in the Mental Health Outcomes programme. In order to better understand outcomes for children and young people, including care leavers, NHS England is also working with children and young people’s mental health services to drive the use of outcome measures and flow of this data to its national data set.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the NHS has to improve its monitoring of the mental health outcomes of care leavers.

National data on mental health outcomes for care leavers is not currently available. NHS England and NHS Improvement are carrying out exploratory work to include data on care leavers in the Mental Health Outcomes programme. In order to better understand outcomes for children and young people, including care leavers, NHS England is also working with children and young people’s mental health services to drive the use of outcome measures and flow of this data to its national data set.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to work with the Department for Education on improving mental health outcomes for care leavers.

We are planning with the Department for Education to undertake a national mental health survey examining the mental health of looked after children and how services can better support improved mental health for this group. We will include care leavers in this survey as we recognise they may be particularly at-risk of experiencing a mental health problem.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what bespoke mental health services are available for care leavers.

We have asked children and young people’s mental health services to increase contact with vulnerable groups, including looked-after children and care leavers and to work together to better meet the needs of 0-25-year olds, including those with mental health problems not currently supported by existing services.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to the development of a comprehensive mental health offer for children, young people and young adults, including care leavers. We are working to ensure that by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 children and young people will be able to access support via National Health Service-funded mental health services and school or college based mental health support teams.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when optician practices will be able to reopen during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement issued guidance on 1 April suspending all routine National Health Service eye care services, during the height of the pandemic. Essential services such as the remote provision of glasses needed by patients to function, have continued to be provided, from a limited number of optical practices.

Around 350 optical practices are commissioned to provide urgent/emergency eye care services by clinical commissioning groups as part of moving services out of hospital. These have also continued to be provided.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are now urgently considering when it will be appropriate to return to the full provision of the NHS sight testing service.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with NHT Trusts to widen access to covid-19 testing to birthing partners of expectant mothers to allow them more access to the birthing facility and more time with the mother and new baby.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare services have been working hard to support patients and their families and carers, while still ensuring that these services are safe. The National Health Service has made arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during this pandemic.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention relating to Jagtar Singh Johal, what diplomatic and consulate support her Department has provided to Jagtar Singh Johal and his family.

The UK Government takes all allegations of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, very seriously and we regularly raise Mr Johal's case directly with the Government of India at official and Ministerial level. The Prime Minister raised Mr Johal's case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 April as part of a wide-ranging discussion. The Foreign Secretary last raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on 31 March 2022 and met with Mr Johal's family to discuss their concerns on 9 June. Consular staff have attended a number of hearings in Mr Johal's case in an observer capacity, and did so on 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 June. This Government will continue to look to raise our concerns about Mr Johal's case at all appropriate opportunities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what safeguards are in place to protect the data of UK citizens in the event that Amazon Web Services becomes subject to a US law enforcement request in relation to the data its servers will hold as part of the recently reported GCHQ cloud computing services contract.

The national security community does not routinely avow details of the technology partnerships it enters into. Releasing details concerning national security technology can have significant security implications as would be the case in this scenario. Any contract can be fully scrutinised through the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

We have a long-standing, 75-year intelligence relationship with the United States, which is invaluable to each country's national security. The alliance has clear guidelines for how we share communication, translation, analysis, and code breaking information, and has helped protect our countries and allies for decades. Any move to cloud does not change this agreement.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential ways the UK cloud sector can become involved in the supply chain for Amazon Web Services' cloud computing contract with GCHQ.

The national security community does not routinely avow details of the technology partnerships it enters into. Releasing details concerning national security technology can have significant security implications as would be the case in this scenario. Any contract can be fully scrutinised through the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

We have a long-standing, 75-year intelligence relationship with the United States, which is invaluable to each country's national security. The alliance has clear guidelines for how we share communication, translation, analysis, and code breaking information, and has helped protect our countries and allies for decades. Any move to cloud does not change this agreement.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential positive impact of GCHQ’s cloud computing contract with Amazon Web Services on the domestic cloud sector.

The national security community does not routinely avow details of the technology partnerships it enters into. Releasing details concerning national security technology can have significant security implications as would be the case in this scenario. Any contract can be fully scrutinised through the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

We have a long-standing, 75-year intelligence relationship with the United States, which is invaluable to each country's national security. The alliance has clear guidelines for how we share communication, translation, analysis, and code breaking information, and has helped protect our countries and allies for decades. Any move to cloud does not change this agreement.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assistance the UK Government is providing to the Australian Government while it tackles the effects of the wildfires in that country.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon have been in contact with their Australian counterparts to offer our condolences and stress our readiness to help in whatever way they need.

As I set out in my Oral Statement of 9 January in the House of Commons, we have deployed a team of UK experts to Australia.

The team includes a senior member of UK Fire and Rescue Service, a medical specialist in trauma and mental health, and a military liaison officer specialising in crisis response.

They will work with Australian counterparts to establish what further UK support will be of most use to Australian emergency responders, and ensure that such contributions are fully integrated with Australian efforts.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will make an assessment of the economic impact of the RMT strikes on 21 June 2022.

HM Treasury, as part of its normal activities, carefully monitors the UK economy, and any risks to it, and remains ready to respond to challenges.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to extend the Term Funding Scheme to non-bank lenders to improve alternative financing options.

The Term Funding Scheme (TFS) is a monetary policy tool of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England. Therefore, it is not appropriate for the Government to comment on its conduct or effectiveness.

The separation of fiscal and monetary policy is a key feature of the UK’s economic framework, and essential for the effective delivery of monetary policy.

We will continue to work with non-bank lenders to support their participation in the new Recovery Loan scheme following the closure of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to mandate large bank investment through social lenders such as Community Development Finance Institutions.

The Treasury recognises the vital role that non-banks, including Community Development Financial institutions (CDFIs), and challenger banks play in the provision of credit to SMEs. I would like to take the opportunity to reaffirm that the Government recognises the vital role that CDFIs play in the provision of credit to SMEs and is grateful for the way the sector has responded to the current crisis. It is worth noting the Government remains committed to promoting competition and widening the funding options available to UK businesses.

Whilst there are no plans at this time to mandate large bank investment through social lenders like CDFIs, I should be clear that all lenders accredited under the government-backed Recovery Loan Scheme can benefit from the transfer and assignment of the guarantee, which is something that alternative lenders requested to support their ability to access funding.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the British Business Bank's Regional Angels programme will be extended through funding from his Department.

The British Business Bank’s Regional Angels Programme provides early-stage equity capital to smaller businesses with high growth potential across the UK. The British Business Bank’s funding for the next three years will be set out at the Spending Review.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that support measures for the contingency insurance industry includes sporting events.

At this stage of the pandemic it is still difficult to provide the certainty the sector needs to plan. It is therefore not the right time to consider an insurance-based solution. However, we are closely monitoring the situation and as the public health situation improves and the path to re-opening becomes clearer, we will work with DCMS to review how to communicate that path and support the sector, including sporting events, to safely reopen.

I am aware that many large events have long lead-in times, so potential support will need to be considered before public health restrictions are relaxed. Officials are working to understand what a viable roadmap would be for the reopening of the events sector and therefore the right point for considering potential support options, including insurance-based solutions.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing non-profit sports organisations (a) that are and (b) that are not VAT registered to claim back VAT during the covid-19 outbreak.

Under the current VAT rules, bodies, including non-profit organisations, that have a turnover in excess of £85,000 must register for VAT. However, bodies that are below the VAT registration threshold may register for VAT voluntarily.

Bodies that are VAT registered are required to charge VAT on their taxable business activity and are also able to recover any VAT on costs that they incur in the course of that taxable business activity.

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing temporary VAT registration for non-profit sports organisations.

Under the current VAT rules, bodies that have a turnover in excess of £85,000 must register for VAT. However, bodies that are below the VAT registration threshold may register for VAT voluntarily.

Bodies that are VAT registered are required to charge VAT and are also able to recover any VAT costs that they incur in the course of their taxable business activities.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the merits of transferring the responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands to the Mayor of the West Midlands.

The transfer of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) functions to a combined authority mayor can offer wider levers to prevent crime.

Mayors with broader responsibilities, including PCC functions, can enhance collaboration, joint working, and align public service delivery strategies to boost local outcomes.

With an expanded role comes a higher public profile, visibility, and greater ability to bring about local change. As set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, where possible, the Government will look to have combined authority mayors exercise PCC functions where boundaries align and will take steps to remove barriers to more combined authority mayors taking on these functions.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking alongside children's charities to safeguard victims of child abuse following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Leadership on child safeguarding policy is principally shared between the Home Office, Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care. We have worked closely across Government to ensure we learn what needs to change in the light of Arthur's tragic death.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has been asked to deliver an independent review identifying what went wrong in this terrible case, and what needs to be improved nationally as a result. We have also commissioned a Joint Targeted Area Inspection to examine how all the relevant local agencies are working together to protect and safeguard children in Solihull.

The Home Office are supporting the police to develop their understanding of the complexity, sensitivity and risk involved in working with vulnerable victims of abuse and exploitation, through:

  • funding the College of Policing’s training for senior police officers on safeguarding and public protection issues,
  • funding the police-led Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme, which identifies and promotes good practice and effective interventions to address vulnerability.

Government also works closely with voluntary sector partners to identify national trends and to ensure sufficient support to children and families at the local level. This was particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Government has provided additional funding to boost the support provided by children’s charities, including:

  • £7.6 million for national children’s charities who offered safeguarding services for vulnerable children.
  • £11.4 million since June 2020 to the See, Hear, Respond programme, which helped vulnerable children and young people whose usual support networks have been impacted by the pandemic.
  • £1.8 million to expand and promote the NSPCC helpline for adults to use to report safeguarding concerns.
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds data on the number of local authorities in England and Wales that have introduced Public Space Protection Order's to prevent the use of psycho-active substances.

The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced powers, such as Public Space Protection Orders, which the police and local councils can use to prevent people from taking intoxicating substances, including psychoactive substances, in specified areas.

Due to the localised nature of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, data on the use of the powers from the Act locally is not collated centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the funding settlement will be for West Midlands Police in the financial year 2022-23; and whether that settlement represents an increase from the 2021-22 financial year settlement.

The provisional funding settlement for West Midlands Police will be up to £694.9 million in 2022-23; an increase of up to £39.4 million when compared to 2021-22.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to use UK fire resources to assist Australia in tackling the bushfires in that country.

Our High Commission and Consulates General are maintaining close contact with Australian authorities at federal and state level, exploring how the UK can support them and what assistance they would find most useful.

An initial expert team of specialists from defence, fire and health has been sent to Australia, as announced in the statement to the House on 9 January by Heather Wheeler, Minister for Asia and the Pacific. Its members have been working with Australian counterparts to establish what further UK support will be of most use to Australian emergency responders, and ensure that such contributions are fully integrated into the Australian response.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of awarding a campaign service medal to armed forces personnel who served on Operation Grapple between 1956 and 1958.

The Independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) was re-established in 2019 to offer advice to the Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals (the HD Committee) in the Cabinet Office on historic military medals claims, including cases which may not have been previously considered or where new evidence has emerged. The HD Committee is the principal body with responsibility for making recommendations on honours, awards, and medals.

The outcome of the review by the AMSC into the case of medallic recognition for all those who participated in the British Nuclear Test Programme during the period 1952 to 1991 was published by the Cabinet Office on 10 December 2020. The AMSC concluded that the case did not meet the level of risk and rigour which is generally required for the award of a campaign medal or clasp and the Ministry of Defence respects the findings of the independent review. This decision in no way diminishes the contribution of veterans who participated in the Nuclear Test Programme, and the Government continues to acknowledge and be grateful to all Service personnel who participated.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to provide playgrounds that are accessible for children with disabilities.

Through our national design guidance we encourage public spaces, including play areas, to be designed in an accessible and inclusive way.

The Local Government Finance Settlement makes available £54.1 billion in 2022/23 for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. The majority of this funding is un-ringfenced in recognition of local authorities being best placed to understand local priorities, such as local playgrounds.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many appeals HM Planning Inspectorate received in 2021.

The number of appeals received by the Planning Inspectorate in the calendar year 2021 can be found in the January monthly statistics via this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1048275/FINAL_Planning_Inspectorate_Statistical_Release_January_2022__002_.pdf

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding was provided to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council through his Department's Local Council Tax Support Administration Subsidy Grant.

On 18 May 2022, the Government made payments to councils for the Local Council Tax Support Administration Subsidy Grant 2022-23. The allocations for this are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/localised-council-tax-support-administration-subsidy-grant-2022-to-2023 . Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council received £248,864.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will publish the data it holds on the number of households in the Solihull constituency that have benefited from his Department's Help to Buy scheme.

Between 1 April 2013 and 31 December 2021 1,112 homes were purchased in Solihull using the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme.

Further data on the number of households in England which have benefitted from the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme (including households in the Solihull constituency) can be found in the latest HtB Equity Loan scheme statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/help-to-buy-equity-loan-scheme-data-to-31-december-2021/help-to-buy-equity-loan-scheme-data-to-31-december-2021

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding his Department awarded to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

In England, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will be delivered over the strategic geographies of Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority, and district councils and unitary authorities elsewhere.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is the lead authority for the strategic geography covering the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and will be responsible for delivering UKSPF. Its UKSPF allocation amounts to £105 million over the three years (including the Multiply programme).

The allocations for the Fund have been published on GOV.UK and include how allocations for strategic geographies have been reached.

While the lead authority will have overall responsibility for the Fund, individual local authorities may take responsibility for a particular UKSPF intervention or policy, where this reflects the right approach to local needs.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to reduce rough sleeping in (a) Solihull constituency and (b) the West Midlands.

The Government is committed to ending rough sleeping and has made excellent progress on its manifesto commitment. The most recent snapshot published in February 2022 showed the number of people sleeping rough is at an 8-year low and has almost halved since 2017. By December 2021, we had also helped over 40,000 people into longer-term accommodation.

The West Midlands, as well as Solihull specifically, have successfully bid for Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) funding in 21/22. The West Midlands region was awarded £8.168 million of which Solihull was awarded £271,870. Bids for RSI funding in 2022-25 are currently being considered. West Midlands and Solihull have also been successful in bidding to deliver homes through the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP). RSAP's key objective is to provide 6,000 move-on homes and accompanying support services to those who are rough sleeping, or who have a history of sleeping rough. The West Midlands Combined Authority is also one of three sub-regional Housing First pilot areas.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding has been allocated to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the recent Changing Places Toilets fund.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council asked for £40,000 to build one Changing Places Toilet. They have been awarded the full amount that they requested.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many (a) individuals and (b) organisations in Solihull constituency that have signed up to his Department's Homes for Ukraine scheme.

A breakdown of visas issued for Homes for Ukraine, by local authority has been published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homes-for-ukraine-sponsorship-scheme-numbers-of-visa-applications.

Data on sponsors by local authority is not yet available.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding has been allocated to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the recent Local Council Tax Support Administration Subsidy grant.

On 31 March, the Government published provisional allocations for the Local Council Tax Support Administration Subsidy Grant 2022-23. These allocations are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/localised-council-tax-support-administration-subsidy-grant-2022-to-2023. The provisional allocation for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council is £248,864. Final payments will be confirmed and made to billing authorities shortly.

26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will confirm the provisional allocation of the New Homes Bonus to be awarded to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the 2022-23 financial year.

As part of the Provisional Local Government Finance settlement, we announced a new round of New Homes Bonus Allocations for 2022/23. Final allocations will be announced as part of the wider Local Government Finance Settlement shortly.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding was allocated to the West Midlands region as part of the Windrush Day Grant Scheme in 2021.

The Windrush Day Grant Scheme provides £500,000 per year to organisations across England working with the community, to encourage a shared understanding of the Windrush story through education, celebration and recognition. The 2021 Windrush Day Grant Scheme allocated £42,720 funding to organisations based in the West Midlands. These organisations were the Birmingham Museum Trust, Citizens for Change, Equality and Inclusion Partnership (Equip) and Telford African and Afro-Caribbean Resource Centre.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when his Department will lay a copy of the Levelling Up White Paper in the House of Commons.

Levelling up is a transformative agenda and the Department’s priority is to produce a White Paper which matches our ambition, building on existing action we are already taking across Government and setting out a new policy regime that will drive change for years to come.

The Levelling Up White Paper was published earlier today.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding was allocated to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the Getting Building Fund in 2021.

Within the West Midlands, the Getting Building Fund was allocated to the West Midlands Combined Authority, to a total of £66 million. The full detail of the Fund can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/getting-building-fund.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding will be allocated from the Domestic Abuse Act (new burdens) Fund to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the financial year 2022-23.

My Department will announce the funding allocations for all local authorities in England, including Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, for the support in safe accommodation duties in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 in 2022/23 as soon as possible.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much Homelessness Prevention Grant funding has been allocated to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the financial year 2022-23.

The Government is committed to fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act and reducing homelessness.

In December 2021 we announced the 2022/23 Homelessness Prevention Grant allocation to give councils early funding certainty for the next year.  This £316 million funding boost will support households in England who are homeless or at risk of losing their home. Councils will use the funding to help them find a new home, access support for unexpected evictions and secure temporary accommodation where needed.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council will receive £890,660 Homelessness Prevention Grant funding for the year 2022/23.

This is part of £2 billion in the next three years to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping within this parliament.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on its allocation of £20 million towards a potential independence referendum in 2023.

The UK Government is clear that now is not the time to talk about another referendum. Instead, our engagement with the Scottish Government needs to be focused on the collective challenges we face - that means, for example, tackling the cost of living, supporting the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees and growing our economy.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the 2022 fishing catch limits agreed with the EU and Norway.

The UK Government engages extensively with the Scottish Government on all fisheries matters, including recent negotiations with the EU and Norway to establish catch limits for shared stocks for 2022.

My Department has held regular meetings with Defra to ensure Scotland's interests were fully represented. The deal between the EU-UK-Norway has given the UK increased catch levels on Whiting, Herring and Haddock, and the deal between the UK and Norway achieved a great outcome for the Scottish fleet, gaining greater access to Norwegian waters.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland