Julie Elliott Portrait

Julie Elliott

Labour - Sunderland Central

First elected: 6th May 2010


Regulatory Reform
2nd Mar 2020 - 20th May 2021
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
12th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change)
7th Oct 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
European Scrutiny Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
24th Oct 2011 - 4th Nov 2013


Department Event
Thursday 18th April 2024
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Apr 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Building Societies Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hosie. I thank all hon. and right hon. Members for …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Haughton Academy
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) charities and (b) other bodies were involved in the organisation …
Early Day Motions
Monday 20th September 2021
Women in Football
That this House welcomes Women in Football’s new campaign #GetOnside; echoes the campaign’s call for better gender equality in the …
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Building Societies Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision about the funding of building societies and the assimilation of the law relating to companies …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th October 2023
8. Miscellaneous
From 25 September 2023, Governor, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Foreign, Commonwealth & …
EDM signed
Friday 26th January 2024
Pension restitution for women born in the 1950s
That this House welcomes the positive interventions from so many hon. Members from across the House on behalf of women …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 6th September 2022
Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to amend the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 to allow leave to appeal an unspent conviction where there has …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Julie Elliott has voted in 644 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Julie Elliott Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(7 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Julie Elliott's debates

Sunderland Central Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We would like the Government to ban all animal testing UK, including for the development of cosmetics, household products and medicines. Alternatives need to be actively funded. Many products that are tested on animals end up not being suitable for humans. Animal testing is outmoded and should end.

The Government must recognise the urgent need to use animal-free science and publish a clear and ambitious action plan with timetables and milestones to drive the phase-out of animal experiments. As well as preventing animal suffering, this will benefit public health and business.

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Julie Elliott

8th January 2024
Julie Elliott signed this EDM on Friday 26th January 2024

Pension restitution for women born in the 1950s

Tabled by: Kim Johnson (Labour - Liverpool, Riverside)
That this House welcomes the positive interventions from so many hon. Members from across the House on behalf of women born in the 1950s who have suffered pensions loss through the targeting of their pension rights; pays tribute to constituents and campaigners in their ongoing fight for justice; recalls that …
87 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 41
Scottish National Party: 25
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 5
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Alliance: 1
Conservative: 1
23rd October 2023
Julie Elliott signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 23rd October 2023

Tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton

Tabled by: Ian Lavery (Labour - Wansbeck)
That this House notes with sorrow the passing of Ashington born World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton; further notes Bobby’s successful career with Manchester United for whom he played between 1956 and 1973 winning the English First Division three times, the FA Cup and the European Cup; notes Sir Bobby’s …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Julie Elliott's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Julie Elliott, 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.


Julie Elliott has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Julie Elliott has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Julie Elliott


A Bill to make provision about the funding of building societies and the assimilation of the law relating to companies and the law relating to building societies.

Commons - 80%

Last Event - Report Stage
Friday 23rd February 2024

286 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2022 to Question 61995 on Ticketmaster, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of dynamic pricing on access to cultural events.

We are committed to supporting fair and transparent ticket pricing and tackling unacceptable behaviour in this market.

As set out in our reply to Question 61995, we believe that ticket pricing strategies are ultimately a matter for event organisers and ticketing platforms, providing they comply with relevant legislation, particularly regarding transparency with customers on how tickets are priced, in order to help consumers make a fair and informed decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2022 to Question 61995 on Ticketmaster, whether her Department plans to take steps to help protect customers from increasing prices as a result of dynamic pricing.

We are committed to supporting fair and transparent ticket pricing and tackling unacceptable behaviour in this market.

As set out in our reply to Question 61995, we believe that ticket pricing strategies are ultimately a matter for event organisers and ticketing platforms, providing they comply with relevant legislation, particularly regarding transparency with customers on how tickets are priced, in order to help consumers make a fair and informed decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) charities and (b) other bodies were involved in the organisation of the Prime Minister's visit to Haughton Academy in Darlington on 29 January 2024.

As has been the practice under successive administrations, official visits by the Prime Minister are organised by his or her office - in this case, liaising directly with the Academy.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much funding his Department has (a) budgeted for and (b) spent on software updates to legacy computer systems in each of the last three years.

Most of the systems within Cabinet Office operate on the basis of updates being provided within the licence costs. As such there is no specific budget or spend for updates.

The Cabinet Office employs the Legacy IT Assessment Risk Framework, a standardised methodology designed by the Central Digital and Data Office, to assess the risks associated with legacy digital technology assets across His Majesty's Government. The highest category of risk within the framework is known as ‘red-rated’. This approach enables the Cabinet Office to generate a prioritised overview of our legacy technology, clearly highlighting assets that necessitate remediation plans and the allocation of suitable funding for implementation.

Where we have allocated funding to develop, sustain or migrate legacy systems of our Red Rated Systems we have:

  1. Budgeted £21,405,400 over the last three years and;

  2. Spending within that timeframe has been consistent with the budget.

In addition, the Cabinet Office is currently refining its approach to the definition and management of Legacy Systems.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's data on expenditure over £500 for September 2023, what the purpose of the hospitality event held at The Botanist, Sheffield on 14 September 2023 was; how much was spent on alcoholic beverages; and how many people attended that event.

The purpose of the event was to bring national government and local authority communication directors together to improve joint working, and complied with departmental hospitality guidance.

The event was booked for 24 people with a set menu that included a single complimentary drink. The venue was secured free of charge.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government Property Agency Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23, published on 14 July 2023, HC 1724, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the progress of the hub project entitled Birmingham 3; which Department the project relates to; and how many jobs will be relocated to Birmingham as part of that project.

The Government is committed to launching new Hubs across the UK including in Birmingham, and commercially sensitive discussions regarding prospective solutions for Birmingham 3 are ongoing. The Government has committed to relocate over 1,150 roles to Birmingham from London by March 2025 with over 850 roles already relocated.

Two Hubs are already in operation in Birmingham at 23 Stephenson Street, supporting 1,607 full time equivalent roles and 21 client departments, as well as 3 Arena Central, supporting 4,000 full time equivalent roles from HMRC, VOA and DWP.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government Property Agency Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23, published on 14 July 2023, HC 1724, whether he had discussions with relevant stakeholders prior to the termination of the Government Hub projects set out in that report.

No Government Hub projects have been cancelled. The GPA works with many stakeholders as part of its Government Hubs Programme, with a range of factors taken into account when making decisions on potential locations and solutions. These include demand, future need, economic benefits and funding. The Hubs Programme supports the Governments’ priorities of Levelling Up and Places for Growth.

Good progress is being made on the Hubs Programme with HMRC delivering fourteen Hubs under Phase 1. The GPA is leading Phase 2 and has opened three Hubs in Birmingham, Peterborough and London with four further Hubs in Bristol, Croydon, Darlington and Manchester in delivery. Market searches and commercial negotiations continue to source appropriate solutions for further locations. As these locations are agreed, further announcements will be made.



Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many leak inquiries the Cabinet Office undertook in the last year; and what the outcomes of those inquiries were.

It is government policy not to comment on the details of leak investigations.

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he will update the List of Ministerial Responsibilities.

A revised List of Ministerial Responsibilities will be published in due course. In the meantime, departments are updating their ministers' pages on GOV.UK which also include portfolio information.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Secretary of State for Education who served from 5 to 7 July 2022 will be awarded the statutory resignation pay award of three months’ salary for her time served as Secretary of State.

The Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 sets out the detail and circumstances under which former Ministers are eligible for a severance payment. Any Minister, regardless of the length of time they have served in post, who is below the age of 65 and who has not been otherwise reappointed to a Ministerial position within 3 weeks of their last day of service, is eligible for a severance payment of 25% of their annual claimed salary at the time at which they ceased to hold office.

The above position will apply to the former Secretary of State for Education as it would for any other Minister that has left office. Departments routinely publish the details of any loss of office payments made to former Ministers within their Annual Report & Accounts.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of veterans who have died from suicide in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer given to PQ 88289 on 21 September 2020.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the energy support provided to the (a) sports and (b) leisure industries.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) provides a discount on the wholesale element of gas and electricity bills to ensure that eligible businesses, including sport or leisure facilities, who receive their energy from licensed suppliers, are protected from high energy costs over winter. The HMT-led review of the EBRS took into account the many contributions from the private sector, trade associations, the voluntary sector and other types of organisations. The review recognised that sport or leisure facilities may continue to experience high energy bills which is why the Government will continue to provide support to eligible non-domestic customers through the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme which will run from April until March 2024.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an assessment of the impact of the rise in energy costs on (a) cultural, (b) sports and (c) leisure facilities.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) provides a discount on the wholesale element of gas and electricity bills to ensure that all eligible businesses, including cultural, sport or leisure facilities, who receive their energy from licensed suppliers, are protected from high energy costs over the winter period. We recognise that organisations such as cultural, sport or leisure facilities may continue to experience high energy bills which is why we will continue to provide support to eligible non-domestic customers through the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme which will run from April until March 2024.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made on the effectiveness of energy support available for industries with high energy intensity that do not qualify for the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries scheme.

The HMT-led review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme took account of many contributions from the private sector, trade associations, the voluntary sector and other types of organisations. Trade and energy intensity assessments were based on ONS and BEIS data. These thresholds have been set at sectors falling above the 80th percentile for energy intensity, and 60th percentile for trade intensity, plus any sectors eligible for the existing energy compensation and exemption schemes. Industries with high energy intensity not on the list of eligible Standard Industrial Classification will continue to get support through the Energy Bill Discount Scheme that runs from April 2023 to March 2024.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will publish his Department’s assessments of (a) energy intensity and (b) trade intensity for all sectors on the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries scheme.

There are currently no plans to publish the assessments of energy and trade intensity of sectors. The assessment took place as part of the HMT review into the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and were based on ONS and BEIS data. All sectors that met the threshold of being above the 80th percentile for energy intensity, and 60th percentile for trade intensity, plus any sectors eligible for the existing energy compensation and exemption schemes, are eligible for the enhanced support under the Energy Bill Discount Scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to her Department's press release entitled Huawei legal notices issued, published on 13 October 2022, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of that decision.

No public funding has been issued to telecoms operators to support the implementation of the legal notices issued in respect of Huawei.

The Impact Assessment published alongside the Telecommunications (Security) Bill estimated that the costs of monitoring compliance with the national security power, under which the legal notices were issued, would be between £7 million and £11.7 million over the period 2020-2029. This includes between £1.7 million and £2.8 million for the Department, and between £5.4 million and £8.9 million for Ofcom.

Last year, Ofcom was awarded £21m in additional funding to be spent over the subsequent three years (22/23, 23/24 and 24/25) to reflect its additional responsibilities under the Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021. The funding is ring-fenced for telecoms security. The majority of the funding is to support Ofcom’s compliance and enforcement of the Telecommunications (Security Measures) Regulations 2022 and Telecommunications Security Code of Practice 2022, but it also includes resources required to respond to any monitoring directions issued by DSIT in relation to designated vendor directions.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what her Department's policy is on the regulation of (a) artificial intelligence and (b) machine learning.

We published our AI Regulation White Paper on 29 March, which sets out five cross-cutting principles regulators should apply when considering the use of AI in their own sectors. The principles are: (i) safety, security and robustness, (ii) appropriate transparency and explainability, (iii) fairness, (iv) accountability and governance, (v) contestability and redress.

Our principles-based approach to AI regulation is focused on outcomes and is designed to manage risk and enhance trust while also allowing innovation to flourish. The proposals include the introduction of a statutory duty on regulators in time.

The white paper also proposes a range of new central functions, including a horizon scanning function intended to anticipate and assess emerging risks. This will complement the existing work undertaken by regulators and other government departments to identify and address risks arising from AI. The consultation closed on 21 June, and the Government will update on the proposals in its response.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on enhancing regulation of (a) commercial and (b) experimental technologies for (i) marine and (ii) outer space experiential excursions.

MARINE EXCURSIONS

The Government can only regulate vessels in UK waters, and UK-flagged vessels wherever they are in the world. There are no regulations covering deep-sea submersibles used in international waters, and there is only one submersible listed on the UK flag. No non-UK-flagged manned civilian submersibles operate in the UK.

The Government does not have plans to review the UK regulatory regime here.

OUTER SPACE EXCURSIONS

The Space Industry Act 2018 (the 2018 Act) and Space Industry Regulations 2021 (the 2021 Regulations) provides the legislative framework for the licensing of space activities, sub-orbital activities, and associated activities carried out in the UK, including sub-orbital missions involving human occupants.

However, the Government does not have plans at present to permit, and therefore has not commenced provisions in the 2018 Act for, the licensing of orbital spaceflight involving human occupants; or the licensing of spaceflight activities involving hypersonic (or any other experimental) transport from one point to another (A to B).

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent discussions she has had with external stakeholders on (a) Artificial Intelligence and (b) machine learning; and what plans she has for further discussions.

The Government recognises the importance of engaging a broad community of stakeholders in the development of policy on artificial intelligence and machine learning. In May this year, the Prime Minister and I met with leading global AI labs – Anthropic, Google Deepmind, and Open AI, as well as a number of UK-led firms, many of which are doing cutting edge research and development, including the foundation models that underpin popular services such as chatGPT. Engagement has continued since then, and I am pleased that Ministers met with businesses, academics and civil society during London Tech Week and TechNExt festival in Newcastle. Prior to this, in preparation for the AI Regulation White Paper published in March, my officials engaged with or received feedback from over 130 different stakeholders and we have since continued with significant engagement as the policy develops.

Throughout this all, such meetings help us to understand the wide range of views across the AI ecosystem and foster a responsible approach to governance and development that addresses risks while delivering innovation and growth.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been allocated under the ECO4 to (a) Sunderland Central constituency and (b) the North East in 2022.

The Government does not hold data on how much funding has been allocated through ECO by region but does publish data on the number of measures installed through the scheme. A breakdown by region and Parliamentary constituency can be found in tables 3.3 and 3.6 respectively in the latest Household Energy Efficiency release. Data on the number of measures installed under ECO4 will be published in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) adequacy of the process in place to transfer energy credit from liquidated energy suppliers to the customers' new supplier.

Protecting the credit balances of domestic customers when energy companies cease trading is a priority for both Government and Ofgem, who manage the service transfer under the Supplier of Last Resort process.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department has provided to mental health research and innovation programmes in the North East in each of the last two years.

The Department committed £1.81 million in 19-20 and £1.17 million in 20-21 to research projects related to mental health that took place in the North East of England. This includes research at Newcastle University which is looking at the effect of substance misuse by parents on children and research on the shift to home-based working in the pandemic, including its impact on mental health.

In addition, UKRI has recently made a £24 million investment into seven multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research programmes, across the UK, focussed on adolescent mental health. This includes research which will focus on the wellbeing of students at university where the rate of mental health conditions is rising. The project includes a co-investigator based at Newcastle University with some of the research taking place at the university.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to update copyright law in the music industry.

The Government has no specific plans to update copyright law in the music industry.

However, the Government is aware of the current debate around music streaming revenues and is following it closely. Any change in the law would need to be justified by robust evidence, so we welcome the DCMS Select Committee’s inquiry into this issue and look forward to its analysis and recommendations. Alongside this, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is working closely with industry on a research project to investigate the flow of money to music creators. This project is due to report in summer 2021 and will help improve our understanding of this important issue.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of clause 182D of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 on artists' incomes.

The Government has made no recent assessment of the effect of section 182D of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 on artists' incomes.

However, the Government is aware of the current debate around revenues for musicians and is following it closely. Robust evidence in this area is vital, so we welcome the DCMS Select Committee’s inquiry into the economics of music streaming and look forward to its analysis and recommendations. Alongside this, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is working closely with industry on a research project to investigate the flow of money to music creators. This project is due to report in summer 2021 and will help improve our understanding of this important issue.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations made by the the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee in its report on the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme published on the 29 April 2021.

I am due to meet the Scheme Trustees next month to discuss the Committee’s report. I am keen to get their views and will respond formally to the Committee following that discussion.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of Multi-Sports Grassroots Facilities programme projects 2023-24 on the (a) engagement and (b) participation of women and girls in sport.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and this government is committed to ensuring that everyone is able to play sport and be active, including women and girls.

As part of our more than £300 million investment in multi-sport grassroots facilities, our delivery partners assess all potential projects against their ability to deliver increased participation of under-represented groups - including women and girls, ethnic minority communities and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Any project receiving over £25,000 in England must also have an equal access women and girls plan in place.

The Government also recently announced £25 million for the Lionesses Futures Fund - topped up with £5 million additional investment from the FA - specifically to deliver up to 30 state of the art 3G artificial pitches across the country with gold-standard provision for women and girls. Reserved peak-time slots, women and girls only evenings and priority booking for women and girls’ teams will be used to drive up opportunities to get into sport. There will also be dedicated women’s changing rooms and shower facilities and accessible toilets.

We are conducting a programme wide impact evaluation. This will measure the extent to which the programme has delivered increases in participation among women and girls so that these interventions can be applied more widely if successful.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2024 to Question 10161 on Future of Women's Football Review, if she will list all future meeting dates of the implementation group.

The Secretary of State will chair the first meeting of the implementation group in March and future meetings will be chaired by either the Secretary of State or Minister for Sport.

The implementation group will include key decision-makers from the organisations with responsibility for taking forward the Review recommendations. These organisations are the FA, NewCo, Football Foundation, Sport England, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the EFL, the Department for Education and the Premier League. The Secretary of State will be writing to senior representatives to formally invite them to the first meeting in March.

As set out in the Review, these representatives will be required to provide updates at the implementation group. DCMS will convene the group and will provide a secretariat function to make sure stakeholders are progressing with the recommendations, and we will monitor this accordingly.

We remain committed to hosting the initial implementation group meetings in March and July 2024. We will work collaboratively with stakeholders to assess the frequency of the future implementation group meetings.

We will continue to keep Ministers, Parliament and the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee updated on progress.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2024 to Question 10161 on Future of Women's Football Review, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) transparency and (b) accountability arrangements for the implementation group in the context of its reporting to (i) Ministers, (ii) Parliament and (iii) the Culture Media and Sports Select Committee.

The Secretary of State will chair the first meeting of the implementation group in March and future meetings will be chaired by either the Secretary of State or Minister for Sport.

The implementation group will include key decision-makers from the organisations with responsibility for taking forward the Review recommendations. These organisations are the FA, NewCo, Football Foundation, Sport England, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the EFL, the Department for Education and the Premier League. The Secretary of State will be writing to senior representatives to formally invite them to the first meeting in March.

As set out in the Review, these representatives will be required to provide updates at the implementation group. DCMS will convene the group and will provide a secretariat function to make sure stakeholders are progressing with the recommendations, and we will monitor this accordingly.

We remain committed to hosting the initial implementation group meetings in March and July 2024. We will work collaboratively with stakeholders to assess the frequency of the future implementation group meetings.

We will continue to keep Ministers, Parliament and the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee updated on progress.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2024 to Question 10161 on Future of Women's Football Review, if she will list who has (a) been invited and (b) accepted invitations to join the implementation group.

The Secretary of State will chair the first meeting of the implementation group in March and future meetings will be chaired by either the Secretary of State or Minister for Sport.

The implementation group will include key decision-makers from the organisations with responsibility for taking forward the Review recommendations. These organisations are the FA, NewCo, Football Foundation, Sport England, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the EFL, the Department for Education and the Premier League. The Secretary of State will be writing to senior representatives to formally invite them to the first meeting in March.

As set out in the Review, these representatives will be required to provide updates at the implementation group. DCMS will convene the group and will provide a secretariat function to make sure stakeholders are progressing with the recommendations, and we will monitor this accordingly.

We remain committed to hosting the initial implementation group meetings in March and July 2024. We will work collaboratively with stakeholders to assess the frequency of the future implementation group meetings.

We will continue to keep Ministers, Parliament and the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee updated on progress.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2024 to Question 10161 on Future of Women's Football Review, whether she plans to chair all further meetings of the implementation group.

The Secretary of State will chair the first meeting of the implementation group in March and future meetings will be chaired by either the Secretary of State or Minister for Sport.

The implementation group will include key decision-makers from the organisations with responsibility for taking forward the Review recommendations. These organisations are the FA, NewCo, Football Foundation, Sport England, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the EFL, the Department for Education and the Premier League. The Secretary of State will be writing to senior representatives to formally invite them to the first meeting in March.

As set out in the Review, these representatives will be required to provide updates at the implementation group. DCMS will convene the group and will provide a secretariat function to make sure stakeholders are progressing with the recommendations, and we will monitor this accordingly.

We remain committed to hosting the initial implementation group meetings in March and July 2024. We will work collaboratively with stakeholders to assess the frequency of the future implementation group meetings.

We will continue to keep Ministers, Parliament and the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee updated on progress.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what her Department's policy is on how the independent regulator of football will interact with the newly formed women’s elite football NewCo.

Karen Carney’s independent review into women’s football recommended that the women’s game should be given the opportunity to self-regulate rather than moving immediately to independent statutory regulation. The Government agrees with that recommendation, as set out in our response to the Review.

The independent regulator for English football will be focused on the top five tiers of the men’s game. Where appropriate, it will cooperate, coordinate and share information with the relevant industry bodies in the women’s game to help deliver the shared goal of a successful, sustainable English game.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government response to independent review: reframing the opportunity in women’s football, published on 4 December 2023, if she will list the names of the people who have (a) been invited to join (b) accepted a place on the implementation group.

The implementation group will include key-decision makers across industry with responsibility for taking forward the Reviews recommendations. We are working at pace with industry to confirm who will sit on the implementation group.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government response to independent review: reframing the opportunity in women’s football, published on 4 December 2023, what powers the implementation group of stakeholders announced in the Government’s response to the Carney Review will have to hold (a) the FA, (b) NewCo and (c) the Government to account; and how the implementation group will publish its findings.

The Government supports the recommendations set out in the Review of Women's Football, and believes that these must be acted on as a priority to ensure that we build on the unprecedented successes of recent years, and maximise the potential of the women’s game.

The implementation group will include key decision-makers from organisations with responsibility for taking forward the recommendations set out in the Review. Implementation group members will be mutually accountable for delivery of the recommendations, with members providing updates on how they are addressing the recommendations.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had discussions with domestic sporting authorities on steps to reduce the number of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries among female athletes.

The Review of Women’s Football, published in July this year, examined the strategic priorities for the development of women's football and made recommendations on the future direction of the women's game. It highlighted the lack of sport exercise and scientific research which currently exists in women’s sport and that only 6% of sport exercise and science research involves only women. This lack of awareness means female athletes are often not being given the protection, expertise and support they need.

The Government has been speaking to the football authorities on all matters within the review, and is due to respond to the review in the autumn. We will address ACL injuries directly in that response, holding relevant stakeholders to account for action around player welfare.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2023 to Question 198058 on Football: Afghanistan, whether she plans to hold discussions with FIFA on the Afghanistan Women's National (a) Team and (b) Development Team.

We have no plans to hold discussions with FIFA on the Afghanistan Women’s National Team or Development Team. I was delighted to attend their training session and meet the inspirational players during my recent visit to Australia for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, international sports federations operate independently of governments, as reflected in their own governance and regulation, therefore I am unable to intervene.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has taken recent steps to determine the prevalence of reinforced autoclave aerated concrete (RAAC) in privately-owned sporting facilities.

Individual building owners and managers are responsible for health and safety, including responding to safety alerts such as RAAC.

On the 1st May 2019, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety issued a safety alert on the failure of RAAC planks. Following this, the Cabinet Office wrote to all government departments and NHS England wrote to NHS Trusts highlighting the latest developments and advice.

Since then, individual organisations have been surveying properties and, depending on the assessment of the RAAC, decided to either monitor it, prop it up, or replace it. This is in line with Institution of Structural Engineers guidance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with her French counterparts on the safety of British supporters at sporting events in France in the context of the experience of (a) Liverpool fans at the Stade de France in 2022, and (b) Rugby fans in Marseille in 2023.

Following some spectators experiencing delays entering the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on 9 September, HM Government officials engaged with the French authorities and counterparts at the France 2023 Organising Committee and have received reassurance that improvements, including clearer signage, will be in place for future Rugby World Cup 2023 matches.

Improvements were in place for matches on Sunday 10 September and we continue to engage with the French authorities on security arrangements for the tournament.

The safety of all attendees at sporting events is of the highest importance to the government and the Secretary of State and I have engaged with counterparts regularly following the Champions League Final in Paris in 2022. We continue to consider and reflect on the lessons learned from the events witnessed in Paris in 2022 to inform planning for the UEFA Champions League Final in 2024 at Wembley, as well as our UK and Ireland EURO 2028 bid.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had recent discussions with FIFA on the Afghanistan Women's National Team.

I have not had discussions with FIFA on the Afghanistan Women’s National Team. However, I was delighted to attend their training session and to meet the players during my recent visit to Australia for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, in an event arranged by the Australian Government to highlight their situation.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Education on school (a) sporting and (b) leisure buildings that are affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete. .

Individual building owners and managers are responsible for health and safety, including responding to safety alerts such as RAAC.

On the 1st May 2019, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety issued a safety alert on the failure of RAAC planks. Following this, the Cabinet Office wrote to all Government Departments and NHS England wrote to NHS Trusts highlighting the latest developments and advice.

Since then, individual organisations have been surveying properties and, depending on the assessment of the RAAC, decided to either monitor it, prop it up, or replace it. This is in line with Institution of Structural Engineers guidance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to identify (a) leisure, (b) recreation and (c) sporting facilities that are affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.

Individual building owners and managers are responsible for health and safety, including responding to safety alerts such as RAAC.

On the 1st May 2019, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety issued a safety alert on the failure of RAAC planks. Following this, the Cabinet Office wrote to all Government Departments and NHS England wrote to NHS Trusts highlighting the latest developments and advice.

Since then, individual organisations have been surveying properties and, depending on the assessment of the RAAC, decided to either monitor it, prop it up, or replace it. This is in line with Institution of Structural Engineers guidance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made a recent assessment of the potential risk posed by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete used in (a) leisure, (b) recreation and (c) sporting facilities.

Individual building owners and managers are responsible for health and safety, including responding to safety alerts such as RAAC.

On the 1st May 2019, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety issued a safety alert on the failure of RAAC planks. Following this, the Cabinet Office wrote to all Government Departments and NHS England wrote to NHS Trusts highlighting the latest developments and advice.

Since then, individual organisations have been surveying properties and, depending on the assessment of the RAAC, decided to either monitor it, prop it up, or replace it. This is in line with Institution of Structural Engineers guidance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the planned Crown Works Studios in Sunderland on (a) Sunderland and (b) the North East.

I am aware of the Crown Works studio proposal in Sunderland and look forward to continuing my engagement with stakeholders to hear more about this project. I regularly engage with Cabinet colleagues on matters related to the creative industries.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support the film industry. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. The BFI produces the Screen Business Report, which assesses the impact of the tax reliefs across all nations and regions of the UK.

The £28.4 million Create Growth Programme (CGP), is supporting creative businesses to attract private investment through a combination of capital, business support and investor capacity building. It currently covers six regions in England, including parts of the North East of England.

The British Film Institute also launched their skills clusters programme in April, committing £8.1m of National Lottery funding over 2023-26 to support the development of six regional skills clusters across the UK. The funding focuses on establishing localised support for skills development and training, building on existing production infrastructure, with the aim to develop local crew bases and create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector. Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester, and North East Screen have partnered together, under the name ‘Screen Alliance North’, to jointly lead the ‘North of England’ cluster - which has been awarded £2.3m for 2023-26.

28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of investment in the film and tv industry in Sunderland on (a) industry skills shortages, (b) local employment opportunities and (c) levels of private investment in (i) Sunderland and (ii) the North East.

I am aware of the Crown Works studio proposal in Sunderland and look forward to continuing my engagement with stakeholders to hear more about this project. I regularly engage with Cabinet colleagues on matters related to the creative industries.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support the film industry. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. The BFI produces the Screen Business Report, which assesses the impact of the tax reliefs across all nations and regions of the UK.

The £28.4 million Create Growth Programme (CGP), is supporting creative businesses to attract private investment through a combination of capital, business support and investor capacity building. It currently covers six regions in England, including parts of the North East of England.

The British Film Institute also launched their skills clusters programme in April, committing £8.1m of National Lottery funding over 2023-26 to support the development of six regional skills clusters across the UK. The funding focuses on establishing localised support for skills development and training, building on existing production infrastructure, with the aim to develop local crew bases and create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector. Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester, and North East Screen have partnered together, under the name ‘Screen Alliance North’, to jointly lead the ‘North of England’ cluster - which has been awarded £2.3m for 2023-26.

28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the Crown Works Studios development in Sunderland.

I am aware of the Crown Works studio proposal in Sunderland and look forward to continuing my engagement with stakeholders to hear more about this project. I regularly engage with Cabinet colleagues on matters related to the creative industries.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support the film industry. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. The BFI produces the Screen Business Report, which assesses the impact of the tax reliefs across all nations and regions of the UK.

The £28.4 million Create Growth Programme (CGP), is supporting creative businesses to attract private investment through a combination of capital, business support and investor capacity building. It currently covers six regions in England, including parts of the North East of England.

The British Film Institute also launched their skills clusters programme in April, committing £8.1m of National Lottery funding over 2023-26 to support the development of six regional skills clusters across the UK. The funding focuses on establishing localised support for skills development and training, building on existing production infrastructure, with the aim to develop local crew bases and create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector. Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester, and North East Screen have partnered together, under the name ‘Screen Alliance North’, to jointly lead the ‘North of England’ cluster - which has been awarded £2.3m for 2023-26.

28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the (a) findings on crew shortages and associated issues and (b) recommendation on the strategic deployment of industry investment in the report by the British Film Institute entitled BFI Skills Review 2022, published on 29 June 2022.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

We recognise how important it is for the film and television sector to have access to a pipeline of skilled workers. To better understand the skills needed in our Film and High-End TV sector, the Government commissioned the British Film Institute (BFI) to undertake the UK Film and High-End TV Skills Review, which the BFI published in June 2022.

We continue to work closely with the BFI and industry following the review. As set out in its National Lottery Funding Plan (2023-26), the BFI has committed £9 million of National Lottery funding to create Skills Clusters to support skills development and training at a local level across the UK, as recommended by the Review.

The BFI has also helped to elicit greater industry collaboration around training and workforce development, convening a new industry-led Skills Task Force to respond to the Review and develop a plan of action. I look forward to continued engagement with the BFI and the Task Force on their progress.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the (a) economic contribution of the film and television industries to each region and (b) potential economic benefit of increased investment in that industry in the North East.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support the film industry. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. The BFI produces the Screen Business Report, which assesses the impact of the tax reliefs across all nations and regions of the UK.

The £28.4 million Create Growth Programme (CGP) is supporting creative businesses to attract private investment through a combination of capital, business support and investor capacity building. It currently covers six regions in England, including parts of the North East of England.

The British Film Institute also launched their skills clusters programme in April, committing £8.1m of National Lottery funding over 2023-26 to support the development of six regional skills clusters across the UK. The funding focuses on establishing localised support for skills development and training, building on existing production infrastructure, with the aim to develop local crew bases and create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector. Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester, and North East Screen have partnered together, under the name ‘Screen Alliance North’, to jointly lead the ‘North of England’ cluster - which has been awarded £2.3m for 2023-26.

I am aware of the Crown Works studio proposal in Sunderland and I look forward to continuing my engagement with stakeholders to hear more about this project.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with (a) internal and (b) external stakeholders on the Crown Works Studio project in Sunderland.

The recently published Creative Industries Sector Vision sets out the Government’s ambition to maximise the potential of the creative industries. It details our plans to grow these industries by an extra £50bn and create a million extra jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent and opportunity for young people through a Creative Careers Promise. The film and television industries play an important role in the wider creative industries.

My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support the film industry. This is in addition to the UK-wide screen sector tax reliefs, and the UK Global Screen Fund which will invest £28 million in the international growth of independent screen companies across the UK. The BFI produces the Screen Business Report, which assesses the impact of the tax reliefs across all nations and regions of the UK.

The £28.4 million Create Growth Programme (CGP) is supporting creative businesses to attract private investment through a combination of capital, business support and investor capacity building. It currently covers six regions in England, including parts of the North East of England.

The British Film Institute also launched their skills clusters programme in April, committing £8.1m of National Lottery funding over 2023-26 to support the development of six regional skills clusters across the UK. The funding focuses on establishing localised support for skills development and training, building on existing production infrastructure, with the aim to develop local crew bases and create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector. Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester, and North East Screen have partnered together, under the name ‘Screen Alliance North’, to jointly lead the ‘North of England’ cluster - which has been awarded £2.3m for 2023-26.

I am aware of the Crown Works studio proposal in Sunderland and I look forward to continuing my engagement with stakeholders to hear more about this project.

20th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has for the regulation of women's football.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April. We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper setting out our proposals for the reform of football governance and will do so imminently.

On women’s football we have considered the findings of the Fan Led Review. The Review of Women’s Football is still gathering evidence and we do not want to preempt the findings of that Review, which will be published in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she expects to publish the findings of the review into Women's Football conducted by Karen Carney MBE.

The Review is progressing well, with stakeholder evidence sessions taking place focused on the key themes of the Review.

An open call for evidence has also been completed on the Review, which received over 80 responses, from a range of stakeholders within the women’s football community.

The independent review’s report is expected by summer 2023, and the government will respond afterwards.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on the Review into Women's Football led by Karen Carney MBE.

The Review is progressing well, with stakeholder evidence sessions taking place focused on the key themes of the Review.

An open call for evidence has also been completed on the Review, which received over 80 responses, from a range of stakeholders within the women’s football community.

The independent review’s report is expected by summer 2023, and the government will respond afterwards.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she expects to publish the Football Regulator White Paper; and whether women's football will be included within the regulatory boundaries set out by that White Paper.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April. We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper setting out our proposals for the reform of football governance and will do so imminently.

On women’s football we have considered the findings of the Fan Led Review and mapped where there may be crossovers with the Review of Women’s Football via teams affiliated to men’s teams in scope of the regulator, such as strengthened Owner’s and Director’s Tests. However, the Review of Women’s Football is still gathering evidence and we do not want to preempt the findings of that Review, which will be published in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to increase the number of females working in the technology sector.

We recognise that the Tech Sector can only reach its true potential if it is fully representative of society. This Government is committed to this mission, which is why we have supported the Tech Talent Charter (TCC) since 2016. The TTC gathers data and reports on diversity statistics from 700 organisations across all sectors. This approach fosters collaboration and innovation to create a more inclusive and diverse tech workforce. For example, the TTC’s annual diversity in tech report is a key resource that encourages businesses to hire diverse talent, as well as sharing the best diversity and inclusion practices across the sector.

We recognise that digital skills are fundamental to ensuring everyone can make the most of a digital future. As the department that leads on digital skills, we are focusing on broadening and deepening the pool of talent. The Digital Skills Council convenes stakeholders from across the sector to deliver industry led action on driving the growth of the digital workforce, including widening the skills pipelines, and ensuring Tech roles are accessible for all. One of the council’s objectives is to promote mechanisms to provide increasingly diverse access to digital roles and digitally enabled roles.

We are also funding a new generation of AI talent through scholarships, each worth £10,000, supporting underrepresented groups, including women, to undertake AI and Data Science Conversion Courses. The conversion courses provide a masters in AI and data science, and allow those from a non-STEM background to learn the skills needed to secure employment in the UK’s cutting-edge AI and Data Science sectors. Emerging findings show that the programme is driving increased diversity - 76% of the scholarships so far have been awarded to women, leading to a 32% increase of women on the courses against comparable benchmarks.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to improve sustainability in the technology sector.

Building off the success of COP26 last year, we recognise the green economy and using tech and innovation to solve Net Zero is crucial. We are supporting innovation to provide the most promising UK climate tech companies with the support they need to grow, and to help drive down global emissions. The UK Climate tech sector is worth £6.54bn and is on course to reach £17.4bn by 2030. The UK is second only to the United States for the number of climate tech startups and scaleups.

DCMS has been supporting these companies, by creating an environment where tech companies can thrive. For example, DCMS has grant-funded the first government-backed programme to support the most promising climate tech companies to accelerate the UK’s path to net zero; whilst another programme works to ensure that UK tech companies are making progress towards sustainability and emissions targets.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to tackle skills and labour shortages in digital technology industries.

DCMS works with departments across government and with industry to grow the digital workforce, tackle the digital skills gap, and support a diverse range of people into digital roles. Actions taken include the launch of the Digital Skills Council, the introduction of AI and Data Science Conversion Courses, and working with the Home Office on visa routes related to the digital workforce.

DCMS launched the Digital Skills Council (DiSC) in June 2022. The council has brought together industry leaders and training experts from organisations such as Amazon Web Services and Multiverse. The council works directly with employers and is encouraging investment in employer-led initiatives focused on upskilling the UK workforce, including initiatives related to increasing the number of digital apprenticeships.

Continuing to develop, attract, and train people to work with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the core of our plan for maintaining the UK’s position in this field. In February 2022, DCMS announced the creation of up to 2,000 additional scholarships for students studying AI and Data Science conversion course masters, helping people from underrepresented groups to join the UK’s world-leading AI industry. Along with these conversion courses, DCMS has supported the introduction of Alan Turing Institute AI research fellowships and 16 dedicated Centres at universities across the country to train 1000 extra AI PhDs.

An important part of developing skills is providing inspiration to young people, which is why DCMS launched the Cyber Explorers youth-inspiration programme, which has engaged over 30,000 young people from more than 2,000 schools. To grow the cyber workforce, DCMS has also introduced the 'Upskill in Cyber' training programme and the CyberFirst interventions, which include bursary offers for undergraduate students. DCMS are currently working with the Behavioural Insights Team to understand how we can improve the perception and understanding of digital subjects, including computer science, AI, and cyber.

DCMS recognises the importance of improving the diversity of the digital workforce and has supported the Tech Talent Charter since 2016. The Tech Talent Charter is helping to improve the diversity of the digital workforce by improving reporting on diversity statistics and fostering collaboration to create a more diverse tech workforce.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the events of 28 May 2022 at the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of claims made by (a) the French Government about the supposed prevalence of fake tickets held by Liverpool fans and (b) representatives of UEFA about the alleged late arrival of fans; and whether she has had discussions with the French Minister for the Interior on that matter; and whether she has been provided any evidence on that matter from the French Minister for the Interior.

We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. I met with the French Minister for Sport last week, and raised these concerns directly, and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and with Liverpool FC.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation.

UEFA has in place a complaints procedure for fans to present evidence, and Liverpool FC are collating fan experiences, via their website, to contribute to the UEFA investigation. We urge fans to send accounts of their experiences to the club.

Fans deserve to know what happened. So it is absolutely right that the relevant authorities are now fully investigating these events. These investigations must establish the facts so that the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the independence of the inquiry commissioned by UEFA into the events of the 28 May 2022 at the Stade de France in Paris.

We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. I met with the French Minister for Sport last week, and raised these concerns directly, and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and with Liverpool FC.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation.

UEFA has in place a complaints procedure for fans to present evidence, and Liverpool FC are collating fan experiences, via their website, to contribute to the UEFA investigation. We urge fans to send accounts of their experiences to the club.

Fans deserve to know what happened. So it is absolutely right that the relevant authorities are now fully investigating these events. These investigations must establish the facts so that the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with her French counterpart on the events that took place in connection with the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris on 28 May 2022.

We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. I met with the French Minister for Sport last week, and raised these concerns directly, and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and with Liverpool FC.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation.

UEFA has in place a complaints procedure for fans to present evidence, and Liverpool FC are collating fan experiences, via their website, to contribute to the UEFA investigation. We urge fans to send accounts of their experiences to the club.

Fans deserve to know what happened. So it is absolutely right that the relevant authorities are now fully investigating these events. These investigations must establish the facts so that the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish full minutes of discussions she has had with her French counterpart on the events that took place in connection with the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on 28 May 2022.

We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. I met with the French Minister for Sport last week, and raised these concerns directly, and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and with Liverpool FC.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation.

UEFA has in place a complaints procedure for fans to present evidence, and Liverpool FC are collating fan experiences, via their website, to contribute to the UEFA investigation. We urge fans to send accounts of their experiences to the club.

Fans deserve to know what happened. So it is absolutely right that the relevant authorities are now fully investigating these events. These investigations must establish the facts so that the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make a statement on discussions she has had with her French counterparts on the events that took place in connection with the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on 28 May 2022.

We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. I met with the French Minister for Sport last week, and raised these concerns directly, and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and with Liverpool FC.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation.

UEFA has in place a complaints procedure for fans to present evidence, and Liverpool FC are collating fan experiences, via their website, to contribute to the UEFA investigation. We urge fans to send accounts of their experiences to the club.

Fans deserve to know what happened. So it is absolutely right that the relevant authorities are now fully investigating these events. These investigations must establish the facts so that the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of rising energy costs on publicly-owned leisure facilities, including (a) swimming pools and (b) gyms.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy, and which play an important role within communities.

This is why throughout the pandemic we provided the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which ensured the survival of leisure centres and swimming pools during the pandemic, and supported their reopening after the pandemic.

We also recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and the government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses. The ongoing responsibility of providing access to public leisure facilities lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in leisure facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of to Question 131312, on Television: Children, for what reason the Young Audience’s Content Fund closed before its final evaluation had been undertaken.

The pilot Young Audiences Content Fund was allocated Licence Fee underspend to test a new way of financing public service TV content for a three-year period. This three-year period will conclude on 31 March 2022 and then a full evaluation will take place to determine its impact on the children’s television industry and the provision and plurality of public service content for young audiences across the UK.

The potential for any further investment of public funding will be assessed against the Fund evaluation and alongside future public service broadcasting needs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of recommendation 45 in the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance on a review of women's football; and whether she has plans to implement that recommendation.

The Government welcomes the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance and has endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review, that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game.

The Government will now work at pace to review the report in full, including the recommendations made on a dedicated review of women’s football.

The Government will continue to engage with stakeholders as we work towards issuing a full response to the report in the Spring.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Department has to carry out a Child Impact Assessment for the provisions of the draft Online Safety Bill.

The Government published an impact assessment in May 2021 alongside the draft Online Safety Bill. The impact assessment considered the economic and social impacts of the draft Bill and included an assessment of impacts on freedom of expression, privacy and other wider societal impacts. The Government is currently working on a final stage impact assessment for the Online Safety Bill which will be published before the Bill is laid in Parliament.

The overall impact assessment includes considerations on the impact of harm on children where relevant and the strongest protections in the Bill will be for children. In-scope services which are likely to be accessed by children will need to conduct a child safety risk assessment and provide safety measures for child users. Services will need to keep risk assessments up-to-date and update them before making a significant change to the design or operation of their service. Ofcom will have a duty to issue guidance to assist providers in carrying out their risk assessments.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the level of risk and harm to children and young people from accessing commercial non-user to user generated pornography.

Preventing children from accessing harmful content such as online pornography is a priority for the government and the strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. The draft Bill covers many of the most visited pornography sites, social media platforms, video-sharing sites, forums and search engines - thereby capturing many of the sites through which children access pornography.

The Government recognises that a large amount of pornography is available on the internet with little or no protection to ensure that those accessing it are old enough to do so and that this is changing the way young people understand healthy relationships, sex and consent. Research published by the British Board of Film Classification in 2020, showed that the three most likely routes for children’s intentional viewing of pornography are image or video search engines (53% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here), social media sites (44% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here), and dedicated pornography sites (43% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here). While these figures only account for where children have seen pornography and not the total number or frequency of visits, it does highlight that children use a range of sources to access pornography.

My department has also commissioned research recently to develop the evidence base on the prevalence and impact of harmful content online to children, which includes online pornography.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate she has made of the number of children accessing online commercial pornography sites.

Preventing children from accessing harmful content such as online pornography is a priority for the government and the strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. The draft Bill covers many of the most visited pornography sites, social media platforms, video-sharing sites, forums and search engines - thereby capturing many of the sites through which children access pornography.

The Government recognises that a large amount of pornography is available on the internet with little or no protection to ensure that those accessing it are old enough to do so and that this is changing the way young people understand healthy relationships, sex and consent. Research published by the British Board of Film Classification in 2020, showed that the three most likely routes for children’s intentional viewing of pornography are image or video search engines (53% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here), social media sites (44% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here), and dedicated pornography sites (43% of children who intentionally sought out pornography have seen it here). While these figures only account for where children have seen pornography and not the total number or frequency of visits, it does highlight that children use a range of sources to access pornography.

My department has also commissioned research recently to develop the evidence base on the prevalence and impact of harmful content online to children, which includes online pornography.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2021 to Question 84357 on Events Industry: Insurance, how many polices have been underwritten by the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme since its launch.

As set out in its response of 3 December, the government is unable to share commercially sensitive data related to the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2021 to Question 84357 on Events Industry: Insurance, if she will publish a breakdown of which sectors have taken out a policy underwritten by the Live Events Reinsurance scheme for (a) live music events, (b) conferences, (c) theatre productions and (d) commercial Christmas events.

As set out in its response of 3 December, the government is unable to share commercially sensitive data about the events that have purchased eligible policies. We can confirm the scheme has provided cover to a broad range of events, including conferences and Christmas events.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will list the live events that have successfully had their events covered through the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme since it was announced on 5 August 2021.

The Government recognises the important contribution that the live events sector makes to the UK’s culture and economy, and the significant challenges the sector has faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme will provide live events across the country - such as music festivals, conferences and business events with the confidence to plan for future events, and as such will support the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery.

We are unable to share commercially sensitive data including the name of events who have secured policies but we can say that a broad range of events located across the UK have purchased cover through this scheme.

The scheme recently welcomed a sixth participating insurer and £800M of cover is available to support the live events sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many organisers of live events have applied for coverage through the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme established by the Government since it was announced on 5 August 2021; and how many live events have been provided cover under that scheme to date.

The Government recognises the important contribution that the Live Events sector makes to the UK’s culture and economy, and the significant challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has presented. The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme is designed to provide confidence to event organisers and enable them to plan future events, thereby supporting the economic recovery out of Covid-19.

The scheme is a reinsurance scheme whereby insurers provide cover to purchasers, and eligible policies are then reinsured under a reinsurance contract with the government - the terms of which are publicly available. As such the government does not receive applications to the scheme: policies are either eligible or ineligible. We cannot share specific operational data due to the commercial sensitivity of the information.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the findings of the recent Harvey Nash Group's Hot Skills & Salary Report, in respect of its findings on (a) what types of digital skills are needed the most by businesses and (b) how the UK compares with other nations on tech skills' gaps; and what plans the Government has to (i) encourage people to take-up digital skills training and (ii) support providers of digital skills training.

The high level of demand for cyber security skills identified in the Harvey Nash report is consistent with findings of the annual DCMS-commissioned surveys of the labour market. Some of the skills clusters identified through DCMS research, using Burning Glass data (2019), were: productivity software, software and programming and data science.

The government has introduced various qualifications such as digital T levels in digital production, design and development; digital apprenticeships which provide work based training in technical occupations; and digital bootcamps as a way for people to take up digital skills training. The government is also offering 33 Level 3 digital skills courses from May 2021 to adults aged 19-24. As well as this, HMG is supporting young people to take up digital skills training. For example, people aged between 11-18 can sign up to CyberFirst extracurricular activities to build understanding of digital and technical skills.

Government supports the development of regional digital skills capability through its Local Digital Skills Partnerships. These partnerships are now operating in seven regions and bring together local cross-sector partners to design, develop and coordinate the delivery of digital skills programmes to upskill the current workforce, tackle digital exclusion and raise awareness of the importance of digital skills regionally. An 8th Local Digital Skills Partnership in Hull and East Yorkshire will formally launch in early December 2021.

The government recently published its first National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, setting out how we can ensure everyone in every region of the UK has the skills, understanding and opportunities to benefit from AI technologies. This will include: continuing to support future skills through Turing Fellowships, Centres for Doctoral Training and Postgraduate Industrial Masters and AI and Data Science Conversion Courses; publishing research into what skills are needed to enable employees to use AI in a business setting; and identify how national skills provision can meet those needs.

The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE), with £84m of government funding, is also aiming to improve the teaching of the computing curriculum in schools. The National AI Strategy will also support the NCCE to ensure programmes for children in AI are accessible.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with social media companies on content that may encourage the development of eating disorders; and what steps he is taking to remove content of that nature.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, including social media platforms, on a variety of issues, including eating disorders content. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website.

Under the draft Online Safety Bill, services in scope will need to minimise and remove illegal content, including illegal online abuse. In addition, services which are “likely to be accessed” by children will be required to provide further protections for children from content and activity which is legal but harmful. Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content for adults. The government will set out priority categories of legal but harmful material in secondary legislation, for example content which encourages or promotes eating disorders.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department plans to take to help tackle gambling addiction among women.

The NHS Long-Term plan, published in January 2019, announced the creation of up to 15 specialist gambling clinics by 2023/24. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the NHS to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support. In June 2020, the largest five (now four) gambling operators committed £100m over four years to problem gambling treatment services through the charity GambleAware, which is consulting with DHSC on the most effective way to use that money.A range of specialist support services for women are also available, such as GamCare’s Women’s Programme and Gordon Moody’s Retreat & Counselling Programme. Gordon Moody will also open a bespoke residential treatment centre for women this autumn.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. The Review will be wide-ranging and evidence-led and aims to make sure we have the right protections in place to make gambling safer for all.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the report entitled Libraries on the front lines of the digital divide published in 2021.

Library services are a statutory responsibility of local government and each library authority determines how best to deliver its services and allocate funding for the benefit of its communities in a manner which is “comprehensive and efficient”. Library services already play a vital role in bridging the digital divide.


Libraries Deliver: Ambition, the Government’s strategy for public libraries included improved digital access and literacy as one of the seven outcomes that libraries deliver for their communities. Information and Digital is one of the four Universal Library Offers recognised by the libraries sector, and libraries are flagged in the 2017 UK Digital Strategy. More recently their vital role was recognised through an exemption under the National Restrictions to enable provision of access to public PCs for people to use essential services during lockdown; we are aware that this was highly valued and used.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of mixed gender sports for (a) diversity and inclusion and (b) public health.

The Government is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity, including gender inclusivity. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ sets out a clear ambition to increase levels of physical activity, particularly amongst all under-represented groups. We welcome the efforts of the sport sector and use of a variety of methods to achieve this.

We are determined to get more women and girls active including through mixed gender sports. We recognise that Covid-19 has brought new challenges to the way people are able to engage in physical activity. I am keen that we do all we can to break down the barriers that still exist and I welcome the work of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign which has inspired 3.9 million women to take part since its launch in 2015. Sport England’s “Join the Movement” campaign has also provided some great tools to keep everyone active during the lockdown.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to support the work of the Young Audience Content Fund.

The publicly funded Young Audiences Content Fund will be supported into its third year, ensuring young audiences have access to engaging and relevant content that reflects UK society and their own diverse experiences wherever they live in the country.

The success of the Fund is evaluated against the criteria set out at launch, including: quality; innovation; additionality; nations and regions; diversity; new voices; plurality and audience reach. Assessments of the fund are ongoing, but the fund has already published its year one analysis, and will be publishing its year two analysis later this year. Year one analysis is available here.

One of the primary aims of the Fund is to increase the provision of content which is reflective of the cultural identity across the UK nations and regions. Merit is therefore awarded to productions that are representative of the nations and regions, both on and off air. UK indigenous language content is also eligible for funding with a target aspiration of 5% of the awards distributed.

As set out in the Year 1 analysis, 71% of projects awarded production funding in Year 1 were set in recognisable UK locations outside of London and the South East, in every home nation. Furthermore, the majority of production companies that were awarded support were based outside of London and the South East.

The recent Year 3 funding award of £10.7 million is a continued commitment from the government to support the Young Audiences Content Fund and the production of UK originated children’s television programming in a challenging financial climate. Year three analysis will be published in due course.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Young Audience Content Fund pilot in contributing to the Government's levelling up agenda.

The publicly funded Young Audiences Content Fund will be supported into its third year, ensuring young audiences have access to engaging and relevant content that reflects UK society and their own diverse experiences wherever they live in the country.

The success of the Fund is evaluated against the criteria set out at launch, including: quality; innovation; additionality; nations and regions; diversity; new voices; plurality and audience reach. Assessments of the fund are ongoing, but the fund has already published its year one analysis, and will be publishing its year two analysis later this year. Year one analysis is available here.

One of the primary aims of the Fund is to increase the provision of content which is reflective of the cultural identity across the UK nations and regions. Merit is therefore awarded to productions that are representative of the nations and regions, both on and off air. UK indigenous language content is also eligible for funding with a target aspiration of 5% of the awards distributed.

As set out in the Year 1 analysis, 71% of projects awarded production funding in Year 1 were set in recognisable UK locations outside of London and the South East, in every home nation. Furthermore, the majority of production companies that were awarded support were based outside of London and the South East.

The recent Year 3 funding award of £10.7 million is a continued commitment from the government to support the Young Audiences Content Fund and the production of UK originated children’s television programming in a challenging financial climate. Year three analysis will be published in due course.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7173, on Listed Events: Gender, what his timeframe is for publishing the conclusion of the consultation on Listed Sporting Events that closed on 11 December 2019.

As set out in our response to Question 7173 on 7 June 2021, we will respond to the consultation on adding women’s sporting events to the listed events regime, which closed on 11 December 2019, in due course. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on sport, in particular women's sport, and this work has been paused until the situation with Covid-19 stabilises.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to update the list of Listed Sporting Events in respect of gender equality.

The Government recognises that more can be done to improve the diversity of the listed events regime and to support the broadcasting of disability and women’s sport. This is why we have added the Paralympic Games to the list, recognising that it is an event of ‘special national significance’.

We have also consulted on the addition of the women’s equivalent of men’s events already on the list. This consultation closed on 11 December 2019. Since then the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on sport, in particular women's sport and this work has been paused. We will set out our response and next steps in due course, when the situation with Covid-19 stabilises.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a regulator in the music industry to support musicians' (a) wellbeing and (b) incomes.

The Government believes all artists have a right to exercise their profession free from harassment, bullying and discrimination and we also recognise that it is important that artists are fairly remunerated for their work. We are aware of the concerns that have been raised recently with regards to musicians’ wellbeing and incomes.

The music industry already has routes for tackling welfare issues and providing advice on financial matters through codes of conduct and independent advice services.

For instance, the Musicians' Union has a Safe Space facility to enable individuals to confidentially report incidents without fear of unwanted consequences, and also provides a Contract Advisory Service to assist musicians starting out on their careers to have any contracts they are offered checked by independent and respected industry lawyers.

In this context, the creation of a new regulatory body would need to be carefully considered to ensure that it is not duplicating industry efforts to address these issues and does not create undue burden on either the creative workforce or employers.

We are actively engaging with the industry to better understand how effective these industry initiatives are at a) supporting the wellbeing of artists, and b) providing advice on financial matters.

Following this engagement, we will consider what further steps are necessary and how the Government can support the sector and artists.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of (a) the effect of the pilot events under the Events Research Programme on the transmission of covid-19 and (b) the effectiveness and take up of the testing regime required for event attendance.

The Events Research Programme is examining risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events, and exploring ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.


Our Science Board agreed that admission of participants to our pilot events in April and May was subject to evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Device test result for Covid-19. The ERP will publish its research findings shortly, including independent scientific reports. This research will cover the testing protocol for the pilot events. These reports will feed into decision making on removing restrictions safely ahead of step 4.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish the full findings of the Events Research Programme in respect of the pilot events.

The Events Research Programme is examining risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events, and exploring ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely. The research findings will be published on GOV.UK shortly and will feed into decision making on removing restrictions safely ahead of step 4.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what deadline he has placed for the report on the fan-led review of football governance commissioned by his Department.

The Government has been working at pace on the review, including appointing the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford as Chair and publishing the Terms of Reference.

The first meeting of the advisory panel has been held, and we have announced that we expect an interim report from the review before the summer and a full report in the autumn.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to announce the Government's fan-led review of football.

Football clubs form a vital part of our local communities and must be protected. The Secretary of State announced the launch of the fan-led review of football governance in the House of Commons on 19th April 2021.

We will publish the Terms of Reference imminently but I can confirm that it will be chaired by the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to reopen the live events industry.

The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ announced by the Prime Minister yesterday provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England, including for live events.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country.

The Government aims to allow spectators to attend some large events, including live music events, from Step 3, subject to a cap on attendance and local authority approval.

Pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how large events, such as festivals, can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations. Subject to the outcome, the Government aims to reopen the remaining closed settings, including large events, at Step 4.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to implement an insurance underwriting model for live music events.

We are aware of the concerns which have been raised about securing insurance for live events.

Understandably, the bar for considering Government intervention is set extremely high. Given the high costs involved in setting up a scheme HMT need to make sure it is the most effective use of funds at a time when we are looking at how best to support the sector.

The evidence of market failure must clearly demonstrate that such a scheme is the only barrier to staging events. At the moment, progress with the vaccine rollout and beating the virus is crucial in achieving the next stages for large events as set out in the roadmap. As such, we do not believe that now is the right time for an insurance intervention.

We are working closely with the sector to determine the appropriate and most effective response within the public health context.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish a strategy to reopen the live events industry.

The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ announced by the Prime Minister yesterday provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England, including for live events.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country.

The Government aims to allow spectators to attend some large events, including live music events, from Step 3 subject to a cap on attendance and local authority approval.

Pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how large events, such as festivals, can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations. Subject to the outcome, the Government aims to reopen the remaining closed settings, including large events, at Step 4.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the losses (a) incurred by the live events industry in 2020 and (b) that that industry will incur in the first two quarters of 2021.

We recognise the significant challenge the current pandemic poses to the live events industry.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that there has been a 47.6% drop in the Index of Services in 2020 from 2019 for Creative arts and entertainment activities and a 26.1% drop for Arts, entertainment and recreation activities.

The Government has not forecast losses for 2021, but officials have been working closely with live events industry stakeholders to understand the challenges they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish all departmental correspondence with the National League from the last 12 months.

I will send copies of all of my correspondence with the National League to the Hon Member’s office, as well as my letter to the Shadow Minister for Sport on 5 February 2021 on this matter.

The correspondence primarily relates to the Sports Winter Survival Package. I gave a statement to the House on Thursday 19 November 2020 on the details of this package, which have remained the same throughout.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2021 to Question 145789, what assessment he has made of the use of the metric of the number of spectators a sport attracts, in relation to the funding it receives through the Sports Winter Survival Package.

The £300m Sports Winter Survival Package provides a lifeline to sports organisations that would otherwise not survive the winter period as a result of the restriction on spectators announced from 1 October. Funding is , which is primarily made up of loans, provided on the basis of what a sport needs to survive, with decisions made by an independent Board.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2021 to Question 145789, how much funding has been allocated to each step of the footballing pyramid in (a) men's football and (b) women's football, through the initial allocations of the Sports Winter Survival Package.

On 19 November 2020, the government announced a £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package (SWSP) to provide a lifeline to organisations that would otherwise not survive the winter as a result of the restriction on spectators announced from 1 October.

A provisional allocation of £28 million was made to support football, covering women’s football (£3 million), National League Steps 1-2 (£11 million) and Steps 3-6 (£14 million). Preliminary allocations of funding from the SWSP were made on a needs based assessment process which reflected the submissions made from individual sports last autumn.

Decisions on how much each sport receives through the Survival Package are made by an independent board based on a rigorous assessment of need. We will announce details of those decisions in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of covid-19-related funding that has been (a) made available to male and women's football clubs and (b) awarded to male and women's football clubs.

Football is our national game and it is vital that clubs at all levels are protected.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many football clubs have benefited from. The Treasury estimates that around £1.5 billion of public money has gone into sports.

As part of this, Sport England has provided £220m directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, via a range of funds including their £35m Community Emergency Fund. This support is available to both men’s and women’s clubs with the latest figures showing £10.5m has already been awarded to over 1,500 football clubs. This sector support was recently boosted by an extra £50m to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations as part of Sport England’s new strategy Uniting the Movement.

Men’s and women’s spectator sports, severely impacted by the restrictions around fans over the winter, are also being supported through the £300m Sports Winter Survival Package. This aims to protect the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England over the winter period and includes a provisional allocation of £25m for clubs in the National League System (at steps 1-6) as well as £3m for women’s football. Provisional allocations are subject to change based upon a detailed assessment of need, and final funding decisions are still in the process of being made by the Package’s Independent Board, supported by Sport England.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to support the safe return of (a) badminton, (b) table tennis, (c) squash, (d) basketball, (e) netball, (f) volleyball and (g) other indoor sports after the end of the national covid-19 lockdown restrictions that commenced in November 2020.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. As the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions will end on Wednesday 2 December and grassroots sport can resume in all tiers. This is providing social distancing remains in place, although there will be some restrictions on highest-risk activity in tier three areas.

In tier one areas indoor sports can take place within the rule of six. This will mean people from different households could play 3 on 3 volleyball, or four people from different households could play doubles tennis or badminton. Group activities such as training sessions and exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided that people are in separate groups (up to 6 people) which do not mix.

In tier two areas, indoor sport can take place within households, and people can take part in group activity like exercise classes as long as there is no mixing between households. People can play certain sports which do not involve close proximity or physical contact against one person from another household, such as a singles tennis match or badminton match.

In tier three areas, indoor sport will be restricted to within your household only, and there should be no group activity such as exercise classes.

Further details are to be announced imminently.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what comparative assessment he has made of the effect of the autumn 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions on (a) women's and (b) men's elite football development; and what comparative assessment he has made of the effect of that lockdown on the ability of (i) women and (ii) men at professional football clubs under the age of 18 to continue playing.

The Government has worked closely with the football authorities throughout the pandemic. The strict COVID protocols that both men’s and women’s elite football could enforce, has enabled them to continue training and playing matches during the period of national restrictions.

Subject to football’s application of the current regulations, youth talent football may continue where the individuals are aged 15 and above and on a development pathway, or where delivered in a genuine educational setting. The fact that some girls’ academies could not operate alongside comparable boys academies has highlighted, once again, the need to set these academies on an equal footing, with regards to funding and resources, in the future.

I met with Baroness Campbell from the Football Association on 18 November where we discussed this issue. On 26 November I will be meeting CEO of Women in Football, Jane Purdon, to find out what more can be done to help the women's game.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the recommendations made by FIFA and FIFpro on maternity arrangements for professional women footballers.

Government welcomes the introduction of new regulations by FIFA, agreed with FIFPRO, that protect the rights of female professional footballers who want to have children. We want to see the popularity of women’s sport continue to thrive and having regulations such as these in place is key to that. It is important that women in sport have the opportunity to progress their career and reach their full potential.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the contribution to the economy of small and medium-sized travel companies.

Tourism makes a vital contribution to the UK economy, with the industry contributing around £60 billion to the economy each year prior to COVID and directly employing 1.6 million people. The Government has not calculated the specific contribution of small and medium-sized travel companies to the UK tourism sector’s overall value.

We recognise that Government measures to control the spread of Covid-19 are significantly impacting travel companies. We continue to engage with travel and tourism stakeholders, including UKInbound and the Association of British Travel Agents, to assess how we can best support the inbound and outbound sector’s as well as domestic recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the English Football League on the pilots of fans attending football matches during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to getting spectators back into stadia as soon as it is safe to do so. The 12 pilot spectator events were crucial in trialling the concept, but unfortunately rising infection rates across the country meant that the Government had to act and we could not proceed with a wider reopening on the 1 October.

We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sporting bodies, including the English Football League, to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.

We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadia but this must clearly be very carefully judged against the prevailing health conditions.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the English Football League pilots of fans attending football matches during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to getting spectators back into stadia as soon as it is safe to do so. The 12 pilot spectator events were crucial in trialling the concept, but unfortunately rising infection rates across the country meant that the Government had to act and we could not proceed with a wider reopening on the 1 October.

We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sporting bodies, including the English Football League, to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.

We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadia but this must clearly be very carefully judged against the prevailing health conditions.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the proposals made in FIFPro's report of 14 October 2020 entitled Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience recommendations.

The Government is committed to supporting sport clubs and helping their recovery through the pandemic. That is why the Government provided an unprecedented financial support package, which many football clubs benefited from.

We have noted the report. We will continue to utilise a whole range of resources whilst we analyse how best to support the sport economy during these difficult times, and will work closely with the sector, including professional athletes representative bodies.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of sporting events that must be available on free-to-air television under the Broadcasting Act 1996; and if he will publish an update on the Government's consultation announced in 2019 on listed sporting events.

The listed events regime strikes a balance between retaining free-to-air sporting events for the public while allowing rights holders to negotiate agreements in the best interests of their sport.

The government recognises that more can be done to improve the diversity of the listed events regime and to support the broadcasting of disability and women’s sport.

This is why we have added the Paralympic Games to the list, recognising that it is an event of ‘special national significance’ on par with the Olympic Games. We have also consulted on the addition of the women’s equivalent of men’s events already on the list and we will respond to this consultation in due course.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of access among young people to online gambling through video games via the loot box mechanism.

Loot boxes do not fall under gambling law where the in-game items acquired are confined for use within the game and cannot be cashed out. However, the government is aware of concerns that loot boxes in video games could encourage gambling-like behaviour. The government committed in its manifesto to tackle issues around loot boxes, and in its response to the report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on immersive and addictive technologies, has announced that it will be issuing a call for evidence to inform next steps. This call for evidence is expected to launch shortly.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age, and further details will be announced in due course. Operators are required both by law and by licence conditions to prevent underage gambling and the Gambling Commision has strengthened requirements to complete age and identity checks before allowing anyone to deposit money and gamble.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on online gambling and young people.

Loot boxes do not fall under gambling law where the in-game items acquired are confined for use within the game and cannot be cashed out. However, the government is aware of concerns that loot boxes in video games could encourage gambling-like behaviour. The government committed in its manifesto to tackle issues around loot boxes, and in its response to the report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on immersive and addictive technologies, has announced that it will be issuing a call for evidence to inform next steps. This call for evidence is expected to launch shortly.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age, and further details will be announced in due course. Operators are required both by law and by licence conditions to prevent underage gambling and the Gambling Commision has strengthened requirements to complete age and identity checks before allowing anyone to deposit money and gamble.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the English Football League's owners and directors test for appointing appropriate club owners.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected.

The Owners’ and Directors’ Tests are administered by the football authorities and consider the objective suitability of prospective owners and directors. They are not subjective tests of intentions or capability. However, the Government is committed to undertaking a fan led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ test.

I recently met with the EFL to discuss the progress of their own review into club governance and will continue to work closely with the football authorities as we decide the scope and structure of the government review.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Premier League's fit and proper persons test for appointing appropriate club owners.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected.

The Owners’ and Directors’ Tests are administered by the football authorities and consider the objective suitability of prospective owners and directors. They are not subjective tests of intentions or capability. However, the Government is committed to undertaking a fan led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ test.

I recently met with the EFL to discuss the progress of their own review into club governance and will continue to work closely with the football authorities as we decide the scope and structure of the government review.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 38575, what funding his Department has made available to organisations to provide devices and connectivity to the vulnerable adult population who have been asked to shield by Government during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has worked with telecoms providers to agree a package of measures to support vulnerable consumers through Covid-19, including those who have been asked to shield. We have not, so far, provided funding specifically for the purchase of devices or connectivity for vulnerable adults asked to shield, but as previously mentioned in answer 38575, 38576, 38577 we continue to assess what needs to be done to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded.

My Department has been promoting the DevicesDotNow campaign, which is working with community organisations to distribute devices to vulnerable adults and help them get online. The aim is to enable elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those to who are shielding, to communicate with the outside world and get access to vital services. The Minister for Digital and Culture wrote to a number of industry Chief Executives to raise awareness of the campaign and to encourage them to donate tablets and laptops.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 38575 what offers of support his Department has made to initiatives to support their mission to equip vulnerable adults with devices and connectivity during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has worked with telecoms providers to agree a package of measures to support vulnerable consumers through Covid-19, including those who have been asked to shield. We have not, so far, provided funding specifically for the purchase of devices or connectivity for vulnerable adults asked to shield, but as previously mentioned in answer 38575, 38576, 38577 we continue to assess what needs to be done to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded.

My Department has been promoting the DevicesDotNow campaign, which is working with community organisations to distribute devices to vulnerable adults and help them get online. The aim is to enable elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those to who are shielding, to communicate with the outside world and get access to vital services. The Minister for Digital and Culture wrote to a number of industry Chief Executives to raise awareness of the campaign and to encourage them to donate tablets and laptops.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the financial situation of charities not eligible for Government support packages during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans the Government has to support those charities.

The Government is aware that charities are experiencing financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, whilst dealing with increased demand for services. Organisations that are not supporting the response to Covid-19 will have access to the range of horizontal economic support measures announced by HM Treasury in March, which are available across all sectors equally, such as the furloughing scheme or VAT deferral.

We will continue to work closely with the sector to assess how we can further support charities in doing their important work.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to assist people who use pay as you go data and calls packages and who face increased costs for those services as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and the closure of face-to-face services.

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, my Department has agreed a package of measures with the UK’s major fixed and mobile providers to protect vulnerable consumers, and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19.

In relation to mobile services, all the signatory providers have agreed to offer new packages to support vulnerable consumers, including free data boosts and free calls from mobiles, and to support their customers in financial difficulties.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-telecoms-companies-to-support-vulnerable-consumers-through-covid-19

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the financial sustainability of women's football; and what plans the Government has to support that sport during the covid-19 outbreak.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of people in the community who do not own telecommunication devices in order to contact friends and family during lockdown measures imposed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans the Government has to support those people.

Ofcom report that 94% of individuals 16+ year olds in the UK use a mobile phone and 87% of UK households have internet access. The government has already agreed a set of commitments with telecoms companies to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19. The government is working with the NHS, schools, local authorities and charities to further address digital exclusion, including the Devices Dot Now Campaign.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of digital skills by age group; and what estimate he has made of the number of people able to access an internet connection by age group.

The Government understands the importance of digital skills and the ability to access the internet in building a world-leading economy that works for everyone.

We work with the Lloyds Consumer Digital Index and Ofcom survey data, which provide estimates of the proportion of people by age group that have all the essential digital skills for life, and their internet connection take-up.

In addition, DCMS funded the 2019 Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS), a large scale survey of internet users, non-users and ex-users, to provide further insights into internet and ICT access and use, attitudes to technology and supporting demographic and geographic information. This highlighted that:

  • Internet use has expanded in all age groups, although the increase is small over the past 6 years.

  • Almost everyone is online up to about the age of 50. After 50 there is a sharp decline in Internet use of about 2 percentage points per year.

Table 1: Essential Digital Skills for Life by Age Group

Age

15-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Proportion within age group with Essential Digital Skills for life, 2019

94%

93%

89%

85%

72%

45%

Source: Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 (https://www.lloydsbank.com/banking-with-us/whats-happening/consumer-digital-index.html)

Table 2: Internet Connection Take up by Age Group

16+

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65-74

75+

4G mobile

70%

91%

91%

86%

80%

60%

38%

17%

Any internet connection at home

87%

95%

96%

94%

94%

86%

78%

52%

Broadband connection at home

82%

86%

88%

89%

89%

81%

75%

49%

Source: Ofcom Communications Market Report 2019: Market in context - device and service take up -Telecoms (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sector-research/cmr/interactive-data)

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding of the FIFPro report published on 16 April 2020 that the covid-19 outbreak represents an existential threat to women's football.

We want to see the popularity of women’s sport continue to thrive. We have seen record audiences tune in or turn up to watch international women’s events, for example over 28 million viewers watched the BBC coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on television and online. Football is also a popular choice for women and girls to get active: it is the second most popular team sport in terms of participation for adult women in England, and the top ranked team sport in terms of participation for girls.

Football clubs form an integral part of this country and it is important they are given as much support as possible during these difficult times. In light of this, the Government announced a comprehensive and sizable package of direct fiscal support for business through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. Alongside this, Sport England has issued guidance to the sport and leisure sector as well as announcing £195 million of funding, including a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, to help the sector.

The government is also looking forward to the UK hosting the rescheduled women’s UEFA European Championships in 2022, and working to ensure this tournament builds on the fantastic momentum we have seen within the womens’ game in recent years.

The Government will continue to liaise closely with all the football authorities to further understand any difficulties clubs may be experiencing.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on allocating funding to provide electronic equipment and connectivity for education and social use to vulnerable people.

The Government understands that those who are most vulnerable may also lack the access to technology, connectivity and basic digital skills to be able to fully participate while following social distancing advice. We are currently working at pace, in partnership with the tech sector and civil society organisations, to understand the effect on people who do not have access to the internet and to develop solutions to these challenges, as well as providing support to vulnerable people.

HMT and DCMS ministers meet frequently to cover a range of issues as part of the normal process of policy development and delivery. The government is working to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded.

The government has worked with the UK’s major telecommunications providers to agree measures to support connectivity for vulnerable consumers in general and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19.

We are currently working with Futuredotnow, a coalition of companies and civil society organisations working to improve digital skills, on a campaign called DevicesDotNow. The campaign will work with the government to ensure that devices go where they are most needed to support better health and social care outcomes for the digitally excluded, to support remote working and to promote wider wellbeing.

Government also recently announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible. We are also working with the major telecommunications providers to make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to provide electronic equipment with internet connectivity to vulnerable and under privileged people during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government understands that those who are most vulnerable may also lack the access to technology, connectivity and basic digital skills to be able to fully participate while following social distancing advice. We are currently working at pace, in partnership with the tech sector and civil society organisations, to understand the effect on people who do not have access to the internet and to develop solutions to these challenges, as well as providing support to vulnerable people.

HMT and DCMS ministers meet frequently to cover a range of issues as part of the normal process of policy development and delivery. The government is working to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded.

The government has worked with the UK’s major telecommunications providers to agree measures to support connectivity for vulnerable consumers in general and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19.

We are currently working with Futuredotnow, a coalition of companies and civil society organisations working to improve digital skills, on a campaign called DevicesDotNow. The campaign will work with the government to ensure that devices go where they are most needed to support better health and social care outcomes for the digitally excluded, to support remote working and to promote wider wellbeing.

Government also recently announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible. We are also working with the major telecommunications providers to make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect on people who do not have access to the internet of the decline in face-to-face services during the response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government understands that those who are most vulnerable may also lack the access to technology, connectivity and basic digital skills to be able to fully participate while following social distancing advice. We are currently working at pace, in partnership with the tech sector and civil society organisations, to understand the effect on people who do not have access to the internet and to develop solutions to these challenges, as well as providing support to vulnerable people.

HMT and DCMS ministers meet frequently to cover a range of issues as part of the normal process of policy development and delivery. The government is working to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded.

The government has worked with the UK’s major telecommunications providers to agree measures to support connectivity for vulnerable consumers in general and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19.

We are currently working with Futuredotnow, a coalition of companies and civil society organisations working to improve digital skills, on a campaign called DevicesDotNow. The campaign will work with the government to ensure that devices go where they are most needed to support better health and social care outcomes for the digitally excluded, to support remote working and to promote wider wellbeing.

Government also recently announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible. We are also working with the major telecommunications providers to make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to increase the number of female football coaches.

Our national sports council, Sport England, is investing £2 million per year into the Football Association (FA) to support their work to make their coaching workforce more representative of wider society. This includes providing bursaries to support women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to develop their coaching abilities from the grassroots to the elite levels of the game.


Government’s Sporting Future strategy recognised the important role coaching plays in helping people become and stay active. Sport England, evaluated the coaching landscape and developed a new coaching plan for England, ‘Coaching in an Active Nation’, which was published in November 2016. This was developed following consultation with coaches, coach educators and national governing bodies of sport, including the FA, and looks to increase diversity in coaching to better reflect underrepresented groups.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to allocate funding from the public purse to the development of women's football.

We are determined to encourage more women and girls to get active, something we set out in our sport strategy, Sporting Future. Football is a popular choice for women and girls to get active: it is the second most popular team sport in terms of participation for adult women, and the top ranked team sport in terms of participation for girls. It is also growing in appeal for spectators with a record total audience of 28.1 million tuning in to watch the BBC coverage of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Through our national sports council, Sport England, the government is investing £24.6m in The Football Association over the course of 2016-21 for its work on grassroots participation, the football talent pathway, and coaching programmes. Within this, there is no specific ring-fencing of funding between men's and women's programmes, apart from £2.6m which is specifically reserved for women and girls talent programmes.

Sport England has also awarded The FA £544,500 to date to deliver The FA FIVES national promotion programme, a mass participation five a side football competition linked to EURO 2020. Its aim is to provide opportunities throughout England for men and women to take part in a fun, friendly football event.

Separately, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport invested £18m in football facilities through the Football Foundation in each of 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is not possible to separate out the investment amounts by gender.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to categorise the (a) Women's Football European Championship, (b) Women's Football World Cup, (c) Women's FA Cup and (d) other competitions listed for male sportspeople as Listed Events for free to air sports viewing.

In September 2019 the government consulted on whether to add women’s equivalents of men’s events currently on the list to both group A and group B categories. The consultation closed on 11 December 2019. The government is now carefully considering the responses in detail and we will respond in due course.

12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the number of (a) girls and (b) boys who play (i) football and (ii) other sports at (A) primary and (B) secondary school.

The department does not routinely collect data about which sports pupils participate in during the school day. It is up to schools to decide which sports they offer, so that they can meet the needs of their pupils. Factors influencing which sports schools may offer include the space and equipment available.

The department asked what types of sports were available to Year 7 to Year 11 pupils in the Parent, Pupil and Learner Panel, covering the 2021/22 academic year. Girls reported that they were less likely to have football, basketball, cricket and rugby available to them during PE lessons in comparison to boys. By contrast, girls did report that they were more likely to have rounders, netball, badminton, dance, gymnastics and volleyball available to them. Further information can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/parent-pupil-and-learner-panel-omnibus-surveys-for-2021-to-2022. Schools can and do separate sporting experiences for boys and girls on the grounds of safety and fairness, but they should take the time to reflect on how this affects girls and boys accessing the same sports equally.

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey data for the 2022/23 academic year was published by Sport England on 7 December 2023 and shows a significant increase of 4 percentage points of girls in Years 1-11 playing football over the last week compared to the baseline data collected in the 2017/18 academic year. This data is accessible at: https://sportengland-production-files.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2023-12/Active%20Lives%20Children%20and%20Young%20People%20Survey%20-%20academic%20year%202022-23%20report.pdf?VersionId=3N7GGWZMKy88UPsGfnJVUZkaTklLwB_.

On 8 March 2023, the department announced over £600 million in for the primary PE and sport premium in the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years, and £57 million up to March 2025 for the Opening School Facilities programme. Schools can use this funding to increase their sport provision, raise overall quality of PE and improve the opportunities for all boys and girls to access sports.

In July 2023, the government published the School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which set out the expectation for schools to provide girls and boys with the same access and opportunity to play sports in PE and wider school sport. To encourage this, the government has overseen a change to the School Games Mark, which is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust. From September 2023, schools must demonstrate how they are overcoming gender barriers faced by girls and boys in PE and wider school sport as part of their planning and delivery.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have introduced childcare (a) before and (b) after the school day as a result of the pathfinder scheme.

As the programme is yet to launch, the department is unable to provide data about participation in the programme.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor announced a transformative set of childcare reforms aimed at increasing labour market participation. This included the largest ever investment in childcare, including expansions of early years entitlements and wraparound childcare.

The government is investing £289 million in a new wraparound childcare programme which will support local authorities to work with primary schools and providers, including childminders, to set up and deliver more wraparound childcare before and after school in the term time. The government’s ambition is for all parents of primary school children who need it, to access childcare in their local area from 8am to 6pm.

Parents should expect to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound childcare from September 2024, with every parent who needs it able to access term-time wraparound childcare by September 2026. Programme funding allocations for local authorities were announced on 27 October 2023.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Spring Budget 2023, how many schools have participated in the wraparound pathfinder scheme in 2023; and if she will make a statement.

As the programme is yet to launch, the department is unable to provide data about participation in the programme.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor announced a transformative set of childcare reforms aimed at increasing labour market participation. This included the largest ever investment in childcare, including expansions of early years entitlements and wraparound childcare.

The government is investing £289 million in a new wraparound childcare programme which will support local authorities to work with primary schools and providers, including childminders, to set up and deliver more wraparound childcare before and after school in the term time. The government’s ambition is for all parents of primary school children who need it, to access childcare in their local area from 8am to 6pm.

Parents should expect to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound childcare from September 2024, with every parent who needs it able to access term-time wraparound childcare by September 2026. Programme funding allocations for local authorities were announced on 27 October 2023.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many visits were made by (a) the Secretary of State and (b) each Minister in his Department to a (i) Government Hub and (ii) ministerial office outside of London in (A) 2022 and (B) 2023.

The information requested is not centrally collated and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has taken recent steps to determine the prevalence of reinforced autoclave aerated concrete (RAAC) in school sport facilities; and what assessment she has made of the potential impact of RAAC on (a) student access to sport facilities and (b) the Government's target of having equal access to sport for girls by 2025.

Nothing is more important than the safety of pupils and staff. It has always been the case that when made aware of a building that may pose an immediate risk, the Department has taken immediate action.

The Department has acted decisively and proactively to tackle this issue. The Department is working at pace to understand the prevalence of RAAC in our education estate, including in school sport facilities.

The Department issued a questionnaire in March 2022, asking responsible bodies to inform the Department of any suspected RAAC identified in their estates. Responsible bodies have submitted questionnaires for over 98% of schools with blocks built in the target era. The questionnaire remains open, and it is important that all responsible bodies submit and update their responses as more information becomes available.

Schools and colleges where RAAC is suspected are being fast-tracked for surveying, which is used to confirm whether RAAC is actually present. All schools and colleges that have already confirmed they suspect they might have RAAC will be surveyed within a matter of weeks, in many cases in a matter of days.

The School Sport and Activity Action Plan published in July 2023 set out how the Government funded School Games Mark will phase in equality criteria from September 2023 and become a mandatory part of the School Games Mark from September 2024.

The Government has committed to publishing non-statutory guidance by the end of the calendar year to support schools to learn from other schools who are delivering equality of access in the context of their wider curriculum.

In November 2021, the Department awarded the girls competitive sport contract to SLQ, worth up to £980,000 until 31 March 2024. The programme provides girls aged 8-16 with the skills and confidence to overcome some of the known barriers to their continued participation in competitive and sports leadership opportunities.

The Government understands that school facilities provide pupils with some of their first experiences of accessing sport and physical activity, which can support them to lead a lifetime of playing sport and being physically active. The Department has made up to £57 million available until March 2025 to support up to 1,350 schools to open their sport facilities outside of core school hours.

Schools can organise and deliver a diverse and challenging PE and school sport offer that best suits the needs of their pupils. Factors influencing that decision will include the impact of RAAC on spaces available for sports.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent spiking incidents at universities.

On 24 May 2022, the former Secretary of State for Education launched a new working group dedicated to tackling the scourge of spiking attacks against university students. This forms part of the wider government mission to tackle violent and sexual crimes, and strengthen victims’ rights. The group brings together vice-chancellors, police, campaigners, and victims to produce plans for practical action to help keep students safe. It will report back before the start of the autumn term.

Professor Lisa Roberts, University of Exeter Vice Chancellor, has been appointed to lead the working group and coordinate the higher education sector’s response.

Insight and evidence gathered by the working group will be used to inform the government’s report to Parliament on spiking, due to be published in spring 2023.

The government has already taken action to reclassify gamma hydroxybutyrate and closely related substances which have been used for drink spiking. It will work with law enforcement and local authorities to tackle spiking incidents, including considering the case for a specific criminal offence for spiking.

Many universities have also set up their own initiatives to tackle the issue. The University of Exeter is offering drink safety test strips, and Nottingham Trent University is funding and delivering bystander intervention training to staff in night-time city venues. The new working group will look at these and other solutions being tested on campuses across the country.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the average number of weekly hours spent on physical activity by (a) girls and (b) boys at (i) primary and (ii) secondary school in each year since 2010.

The department does not collect data on the average number of weekly hours spent on physical activity by pupils in school.

Sport England’s ‘Active Lives Children and Young People Survey’ provides a comprehensive overview of activity levels in children across England aged 5-16 (Years 1 to 11). The latest report focused on the 2020/21 academic year and can be found online at https://activelives.sportengland.org/Result?queryId=71770.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much his Department will spend on the pension entitlement of the Secretary of State for Education for her time served in position from 5 to 7 July 2022.

Under Ministerial Pension Scheme rules, there are no pension contributions for the former Secretary of State for Education, funded by the department.

The scheme rules for the Ministerial Pension Scheme are available here ministerial-pension-scheme-rules.pdf (mypcpfpension.co.uk)

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he holds information on the number of times the Secretary of State for Education’s departmental pass was used to enter and exit the Department from 5 July to 7 July 2022 for the Secretary of State who served during that period.

The Secretary of State for Education can enter and exit the department either by use of their departmental security pass to gain access electronically, or if they are afforded VIP access to enter and exit by reception staff.

Whilst our electronic records show that they did not use their pass to enter or exit the department, each individual holding the post of Secretary of State that week, including my right hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham, the former Secretary of State for Education, were in their offices within the department during this period.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue revised guidance to apprenticeship providers in respect of adjustments they can make over the summer to (a) improve ventilation in workplaces where apprenticeships are provided and (b) reduce the risks of covid-19 transmission in those premises.

Comprehensive advice on how to improve ventilation is available from the UK Health and Security Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The law says employers, including apprenticeship providers, must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. This has not changed during the pandemic. HSE provides more information on this at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/ventilation/.

From 1 April 2022 the government has withdrawn most pieces of specific COVID-19 guidance for education and childcare settings, although public health and emergency planning guidance for education and childcare settings is still available.

If settings suspect an outbreak of respiratory infection, which could include COVID-19, they should review and reinforce the baseline infection prevention and control measures they already have in place.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to issue guidance to further education colleges on making adjustments and improvements to premises used for teaching and other purposes to (a) improve ventilation and (b) reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission.

We have provided CO2 monitors to state-funded education settings, including early years, schools and further education providers, backed by £25 million in government funding.

The monitors enable staff to identify areas where ventilation needs to be improved and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working, helping balance the need for good ventilation with keeping rooms warm.

The law says employers, including education and childcare settings, must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. This has not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health and Safety Executive provides more information on this at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/ventilation/.

From 1 April 2022 the government has withdrawn most pieces of specific COVID-19 guidance for education and childcare settings, although public health and emergency planning guidance for education and childcare settings is still available.

If settings suspect an outbreak of respiratory infection, which could include COVID-19, they should review and reinforce the baseline infection prevention and control measures they already have in place.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Jun 2021
What assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for disadvantaged pupils.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit.

Since 2011 we have spent more than £20 billion to provide Pupil Premium funding for school leaders to use, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils. Between 2011 and 2019, the attainment gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils narrowed by 13% at age 11 and 9% at age 16.

On top of this funding, we increased core schools funding by £2.6 billion last year and are increasing core schools funding by £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20.

In addition, over the past year we have made three major interventions to support education recovery, totalling over £3 billion additional spend: £1 billion in June 2020, a further £700 million in February 2021 and our latest £1.4 billion package announced in June 2021.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including the most disadvantaged. The latest announcement expands our reforms in two areas where the evidence is clear our investment will have a significant impact for disadvantaged children, high quality tutoring and great teaching.

We are providing over £1.5 billion for tutoring programmes, including an expansion of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), an ambitious scheme that supports schools to access targeted tutoring intervention for disadvantaged pupils who have missed out on learning due to school closures. We will also provide greater flexibility to schools to make it easier for them to take on local tutors or use existing staff to supplement those employed through the NTP. This new blended offer ensures that the NTP works for all disadvantaged children, giving schools the flexibility to choose what type of approach best suits their needs and those of individual pupils.

The £302 million Recovery Premium has been weighted so that schools with more disadvantaged pupils receive more funding and includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches to reduce the attainment gap.

We have also invested more than £400 million to provide internet access and over 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the (a)workload of teachers, (b) retention rate of teachers in that profession and (c) reasons for which teachers leave that profession.

Teacher retention and workload are key priorities for the Department. The latest teacher workload survey, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-workload-survey-2019, showed that the average total self-reported working hours in a given week for classroom teachers and middle leaders in primary and secondary schools in England was 49.5 hours, down by 4.9 hours compared to the 54.4 hours reported in 2016.

The most recent annual school workforce census, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2019, showed that of the teachers who qualified in 2018, 85.4% were still in service one year after qualification. This retention rate was slightly higher than the previous year when the one year retention rate was 85.1%. The November 2020 school workforce census will be published on 17 June 2021.

Whilst workload has been consistently cited as one of the main reasons given by teachers for leaving the profession, recent evidence suggests that it is the relationship between workload, job satisfaction and teacher autonomy that influences teacher retention.

The Department is therefore taking action to make sure that teachers are supported to stay in the profession. In May 2021 we published the education staff wellbeing charter. Developed in partnership with the sector, this sets out a range of commitments on the Government and employers in schools and colleges on wellbeing. The Charter is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter.

The Department’s school workload reduction toolkit, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit, developed alongside school leaders, is a helpful resource that is being used by schools to review and reduce workload in their unique context.

We are ensuring teachers have access to high quality training and development, from initial teacher training (ITT) through to school leadership, by creating an entitlement to at least three years of structured support and professional development for teachers at the start of their careers. Underpinning this is the new ITT Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework. The Department is also launching new National Professional Qualifications for teachers and school leaders at all levels, from those who want to develop expertise in high quality teaching practice to those leading multiple schools across trusts.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the increased costs to schools of complying with covid-19 safety guidance; and what assessment he has made of the effect of those costs on schools' ability to provide high quality education.

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

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. As stated in our guidance, schools should be using their existing resources, including these funding increases, to support pupils to attend school this term. There are no plans at present to reimburse additional costs incurred as part of this.

On 1 October, the Department announced a package of remote education support designed to help schools and colleges build on and deliver their existing plans in the event that individuals or groups of pupils are unable to attend school because of COVID-19. Schools will be able to access a new central support hub, where resources and information on remote education will be housed. This support has been co-designed with schools and includes a range of school-led webinars and resources intended to share good practice.

The Department is also investing £1.5 million of additional funding to expand the EdTech Demonstrator programme – a peer support network offering advice, guidance and training to schools and colleges in effective use of technology, including how it can support remote education.

The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20 and for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide free video lessons for reception up to year 11. It provides lessons across a broad range of subjects and includes specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The support package can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support is being made available to schools which must return to online learning as a result of a covid-19 outbreak in the school.

In the last academic year, the Government invested over £100 million to help schools and young people continue their education at home and access social care services. This included investment of over £14 million on technical support which allows schools to use cloud based education platforms, nearly £6 million to support a new EdTech demonstrator school network, and over £85 million to provide laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to children who would not otherwise have access.

The Department is also making an initial further 150,000 laptops and tablets available to schools in the event that their ability to deliver face to face education is disrupted during the new academic year. These should be used to enable disadvantaged children in year 3 to year 11 to continue to access remote education. We are also funding expert technical support to help schools apply for support to access one of two free-to-use digital education platforms to enable online teaching: G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education.

Schools can also spend their catch up premium on contingency planning for remote learning, for example purchasing additional devices or more textbooks. The Education Endowment Foundation COVID-19 Support Guide includes support for schools in how to support effective remote learning and access to technology.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the quality of internet connectivity for statutory aged students on pupil premium who do not have exams this academic year; and what steps the Government is taking to support those students.

To make remote education accessible to pupils while schools are closed, the Department is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10, those receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, or are a care leaver.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we will be providing 4G internet hotspots so that they can learn at home.

To support householders who face challenges accessing an internet connection, the Government has brokered an agreement with all the major telecoms companies aimed at protecting the most vulnerable, as well as those who may become vulnerable due to COVID-19.

All the major telecoms companies have committed to providing support to their customers including on broadband, landline and mobile services, and ensuring that their customers in financial difficulties, due to circumstances arising from COVID-19, are supported and treated fairly.

We are also working with the major telecoms companies to make it easier for families who rely on mobile data to access online educational resources.

For those in rural areas or without a connection, schools will be able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television. Some of the BBC educational content is offline, via the red button, which disadvantaged pupils without digital devices or connectivity will still be able to access. Schools may also choose to draw on the many resources offers which have been made by publishers across the country. The Department has published an initial list of high quality online educational resources, which have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts to help pupils to learn at home.

The list is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support he is providing to the early years sector during the covid-19 outbreak; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of that support.

The government has put in place a number of financial and other measures to support organisations, both public and private, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted, to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption.

The ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care’ guidance sets out the financial support that is available for early years providers in England, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#sector-specific-guidance.

There are also targeted arrangements for the early years sector, for instance, the one-year business rates holiday for Ofsted-registered private childcare settings in 2020-21.

These are rapidly developing circumstances and we continue to keep the situation under review for short- and long-term planning. We will continue to work closely with HM Treasury to monitor how the support packages are benefitting the early years sector and individual early years organisations.

Guidance on early years and childcare closures is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the early years sector.

The government has put in place a number of financial and other measures to support organisations, both public and private, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted, to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption.

The ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care’ guidance sets out the financial support that is available for early years providers in England, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#sector-specific-guidance.

There are also targeted arrangements for the early years sector, for instance, the one-year business rates holiday for Ofsted-registered private childcare settings in 2020-21.

These are rapidly developing circumstances and we continue to keep the situation under review for short- and long-term planning. We will continue to work closely with HM Treasury to monitor how the support packages are benefitting the early years sector and individual early years organisations.

Guidance on early years and childcare closures is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department’s transparency data Spending over £500 with an electronic purchasing card solution for September 2023, updated on 20 December 2023, what the purpose was of spending £630 with See Tickets on Other Miscellaneous Expenses.

The expenditure of £630 relates to the purchase of 30 tickets to a UK Parliament Multimedia Tour on 9 August 2023. This formed part of a summer internship induction day. The tour gave interns knowledge on the history, heritage and work of UK Parliament today as they begin working for Defra.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Fifty-first Report of the Committee of Public Accounts of Session 2022-23 on Tackling Defra’s ageing digital services, HC 737, published on 10 May 2023, what steps his Department has taken to replace legacy computer systems since the publication of that report.

We continue to invest in replacing legacy IT systems, both through the dedicated upgrade programmes and through major programme deliveries.

For example, our Legacy Application Programme is addressing technical debt which includes exiting from old data centres, removing obsolescence, bringing applications into mainstream support, and improving their security posture. Over 180 applications have had their most critical legacy technology addressed through this programme. We are addressing legacy technology in other applications through digital transformation and policy programmes where this provides a better coordinated approach. This approach has enabled us to remediate the most critical legacy technology and continue to remediate priority applications to April 2025.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many flood support officers his Department employed in each of the last five years.

The Environment Agency (EA) does not have “flood support officers” as a role. The EA has numerous flood incident response roles that staff hold alongside their day jobs. Staff are regularly trained and exercised in these roles. Some of these roles are only activated during an incident and some are on standby 24/7 365 days a year.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sewage releases there have been in (a) Sunderland and (b) the Sunderland Central constituency in (i) 2023 and (ii) 2022.

Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) provides information on when and for how long sewage discharges have occurred. All EDM data is published online (opens in a new tab) annually since 2020. The 2022 data was published in March 2023 (opens in a new tab). The full EDM data set for 2023 will be published by the Environment Agency in March 2024.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risk to public health as a result of the Halliwell Banks Landfill site.

The former Halliwell Banks landfill site falls under the scope of the Part 2a Contaminated Land regime and was designated a “special site” as a result of its potential impact to the groundwater in the Principal Aquifer, the North Sea and the Northumberland Costal Special Protection Area. Following the 2A regime, “Appropriate Persons” with a link to the site have been identified, and, in accordance with the statutory procedure, required to commission a post determination report examining the issues with the site. This report is currently being jointly scrutinised by the Environment Agency and Natural England, who expect to make a determination on its suitability in coming months.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of the Halliwell Banks Landfill site on the surrounding area.

The former Halliwell Banks landfill site falls under the scope of the Part 2a Contaminated Land regime and was designated a “special site” as a result of its potential impact to the groundwater in the Principal Aquifer, the North Sea and the Northumberland Costal Special Protection Area. Following the 2A regime, “Appropriate Persons” with a link to the site have been identified, and, in accordance with the statutory procedure, required to commission a post determination report examining the issues with the site. This report is currently being jointly scrutinised by the Environment Agency and Natural England, who expect to make a determination on its suitability in coming months.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce further standards on companies (a) disposing of waste and (b) disposing of unused or new products in response to Government’s commitment to Net Zero.

The Government is committed to maximising the value obtained from resources and minimising waste, as stated in our Resources and Waste Strategy 2018. Preventing products becoming waste and enabling reuse is fundamentally important in achieving this, and the climate benefits of doing so are recognised.

Businesses that handle waste are obliged, by the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, to follow the waste hierarchy. This requires action to prevent waste as the priority option. Failure to meet the legal obligation to take all reasonable steps to apply this can lead to enforcement action, from the Environment Agency in England.

We recently consulted on a new Waste Prevention Programme for England. This builds on the Resources and Waste Strategy and seeks to help with our strategic goals including achieving Net Zero. It included proposals to provide guidance aimed at encouraging the reuse of products and considering the need to clarify the application of the waste hierarchy. We expect to publish our new Programme later this year.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Waste Regulations 2011.

A statutory review of The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 was published in December 2018, available here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/988/pdfs/uksiod_20110988_en.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many enforcement actions have been made under the Waste Regulations 2011 since those regulations came into law; and if he will provide a list of all enforcement actions taken under those regulations.

The Environment Agency (EA) has taken 46 enforcement actions under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 since they came into force. Alongside these enforcement actions, the EA issues cautions and advice and guidance to operators where appropriate to bring them into legal compliance. The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 legislation is one part of the enforcement framework for waste that the EA works under.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of trends in the number of bus services in (a) Sunderland and (b) the North East since 2019.

The Government provided over £2 billion in emergency and recovery funding from March 2020 to June 2023 to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and help protect services. Due to this funding, bus service provision in England outside London has remained above 85% of pre-COVID levels during 2021/22, despite patronage dropping to 10% of pre-pandemic levels during the height of the pandemic.

We recently announced a long-term approach to protect and improve bus services backed by an additional £300 million from July 2023 until April 2025. This funding is in addition to the £163 million the Government is providing to the North East to help local areas level up their bus services and deliver their Bus Service Improvement Plan. Local transport authorities and bus operators in the North East receive funding under the Bus Service Operator Grant to keep fares down and run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and could lead to cancellation. To support this, the Government provides up to £259 million annually for the national scheme.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the travel industry; and what support he plans to provide to travel companies during that pandemic.

In response to the impact of and specific challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel, the Prime Minister has asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Transport to establish the cross-government Global Travel Taskforce, to consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges.

The travel sector is crucial to the UK’s economy. The Chancellor has put in place unprecedented support package to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced on the 31 October, that people and businesses across the UK will be provided with additional financial support as part of the Government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended on the 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on travel companies; and what steps the Government is taking to help support the travel industry during the covid-19 pandemic.

In response to the impact of and specific challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel, the Prime Minister has asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Transport to establish the cross-government Global Travel Taskforce, to consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges.

The travel sector is crucial to the UK’s economy. The Chancellor has put in place unprecedented support package to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced on the 31 October, that people and businesses across the UK will be provided with additional financial support as part of the Government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended on the 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the financial situation of the airline sector.

The Department for Transport is working with airlines, airports and unions to understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector and its workers

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans he has to make a statement on the Government's position on the triple-lock pension.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is currently conducting his statutory annual review of State Pension and benefit rates. We cannot pre-empt the outcome of that review, which will be announced in due course.

Our priority is to protect the most vulnerable, including those who cannot increase their earnings through work, such as pensioners who are in a unique position.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to reduce the level of food insecurity in the North East.

With 1.25 million vacancies across the UK, Government’s focus is firmly on supporting people into and to progress in work. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Our Plan for Jobs is providing broad ranging support for all jobseekers with our Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP), Job Entry Targeted Support and Restart scheme. To help those in work, the new In Work Progression offer will give 2.1 million low paid workers on UC to access to personalised work coach support to help them increase their earnings.

The government has taken further decisive action to help. The Energy Price Guarantee will provide further support to millions of households with rising energy costs and will continue to do so from now until April next year.

This is in addition to the over £37bn of cost-of-living support announced earlier in the year, which includes Cost of Living Payments of £650 (paid in two lump sums of £326 and £324) to more than 8 million low-income households on means-tested benefits, £300 to pensioner households (through and as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment) and £150 to individuals receiving disability benefits.

For those who require additional support the government is providing an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of household essentials, on top of what we have already provided since October 2021. In England this is taking the form of an extension to the Household Support Fund backed by £421m, running from 1 October 2022 to 31 March. Sunderland will receive £2,673,561.91 for this latest Fund.

Other Local Authority allocations can be found here Household Support Fund Grant Determination 2022 No 31/3096 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help support pensioners with increases in the cost of living.

This year we will spend over £129 billion on the State Pension and benefits for pensioners in Great Britain, we have never paid our pensioners more.

This includes:

  • £5 billion on Pension Credit.

  • £2 billion on Winter Fuel Payments.

  • £125,000 on Cold Weather Payments to pensioners so far this winter.

  • £144 million on Warm Home Discount to pensioners in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit.
Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a supplier working group to better facilitate ongoing communication and dialogue with industry relating to health and social care data and cyber security has been established.

We have multiple mechanisms for engaging and working closely with suppliers, including supplier summits, direct relationships and through local organisations. In addition, we will shortly be launching the Cyber Suppliers Network to facilitate dialogue and visibility of ongoing efforts to more effectively secure data and manage cybersecurity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the implementation plan for a cyber resilient health and adult social care system in England has been published.

The purpose of the implementation plan is to provide details on how we are going to be delivering our strategy over the current spending period. The plan will be published in spring 2024, but we are already delivering on the strategy through an ambitious Cyber Improvement Programme, aiming to invest up to £147.6 million by April 2025.

This programme is looking to further strengthen existing national cyber security controls for health and care, which already includes cyber monitoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through NHS England’s Cyber Security Operations Centre, national-scale defences from cyberattack, such as Secure Boundary, and nationally provided cyber incident response contracts in the event of a cyber incident.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 329 of his Departmental Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23, how much and what proportion of the £432 million allocated for NHS technology programmes was used for (a) improvements for managing and sharing digital patient records between health care providers across the country, (b) transforming remote monitoring of patients and (c) raising digital maturity; what the outcomes of that expenditure was; and whether external suppliers were contracted for the purposes of delivering that work.

In 2022/23, the Frontline Digitisation programme provided £393 million of capital funding and £45.29 million of revenue funding directly to 159 National Health Service secondary care provider trusts. The figures referred to by the Department are a contribution to the overall Transformation Portfolio, which funds a wide array of work, including the deployment of the Electronic Patient Record Systems and Shared Care Records. The intended outcome of this expenditure is to support the implementation of digital capabilities and enable infrastructure to meet our core digitisation standards and improve digital maturity.

As part of digitising adult social care, £2.3 million supported approximately 13,000 people with vital signs remote monitoring technology over 2022/23. The intended outcome of this expenditure is to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and improve quality of care. Funding allocations were agreed directly with integrated care boards and NHS trusts. However, external suppliers may have been contracted at a local level.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much has been spent on improving cyber security of the health and care system in each year since 2016; and how much and what proportion of that expenditure was (a) internal and (b) on contracted suppliers.

The information requested on cyber spending covers sensitive details about cyber security investment for the National Health Service. Releasing this information at the level of any annual breakdown may assist in determining the effectiveness of detecting cyber-attacks on the NHS, and could compromise measures to protect NHS IT systems, leaving them vulnerable to future cyber-attacks.

However, in total, £338 million has been invested nationally to improve the cyber security of the health and care system between 2016 and 2023. This is core spend and excludes investment by local organisations, and wider national or local IT investment which supports better security, such as Microsoft licensing for NHS organisations.

Cyber improvement programmes will always seek to use internal resource where skillsets are available. External subject matter expertise support is brought in to support delivery where these are not available within the Department.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was spent on the NHS frontline digitisation programme in the 2022-23 financial year; and what assessment she has made of the impact of that expenditure.

In 2022/23, the Frontline Digitisation programme provided £393 million of capital funding and £45.29 million of revenue funding directly to 159 NHS secondary care provider trusts.

The funding is closely monitored throughout the year by the Frontline Digitisation programme’s finance team. The programme’s engagement and assurance teams also monitor progress and delivery throughout the year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December to Question 99836, how many DTAC-required NHS contracts have been awarded to companies that are not DTAC-compliant.

The information requested is not held centrally. The NHS Digital Health Technology Standards Audit did not ask National Health Service organisations to differentiate within the contracts that were awarded before and post Digital Technology Assessment Criteria launch.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December to Question 99836, if he will publish the directory of products meeting DTAC standards.

The directory of products meeting Digital Technology Assessment Criteria standards is an ambition for late 2023/24. It is intended that this will be publicly available.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consequences will be faced by digital services providers to the NHS that are not compliant with DTAC standards.

National Health Service organisations are responsible for ensuring that products that they procure and use meet the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria standards. The intention from remedial action plans is that NHS organisations ensure that all the companies that supply technologies or provide digital services are complaint with the minimum legislation and NHS standards that are in place to protect patients.

Actions plans will be led by NHS organisations and will focus on working with suppliers to swiftly achieve compliance. If compliance cannot be achieved, then NHS organisations will need to consider contractual measures that can be used. Any products that are identified as being in breach of Medical Device Regulations will be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December to Question 99836, what penalties will be faced by companies that are not DTAC compliant as part of remedial action plans.

National Health Service organisations are responsible for ensuring that products that they procure and use meet the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria standards. The intention from remedial action plans is that NHS organisations ensure that all the companies that supply technologies or provide digital services are complaint with the minimum legislation and NHS standards that are in place to protect patients.

Actions plans will be led by NHS organisations and will focus on working with suppliers to swiftly achieve compliance. If compliance cannot be achieved, then NHS organisations will need to consider contractual measures that can be used. Any products that are identified as being in breach of Medical Device Regulations will be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all NHS organisations were required to reach out to all of their providers of digital services as part of the Digital Health Technology Standards Audit.

The Digital Health Technology Standards Audit did not require National Health Service organisations to contact providers of digital services. The Audit requests information from NHS secondary care organisations on the digital health technologies deployed within the organisation, whether a DCB:0160 clinical safety case to deploy the technology was completed, whether the organisation assessed the technologies against all or any part of the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria and optionally, contract length and value. We would expect this information to be held by the organisations.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the results of the Digital Health Technology Standards Audit.

The deadline for the return of the Audit’s templates to NHS England is 16 December 2022. Following analysis of the results, National Health Service organisations which have confirmed technologies not assessed against the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC) or have not undertaken DCB:0160 documentation, will be required to submit remedial action plans. NHS England intends to share these actions plans with the Department with a summary of the response rate and quality of returns. While NHS England has no plans to publish the results of the Audit, it will publish a directory of products which meet DTAC standards.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will have the results of the Digital Health Technology Standards Audit.

The deadline for the return of the Audit’s templates to NHS England is 16 December 2022. Following analysis of the results, National Health Service organisations which have confirmed technologies not assessed against the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC) or have not undertaken DCB:0160 documentation, will be required to submit remedial action plans. NHS England intends to share these actions plans with the Department with a summary of the response rate and quality of returns. While NHS England has no plans to publish the results of the Audit, it will publish a directory of products which meet DTAC standards.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of midwives in Sunderland Central constituency.

NHS England retains oversight of local workforce plans and is updated on vacancy rates. However, recruitment and retention is undertaken at trust level.

In 2022, an additional £127 million has been invested in the National Health Service maternity workforce and improving neonatal care, including in Sunderland Central. This is in addition to the £95 million invested in 2021 to fund a further 1,200 midwives and 100 consultant obstetricians. The NHS People Plan focuses on improving the retention of NHS staff by prioritising staff health and wellbeing. In 2022/23, £45 million has been allocated to support the continuation of 40 mental health hubs, the Professional Nurse Advocates programme and expanding the NHS Practitioner Health service.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of mental health specialists in Sunderland Central constituency.

The NHS Long Term Plan stated the aim of increasing the mental health workforce in England by an additional 27,000 professionals by 2023/24. NHS England and Health Education England are working with local integrated care systems, including in the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, to confirm plans for service models, supply, retention and recruitment until 2024.

NHS England continues to support local systems, including in the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, to develop tailored health and wellbeing offers to meet the needs of the local mental health workforce. This includes mental health hubs in each integrated care system and occupational health services which are being supported through the Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing national programme.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of GPs in Sunderland Central constituency.

We are working with NHS England, Health Education England and the profession to increase the general practice workforce in England, including in Sunderland Central. This includes measures to improve recruitment, address the reasons why doctors leave the profession and encourage them to return to practice.

The updated GP Contract Framework announced a number of new schemes, alongside continued support for existing recruitment and retention schemes for the general practice workforce. This includes the GP Retention Scheme, the GP Retention Fund, the National GP Induction and Refresher, the Locum Support Scheme, the New to Partnership Payment and the Supporting Mentors Scheme.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were diagnosed with diabetes in Sunderland Central constituency in each of the last five years.

The following table shows the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Sunderland Central constituency in each year from 2016 to 2020, by diabetes type.

Year of diagnosis

Type 1

Type 2 and other

2016

15

330

2017

25

410

2018

15

410

2019

15

520

2020

20

350

Source: National Diabetes Audit

Notes:

  1. A person may have more than one diabetes diagnosis within the National Diabetes Audit. In this case, an algorithm is used to derive the best diagnosis date and diabetes type for each person. This is used in the analysis.
  2. Disclosure control has been applied to all figures, as per the National Diabetes Audit publication – all numbers are rounded to the nearest 5, unless the number is 1 to 7, in which case it is rounded to ‘5’.
  3. Diabetes type is reported as ‘type 1’ and ‘type 2 and other’ within the National Diabetes Audit. ‘Type 1’ includes where a person is recorded as having type 1 diabetes in the National Diabetes Audit. ‘Type 2 and other’ includes where a person is recorded as having type 2 diabetes, Maturity-onset Diabetes of the Young, other or non-specified diabetes in the National Diabetes Audit.
Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has had discussions with US health counterparts on the research and treatment of sighted non 24 disorder.

There have been no specific discussions.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans she has to increase funding for research into (a) sighted non 24 sleep wake disorder and (b) other similar sleep disorders; and what steps she is taking to help meet the additional needs of people living with sighted non 24 disorder.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including sighted and non-sighted non-24-hour sleep wake disorder. However, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Between 2017/18 and 2021/22, the NIHR directly funded seven studies researching sleep disorders with a total award of £8,564,996. Additionally, the NIHR has supported the delivery of 23 studies relating to sleep disorders via the Clinical Research Network infrastructure, including one study on sighted non-24 disorder.

Integrated care boards work with local commissioners and providers to understand the needs of the local population and commission services that meet those needs, including the treatment of sighted non-24-hour sleep wake disorder.

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to support patients of sighted non 24 through the NHS in England; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing funding into research on that condition.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including sighted and non-sighted non-24-hour sleep wake disorder. However, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Between 2017/18 and 2021/22, the NIHR directly funded seven studies researching sleep disorders with a total award of £8,564,996. Additionally, the NIHR has supported the delivery of 23 studies relating to sleep disorders via the Clinical Research Network infrastructure, including one study on sighted non-24 disorder.

Integrated care boards work with local commissioners and providers to understand the needs of the local population and commission services that meet those needs, including the treatment of sighted non-24-hour sleep wake disorder.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her department is taking to promote the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of school nurses in Sunderland Central constituency.

The recruitment and retention of school nurses is the responsibility of the local authority commissioner and the service provider. The requirements of the service should be determined by a local workforce plan and population health needs.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of GP surgeries were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Sunderland Central constituency in each year since 2010.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Date

Number of practices

Proportion

April 2022

19

90.5%

April 2021

21

100.0%

April 2020

21

100.0%

April 2019

21

87.5%

April 2018

21

84.0%

April 2017

23

92.0%

April 2016

10

37.0%

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) began rating National Health Service trusts in 2013, which was extended to other parts of the health and care system in 2015. Due to changes in the CQC’s taxonomy, the information requested is not held prior to 2016.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of trends in the level of life expectancy in Sunderland Central constituency.

No specific assessment has been made.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of trends in rates of perinatal mortality in Sunderland Central constituency.

No specific assessment has been made. The Government’s national maternity safety ambition aims to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth, by 2025. Since 2010, the rate of stillbirths has reduced by 19.3%, the rate of neonatal mortality for babies born over 24 weeks gestational age of viability has reduced by 36% and maternal mortality has reduced by 17%. We have introduced targeted interventions to accelerate progress, such as the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle and the Brain Injury Reduction Programme. NHS England has also invested £127 million in National Health Service maternity workforce and improving neonatal care. This is in addition to the £95 million investment made in 2021 to fund the establishment of a further 1,200 midwifery and 100 consultant obstetrician posts. NHS England is offering funding and support to trusts to recruit an additional 300 to 500 overseas midwives in the next 12 months.
Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of dental practices were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Sunderland Central constituency in each year from 2010.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) does not currently rate providers of primary dental care services.  The CQC publishes an assessment against five ‘key aspects’ which determine whether a dental provider is meeting its regulatory requirements. These are:

- Treating people with respect and involving them in their care;

- Providing care, treatment and support that meets people's needs;

- Caring for people safely and protecting them from harm;

- Staffing; and

- Quality and suitability of management.

The CQC provides information for the public to find local dentists and profiles, which display the regulatory performance and inspection reports.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of care homes were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Sunderland Central constituency in each year since 2010.

The following table shows the number and proportion of care homes in Sunderland Central constituency rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in each year since 2016.

Date

Number

Proportion

April 2022

39

84.8%

April 2021

39

86.7%

April 2020

41

89.1%

April 2019

39

83.0%

April 2018

36

69.2%

April 2017

40

76.9%

April 2016

32

56.1%

The CQC began rating National Health Service trusts in 2013, which was extended to other parts of the health and care system in 2015. However, due to changes in the CQC’s taxonomy, data is not held in the format requested prior to 2016.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her Department will take steps to increase the availability of face-to-face GP appointments in Sunderland Central constituency.

On 22 September 2022, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which contains measures to assist people make an informed choice on their general practitioner (GP) practice, book an appointment more easily, benefit from more care options and increase the diversity of general practice teams. This aims to increase the availability of appointment types, such as face-to-face, in England, including in Sunderland Central.

NHS England’s guidance states that GP practices must provide face to face appointments and remote consultations and should respect preferences for face-to-face care unless there are good clinical reasons to the contrary.  While remote consultations can provide additional choice, flexibility and convenience for patients, this is not suitable for all patients or in all circumstances.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) financial and (b) other steps her Department is taking to help tackle NHS workforce shortages in Sunderland Central constituency.

The Department has commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan. The plan will consider the number of staff and the roles required and will set out the actions and reforms needed to improve workforce supply and retention, including in Sunderland Central.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of residential care homes that have closed in Sunderland Central constituency since 2010.

Since April 2010, 30 care homes in Sunderland Central constituency have been deactivated. The Care Quality Commission records care homes which have closed as ‘deactivated’. The ‘deactivated’ locations exclude care homes where the provider continues to operate under a new, separate registration. This could be due to a legal entity change or a change in the provider.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has provided additional (a) financial and (b) other support to help tackle (i) patient backlogs and (ii) increased workloads in GP surgeries in Sunderland Central constituency.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’, published in February 2022, stated the ambition to reduce patient backlogs for planned National Health Service treatments and the Government plans to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25. We made £520 million available to expand general practice capacity during the pandemic. This was in addition to at least £1.5 billion announced in 2020 by 2024 which includes supporting increased workloads in general practitioner (GP) surgeries, including in Sunderland Central. In September 2022, ‘Our plan for patients’ announced measures to support GP practices increase access and manage workloads, such as the provision of 31,000 phone lines and funding to expand the staff roles working in general practice, including in Sunderland Central.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of social care capacity in Sunderland Central constituency.

No specific assessment has been made. Local authorities have a responsibility under the Care Act 2014 to ensure that the care needs of the local population are met.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help reduce waiting times for elective surgeries in Sunderland Central constituency.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’ how the National Health Service will recover and expand elective services over the next three years, including in Sunderland Central. We have allocated more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25, in addition to the £2 billion Elective Recovery Fund and £700 million Targeted Investment Fund already made available in 2021/2022 to increase elective activity. This funding aims to deliver the equivalent of approximately nine million additional checks and procedures and 30% further elective activity by 2024/25 than pre-pandemic levels. A proportion of this funding will be invested in workforce capacity and training and we have committed to invest £5.9 billion for new beds, equipment and technology.

The target to eliminate waiting times of two years or more for elective procedures was met in July 2022 and we aim to eliminate waiting time of eighteen months or more by April 2023. This will be achieved through increasing capacity, seeking alternate capacity in other trusts or the independent sector and engaging with patients to understand choices made regarding their care.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help support young people with eating disorders in Sunderland Central constituency.

In September we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will increase access to National Health Service mental health and eating disorder services, including in Sunderland Central. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand NHS mental health and eating disorder services for adults, children and young people in England, including in Sunderland Central.

We will invest approximately £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness. including eating disorders, by 2023/24 and an additional £53 million per year in children and young people's community eating disorder services to increase capacity in the 70 community eating disorder teams.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the uptake of breast cancer screening in Sunderland Central constituency.

The Department is working with NHS England to finalise the delivery of £10 million for breast screening units, including determining which areas will benefit from this investment.

National Health Service breast screening providers are also encouraged to work with Cancer Alliances, Primary Care Networks, NHS regional teams and the voluntary sector to promote the uptake of breast screening and ensure access to services.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the NHS dentist provision in Sunderland Central constituency.

No specific assessment has been made. In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Sunderland Central.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to mental health services in Sunderland Central constituency.

In September we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will increase access to National Health Service mental health and eating disorder services, including in Sunderland Central. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand NHS mental health and eating disorder services for adults, children and young people in England, including in Sunderland Central.

We will invest approximately £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness. including eating disorders, by 2023/24 and an additional £53 million per year in children and young people's community eating disorder services to increase capacity in the 70 community eating disorder teams.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to NHS dental services in Sunderland Central constituency.

In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Sunderland Central.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to a recent research paper entitled Probiotic improves symptomatic and viral clearance in covid-19 outpatients: a randomized, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of that research that probiotics improve symptomatic and viral clearance in covid-19 outpatients.

No formal assessment has been made. However, the Therapeutics Taskforce is monitoring data from clinical trials taking place worldwide to identify safe and effective treatments for COVID-19. The Taskforce works closely with RAPID C-19, a multi-agency group from across the health system, to review and evaluate evidence on the effectiveness of promising COVID-19 treatments when clinical trial data becomes available.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the conclusions the Therapeutic Taskforce’s expert group on prophylaxis made after assessing the evidence of the benefits and risks of probiotic supplementation for covid-19 patients.

The Department established the COVID-19 Prophylaxis Oversight Group (POG) in July 2020, to guide development of pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 infection. The POG has not yet undertaken a review of these supplements but is aware of studies into the use of probiotics. The POG will continue to monitor the research.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recommendation 16, and its sub-recommendations, from the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform report, published 16 June 2021, in respect of regulation of nutriceuticals.

The Department has reviewed this recommendation and concluded that the United Kingdom already has in place the legislation and processes required for the regulation of such products. These are placed into various existing product categories such as food supplements, novel foods, additives, enzymes, flavouring used in foods, foods for specific groups and medicines.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the well-being of carers.

The Government recognises the vital role all unpaid and paid carers play and that the health of some carers may have been affected as a result of their caring role. We are committed to supporting carers in a way that maintains their own health and wellbeing.

During the pandemic, the Government has provided carers with guidance which includes advice on their health and wellbeing and provided over £11.6 million to a number of charities to support carers, including funding to Carers UK to extend their support phoneline. We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance on reopening day services to provide important respite to carers. In addition, we have also allocated funding through the £1.8 billion Infection Control Fund to support the reopening of day and respite services.

The Care Act 2014 introduced important rights for carers, including an assessment of and support for, their needs where eligible. These includes a duty to promote an individual’s ‘wellbeing’ and consider the impact of the role as a carer on their wellbeing.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of adding calorie counts to menus on people (a) with eating disorders and (b) in recovery from eating disorders; and what evidence his Department has on the merits of publishing calories for public health.

We have been careful to consider the views of a wide range of experts in response to our public consultation on introducing mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling including representatives from eating disorder groups. The Department has also engaged with the eating disorder charity BEAT, as well as others representing the views of people living with eating disorders, on several occasions since the Government published ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ last July.

The Department has published an impact assessment detailing the likely effect the policy will have, including the potential effect of the policy on people living with eating disorders. This and the Government’s response to its public consultation on calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector, set out the evidence used to support the policy. The impact assessment and consultation response are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) risks and (b) potential benefits for patients of the use by the NHS of electroconvulsive therapy.

We have made no such assessment. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) based on the most up to date available clinical evidence. NICE has also produced guidance, ‘Depression in adults: recognition and management’, which includes recommendations on when to use ECT for complex and severe depression. The Department expects commissioners and providers of services to pay due regard to these guidelines. NICE keeps its guidance under regular review.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of health insurance providers to reimburse the cost of dialysis for people with kidney disease who need to travel to the European Union after 31 December 2020 in the event that reciprocal healthcare arrangements are not agreed with (a) the EU and (b) individual member states.

The Department is aware of the concerns of people with kidney disease and is carefully looking into the impact of any loss of necessary healthcare provisions. The Government will assess its options for reciprocal healthcare if we do not achieve a European Union-wide arrangement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of (a) situation for travellers to the EU with kidney disease after 31 December 2020 and (b) level of health insurance coverage regarding the reimbursement of the cost of dialysis.

People in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will continue to have reciprocal healthcare entitlements, including a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This means existing healthcare arrangements will not change for those United Kingdom nationals who are resident in the European Union and EU citizens in the UK before 31 December 2020.

The future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements between the UK and EU are subject to negotiations, which are currently ongoing. As part of its published approach to the negotiations with the EU, the UK has indicated that it is open to working with the EU to establish arrangements that provide healthcare cover for tourists, short-term business visitors and service providers. Such arrangements would support those requiring treatments such as dialysis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the additional costs required to administer 27 separate bi-lateral reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event that the UK does not negotiate a pan-EU reciprocal arrangement after 31 December 2020.

The cost of administering either bilateral reciprocal healthcare agreements with European Union member states or an EU-wide agreement on reciprocal healthcare will depend on the scope and content of either type of agreement.

Negotiations with the EU Commission on the future relationship on social security coordination, which includes reciprocal healthcare, are still ongoing. It is therefore not possible to make such an assessment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his criteria are for determining (a) which covid-19 restriction tier each region is placed under and (b) when an area can be moved down one tier.

Decisions on tiers are made by Ministers based on public health recommendations from senior clinical and scientific advisors, guided by five key indicators - the case detection rate in all age groups, case detection rate among the over 60 year olds, the rate at which case rates are rising or falling, positivity rate and pressures on the National Health Service. Final decisions on tiering are made by the COVID-19 Operations Committee.

As of 6 January, all areas have been moved into tier 4 and the Government will review the tiering allocations every 14 days.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the research undertaken by Gabriella d’Ettorre of the Sapienza University of Rome and others entitled Challenges in the Management of SARS-CoV2 Infection: The Role of Oral Bacteriotherapy as Complementary Therapeutic Strategy to Avoid the Progression of COVID-19, published in Frontiers in Medicine.

The research, undertaken by Gabriella d’Ettorre and others, adds to the evidence on the potential role of probiotics to benefit patients with COVID-19. We will invite the Therapeutic Taskforce’s expert group on prophylaxis to consider the evidence of benefits and risks of probiotic supplementation for COVID-19 patients.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 18 June to Question 58640 on Eating Disorders, what assessment has been made of the effect of the (a) covid-19 outbreak and (b) the lockdown restrictions on people with eating disorders.

There is broad consensus that there is the potential for an increase in demand for mental health services to address the mental health impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England and other key partners to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts, including for people with eating disorders, and plan for how to support mental health and wellbeing throughout the coming weeks and months.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the research of Wanglong Gou and others entitled Gut microbiome may underlie the predisposition of healthy individuals to covid-19, published in April 2020.

An assessment has not been carried out on the implications of this research. All new research is important to help us understand the disease and therefore potential effective treatments. The paper will be shared with public health and clinical experts to consider the potential for treatment or prevention options from the study findings.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the work of Matthew Zirui Tay and others entitled The trinity of covid-19: immunity, inflammation and intervention, published in Nature on 28 April 2020.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is responsible for ensuring that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to decision-makers, to support United Kingdom cross-Government decisions. In fulfilling this role, SAGE considers a wide range of scientific evidence. Our approach has been, and will continue to be, guided by the evidence and latest advice from medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer.

The scientific evidence supporting the Government response to COVID-19 can be found at the following link:

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the guidance issued by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics entitled the Use of probiotics and prebiotics in the time of covid-19.

The use of probiotics and prebiotics to treat COVID-19 are not currently our priority in trials. The Government is investing across the board in both basic genetic research and clinical studies to find a sustainable treatment or vaccine against COVID-19. More information can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884760/Our_plan_to_rebuild_The_UK_Government_s_COVID-19_recovery_strategy.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the research undertaken by Professor Glenn Gibson of the University of Reading and others entitled Using Probiotics to flatten the curve of covid-19 pandemics, published in Frontiers in Public Health.

The use of probiotics and prebiotics to treat COVID-19 are not currently our priority in trials. The Government is investing across the board in both basic genetic research and clinical studies to find a sustainable treatment or vaccine against COVID-19. More information can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884760/Our_plan_to_rebuild_The_UK_Government_s_COVID-19_recovery_strategy.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on covid-19 of the research by Professor Philip Calder of the University of Southampton and others, entitled Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System is an Important Factor to Protect Against Viral Infections, published on 23 April 2020.

Public Health England (PHE) is aware of the paper by Professor Calder. PHE considers any new, high quality evidence on COVID-19 and nutrition, as it emerges and seeks advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition as appropriate.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase funding for research into eating disorders.

The Department funds health and care research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. 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.

The latest spend figures available for research on physical health and mental health in each of the last three complete financial years are as follows:

-

Financial expenditure

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Physical health*

£743,063,571

£803,718,845

£823,680,671

Mental health*

£76,627,407

£80,318,055

£93,377,813

*It should be noted that the figures provided on both physical health and mental health cover a broad range of research including studies focused on health service provision, public health etc as well as those looking at specific treatments.

The NIHR’s research programmes provide a flexible source of funding. The latest spend figures available for research on eating disorders within NIHR’s research programmes in each of the last three complete financial years is as follows:

-

Financial expenditure (NIHR research programmes)

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Eating disorders**

£506,187

£333,030

£862,753

**It should be noted that the figures provided above on mental health include studies related to eating disorders.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to allocate equivalent funding to research into (a) mental health and eating disorders and (b) physical health and eating disorders; and if he will make a statement.

The Department funds health and care research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. 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.

The latest spend figures available for research on physical health and mental health in each of the last three complete financial years are as follows:

-

Financial expenditure

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Physical health*

£743,063,571

£803,718,845

£823,680,671

Mental health*

£76,627,407

£80,318,055

£93,377,813

*It should be noted that the figures provided on both physical health and mental health cover a broad range of research including studies focused on health service provision, public health etc as well as those looking at specific treatments.

The NIHR’s research programmes provide a flexible source of funding. The latest spend figures available for research on eating disorders within NIHR’s research programmes in each of the last three complete financial years is as follows:

-

Financial expenditure (NIHR research programmes)

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Eating disorders**

£506,187

£333,030

£862,753

**It should be noted that the figures provided above on mental health include studies related to eating disorders.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding he has allocated to the research of (a) physical health, (b) mental health and (c) eating disorders in each of the last three years.

The Department funds health and care research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. 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.

The latest spend figures available for research on physical health and mental health in each of the last three complete financial years are as follows:

-

Financial expenditure

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Physical health*

£743,063,571

£803,718,845

£823,680,671

Mental health*

£76,627,407

£80,318,055

£93,377,813

*It should be noted that the figures provided on both physical health and mental health cover a broad range of research including studies focused on health service provision, public health etc as well as those looking at specific treatments.

The NIHR’s research programmes provide a flexible source of funding. The latest spend figures available for research on eating disorders within NIHR’s research programmes in each of the last three complete financial years is as follows:

-

Financial expenditure (NIHR research programmes)

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Eating disorders**

£506,187

£333,030

£862,753

**It should be noted that the figures provided above on mental health include studies related to eating disorders.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase the number of (a) staff working in mental health services and (b) specialist staff working in eating disorder services.

We have committed to deliver 50,000 more nurses in the National Health Service by 2024/25, including nurses to deliver vital mental health support.

Eligible pre-registration nursing students studying on courses at English universities from September 2020 will benefit from additional support of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to repay.

There will be up to £3,000 additional funding for some students who choose to study in regions or specialisms struggling to recruit, including £1,000 for new students studying mental health nursing.

We are also focused on driving forward work to improve recruitment into psychiatry, including working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists on their ‘Choose Psychiatry’ campaign. To attract more junior doctors into psychiatry, the new junior doctor contract gives psychiatry trainees an additional £21,017 pay premia in addition to their normal pay.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to allocate funding for the development of evidence-based eating disorder treatments for adults.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and clinical commissioning groups commission eating disorder services based on the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. NICE guidelines are evidence-based recommendations for health and care in England and they set out the care and services suitable for people with an eating disorder.

NICE has published a guideline on the recognition and treatment of eating disorders which includes recommendations on evidence-based care including psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa in adults. To support further development of further evidence-based treatments, the National Institute for Health Research has commissioned a number of studies on the treatment of eating disorders.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of treatment meeting the Access and Waiting Time Standard for Children and Young People in (a) each region and (b) the UK.

We have introduced two waiting times for children and young people: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 56% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. We are on target to meet these aims by 2020/21.

Quarterly data and trend indicators on these two waiting time targets is available through the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard. The Dashboard which brings together quarterly local, regional and national data across mental health services to measure the performance of the National Health Service in delivering its plans.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the provision of eating disorder services in the North East.

The Government announced investment of £150 million in 2014 to expand eating disorder community-based care. As a result 70 dedicated new or extended community services are now either open or in development.

We are implementing the first access standards for eating disorder services for children and young people’s, ensuring that 95% of children with an eating disorder will receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and within four weeks for routine cases. We are on track to meet this commitment by 2020/21.

In September 2019, we announced £70 million to support new pilots in 12 areas to develop models of community mental health care for adults and older adults, including for better access to eating disorder services.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear have nominated Newcastle Gateshead CCG to take a lead on their behalf and have set up a full day workshop to review the eating disorder care pathway to improve community eating disorder services.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the current situation in the West Bank.

The UK is aware of the fragile security situation in the West Bank and we are monitoring developments closely. We look to all parties to take urgent steps to de-escalate tensions. The British Ambassador to Israel and British Consul General in Jerusalem have been engaging with the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to support them in restoring calm. We engage closely with the US at all levels on these important issues. FCDO officials, including from the British Embassy Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem, also engage with the US on a regular basis, including to discuss the situation in the West Bank.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral evidence of the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee on 6 July 2022, Q49 to Q52, if she will investigate the nature of the meetings undertaken in Italy by the Foreign Secretary who served from July 2016 to July 2018.

On 6 July the Prime Minister committed to write to the Liaison Committee; this letter will be placed in the Library in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the ruling of the Israeli supreme court on the situation in Masafer Yatta.

During my first visit to the OPTs this week, I hope to meet with the Palestinians affected by the ongoing demolition and eviction orders at Masafer Yatta and raise our concerns on the impact with the relevant authorities. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions and evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. Our opposition to the demolition of Palestinian property and the evictions of Palestinians from their homes is long-standing. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding the UK Government is providing for education in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to (a) UNRWA and (b) the Palestinian Authority.

Budgets for 2020 were outlined in our Statistics in International Development report available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-international-development-final-uk-aid-spend-2020. Our future spending allocations will be set in the next Spending Review and full budgets for 2021 will be published in due course, including in our regular Statistics on International Development website and in the FCDO Annual Report and Accounts.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding the Government is providing for health services in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to (a) United Nations Relief and Works Agency and (b) the Palestinian Authority.

Budgets for 2020 were outlined in our Statistics in International Development report available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-international-development-final-uk-aid-spend-2020. Our future spending allocations will be set in the next Spending Review and full budgets for 2021 will be published in due course, including in our regular Statistics on International Development website and in the FCDO Annual Report and Accounts.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to the (a) Palestinian Authority and (b) Israeli Authorities on the urgent need for elections to renew the democratic mandate of the Presidency and the Parliament.

We are disappointed that elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been postponed. The Palestinian people should be allowed to enjoy their democratic rights - and Israel must allow voting for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, in line with the Oslo Accords. We urge further work towards genuine and democratic national elections for all Palestinians, which is crucial to the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian State.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Israeli government on covid19 vaccinations in that region.

The British Embassy Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General Jerusalem are in regular contact with the relevant parties and continue to raise the issue of timely access to vaccines. The Foreign Secretary most recently raised this during his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 26 May. The UK is committed to global equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. We are pleased that the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) were among the first to benefit from the COVAX scheme with delivery of over 61,000 doses that arrived on 17 March 2021. Since that initial shipment, we are pleased that several further deliveries have arrived in the OPTs, including most recently on 1 June 2021.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what additional funding the Government plans to provide for emergency assistance to Gaza.

I announced on 20 May that the UK is providing an initial £3.2 million to UNRWA's emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May. The emergency appeal by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) focuses on meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza.

This UK support will help UNRWA deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to those that need it most. Existing UK aid to UNRWA is already helping the Agency to provide food supplies to more than one million refugees in Gaza this year. The international community needs to ensure UNRWA is able to save lives and reduce the suffering.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on UK funded projects in Gaza of the 11 day Israeli bombardment.

The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. It is now important for Israel to facilitate rapid humanitarian access in and out of Gaza. As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop.

We have not yet completed an assessment of the effect of the conflict on UK supported programmes. We are following up with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which the UK funds, on their initial assessment of damage to their installations and interruption to services. The World Bank is commencing a more comprehensive Rapid Damage and Needs assessment, which is expected to report in one month.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many meetings officials based at the embassy in Tel Aviv have had with representatives of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the last (a) 12 months and (b) five years.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv maintains relations with a wide range of contacts, including Arab citizens of Israel, as part of the normal business of the embassy.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Israeli authorities on the demolition of 100 Palestinian homes in Silwan in East Jerusalem.

The UK is supporting communities in Area C, whose homes have been demolished, to remain on their land. We continue to engage frequently with the Israeli authorities on issues affecting Palestinians, including demolitions. Our Ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities, most recently in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February. I [Cleverly] called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised my concerns about the demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures with the Israeli Ambassador on 29 October 2020. UK officials from the British Consulate in Jerusalem have made regular visits to areas at risk of demolition and eviction to reiterate UK support for those communities. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the recent report from Israeli human rights organisations, Breaking the Silence, Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Yesh Din, A Life Exposed: Military invasions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the ending of that practice; and what assessment his Department made on the effect of that practice on the community.

We are aware of the report by Yesh Din entitled, 'A Life Exposed: Military invasions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank'. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the Israeli security forces' rules of engagement. While we recognise Israel's legitimate need to deploy security measures, we encourage them to deploy these in a way which minimises tension and to use appropriate force.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens working abroad.

We do not register British nationals abroad, and therefore do not have numbers of British nationals working overseas.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to assist the repatriation of UK citizens working on cruise ships during the covid-19 pandemic.

We recognise this is a worrying time for British crew on board cruise ships around the world. It is primarily the responsibility of their employers - the cruise ship operators - to ensure the welfare and safety of their crew.

Although no British national passengers remain on any cruise ships, we continue to work on the outstanding issue of supporting the return of British crew members. We are in direct contact with all of the main cruise ship operators, as well as with many crew members and their families. We will continue to support operators to ensure the welfare and safety of British crew. Our overseas missions are liaising closely with local authorities in an effort to facilitate disembarkation and ensure British crew can access flights home.

Not all British crew are seeking to return to the UK. Some may wish to stay with the ship (with their employer's consent), while others may be required by their role to do so as part of the minimum safe manning requirements for the vessel. This is a legislative and flag state requirement to ensure the continued seaworthiness of vessels.

25th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the (a) budget and (b) spending was on remediation of legacy IT systems across central Government in each of the last three years; and what proportion of the overall digital and technology budget for central Government does this spending represent.

Individual departmental spending on the remediation of legacy IT systems is the responsibility of each department.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to encourage cryptocurrency companies to operate in the UK.

In April 2022, the government set out ambitious plans for the UK to harness the benefits of crypto technologies. It is taking forward a number of measures to both foster innovation and implement a regulatory framework that encourages responsible participation in cryptoasset markets.

HM Treasury recently finished consulting on wide-ranging proposals for cryptoasset regulation, aimed at placing the UK at the forefront of crypto innovation and responding to risks in the market. These proposals seek to provide the regulatory clarity needed for long-term investment, innovation, consumer protection, and financial stability for cryptoassets firms to operate in the UK. The government will publish a response to the consultation in due course.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the Crown Works Studio project in Sunderland.

The Government is aware of the Crown Works Studio proposal in Sunderland and is supportive of investment which grows the film and high-end TV industry and creates more jobs and opportunities in the North East.

The Chancellor has regular meetings with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of issues, including the creative industries. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to improve access to (a) life and (b) travel insurance for people who have survived cancer.

The Government continues to work closely with insurers and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the independent regulator responsible for the conduct of the sector, to ensure people are supported to access the cover they need.

Under rules set by the FCA, insurers must treat customers fairly.

In 2020, the FCA found that some consumers with pre-existing medical conditions, including those affected by cancer, faced challenges navigating the travel insurance market. To address this, since 2021, the FCA requires firms offering retail travel insurance to signpost consumers to a directory of specialist providers if they are declined cover, offered cover with an exclusion, or charged a significantly higher premium due to a pre-existing medical condition.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
1st Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the difference in tax paid by (a) married and (b) unmarried couples in each category of taxation where marital status is relevant in the most recent 12 months for which data is available.

The Marriage Allowance was introduced in April 2015 to recognise the importance of marriage and civil partnerships in the tax system. The estimated tax relief given to couples through the Marriage Allowance in 2020-21 was £580 million.

Personal Taxation is usually assessed on individuals’ incomes rather than couples or households. As a result, HMRC do not hold administrative data on which to underpin an assessment of the difference in tax paid by married and unmarried couples.

The cost of the Marriage Allowance, and other reliefs, are set out in HMRC’s tax relief statistics publication, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/minor-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs/estimated-cost-of-tax-reliefs-statistics.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what emergency support the Government is providing for retail sector organisations at risk of entering in to administration as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Businesses, including those in the retail sector, experiencing economic difficulties continue to have access to a range of support measures including, but not limited to:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)
  • A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020 – with an option for the Government to extend if needed.

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

The Government has also introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill which is currently passing through the House. This bill will provide businesses with the flexibility and breathing space they need to continue trading during this difficult time. The measures are designed to help UK companies and other similar entities by easing the burden on businesses and helping them avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the increased telecommunications costs to vulnerable people who are unable to leave their homes during the covid-19 outbreak; and what fiscal support the Government is providing to those people.

The government is committed to supporting individuals through this difficult time. We have increased the generosity of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 p/w, as well as raising the Local Housing Allowance rate to 30% of market rents. We have made significant changes to the operation of Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit, and new style Employment and Support Allowance to ensure that people have quicker and more generous access to a support system.

The government has also agreed a set of commitments with the UK's major telecommunications providers to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from COVID-19. These measures include, among others, the removal of all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services, and a commitment by providers to work fairly with customers who find it difficult to pay their bills as a result of COVID-19.

In addition, the government recently announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible. We are also working with the country’s major telecommunication providers to make it easier for children in vulnerable and disadvantaged families, who are relying on mobile data, to access online educational resources.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak and the increased reliance on online services during that outbreak, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the adequacy of Government funding for digital skills.

HMT and DCMS ministers meet frequently to cover a range of issues as part of the normal process of policy development and delivery.

The government recognises that new measures taken to protect against Covid-19 mean there will be an increased reliance on digital services. This is why the government is working with FutureDotNow, a coalition of companies and civil society organisations to improve digital skills and support remote working.

The government has also announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on funding programmes to provide electronic equipment and connectivity for education and social use to vulnerable people.

HMT and DCMS ministers meet frequently to cover a range of issues as part of the normal process of policy development and delivery.

The government is working to address issues faced by vulnerable people who may also be digitally excluded. For example:

- The government is currently working with FutureDotNow to support an industry-led campaign to provide devices to digitally excluded people to support better health and social care outcomes.

- The government has also worked with the UK’s major telecommunications providers to agree measures to support connectivity for vulnerable consumers.

- The government has also recently announced that vulnerable and disadvantaged children across England are to receive laptops, tablets and 4G routers to make remote education accessible. The government is additionally working with the major telecommunications providers to make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the spend by the Border Force on the (a) upkeep, (b) care and (c) maintenance of border security dogs was in each year since 2015.

Border Force does not hold the spend on the upkeep, care and maintenance of border security dogs in each year since 2015 in an easily accessible format.

Home Office overall annual reports and accounts are available on the www.gov.uk website, which includes Border Force.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to transaction 127-DG - Delivery-65121 and 126-DG - Delivery-500 in the Home Office Procurement card spend over £500, March 2023 transparency release, whether the spend included alcoholic products.

Yes, alcoholic products were purchased in line with the Home Office Gifts & Hospitality Guidance.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people released under investigation in each year since 2017 went on to commit another offence.

The Home Office has collected and published information on the number of people released under investigation since April 2020. The most recent data, up to March 2022, is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1116971/released-under-investigation-data-tables-police-powers-and-procedures-year-ending-march-2022.ods

The Home Office does not centrally collect data on how many people released under investigation went on to commit another offence.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many detector dogs has the Border Force had for each year since 2015.

We take the security of Border Force detector dogs very seriously.

It is a long-standing policy that we do not comment on security arrangements.

9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government Procurement Card Transparency release on Home Office Spend over £500, updated 23 February 2023, how many animals were involved in transaction number 109-UKBE - UK Borders & Enforcement-600.

The Home Office can confirm 30 animals were involved in the transaction number.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce cybercrime.

Tackling cyber crime is at the heart of the Government’s new National Cyber Strategy which is supported by £2.6bn of new investment over the three year Spending Review period. The National Cyber Strategy (2022-2025) has set the direction and ambition for investment and efforts in UK Cyber. Delivery of the Strategy is being supported by the National Cyber Fund. This programme has allocated investment to lead government departments to support delivery of the objectives set out in the strategy.

We are continuing to invest in law enforcement capabilities at the national, regional and local levels to ensure they have the capacity to deal with the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber crime, which includes ensuring officers are being trained and upskilled.

The Cyber Aware campaign is a major national advertising campaign that aims to help businesses (as well as individuals) to protect themselves online. The campaign empowers and enables the public and micro businesses to understand the best ways to stay secure online and take the necessary protective actions; and supports wider efforts to combat the threat at source via the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERs), and through partnership interventions. This year’s campaign was launched on 18 March and is focusing on empowering citizens, microbusinesses and sole traders to keep their email accounts secure. Cyber Aware - NCSC.GOV.UK

The Governments’ Cyber Essentials Scheme provides the basic controls all businesses should implement to protect themselves. About Cyber Essentials - NCSC.GOV.UK

Cyber Prevent is an important part of our response to tackling cyber crime. This is an early intervention programme aimed at deterring individuals from getting involved in cyber crime in the first place, moving deeper into cyber crime or reoffending and diverting them towards positive directions. Since 2019, all local forces now have a Cyber Prevent capability.

Further good advice and helpful products from Government include the 10 Steps to Cyber Security and the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership (CISP). 10 Steps to Cyber Security - NCSC.GOV.UK

We have also rolled out Regional Cyber Resilience Centres in each of the nine policing regions, and London.  These are a collaboration between police, public, private sector and academic partners to provide subsidised or free products and cyber security consultancy services to help Small and Medium Sized Enterprise and micro businesses protect themselves better in a digital age.

We have developed and we continue to innovate on a series of Active Cyber Defence measures. Active Cyber Defence is the principle of implementing security measures to strengthen the security of a network or system to make it more robust against attack. The National Cyber Security Centre’s Active Cyber Defence programme provides tools that are free at the point of use which help organisations to tackle, in a relatively automated way, a significant proportion of the cyber attacks that hit the UK.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her letter to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, dated 31 October 2022, whether she has taken recent steps to increase the security of personal technology devices used by (a) her and (b) her staff members.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, this Government does not comment on internal security issues.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps is taking to increase the effectiveness of the investigations of the National Crime Agency’s Combating Kleptocracy Cell.

The Combatting Kleptocracy Cell (CKC) was established following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The CKC builds on the NCA’s existing expertise and uses all available capabilities to crack down on sanctions evasion and high-end money laundering.

To date, the CKC has secured a number of Freezing Orders (AFOs) over accounts held by individuals who are closely linked to sanctioned Russians, and an array of other disruptions against a range of Russian elites and their enablers. The CKC’s work has assisted in the freezing of numerous properties, eight yachts and four aircraft across the globe, and it continues to work in concert with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in HMT to ensure that other assets in the UK are frozen, as well as with global partners to target illicit wealth held abroad.

The CKC forms an integral part of the wider government response to Russia-linked illicit finance and the Home Office will continue to support the NCA by providing additional funding for the CKC this financial year

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he plans to provide more funding to the National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services (NJC) in (a) Sunderland and (b) the North East.

The Home Office does not fund the National Joint Council.

Setting firefighter pay is the responsibility of employers, working through the National Joint Council; the Home Office plays no role in the negotiation or funding of firefighters’ pay.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to make a decision on the issue presented in the correspondence from the hon. Member for Sunderland Central of 21 October 2021 in relation to a passport application made in March 2021.

The Home Office responded to the correspondence on 5 January 2022.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is for her Department to respond to correspondence on passport applications from hon. Members representing a constituent.

Data about intake and performance in answering Hon. Members Correspondence are published quarterly with the latest Quarter available at: Customer service operations data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and this includes data up to and including the end of quarter 2 - 2021.

Further performance data will be published in due course.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time was for her Department to respond to correspondence from hon. Members and members of the House of Lords in the last 18 months.

Data about intake and performance in answering Hon. Members and Members of the House of Lords correspondence are published quarterly with the latest Quarter available at: Customer service operations data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and this includes data up to and including the end of quarter 2 - 2021. We are proposing the release of data for quarter 3 in due course.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average number of (a) flying and (b) simulator hours was per RAF pilot in each of the last six years.

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many tank shells were fired on training exercises in each year since 2015.

Below is a chart showing the number of shells and shots fired from tanks on training exercises each year since financial year 2014-15 until year to date.

Financial Year

SHELLS FIRED

SHOTS FIRED

2014-15

6,742

5,904

2015-16

11,422

10,429

2016-17

4,313

5,509

2017-18

9,860

6,650

2018-19

10,206

7,632

2019-20

11,038

10,807

2020-21

700

4,766

2021-22

3,581

8,818

2022-23

2,635

6,162

2023-24 year to date

3,201

1,966

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many personnel lived in substitute service single accommodation on average in each year since 2015.

The table below shows the total numbers of Service personnel living in Substitute Service Single Accommodation (SSSA) each year since 2015.

Year

Number of Service Personnel in SSSA

2015

4,165

2016

3,983

2017

3,970

2018

3,745

2019

3,870

2020

3,820

2021

3,633

2022

3,596

2023 (up to 28 Nov)

3,951

There has been a 30% increase in SSSA applications in 2023. This is due to single Service Personnel being decanted from Single Living Accommodation as improvement and upgrade works take place a number of large Unit moves that have occurred this year.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse was for (a) abandoned and (b) postponed Royal Air Force training exercises in each year since 2018.

This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people left the (a) Army, (b) RAF, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Marines in each calendar year since 2010.

The requested information is provided in the attached table.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful applications to join the (i) Army as an officer, (ii) RAF as a commissioned officer and (iii) Royal Navy as an officer were made in each year since 2010.

It is taking time to collate the required information to answer the hon. Member's Questions. I will write to her when the information is available, and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful applications to join the (i) Army as a NCO, (ii) RAF as an NCO and (iii) Royal Navy as a rated officer were made in each year since 2010.

It is taking time to collate the required information to answer the hon. Member's Questions. I will write to her when the information is available, and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any (a) SA80 and (b) Glock 17 have been decommissioned in each year since 2015.

SA80 and Glock 17s are decommissioned each year due to damage and wear outside of safe limits.

The ongoing SA80 A2 to A3 upgrade programme is also resulting in some SA80 A2s being decommissioned.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what were the three significant, related events which affected Tutor aircrafts in the last eight months; and whether any injuries were sustained in these events.

To ensure I can provide as much detail as possible, I will write to the hon. Member with the detail requested once it has been collated. A copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what percentage of eligible British Citizens living overseas submitted a successful application to register to vote in each of the last five years.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the safety of cladding on high rise buildings in England.

The Government has made clear that building safety is the responsibility of the building owner.

Acting on advice from the Expert Panel, the Government has commissioned research to support further understanding of the fire performance of external wall systems and cladding materials :

We have published advice (updated in January 2020) to building owners on the actions they should take with regards to external wall systems and managing the safety of buildings of all heights.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to ensure the safety of people who live in high rise buildings; and if he will make a statement.

In November 2018, the Government introduced a ban on combustible materials in and on the external walls of certain buildings, including blocks of flats more than 18 metres in height. We have more recently consulted on extending the scope of the ban and we will publish the results in due course.

The Government has committed £600 million for the remediation of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding. In March 2020, the £1 billion Building Safety Fund was then announced, aimed at remediating other unsafe cladding types on high-rise residential buildings. For high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding, the Government has worked closely with local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services to ensure that interim safety measures, where needed, are in place until the cladding is replaced.

We have also published advice from the Independent Expert Advisory Panel on the measures building owners should take to ensure their buildings are safe. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-advice-for-building-owners-including-fire-doors

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the number of pigeon infestations in the prison estate.

HM Prison and Probation Service takes all reasonable steps to manage waste appropriately at prison sites to reduce the likelihood of infestation. Routine planned pest control regimes are in place, facilitated by the Facilities Management providers as part of their core service. In addition to this, reactive pest control visits are undertaken as required.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the number of offenders who were subsequently convicted of murder in each year between 2010 and 2015, broken down by the type of index sentence originally given.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer I gave on Monday 27 November to Question 2868: Written questions and answers - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of the prison population was on remand on average in each year since 2015.

The proportion of the prison population that was on remand in each year since 2015 can be calculated from the figures for the total remand population and those for the total prison population (males and females) that are set out in Table A1.1 of the latest published Offender Management Statistics Quarterly - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1173712/Population_30June2023_Annual.ods.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of (a) single level beds and (b) bunkbeds in use in the prison estate.

All beds used across the prison estate are required to comply with quality standards. Any issues are addressed by Property Services in His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service.

The quality standards take account of specific needs relating to use in the prison estate, including health and safety considerations that are additional to those for commercially available beds.

Where beds are already in situ, prison staff report identified faults for rectification or replacement using the facilities management reporting system.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) average age of a prison van and (b) oldest prison van in use by His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service is as of 27 November 2023.

The average age of a prison van is 9 years old.

The oldest prison van is 16 years old.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many violent attacks by inmates on inmates were recorded in Young Offender Institutions in each of the last 10 years.

Data on assaults by children and young people in the secure estate, by sector, are published quarterly on GOV.UK. The latest publication with data from April 2014 is available at tables 1.2.1 and 1.2.2: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/safety-in-the-children-and-young-people-secure-estate-update-to-june-2023.

Data prior to April 2014 are available at table 8.14: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/youth-justice-statistics.

The way assaults are counted changed in April 2018 for Young Offender Institutions. Information before and after this date should not be compared.

Safeguarding data for internal management information purposes has been collected centrally since November 2019. The categories to be reported include sexual abuse.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department collects data on the number of prison staff dismissed for entering into (a) romantic and (b) sexual relationships with prisoners.

Data is collected on all conduct and discipline cases for MoJ employees, including those working in Prisons, and is captured once a dismissal has been submitted. Prison staff who have been dismissed for entering a sexual relationship fall under the sub-category ‘Sexual Relationship with Prisoner or Ex-Prisoner'.

'Romantic relationship’ is not a term used in the standard categorisation, therefore we do not have data that captures this. This would fall under the charge of ‘Inappropriate Relationship with a Prisoner/Ex-Prisoner’.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) prison wardens, (b) probation officers and (c) prison governors were dismissed for (i) sexual harassment, (ii) sexual assault and (iii) rape in the last five years.

The number of staff who are subject to Conduct and Discipline are generally low as a proportion of all staff. The number of band 3-5 prison officers and probation officers who were subject to a Conduct and Discipline (C&D) charge of 'sexual harassment/assault' and were recommended for dismissal from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023 are given in Table 1 below.

There were no Band 10/11 prison governors who were recommended for dismissal for the charge of 'sexual harassment/assault' in the last five years.

'Rape' is not a central charge listed under conduct & discipline. This would be classed under criminal conviction and an investigation would be carried out by the appropriate authorities accordingly.

There is no place for any form of unacceptable behaviour in HMPPS. Such behaviour is contrary to its core values and will not be tolerated. All allegations of unacceptable behaviour are taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. HMPPS launched its Tackling Unacceptable Behaviours Unit (TUBU) in 2020, and this has been followed by an increase in reported cases. The aim of TUBU is to help improve the working environment by providing additional support, insight and expertise to staff raising concerns. The TUBU provides additional support to managers investigating these concerns and ensures that investigations are carried out fairly and consistently and any unacceptable behaviour is challenged and dealt with appropriately.

Table 1 - Headcount of band 3-5 prison officers1 and probation officers who were subject to a Conduct and Discpline2 charge of 'sexual harassment/assault'4 and were recommended for dismissal, from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023 (p) by year5 and selected grades6

Headcount

Grade

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Total

Band 3-5 prison officers

4

3

10

10

21

48

Probation officers

0

0

0

0

~

~

Notes to table

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

2. Conduct and Discipline cases are defined as where a penalty has been imposed on a member of HMPPS staff for a reason of conduct.

3. A dismissal case is defined as where at least one of the charges relating to an individual is recommended for dismissal. Information on the outcomes of any appeal is not included. Also not included are any staff who resign prior to the Conduct and Discipline case.

4. The Conduct and Discipline data does not disaggregate further than this so cannot split out harassment and assault.

5. Year relates to 12 months to 31 March.

6. If an individual had multiple charges they will be counted once in each year.

~ Denotes suppressed values of 2 or fewer or other values which would allow values of 2 or fewer to be derived by subtraction. Low numbers are suppressed to prevent disclosure in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 2018.

(p) Provisional data. There may be minor changes to figures from December 2017 onwards in future due to additional data being recorded on the systems subsequent to extraction.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders by the type of index sentence, were convicted of a serious further offence of murder in each year between 2010 and 2015.

The table below sets out the total number of convictions, where an offender subject to probation supervision was charged with a serious further offence (SFO), which resulted subsequently in a conviction for murder, for all cases notified to what is now HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2015.

Index Sentence

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Community Supervision

33

45

32

27

23

23

Determinate Prison Sentence

16

26

19

23

23

17

Life Licence

1

2

0

2

2

2

IPP

0

0

0

1

0

1

Total

50

73

51

53

48

43

1. Time period for conviction data relates to the date of SFO notification to HMPPS not the date of conviction.

2. Index sentence refers to the sentencing disposal imposed by the court which led to probation services supervision of the offender.

3. The data only includes convictions for serious further offences of murder that have been notified to the national SFO Team, HMPPS.

4. Conviction data also includes cases where the offender committed suicide or died prior to the trial, where the judicial process concluded that they were responsible.

5. The data for January 2010 to December 2015 has been updated and may differ to any original publication due to data cleansing, re-categorising and re-grouping.

6. Data Sources and Quality. We have drawn these figures from administrative IT systems which, as with some large-scale recording systems, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Serious further offences are incredibly rare, with fewer than 0.5% of offenders supervised by the Probation Service going on to commit serious further offences but each one is investigated fully so we can take action where necessary. We have also injected extra funding of more than £155 million a year into the Probation Service to deliver tougher supervision, reduce caseloads and recruit thousands more staff to keep the public safer.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the proven re-offending was rate in each year since 2015 for people convicted of cruelty to children or young persons.

This Government is committed to tackling the causes of reoffending to keep our communities safe. Between 2010/11 and 2020/21, the overall proven reoffending rate has decreased from 31.6% to 24.4%.

Proven reoffending data, by index offence of “cruelty to or neglect of children” (annual average, England and Wales) [2015/16 to 2020/21]

Apr 2015 - Mar 2016

Apr 2016 - Mar 2017

Apr 2017 - Mar 2018

Apr 2018 - Mar 2019

Apr 2019 - Mar 2020

Apr 2020 - Mar 2021

Proportion of offenders who reoffend (%)

7.3

9.2

7.5

6.3

6.3

5.6

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many assaults by staff on inmates were recorded in each Young Offender Institution in each of the last 10 years.

Collating the information that is held would require a search of individual records. This could not be done without incurring disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much was spent on pest control in the prison estate in each year since 2018.

The Ministry of Justice has significantly increased investment in custodial Facilities Management over the period, including in pest control activity. The amount spent on pest control in the prison estate for each financial year since 2018 is in the table below:

Financial Year

Total Pest Control Costs (£000)

2018/19

568

2019/20

872

2020/21

1,227

2021/22

1,107

2022/23

1,172

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which prisons have been re-locked since 2015; how much was spent on each re-locking process; and for what reason each prison required re-locking.

The table below shows which prisons have been re-locked since 2015, the amount spent on each re-locking occurrence and the reason(s) the re-locking was required. Re-locking is rare and all incidents are fully investigated to ensure the safety and security of our prisons.

Establishment

Cost

Reason

Portland

£117,211.50

Full set of keys missing and unaccounted for.

Northumberland

£422,477.46

Several key/lock incidents reported within a short period of time.

Birmingham

£438,525.29

Gate to a yard was found open and re-lock undertaken.

Wandsworth

£441,649.00

key compromise, which necessitated changing all the prison locks.

Erlestoke

£21,304.70

Compromise to lever mechanism locks for offices and storerooms.

Wandsworth

£324,486.39

Full set of keys taken by a member of staff. Full re-lock undertaken.

Full Sutton

£2,821.40

Member of staff left the establishment with keys to an inner perimeter inaccessible to prisoners. Partial re-lock was undertaken.

Doncaster

£313,139.66

Full set of keys were taken by prisoner during an incident with a member of staff.

Swaleside

£28,650.00

Service cupboard keys for cell electrics and plumbing on wings went missing. Decision made to re-lock service cupboards only.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's publication entitled Ministry of Justice data: gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings January 2023 to March 2023, published July 2023, what the (a) agenda, (b) attendance and (c) outcomes were of the meeting between the Rt hon. Member for East Hampshire and the Albanian Prison Director on 21 March 2023.

A new Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Albania came into force in May 2022. A meeting between the Director General for prisons and Minister Hinds took place on 21 March 2023 where they discussed the Prisoner Transfer Agreement between the UK and Albania and Albania’s plans to reform their prison system.

In May 2023, we announced a complementary arrangement whereby the UK Government has agreed to provide support to modernise and expand the Albanian prison system and in return Albania has agreed to accept the return of up to 200 Albanian Nationals currently serving sentences of 4 years or more in the UK. The Home Office simultaneously announced over £4m in funding for capacity building and prison reform in Albania, including investment in security equipment, vehicles, and technical assistance.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much money has accrued to the public purse from confiscation orders in each year since 2010.

Confiscation orders are the principal means by which the government carries out its policy to deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crime. They are used with the intent to disrupt and deter criminality. Confiscation orders are not punitive in nature but are designed to require the defendant to pay back the proceeds of their crime and to thus deprive them of the benefit of their crime.

A confiscation order is issued against an individual after they have been convicted of an offence, ordering them to pay back the amount that the court has determined they had benefited from their crime.

The court will determine the amount of the benefit received based upon the relevant criminal conduct. In determining the benefit amount the court can take into consideration all the financial assets of the defendant including gifts, “hidden assets” and the “criminal lifestyle” of the defendant. By including the value of assets such as those classed as “hidden” or “gifts”, the aim of the court is to effectively deprive the defendant of their use and take them out of circulation. The court will then determine the available amount which may be less than the benefit amount.

Receipts from confiscation orders, excluding any compensation amounts, are paid to the Home Office.

Financial Year

Confiscation orders imposed (note 1) £000

Amounts collected (note 2) £000

2022-23

153,088

162,620

2021-22

154,829

127,390

2020-21

107,257

77,923

2019-20

140,947

103,889

2018-19

115,538

128,840

2017-18

176,091

106,401

2016-17

85,643

118,621

2015-16

357,694

135,313

2014-15

161,925

125,601

2013-14

140,730

109.576

Prior to 2013-14 the available data reports do not distinguish between confiscation orders and compensation and thus the amounts due to the “public purse” cannot readily be identified.

Note 1

A confiscation order can include a compensation order to compensate the victims of the crime which the court will instruct is to be paid from the proceeds of the confiscation order. In this situation the compensatees are paid from the first available receipts that are received. The amounts shown above exclude any compensation payable from the order.

Confiscation orders can have multiple defendants linked to them, in these cases the cases can be classed by the court as joint and several liability cases, the effect of which is that even though orders may be issued against every defendant they can only be enforced to the extent that the same sum has not been recovered through another confiscation order made in relation to the same joint benefit. i..e the benefit amount can only be collected once. The numbers above have not been adjusted for any joint benefit cases.

Note 2

Collections relate to all amounts collected in that financial year, the amounts will include receipts for orders imposed in prior financial years

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of prison officers at bands 3 to 5 based at each high-security institution had (a) less than three years' experience and (b) three or more years’ service in (i) 2010, (ii) 2015 and (iii) 2023.

Appropriate staffing across our prison estate is vitally important. In line with Prisons Strategy White Paper, published in December 2021, we are committed to recruiting up to 5,000 additional prison officers across public and private prisons by the mid-2020s in line with estate expansion. The number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) prison officers has increased over time; there were 4,000 more officers in post in June 2023 compared to March 2017

Alongside this recruitment, we recognise the importance of retaining experienced staff. We launched a retention toolkit into prisons in 2021 which provides Governors with the support and tools to tackle the main drivers of attrition in their prison. Since April 2022, we have invested in a number of new initiatives, including new colleague mentors and a new peer to peer learning scheme, as well as focused leadership training in sites where staff attrition is highest.

We have also made significant investments in pay to recognise the hard work of our staff. The 2023/24 Prison Service pay award was announced in July and delivered a 7% increase in the starting salary for an entry level prison officer on 39 hours, rising from £30,702 to £32,851 on the national pay scale.

The resignation rate for prison officers has improved by 2.6 percentage points to below 9% for the year ending 30th June 2023.

The table below details prison officers by length of service for each high security prison on the dates requested.

Table 1 - Band 3-5 Prison Officers by Length of Service for each High Security prison as at 30 June 2010, 30 June 2015 and 30 June 2023

30-Jun-10

30-Jun-15

30-Jun-23

Name

Under 3

3 and over

% Under 3 years

% 3 and over

Under 3

3 and over

% Under 3 years

% 3 and over

Under 3

3 and over

% Under 3 years

% 3 and over

Belmarsh

27

478

5%

95%

19

355

5%

95%

116

310

27%

73%

Frankland

30

563

5%

95%

3

481

1%

99%

189

443

30%

70%

Full Sutton

20

412

5%

95%

5

364

1%

99%

130

277

32%

68%

Garth

10

257

4%

96%

34

184

16%

84%

90

180

33%

67%

Gartree

31

179

15%

85%

34

156

18%

82%

66

152

30%

70%

Isle of Wight

36

270

12%

88%

73

217

25%

75%

Long Lartin

67

326

17%

83%

12

323

4%

96%

69

215

24%

76%

Manchester

25

463

5%

95%

1

403

0%

100%

133

272

33%

67%

Swaleside

96

167

36%

64%

14

214

6%

94%

70

180

28%

72%

Wakefield

27

390

6%

94%

1

307

0%

100%

159

260

38%

62%

Whitemoor

35

373

8%

92%

25

302

8%

92%

79

244

24%

76%

Woodhill

46

400

10%

90%

25

313

7%

93%

105

171

38%

62%

Aylesbury

16

141

10%

90%

27

87

24%

76%

See Note 3

Total

429

4,148

9%

91%

236

3,759

6%

94%

1,360

2,993

31%

69%

Notes to Table 1:

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

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

3. IOW is not included as it was not part of the LTHSE in June 2010 data

4. Aylesbury moved out of High Security in 2022 and thus is not included in the June 2023 data.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
14th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, on how many occasions (a) he and (b) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland visited a (i) Government Hub and (ii) ministerial office outside London in (A) 2022 and (B) 2023.

The information requested is not centrally collated and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland