Lee Anderson Portrait

Lee Anderson

Independent - Ashfield

First elected: 12th December 2019


2 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
County, Eggs, Pigs and Poultry
2 Former APPG memberships
Brazil, Northern Ireland Economy
Deputy Chair, Conservative Party
7th Feb 2023 - 16th Jan 2024
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
19th Oct 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill
26th Oct 2022 - 2nd Nov 2022
Public Order Bill
25th May 2022 - 21st Jun 2022
Women and Equalities Committee
8th Jun 2021 - 14th Dec 2021
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
12th May 2021 - 24th Jun 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
5th Oct 2020 - 16th Jan 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 276 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 286 Noes - 221
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Immigration Rules and Border Security
I welcome the news that the Ukrainian visa scheme has been extended by 18 months; that is very generous. Could …
Written Answers
Wednesday 28th February 2024
Defence: Industry
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 18 of the Defence Command Paper 2023, what …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Lord Michael Hintze
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 9th May 2023
Cladding Remediation Works (Code of Practice) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision for a statutory Code of Practice to set standards for cladding remediation works in occupied …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lee Anderson has voted in 879 divisions, and 10 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Lee Anderson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Lee Anderson 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(32 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(23 debate interactions)
Bambos Charalambous (Independent)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(69 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(34 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(31 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Public Order Act 2023
(3,147 words contributed)
NHS Funding Act 2020
(1,306 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lee Anderson's debates

Ashfield 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).

Petitions with highest Ashfield signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We want suicide spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way. Speaking about suicide saves lives
The Dept for Education are conducting a review of the RSHE curriculum; this petition calls on the DfE to include suicide prevention within the statutory guidelines of the new curriculum.


Latest EDMs signed by Lee Anderson

21st February 2024
Lee Anderson signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
93 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 46
Scottish National Party: 41
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
19th December 2019
Lee Anderson signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Independent: 4
Labour: 1
View All Lee Anderson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lee Anderson, 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.



301 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing age restrictions on music played by radio stations.

There are rules in place to protect under-eighteens in relation to programme scheduling and content, as well as to protect the public generally in relation to harmful and / or offensive material. These are set out in the Broadcasting Code, which is published by Ofcom in its role as the independent regulator with responsibility for broadcast content and standards. Ofcom also publishes guidance to broadcasters in relation to offensive language, including with regard to lyrics in music tracks, and takes enforcement action, where appropriate, to deal with breaches.

The Government has no plans to introduce additional regulatory burdens on radio stations.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to tackle geographic inequality of opportunity.

Levelling up is at the heart of the Government’s agenda to build back better after the pandemic. The Government will publish a landmark Levelling Up White Paper later this year, setting out bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunity in all parts of the UK.

To support this, the Minister for Women and Equalities announced the Equality Data Programme in December, to ensure that geographic and socio-economic inequality is taken into account, alongside other factors, when identifying barriers to opportunity.

We also moved the sponsorship of the Social Mobility Commission across to the Equality Hub in April, so that it can play a crucial role in tackling regional inequalities.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
11th Feb 2021
To ask the President of COP26, which Ministers in addition to the Prime Minister he plans to appoint to the UK's delegation for COP26 in November.

The Government is currently developing the plan for those who will be included under the COP26 UK delegation.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme is a vital safeguard in our criminal justice system. It permits the Law Officers to intervene personally in a case where a sentencing judge has fallen into gross error and imposed a sentence which is outside the reasonable range.

Sentencing judges get it right in the vast majority of cases. In those rare cases where they get it wrong, the scheme ensures that justice is served.

I recently argued in person before the Court of Appeal that the dangerous and depraved serial rapists Joseph McCann and Reynhard Sinaga should have received whole life sentences. The Court of Appeal did not impose whole life sentences, but it did increase their minimum terms from 30 to 40 years to properly reflect the truly heinous nature of their offending and protect the public from them.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Attorney General, if she will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by her Department.

The Attorney General’s Office is not currently undertaking any statutory or non-statutory public inquiries.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help increase opportunities for fulfilment companies in Ashfield to secure Government contracts.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the UK economy. That is why we are making sure Government spending supports this vital sector, both as part of our economic recovery from COVID-19 and as part of our levelling up agenda. We are increasing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a variety of ways - from transparently publishing contract pipelines to simplifying bidding processes.

These measures are working. The latest procurement figures for 2019/20 show that £15.5bn was paid to small and medium sized businesses to help deliver vital public services. This figure is an increase of £1.3bn on the previous year and the highest since records began in 2013.

Now we have left the EU, we are able to redesign our procurement framework to create a simpler regime which will be of great benefit to UK SMEs.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK no longer being bound by common EU positions on British delegates' positions on domestic policy at Conferences of Parties within the UN treaty system.

Leaving the EU and the agreement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) means that the UK has full political and economic independence. The Government is using this opportunity to show what Global Britain means to the rest of the world and play our part as a global leader. We shall do so by advancing UK policies internationally, including through Conferences of Parties within the UN treaty system.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for two independent statutory public inquiries; the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Infected Blood Inquiry. The department has no non-statutory inquiries currently underway.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to support businesses applying for visas for staff who need to stay in European countries for more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

To help businesses navigate the visa and work permit rules of EU countries, the Government has published guidance on GOV.UK on the entry requirements for each EU Member State, as well as for Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The Government is also using the Trade and Cooperation Agreement’s governance structures to ensure the European Union upholds its commitments on business travel.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to support companies that produce high specification machining parts for aeronautics.

The Government has been supporting UK aerospace research through the £685m Aerospace Technology Institute programme. Sharing in Growth, an intensive competitiveness improvement programme, has received £86m to support aerospace suppliers. It has created c.2,500 to 3,500 additional jobs and generated a net impact on turnover of £799m to £1,145m across all beneficiaries. The Department is now also working with industry to develop Supply Chain Solutions, an industry funded supplier competitiveness programme.

This support helps attract inward investment into the UK, enables exports and helps secure major contract wins such as the recent Airbus deal with Air India.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that (a) all regulators and (b) the Gambling Commission act in accordance with the Regulators Code.

The Regulators Code is a framework for how regulators should engage with those they regulate. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, requires those regulators covered by its scope, including the Gambling Commission, to have regard to it when setting their policies and operational procedures.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards works to support the effective implementation of the Regulators’ Code.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of reforming the system of electricity standing charges.

Standing charges are capped under the price cap, set by Ofgem, and ensure millions of households pay a fair price for their energy. The setting of the standing charge is a commercial matter for individual suppliers. The standing charge reflects the on-going costs that fall on a supplier to provide and maintain a live supply to a customer.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to provide energy support to mobile home park residents.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding will provide a £400 discount for households who will not be reached through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. This includes some park home residents. The Government will be publishing further details about eligibility shortly.

Those living in park homes will also receive support equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee. The business in a direct commercial relationship with the energy supplier (for example, the park home site owner) is receiving support via the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) and is required to pass this support on to end users.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of future trends in the growth of the global liquefied natural gas market on UK businesses over the next ten years.

The Government expected a significant growth in global LNG supply in the coming years, particularly from 2025 onwards, as large amounts of new supply, particularly from the US and Qatar, become available to the global market. The United Kingdom has one of the largest LNG import infrastructures in Europe, so much of this is likely to be available to the UK.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the remit is of the Energy Supply Taskforce; by what criteria his Department will make an assessment of whether the Taskforce has been a success; and what the planned timetable is for the publication of the first report by the Taskforce.

The Energy Supply Taskforce was announced on the 8 September 2022, with the objective of investigating commercial alternatives for the United Kingdom’s energy security. Its remit covers natural gas and not the wider energy market. The Taskforce is engaging with a broad range of gas producers and shippers, and is advising Ministers accordingly. It would not be appropriate to publish a report on their work, which is highly commercially sensitive.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to help ensure that the UK's supply of natural gas will not be further affected by the war in Ukraine.

The UK has a secure and diverse energy system. The Government is confident in its plan to protect households and businesses in the full range of scenarios this winter, in light of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

The Government has taken steps to bolster supply and is working closely with Ofgem and National Grid to strengthen its position further. Earlier this year Equinor and Centrica signed an agreement to strengthen the UK's gas supply over the next 3 winters. This will add up to 1 billion cubic metres of gas per year to UK supply – enough to provide for the annual needs of two million homes.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase energy security.

The UK has a secure and diverse energy system. We are confident in our plans to protect households and businesses in the full range of scenarios this winter, in light of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

To strengthen this position further, we have put plans in place to secure supply this winter. This includes supporting coal plants to remain open, ensuring an additional 2.4GW of generating capacity to be used as a last resort over the coming months. We continue working closely with key international partners, to monitor and share information on energy supply, demand, and preparedness for the winter.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to resume fracking as a way of extracting shale gas; and if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of such a resumption on (a) energy prices and (b) the extent to which the UK is self-sufficient in meeting its energy requirements.

The Government will end the pause on extracting shale gas.

It is right that all possible energy generation and production methods are kept on the table following Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Having domestic sources of gas makes us less dependent on foreign imports.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent (a) vessels and (b) cargoes of Russian coking coal from docking in UK ports.

The UK does not currently have sanctions in place on Russian coal. We are continuing to explore options to reduce our energy imports from Russia in response to its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport wrote to all UK ports on 28 Feb 2022 asking them not to provide access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels.

Legislation has followed this and the government made Regulations (The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2022) on 1 March 2022 which restrict any Russian flagged or registered ship, or any ship owned, operated, controlled or chartered by a person connected to Russia, arriving at a UK port. This was a vital measure to take in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the government has acted accordingly.

We will set out full details on our energy supply strategy in the coming weeks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's position is on the supply of Russian produced coking coal in the British steel supply chain in the context of the crisis in Ukraine.

Coal is widely available and UK steel producers can source these raw materials from around the world. We are in constant contact with UK steel companies and understand that those companies which were sourcing this material from Russia have already identified alternative sources. We are working with them to monitor any impact.

We also understand that as sanctions tighten disruption will increase but we need to rightly hold Russia to account and we know that UK Steel companies will be doing all they can to mitigate supply chain disruption.

The Department for International Trade has expanded its Export Support Service to act as a single point of enquiry for businesses and traders with questions relating to the situation in Ukraine and Russia.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance has been given to British steelmakers on their handling and forward purchase of Russian produced metallurgical coal in light of the crisis in Ukraine.

Coal is widely available and UK steel producers can source these raw materials from around the world. We are in constant contact with UK steel companies and understand that those companies which were sourcing this material from Russia have already identified alternative sources. We are working with them to monitor any impact.

We also understand that as sanctions tighten disruption will increase but we need to rightly hold Russia to account and we know that UK Steel companies will be doing all they can to mitigate supply chain disruption.

The Department for International Trade has expanded its Export Support Service to act as a single point of enquiry for businesses and traders with questions relating to the situation in Ukraine and Russia.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to support and encourage domestic production of coking coal for the British steel industry to reduce reliance on supplies from Russia.

Any proposals for new coal mining projects would be assessed in accordance with the current statutory requirements. To operate a coal mine an operator needs relevant rights and permissions, including planning permission, a licence from the Coal Authority and to notify the Health and Safety Executive; and for projects in Wales, approval of Welsh Government ministers.

There is at least one UK Coal Mine (Aberpergwm, Wales) producing coal suitable for use in the steel industry. A proposal for a new coking coal mine in Cumbria is currently seeking planning approval.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to take steps to ban ships carrying Russian produced coking coal from UK ports; and what options are available to achieve that.

The UK does not currently have sanctions in place on Russian coal. We are continuing to explore options to reduce our energy imports from Russia in response to its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport wrote to all UK ports on 28 Feb 2022 asking them not to provide access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels.

Legislation has followed this and the government made Regulations (The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2022) on 1 March 2022 which restrict any Russian flagged or registered ship, or any ship owned, operated, controlled or chartered by a person connected to Russia, arriving at a UK port. This was a vital measure to take in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the government has acted accordingly.

We will set out full details on our energy supply strategy in the coming weeks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing an independent watchdog for fuel pump pricing.

BEIS monitors the fuel supply market and publishes weekly national average pump prices. BEIS analysis shows that crude oil prices are the main drivers of changes in pump prices and both rises and falls in crude oil prices are passed through to consumers over the course of 6-7 weeks.

A competitive market ensures that road fuel prices stay as low as possible. This framework delivers to the UK pre-tax prices below the average in Europe for both petrol and diesel. Our assessment is that a new regulator is not justified.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure competition in the fuel industry.

Competitive markets ensure that consumers get a fair deal when they visit the pumps and that road fuel prices stay as low as possible. My Department actively monitors fuel prices. If people have evidence of anti-competitive practices in the fuel supply sector, this should be passed onto the Competition Markets Authority.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people in Ashfield and Eastwood constituency can access fuel for cars.

There is no shortage of road fuel in the UK. BEIS publishes weekly statistics for road fuels online (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/average-road-fuel-sales-and-stock-levels). Customers can continue to purchase fuel as they normally would.

The Government announced it will phase out Russian oil imports by end of year, which will allow UK oil operators appropriate time to adjust and protect supply of road fuels. The UK remains a significant producer of petroleum products. Demand for these fuels, including diesel, is also met by imports from a diverse range of reliable suppliers beyond Russia including Norway, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government is planning to provide to new businesses setting up after the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to supporting new businesses and entrepreneurs as we come out of the pandemic.

Our network of 38 Growth Hubs across England, provides key services to new businesses offering free information and 1-1 advice, alongside our free Business Support Helpline. Growth Hubs offer triage, diagnostic and signposting services to make sure that all businesses know what support is available and know how to apply.

We are also committed to supporting new businesses to access the finance they need, through working with the British Business Bank (BBB). The Start Up Loans programme, part of the BBB, has delivered 82,797 loans across the UK with a value of more than £722.3 million since the programme’s launch in 2012 to the end of March 2021.

The Government’s business advice pages on GOV.UK also provide information and guidance relevant to starting, growing and maintaining a business, as well as their statutory rights and obligations, and links to support provided by devolved administrations in Scotland , Wales, and Northern Ireland. All details can be found online: www.gov.uk/browse/business.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to encourage employees to go back to the office after the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance on working from home will be reviewed ahead of Step 4 subject to the review on social distancing. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise travel wherever possible as stated in the Government’s roadmap. Employers should ensure that workplaces are safe for anyone who cannot work from home.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support long term studies into covid-19 immunity.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into Covid-19 immunity.

UKRI and the National Institute for Health Research have announced a joint £8.4 million investment towards three studies, which investigate major unanswered questions related to Covid-19 immunity.

Led by the University of Birmingham, the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium will receive £6.5 million to investigate key questions, such as how long Covid-19 immunity lasts, why some people’s immune systems are better able to fight off the virus, and why some immune responses cause damage.

The Humoral Immune Correlates of Covid-19 consortium, led by the University of Cambridge and Royal Papworth Hospital, will receive £1.5 million to study molecules produced by the immune system to fight infection.

A third study, led by the University of Edinburgh, will receive £394,000 to investigate key features of fatal Covid-19 and the impact the virus has on the lungs and other vital organs.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of Covid-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department’s plans are to increase the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capacity to meet future demand.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic, including:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine;
  • Fill and finish through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales which is currently providing fill-finish capabilities to the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine; and
  • The expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland, which will also provide longer-term UK capacity.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire; and
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The University of Liverpool is part of a new national research project to study the effects of emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2. Supported by £2.5 million of funding from UKRI, the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium will study how mutations in the virus affect key outcomes. This includes factors such as how transmissible the virus is, the severity of COVID-19 caused, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The Consortium will bring together leading virologists from 10 research institutions including the University of Liverpool. The university will work alongside the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which plays a world-leading role in virus genome sequencing, as well as Public Health England, to boost the UK's capacity to study newly identified virus variants and rapidly inform the Government’s policy.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to prepare for the UK potentially not participating in Horizon Europe.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to promote the UK as a destination for life sciences innovation, in the context of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) becoming the first regulator to approve the mRNA vaccine for covid-19 on 2 December 2020.

The flexibility and pragmatism of the MHRA has been instrumental to our COVID response, including enabling us to approve the COVID-19 vaccine before any other country. The MHRA will continue to pioneer innovative regulatory approaches to the most ground-breaking treatments, from the latest AI-enabled technologies to the best new precision therapies, benefiting both patients and the sector.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the volume of (a) jobs, (b) investment and (c) GVA that could be stimulated throughout the UK in the event that all those onshore wind, solar and offshore wind sites predicted to bid into the Contract for Difference Auction Round 4 are successful in that auction round.

The low carbon economy is a success story, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it will continue to grow as we deliver net zero. The Government has not estimated the volume of jobs, investment and GVA that could directly be created or stimulated as a result of the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4. Auction outcomes are dependent on many factors including the auction parameters, which are yet to be set. However, we work closely with industry to maximise the opportunities for UK suppliers from projects with approved Supply Chain Plans.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether there are statutory restrictions on the volume of onshore wind, solar and offshore wind sites that are permitted to secure contracts through a Contracts for Difference auction.

Whilst there are no predetermined limits on the volume of sites permitted to secure contracts through an allocation round, the Government has discretion to apply a capacity cap to an allocation round in order to limit the total capacity of projects awarded contracts in a round. Capacity caps can be used to drive competition in auctions and deliver value for money for consumers. We will publish allocation round parameters in advance of the next auction in 2021, taking into account a range of factors including the anticipated pipeline of eligible projects.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The non-statutory Magnox Inquiry is currently underway, which is an independent inquiry into the award of the Magnox decommissioning contract by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its subsequent termination.

Once convened, public inquiries are run independently of the Government. The Department supports and cooperates fully with all public inquiries as required.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has bring forward legislative proposals to ban companies from profiteering during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government remains committed to tackling consumer rip-offs and bad business practices, including profiteering.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has written to firms suspected of profiteering to challenge unjustifiable price increases. To date, the CMA has written to 264 firms, accounting for over 3,100 complaints, about price rises for essential products.

The Government continues to monitor the extent of profiteering and will update the law if it is proportionate to do so.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of social enterprises that have received Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans.

The British Business Bank does not provide a breakdown on the issuance of loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to social enterprises.

As of 29 April, in total over £4.1 billion worth of loans have been issues under the CBILS across all sectors, to over 25,262 businesses. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on providing transparent and regular data publication going forward.

1st Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many pensioners have been prosecuted for non-payment of the TV Licence fee in each of the last three years.

The requirement to hold, and pay for, a TV Licence is set out in the Communications Act 2003 and the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004.

The Ministry of Justice currently publishes the number of prosecutions, convictions and sentencing outcomes for the non-payment of TV licence fees annually as part of their criminal justice statistics quarterly publications, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-justice-statistics-quarterly

Figures for each year since 2005 up to 2022 are available in the Outcomes by Offence data tool, and can be found in the following dataset:

To view the relevant figures in these tables, select ‘191A Television licence evasion’ in the Offence filter. These figures can be refined further by age to identify an age range of 70+, it is impossible to provide the data for 'pensioners' as that is a diverse group that cannot be filtered purely by age.

The data for individuals aged 70+ are the following:

  • ​2022 - 260 proceeded against & 217 sentenced

  • 2021 - 238 proceeded against & 207 sentenced

  • 2020 - 329 proceeded against & 288 sentenced

Alternative data does also show no Over 75s have been prosecuted and that none of the prosecutions have resulted in custodial sentences.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission has made an assessment of Entain UK's compliance with online gambling advertising rules.

I am unable to comment on specific cases of regulatory action taken by the Gambling Commission. However, I have provided some overarching information on online advertising rules contained in the Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

Licensed operators are required to ensure that advertising of gambling products and services is undertaken in a socially responsible manner and complies with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). As part of its investigation into Entain Group’s regulatory failures, the Gambling Commission made an assessment of its general compliance with the LCCP, which identified anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, as reflected in the published press statement. Further detail can be found on the Commission’s website.

15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether Entain has paid the £17 million fine imposed on it by the UK Gambling Commission in August 2022 for anti-money laundering failures.

I am unable to comment on specific cases of regulatory action taken by the Gambling Commission. However, I have provided some overarching information on regulatory settlements.

Regulatory settlements are a possible outcome of Gambling Commission enforcement action, and this may include the operator paying a financial amount for socially responsible purposes. The Commission’s process for the approval of destinations of regulatory settlements ensures that only projects that meet the criteria are able to receive funds. When a project is approved, it is matched with outstanding funds and payment is arranged swiftly, with funds being ringfenced pending the payment. More information on the current process and destinations is available at the Gambling Commission’s website.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will take steps to improve the quality of mobile phone signal in (a) Ashfield and (b) Eastwood.

The Government is committed to extending good quality 4G mobile coverage to 95% of the UK landmass. The Government’s existing 5G ambition for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027 has been delivered five years early through ‘basic’ (non-standalone) 5G.

We have already made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and help extend mobile coverage. The changes, which came into force on 4 April 2022, enable operators to upgrade existing sites for 5G and share infrastructure to improve mobile coverage. And the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, currently before Parliament, amends the Electronic Communications Code to encourage faster and more collaborative negotiations for the installation and maintenance of telecoms equipment.

The Government is developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to set out a strategic framework for the development, deployment and adoption of 5G and future networks.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made on delivering the fan-led review into football.

The Fan Led Review of Football Governance is moving at pace to reform our national game for the better.

The Review has heard over 100 hours of evidence from fan groups, clubs, and stakeholders - including from supporters representing over 130 football clubs; received over 170 submissions from groups, organisations and individuals; and over 20,000 responses from fans to an online survey seeking their views on what needs to change

The Review published its interim findings in July, and will publish its final report in the autumn.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of proposals to temporarily increase Gift Aid to support charities impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the invaluable work of the charity sector for communities across the UK.

There are generous tax reliefs already available for the whole charity sector, including more than £1.3 billion a year in respect of Gift Aid on donations. Increasing the value of Gift Aid would break the link with tax that has been paid; this means it would no longer be a tax relief, but a grant to charities which is based solely on the amount of Gift Aid that they claim. The Government is not convinced this is the most appropriate or practical way to provide support to charities at this time.

We will continue to work with the sector to assess their emerging needs and understand how we can best support them during the current period.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the support available to charity retailers while they are shut during covid-19 lockdowns.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities at risk of financial hardship can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government has also made available a package of support across the economy, designed to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. Businesses that are mandated to close by law due to the current national restrictions can access grants of up to £4,500 per 6 weeks of closure through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum.

In addition, closed businesses may be eligible for a one-off payment of up to £9,000 to help them through spring, through the Closed Business Lockdown Payment. Where the business in question, e.g. a charity shop, is mandated to close in the regulations and they meet the other eligibility criteria laid out in scheme guidance, then they would be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and variations of that scheme. Local authorities are responsible for determining eligibility for this grant funding on the basis of legislation, guidance and other information submitted by applicants.

We will continue to work with the sector to assess their emerging needs and understand how we can best support them during the current period.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will ensure that the Gambling Act Review (a) focuses on empowering customers, (b) does not propose blanket measures that punish the responsible majority, that does not help people at risk and risks pushing people away from the regulated sector and (c) focuses on tailored measures based on evidence.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020. As set out in the Terms of Reference, the Review is wide-ranging in scope and will be evidence-led. The Call for Evidence will run until 31 March 2021, and we are seeking evidence from a broad range of interested groups and stakeholders.

The Review aims to ensure that the Gambling Act is fit for the digital age, and offers an opportunity to make sure that we have the balance right between protecting vulnerable people from gambling related harm, and respecting the freedom of adults to choose how they spend their money and leisure time.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction discusses the important issues of identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability. The consultation and call for evidence responses will inform the Commission’s next steps for setting Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. It may also inform the Gambling Commission’s advice to government on the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to instruct employers to indicate on payslips how much a person will be allowed to spend on gambling.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020. As set out in the Terms of Reference, the Review is wide-ranging in scope and will be evidence-led. The Call for Evidence will run until 31 March 2021, and we are seeking evidence from a broad range of interested groups and stakeholders.

The Review aims to ensure that the Gambling Act is fit for the digital age, and offers an opportunity to make sure that we have the balance right between protecting vulnerable people from gambling related harm, and respecting the freedom of adults to choose how they spend their money and leisure time.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction discusses the important issues of identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability. The consultation and call for evidence responses will inform the Commission’s next steps for setting Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. It may also inform the Gambling Commission’s advice to government on the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will ask HMRC to instruct employers to indicate on payslips, along with an employee's national insurance contribution, the maximum amount of retained income they will be allowed to spend on gambling.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020. As set out in the Terms of Reference, the Review is wide-ranging in scope and will be evidence-led. The Call for Evidence will run until 31 March 2021, and we are seeking evidence from a broad range of interested groups and stakeholders.

The Review aims to ensure that the Gambling Act is fit for the digital age, and offers an opportunity to make sure that we have the balance right between protecting vulnerable people from gambling related harm, and respecting the freedom of adults to choose how they spend their money and leisure time.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction discusses the important issues of identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability. The consultation and call for evidence responses will inform the Commission’s next steps for setting Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. It may also inform the Gambling Commission’s advice to government on the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms promote free speech while encouraging people to respect each other.

The UK is committed to upholding freedom of expression online. Our new online safety laws will safeguard pluralism and ensure internet users can continue to engage in robust debate online.

Under the new regulatory framework, both Ofcom and in-scope companies will have duties relating to freedom of expression, for which they can be held to account. The largest social media platforms will be required to have clear and accessible terms and conditions, and to enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently. Furthermore, new obligations for transparency and user reporting will enable users to more effectively understand and appeal content removal. This will both empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, and protect freedom of expression by preventing companies from arbitrarily removing content.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate the Government has made of the proportion of people who gamble who are deemed to be problem gamblers; what financial contribution the Gambling sector has made to support problem gamblers; and if he will make a statement.

Combined Health Survey data for 2016 estimated the rate of problem gambling amongst adults in Britain who had gambled in the past year to be 1.2%. The 2018 Health Survey for England estimated a problem gambling rate of 1% amongst adult past-year gamblers.

Gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission are required to make a contribution to fund research, prevention or treatment of problem gambling. The Gambling Commission publishes a list of approved recipients of these donations, and will soon publish its first set of annual data detailing the value of donations each has received. Most operators choose to give to the charity GambleAware, which received more than £10 million in donations during the 2019/20 financial year.

In July 2019, the government secured a commitment from five large operators for a tenfold increase in their contributions to the research, prevention and treatment of problem gambling over four years, rising from 0.1% to 1% of gross gambling yield. This included a commitment to spend £100 million on treatment over this period. In June 2020 it was announced that GambleAware would use these funds to expand existing treatment services. Industry body the Betting and Gaming Council has set out a planned schedule for donations which will see combined contributions from those operators involved in the commitment rise to £5 million in the financial year 2020/21, £10 million in 2021/22, £25 million in 2022/23, and £35 million in 2023/24, with an additional £25 million to be spread across the financial years 2021-23.

GambleAware is an independent charity which commissions a wide network of gambling-specific treatment services including a specialist NHS gambling clinic in London and the NHS Northern Gambling Service. Its forthcoming Strategic Commissioning Plan, due to be published in April 2021, will set out its objectives for commissioning treatment services over the next five years. It will commision additional treatment provision to complement NHS services, which are also being scaled up as part of the NHS Long-Term Plan. Up to 14 new specialist NHS gambling clinics are planned to open by 2024, with three already accepting patients. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) remains committed to the expansion and alignment of existing treatment provision for gambling-related harms, and continues to work collaboratively with the NHS and GambleAware to ensure effective use of the additional £100 million of industry funding allocated for treatment over the next 4 years.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, the government has called for evidence on the most effective means of recouping the regulatory and societal costs of gambling from operators.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the relationship is between the Gambling Commission's consultation on Remote customer interaction and the Government's recently announced review the Gambling Act 2005.

The government has announced a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. As set out in the Call for Evidence which launched on December 8, technology can play a role in helping operators identify customers at risk of harm and targeting interventions. While many online operators already use technology for this purpose, we are calling for evidence on the effectiveness of existing online protections in preventing gambling harms, and this will include a consideration of whether and how technology can be better used to that end.

The Call for Evidence will be open until 31 March 2021, and further details, including how to make a contribution, can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence.

The work of the Gambling Commission as industry regulator continues alongside the Review. Its consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction covers issues of identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability, and calls for views on how to balance consumer protections and consumer freedom. The consultation and call for evidence responses will inform the Commission’s next steps for setting Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice and may also inform its advice to government on the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to ensure that the Government's review of the Gambling Act 2005 makes an assessment of how technology can be used to identify problem gamblers whilst maintaining access to gambling for other gamblers.

The government has announced a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. As set out in the Call for Evidence which launched on December 8, technology can play a role in helping operators identify customers at risk of harm and targeting interventions. While many online operators already use technology for this purpose, we are calling for evidence on the effectiveness of existing online protections in preventing gambling harms, and this will include a consideration of whether and how technology can be better used to that end.

The Call for Evidence will be open until 31 March 2021, and further details, including how to make a contribution, can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence.

The work of the Gambling Commission as industry regulator continues alongside the Review. Its consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction covers issues of identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability, and calls for views on how to balance consumer protections and consumer freedom. The consultation and call for evidence responses will inform the Commission’s next steps for setting Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice and may also inform its advice to government on the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of (a) recent trends in the level of participation in black market gambling in Sweden and (b) the potential implications for his policies of those recent trends.

The government monitors trends and developments in gambling markets in other jurisdictions where they might be relevant for the regulation of gambling in Great Britain, and is aware of reports claiming an increase in gambling participation with unlicensed operators in Sweden. Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched last month and issues around black market gambling are included in its wide scope. The Review will be evidence led, and we have called for evidence on the extent of the black market and its accessibility to consumers, as well as whether the Gambling Commission has the powers and resources it needs to continue to tackle the black market effectively. We welcome evidence from other jurisdictions.

The Call for Evidence will be open until 31 March 2021, and further details, including how to make a contribution, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has no statutory or non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken at present.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to tackle social media platforms which promote harmful content relating to suicide and self-harm.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. As part of our plans, companies will be required to take action to address harmful suicide and self-harm content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming, including encouragement of self-harm and suicide.

There are already arrangements between companies and charities to improve the identification and removal of content when it is reported, and services that signpost help and supportive content to users. The Samaritans has a strategic partnership with social media companies and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The partnership works together to set guidance on moderating suicide and self-harm content, and supporting users to stay safe online.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing compulsory mental health lessons in schools.

Health education became a statutory part of the National Curriculum in September 2020. The aim of teaching pupils about physical health and mental wellbeing is to give them the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, recognise issues in themselves and others and, when issues arise, seek support as early as possible from appropriate sources.

In primary school, pupils learn simple self-care techniques, including the importance of rest, time spent with friends and family and the benefits of hobbies and interests. At secondary school, teaching includes the benefits of community participation and voluntary and service-based activities on mental wellbeing and happiness.

Pupils are taught how to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns, including common types of mental ill health, such as anxiety and depression. Pupils are also taught where and how to seek advice, including whom in school they should speak to if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing or ability to control their emotions.

As part of the review of the relationships, sex and health education statutory guidance, the Department will undertake a deep dive into whether suicide prevention should be a statutory part of the curriculum.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help improve the opportunities provided to people with Down's syndrome after they leave full-time education.

The department wants to provide all young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including those with Down's syndrome, with good opportunities which allow them to transition from education into a fulfilling adult life.

On 2 March, we published the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan in response to the Green Paper published in March 2022. The Plan outlines the government’s mission for the SEND and AP system to fulfil children and young people’s potential, build parent’s trust, and provide financial sustainability.

We are developing good practice guidance to support consistent, timely, high-quality transitions for children and young people with SEND and in AP. This will look at transitions between all stages of education from early years and will focus initially on transitions into and out of post-16 settings. This includes transitions into higher education, employment, adult services, and for young people leaving AP at the end of key stage 4, building on learning from the recent Alternative Provision Transition Fund.

The government is committed to supporting pathways to employment for disabled learners, including through strengthening the Supported Internship programme. We are investing approximately £18 million until 2025 to build capacity in the Supported Internships Programme and support more young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans into employment. The Internships Work consortium has been appointed as the delivery partner for this investment. They will be working closely with local authorities to double the number of supported internships per year by 2025 and will engage with all partners in the system to level up the quality of internships across the country. Over 700 job coaches will be trained by 2025 to ensure interns receive high-quality support on their work placements.

In the Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced up to £3 million to pilot extending Supported Internships to young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, but without EHC plans.

To further help with preparation for adulthood, the department is supporting the Department for Work and Pensions to develop an Adjustments Passport that will help to smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs, including for people with Down’s syndrome and other forms of SEND. The Adjustments Passport will capture the in-work support needs of the individual and empower them to have confident discussions about adjustments with employers.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of making it compulsory for home economics to be taught to key stage 4 students.

Learning how to cook is an important life skill for pupils. To facilitate this for Key Stage 4 pupils, the Department introduced a food preparation and nutrition GCSE in 2016 which requires pupils to understand and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating when preparing and cooking food. As part of the 2014 design and technology curriculum, the Department introduced a strand called ‘cooking and nutrition’, which is compulsory for pupils aged 5 to 14. Through this strand, children are taught how to cook with an emphasis on savoury dishes, and how to apply the principles of healthy eating and nutrition.

9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of how many children are in kinship care in Ashfield and Eastwood.

The department does not hold information centrally on the number of children in kinship care, therefore we are unable to provide the information requested.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing compulsory home economics lessons in schools.

In 2014 the Department introduced ‘cooking and nutrition’ into the design and technology curriculum, which is compulsory for pupils aged 5-14.

Pupils are taught how to cook with an emphasis on savoury dishes, and how to apply the principles of healthy eating and nutrition. In 2016, the Department introduced a food preparation and nutrition GCSE. This GCSE requires pupils to understand and apply the principles of food science, nutrition, and healthy eating when preparing and cooking food.

25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that materials provided by (a) Mermaids and (b) other advocacy organisations for use in schools are appropriate for use by (i) vulnerable and (ii) other children.

Schools have flexibility over how they deliver the Curriculum and what resources they use.

The non-statutory implementation guidance, ‘Plan your Relationships, Sex and Health Curriculum,’ sets out clear guidance for schools in choosing resources, and states that schools should assess all resources carefully to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality.

Schools should not promote contested theory as fact. The Department expects schools to use the Relationships, Sex and Health Education Curriculum to help children understand the world around them in an age-appropriate, balanced manner. The Department also expects schools to consult with parents on these matters and to make reasonable decisions about the content of their Curriculum.

The Department recognises the issues relating to gender identity, and we are currently developing transgender guidance to support schools to navigate these complex and sensitive issues. The Department intends to hold a full public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication in 2023.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the appropriateness of learning materials provided by LGBTQ campaign groups for use in primary schools.

As part of compulsory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE), all pupils should be taught LGBT content at a timely point during their education. Schools can use externally produced materials to support their lessons and are responsible for ensuring that what they use is factual, age appropriate and suitable for their pupils. Schools are also required to consult parents on the content of their RSHE curriculum and to provide examples of the content and resources that they plan to use.

The department is not planning to assess the materials schools use to teach about LGBT matters, but we have published non-statutory implementation guidance, which includes advice on choosing resources. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum. Further guidance on working with external bodies and using their resources is included in the ‘Political impartiality in schools’ guidance, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/political-impartiality-in-schools/political-impartiality-in-schools. We are also working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop new guidance to support schools specifically on transgender matters.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to help increase access to football training for girls in schools.

The Department’s expectation is that a school’s starting point should be to offer the same sport or physical activity to both girls and boys, including football.

The Department is funding the ‘Your Time’ Programme, which gives girls aged 8-16 access to competitive sport and sport leadership opportunities, including football. The PE and Sport Premium of £320 million a year will continue to help primary schools to make sustainable improvements to their PE and sport offer.

The Government wants to increase opportunities to take part in all types of sport and physical activity and has committed to update the cross-government School Sport and Activity Action Plan to support all pupils to take part in a wide variety of sport and activities through PE, extracurricular sport and 30 minutes of physical activity every day in school.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department plans to provide to parents of children who are unable to attend school due to their (a) special educational needs and (b) disabilities.

Local authorities have a range of strategies for supporting parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities whose children are unable to attend school due to their specific needs. This will depend on the nature of the child’s needs, but support services such as education welfare officers, educational psychologists and specialist teachers are often involved in such casework.

Where the child’s needs relate to a special educational need and the child has an Education Health and Care plan, the local authority will work with the family and other agencies to secure the provision outlined in the plan. Depending on the nature of the child’s needs, the local authority will also work with the family of securing attendance at school, where that is appropriate.

The department’s guidance, 'Working together to improve School Attendance', published in May 2022, is designed to improve the monitoring and tracking of attendance to spot problems earlier and facilitate better, more targeted multi-agency support with improved join up of early help services, external partners and support services. This is intended to improve the consistency of support offered to pupils and families, replicating effective practices across England. The guidance is also clear that schools and local authorities should be working with pupils and parents to overcome barriers to attendance. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance.

17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve the quality of education on (a) cooking and (b) budgeting.

Cooking and nutrition is a discrete strand of the national curriculum for design and technology which was introduced as part of the 2014 design and technology curriculum and is compulsory for pupils from 5 to 14 years old. The curriculum aims to teach children how to cook, with an emphasis on savoury dishes, and how to apply the principles of healthy eating and nutrition. It recognises that cooking is an important life skill that will help children to feed themselves, and others, healthy and affordable food. Alongside this, a food preparation and nutrition GCSE was introduced in September 2016 which requires pupils to understand and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating when preparing and cooking food. Furthermore, the Levelling Up White Paper confirmed the department’s focus on school food quality and food education.

On budgeting, this is covered under financial education which is part of the maths and the citizenship curricula, demonstrating the importance that the government places on this topic. The maths curriculum provides content that develops pupils’ knowledge and financial capability to make important decisions about mortgages and loan repayments. Financial literacy is also a statutory part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds and pupils are taught the functions and uses of money. In both subjects, pupils are taught about topics that support personal budgeting, money management and understanding financial risk. The department wants to support schools to deliver good quality financial education and we work regularly with stakeholders to support them to do so.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department leaves Stonewall's Diversity Champions scheme.

The Department for Education’s Stonewall Diversity Champions membership expired in 2022. We are considering membership options following guidance in the new Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, so we can continue to support our staff. We remain committed to supporting all our LGBTQ+ staff and ensuring we create an inclusive environment for all.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support students whose academic performance has been adversely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

Helping children and young people to catch up is a key priority for the government and overall direct investment announced for education recovery is almost £5 billion. This includes an additional £1.8 billion of funding announced in the recent Spending Review to support young people to catch up on missed learning.

We have consistently targeted recovery funding where the evidence tells us it will be most effective: on tutoring, teaching and extra time for those with the least time left. Our latest investment continues to support these interventions and to help those that need it most.

Our education recovery investment includes funding for up to 100 million tutoring hours for 5 to 19 year olds by 2024, multi-year direct funding so schools can deliver evidence-based interventions based on pupil needs, summer schools in 2021, extra time in 16 to 19 education, 500,000 training opportunities for school teachers and early years practitioners, and the opportunity for year 13 students, where it is judged beneficial, to repeat their final year in 2021/22.

Direct recovery funding comes on top of wider increases to early years, schools and college funding. Schools will receive an additional £4.7 billion in core funding in the 2024/25 financial year, including £1.6 billion in 2022/23 financial year on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review, which is equivalent to a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between the 2019/20 and 2024/25 financial years.

The department recognises that students taking exams this year will have experienced disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. That is why, together with Ofqual, we consulted on and have confirmed a range of adaptations to GCSE and A/AS level exams. Exam boards will be releasing advance information about the focus of the content of exams in most GCSE and A/AS level subjects on 7 February. Other adaptations include a choice of content or topics and the provision of exam aids in some GCSEs. Additionally, Ofqual have confirmed that 2022 will be a transition year for grading. Grades will be set around a midpoint between 2021 and pre-COVID-19 grades.

The department recognises that the extended school and college closures have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s learning. All schools should continue to teach a broad and balanced curriculum in all subjects. The optional guidance, ‘teaching a broad and balanced curriculum for education recovery’, offers suggestions to help schools decide how to prioritise elements within their curriculum for education recovery, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-a-broad-and-balanced-curriculum-for-education-recovery. These suggestions are based on the good practice evident in many schools, as exemplified in the case studies.

Oak National Academy was created in April 2020 as a rapid response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers and colleagues from leading education organisations came together to support schools’ efforts to keep children learning through the provision of remote education. Since its launch, more than 40,000 free online learning resources and video lessons in a broad range of subjects have been developed across 35 subjects from early years to key stage 4. Specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities is also available.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress has been made on the Government's School Rebuilding Programme.

The School Rebuilding Programme was announced in 2020 with a commitment to deliver 500 rebuilding and refurbishment projects over the next decade. The department announced the first 100 projects this year at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme. The most advanced projects started construction in September 2021.

A consultation on the approach to prioritising schools for future places in the programme closed on 8 October 2021. We plan to publish the response and details of the future prioritisation process in early 2022.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that pupils can return to full-time education in the 2021-22 academic year without interruption or risk of losing in-school teaching days during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s priority is for schools to deliver face to face, high quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education can cause significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, and mental and physical health.

To reduce transmission, the Department is keeping some measures in place across nurseries, schools and colleges to enable us to provide as normal an experience as possible as schools welcome pupils back in larger numbers. This will be supported by our ability to respond swiftly and consistently to any exceptional circumstances should it prove necessary and may include reintroducing additional control measures for a limited period to deal with outbreaks. These are set out in the contingency framework: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-restrictions-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

The Department has worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to revise guidance for schools from Step 4: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak. The Department’s aim is to balance the risks associated with COVID-19 whilst moving to a position that minimises both the burden of implementing a system of controls on schools and the impact those measures have on young people’s educational experience.

Schools are no longer asked to keep children and young people in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume, and schools and colleges no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch. Nurseries, schools and colleges should continue to ensure good hygiene for everyone, maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, keep occupied spaces well ventilated and follow public health advice on testing, self isolation, and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff, and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas. The Government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where pupils or staff may come into contact with people they do not normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

The Department will continue to keep these measures under review, in partnership with health experts and informed by the latest scientific evidence and advice.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children and young people develop financial knowledge.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous Mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from Key Stages 1 to 4.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic knowledge that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

Finance education forms part of the citizenship curriculum which can be taught at all key stages and is compulsory at Key Stages 3 and 4: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

The Department works closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be discovered from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support services are available for (a) children with autism and (b) the parents of those children.

The Children and Families Act 2014 provides a framework for ensuring that autistic children are identified early and that they receive the support they need. The upcoming Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review will look at how the system has evolved since 2014, and how it can be made to work best for all children and young people and their families.

The department is also working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop a refreshed cross-government autism strategy. This recognises the progress that has been made, as well as the challenges and priorities for reducing inequalities, and enabling autistic people of all ages to have the same opportunities as everyone else to lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. DHSC aims to publish the refreshed autism strategy, subject to COVID-19 pressures, this spring.

We also know how important expertise and training is for the workforce to give children with SEND, including autistic children, the best experiences in education. The department has funded the Autism Education Trust since 2011 to deliver autism awareness training in order to best support autistic students to education staff in early years, schools and further education settings.

The Children Act 1989 places a general duty on local authorities to provide services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need, including the provision of social care services for disabled children, as some autistic children would be considered disabled. The Equality Act 2010 carried forward existing protections against discrimination and extended a duty on schools to supply auxiliary aids and services to disabled pupils as reasonable adjustments, where these children are not being supplied through education, health and care plans or other sources.

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Section 97) requires local authorities to assess and support the needs of parents and carers as well as those of children with SEND. Assessments are based on individual needs but should include parents’ wellbeing and ‘control over day-to-day life’. Further information is available here: http://www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/media/948959/socialcare_implementationofcfa2014_online.pdf.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of enabling exam-year students to appeal their teachers' recommendations for their assessment grades.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Government considers that examinations cannot be held in a way which is fair. The Department has announced that GCSE, AS and A level examinations will not go ahead this summer as planned. In his statement to the House on 6 January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education confirmed proposals that pupils taking GCSE, AS and A levels this summer should be awarded grades based on an assessment by their teachers.

The Department and Ofqual have launched a joint consultation on how to fairly award all pupils, including private candidates and students taking vocational qualifications, with a grade that supports them to progress to the next stage of their lives. We are consulting on the evidence needed to inform teachers’ assessments of their students’ grades, including providing externally set papers to support their assessments. Teachers will be provided with training and guidance to support them.

The consultation proposes that examination boards should both provide information for schools and colleges to inform their own quality assurance, and that they themselves should undertake checks of schools’ and colleges’ processes and the evidence for the grades submitted.

The consultation also proposes that there must be provision for pupils to appeal their grades or the process by which they were assessed, and we welcome all views from schools, colleges, students and their parents and carers on the proposed arrangements for the appeals process next year. The Department will provide further details on the appeals process for 2021 when the consultation has closed, and the approach has been finalised.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of provision of financial education at a primary education level; if he will make an assessment of the potential contribution of Talk Money Week to improving that provision; and if he will make a statement on the educational value of talking about money with children and young people.

Education on financial matters ensures that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information, if required. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

The Department trusts schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The Department’s latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department supports wider initiatives that aim to improve financial confidence and resilience, such as Talk Money Week, led by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) as a platform for all UK citizens, including at home within families and at school, to talk openly about managing money. The Department does not plan to make its own assessment of the contribution of Talk Money Week to improving the provision of financial education at primary education level but will continue to work closely with MaPS and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be learned from such initiatives and how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Talk Money Week, what plans he has to promote conversations about money to pupils in primary schools to help build their financial resilience to future economic challenges; and if he will make a statement.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions, and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

Schools should use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Over the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the provision of financial education to children and young people in response to the impact of covid-19 outbreak.

Financial education is taught within the national curriculum in mathematics and citizenship. At present, due to the unprecedented challenges for schools caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government understands that schools will need flexibility around the education they are providing to their pupils. We expect schools and teachers to use their professional judgement, knowledge of their pupils’ educational needs and home circumstances, to plan appropriate content that enables education to continue.

Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Department is not sponsoring any statutory or non-statutory public inquiries.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to promote apprenticeships as an alternative to university for school leavers from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds.

Degree apprenticeships offer people of all ages and from all backgrounds the chance to earn while they learn and access a range of professions. We are committed to continuing to raise the profile of higher and degree apprenticeships as a genuine, high-quality alternative to traditional academic study, and want to make sure we reach those from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds who might not otherwise have considered higher education as an option.

In addition to our awareness-raising work through the Fire it Up marketing campaign, National Apprenticeship Week, and in conjunction with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), we have introduced a range of targeted programmes to widen participation in apprenticeships, with a particular focus on higher and degree apprenticeships.

Our Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge (ASK) programme continues to work in schools and colleges in disadvantaged areas, providing free resources to support teachers to inform and inspire young people and introduce them to the range of apprenticeship opportunities available. Within the ASK programme, a Priority Schools pilot project supports 40 schools across England to provide disadvantaged students with information on apprenticeships.

‘Opportunities through Apprenticeships’, a pilot project launched in November 2018, seeks to encourage apprenticeship starts in sectors that offer higher wage-earning potential and progression opportunities. Four local authorities involved in this pilot – Portsmouth, Nottingham, South Tyneside, and Torbay – are leading local projects to identify skills gaps, encourage new training provision, and promote apprenticeships to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, when the Government plans to publish its investigation into the importation and sale of foie gras.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare noted that HM Government has made clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese which have been force fed raises serious welfare concerns and that the production of foie gras by force feeding is already illegal in the UK. The Action Plan also noted that now that the UK has left the EU, we are committed to building a clear evidence base to inform decisions on banning the import or sale of foie gras and other products derived from low-welfare systems.

HM Government is currently continuing to build this evidence base. No specific deadline has been set for this exercise, and further evidence that people may wish to share with HM Government would be gratefully received.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent destructive fishing in Marine Protected Areas.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

We have built a comprehensive network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering 40% of English waters and are now focusing on making sure they are properly protected. Nearly 60% of our 178 English MPAs are already protected from damaging fishing activity, including byelaws this year in the first four offshore sites, which ban bottom towed gear over sensitive habitats. We are aiming to have all MPAs in English waters protected from damaging fishing activity by 2024. We recently consulted on a legally binding target under the Environment Act to improve the condition of the species and habitats protected in these sites. In July we launched a consultation on five candidate Highly Protected Marine Areas in English waters. With the highest level of protection in England’s seas to enable the ecosystem to fully recover, many activities including commercial and recreational fishing would be prohibited. HPMAs would complement the existing MPA network. Any HPMAs Government decides to designate following the consultation would be designated by July 2023.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the implications for his animal welfare policies of breeding dogs for animal testing.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not apply to animals used in scientific procedures. Protections in scientific procedures are instead provided by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA). ASPA is administered and enforced by the Home Office. Every establishment that conducts work under ASPA has a standard condition in its licence that requires appropriate care and accommodation standards for animals to be applied. The standards of care and accommodation are available in a published Code of Practice, and these standards also cover the welfare of dogs bred for use in scientific procedures. The Home Office regulator inspects against these standards of care and accommodation.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ban the practice of using the whip in horse racing.

The irresponsible use of the whip is unacceptable. The British Horseracing Association (BHA), British racing’s governing and regulatory body, is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses including rules governing the use of the whip.

The BHA recently published their response to a public consultation on the use of the whip in British racing in July 2022. The BHA accepted 20 recommendations made to them by the Whip Steering Group which can be found here: https://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/improving-standards-and-enhanced-deterrents-at-the-heart-of-20-recommendations-published-as-part-of-british-horseracings-whip-report/

Defra will continue to engage with the sector to ensure that the welfare of racehorses remains at the forefront of the British horseracing industry’s priorities.

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to introduce a scheme that would incentivise British farmers to grow cereal crops.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges in the past few years. For the cereal crops that are produced domestically, the UK is 88% self-sufficient.

Cereals are internationally traded commodities, and their supply chains are dynamic and responsive to global market developments in price and availability. Government works with international partners to facilitate the smooth functioning of that global food trade. We keep the market situation under review through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group and have increased our engagement with industry to supplement our analysis with real-time intelligence and to identify where mitigations are available. In 2021 we also permanently removed Basic Payment Scheme 'greening measures' on crop diversification and ecological focus areas. This means that farmers are free to react to market signals when making crop planting decisions, as well as adjusting their plans according to the weather, their soil type, and their long-term agronomic strategy.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure healthy food choices remain affordable.

The Government monitors consumer food prices using the Consumer Prices Index including Housing costs (CPIH). Food prices are traditionally affected by a wide range of domestic and international factors - from local manufacturing costs to global commodity prices. Given strong competition in the UK food retail sector, retailers normally try to absorb short-term cost pressures for a period of time. In any given year, food prices tend to go up and down. Food prices are set individually by businesses and it is not for the UK Government to set retail food prices nor to comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies.

In December 2021 we published the first UK Food Security Report which included data on household food security and food prices. We recognise that some people require extra support over the winter, which is why vulnerable households across the country can access a new £500 million support fund to help them with essentials. The Household Support Fund provides £421 million to help vulnerable people in England with the cost of food, utilities and wider essentials. The Barnett Formula applies in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department takes to (a) ensure (i) Severn Trent and (ii) other water companies operate to an adequate standard and (b) protect consumers from persistent issues with the water supply system.

Ofwat, the independent economic regulator for water and wastewater services in England and Wales, holds all water companies to account for the delivery of secure and resilient water services.

Through its price review process, Ofwat has set improvement targets for all companies to reduce main bursts by 12% and supply interruptions by 41% between 2020 and 2025. Companies must publish their performance annually against key targets.

Customers of water and sewerage companies are entitled to guaranteed minimum standards of service under the guaranteed standards scheme. Where a company fails to meet any of these standards of service then it is required to make a specified payment to the affected customer.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

There are no statutory or non-statutory public inquiries currently being undertaken by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle exploitative practices by out of hours vet care providers which operate monopolies of practice over large geographical areas.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the independent non-Ministerial department responsible for investigating competition issues in the UK. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers to investigate and act if it finds that companies are behaving anti-competitively in a market. Individuals can report anti-competitive behaviour by emailing the CMA at general.enquiries@cma.gov.uk.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether businesses that own private fields for use as dog walking areas for the general public are allowed to continue to operate under the guidance on covid-19 announced on 23 March 2019.

The Government’s message to the public is clear: stay at home, in order to protect the NHS and save lives. To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. A full list of those businesses required to close, and exemptions, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance#businesses-and-premises-that-must-remain-closed

Dog walking businesses are not explicitly referred to as businesses that are required to close. Indeed, dog walking businesses play a key role in ensuring the welfare of the nation’s pets and can operate within the strict advice on social distancing and hygiene. Businesses that own private fields for dog walking are allowed to continue to operate.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which advises both the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers, has issued its own guidance to pet businesses on how they can continue to operate under current restrictions and in line with guidance around social distancing and hygiene.

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/CFSG%20Animal%20Business%20Guidance%2007.04.20.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by her Department.

DFID are not currently sponsoring any public inquiries.

12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the total value of diplomatic gifts is over the last three years, by recipient country.

The total value of gifts (given) over the last three years, by recipient country, is not held centrally by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The department fulfils the requirement to publish transparency data in line with the Government’s transparency agenda and this can be found at DIT ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings on GOV.UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many diplomatic gifts have been given in each of the last three years, by recipient country.

The number of diplomatic gifts that have been given in each of the last three years, by recipient countries is not held centrally by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The department fulfils the requirement to publish transparency data in line with the Government’s transparency agenda and this can be found at DIT ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings on GOV.UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on negotiating a UK-US trade deal.

We have had five productive rounds of negotiations to date and agreed a significant proportion of legal text across multiple chapters.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether he plans to ban the import of Russian produced coking coal into UK ports; and what options are available to achieve that.

In lockstep with our allies, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has announced the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions Russia has ever seen. The UK Government has banned all ships that are Russian owned, operated, controlled, chartered, registered or flagged from entering British ports. Ships carrying cargo from Russia are not within the scope of these specific transport sanctions. However, we continue to consider further trade measures to support our policy of ratcheting up economic pressure on Russia.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has had discussions with her counterparts in EU states on opposing the import and sale of Russian produced coking coal to the EU for steel production.

In lockstep with our allies, including with EU states, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has announced the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions Russia has ever seen. Alongside other G7 countries, we are denying Russia Most-Favoured-Nation treatment relating to key products, ramping up the pressure on Russia’s economy. Whilst coking coal is not currently included with these products, we do not speculate on future sanctions. However, we have made clear that, together with our global partners, we will continue to apply pressure on Putin’s regime.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she plans to extend the UK’s steel safeguards; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of others steps to develop a strong and sustainable steel industry.

Safeguard measures exist under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements to allow countries to put measures in place to protect domestic industries against serious damage caused or threatened to be caused by unforeseen surges in imports. There are strict evidential requirements and processes that must be followed in order to put safeguard measures in place.

The United Kingdom’s steel safeguard measures were established by the EU when the United Kingdom was a member state. They followed the processes and were on the basis of the criteria provided for in the WTO Agreements. The United Kingdom’s Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) reflect the British portion of the original EU safeguard measure, based on British import data from the original period of investigation under which the measure was imposed.

The Department for International Trade did not conduct an economic impact assessment when transitioning the measures as these were established measures already in effect, not new measures being implemented. However, the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on 1st October 2020. In most circumstances, subject to what it determines as a result of any review, TRID will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. This specific review will include consideration of the economic impacts of continuation, variation or termination of the measures, except where particular products are not being imported in increased quantities or are not being produced in the United Kingdom. As a part of this evidence-based review, TRID will evaluate the risk of serious injury.

My Hon. Friend is a great champion of British industry, and he will understand that the Secretary of State cannot pre-empt TRID’s recommendation by considering the future of the measures before such a review is complete and the recommendation is received.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has made an economic impact assessment of the current UK steel safeguards.

Safeguard measures exist under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements to allow countries to put measures in place to protect domestic industries against serious damage caused or threatened to be caused by unforeseen surges in imports. There are strict evidential requirements and processes that must be followed in order to put safeguard measures in place.

The United Kingdom’s steel safeguard measures were established by the EU when the United Kingdom was a member state. They followed the processes and were on the basis of the criteria provided for in the WTO Agreements. The United Kingdom’s Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) reflect the British portion of the original EU safeguard measure, based on British import data from the original period of investigation under which the measure was imposed.

The Department for International Trade did not conduct an economic impact assessment when transitioning the measures as these were established measures already in effect, not new measures being implemented. However, the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on 1st October 2020. In most circumstances, subject to what it determines as a result of any review, TRID will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. This specific review will include consideration of the economic impacts of continuation, variation or termination of the measures, except where particular products are not being imported in increased quantities or are not being produced in the United Kingdom. As a part of this evidence-based review, TRID will evaluate the risk of serious injury.

My Hon. Friend is a great champion of British industry, and he will understand that the Secretary of State cannot pre-empt TRID’s recommendation by considering the future of the measures before such a review is complete and the recommendation is received.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential role of (a) global overcapacity, (b) US 232 tariffs, (c) levels of protectionist sentiment in other economies and (d) other factors in the introduction of EU steel safeguards.

Safeguard measures exist under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements to allow countries to put measures in place to protect domestic industries against serious damage caused or threatened to be caused by unforeseen surges in imports. There are strict evidential requirements and processes that must be followed in order to put safeguard measures in place.

The United Kingdom’s steel safeguard measures were established by the EU when the United Kingdom was a member state. They followed the processes and were on the basis of the criteria provided for in the WTO Agreements. The United Kingdom’s Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) reflect the British portion of the original EU safeguard measure, based on British import data from the original period of investigation under which the measure was imposed.

The Department for International Trade did not conduct an economic impact assessment when transitioning the measures as these were established measures already in effect, not new measures being implemented. However, the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the current safeguard measures on 1st October 2020. In most circumstances, subject to what it determines as a result of any review, TRID will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. This specific review will include consideration of the economic impacts of continuation, variation or termination of the measures, except where particular products are not being imported in increased quantities or are not being produced in the United Kingdom. As a part of this evidence-based review, TRID will evaluate the risk of serious injury.

My Hon. Friend is a great champion of British industry, and he will understand that the Secretary of State cannot pre-empt TRID’s recommendation by considering the future of the measures before such a review is complete and the recommendation is received.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by her Department.

The Department for International Trade came into existence in 2016 and since this time there have been no statutory and non-statutory public inquiries.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether Government bailouts during the covid-19 outbreak of foreign automotive and aerospace companies located in the UK will be conditional upon those companies increasing their supply chain spending to UK manufacturing companies.

The Government has put in place unprecedented levels of support to help all businesses get through this crisis. Separate to this package of support, but to ensure the UK has resilient and diverse supply chains, the Department for International Trade is leading work across Government (Project Defend) to look at our trading relationships with a range of international partners. As part of this work, we have consulted widely with stakeholders across the advanced manufacturing sectors. We continue to champion free trade and the benefits that brings, across the economy, and to the automotive and aerospace sectors in the UK.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will have discussions with airport operators on the adequacy of provision within airports for people with (a) autism and (b) other conditions that cause sensory overload.

Aviation accessibility is a priority for government. The Department for Transport is in regular discussions with airport operators and will be hosting workshops on accessibility with the industry in November. These will include considerations around non-visible disabilities and neurodiversity. The government's Disability and Access Ambassador for Aviation also ran a workshop on 5 October 2023 covering how the UK standard for designing and managing the built environment for people with neurodiversity, ‘Design for the Mind,’ can be incorporated into UK airports.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his department will consider the potential merits of flexible funding for the Bus Service Improvement Plan for Nottinghamshire County Council.

Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) was one of the successful authorities, under the leadership of Cllr Ben Bradley MP, which bid for and was awarded up to £18,713,800 for delivery of their Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which I know you have welcomed as part of very significant investment in Ashfield and across Nottinghamshire since 2019 to support better jobs and transport to access them.

In line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Local Transport Authority on 10 November 2022, any changes to the agreed delivery plan should be submitted to the Department via a Project Adjustment Request. The Department is actively engaged with NCC to ensure that the BSIP scheme delivers for local people in Ashfield and across Nottinghamshire and I have asked Departmental officials to be flexible in their approach within the boundaries of the Section 31 grant when tweaking the scheme to developing local priorities.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help avoid future railway strikes.

The Government is taking immediate steps to support employers and help members of the public by minimising the disruption that they face as a result of the RMT’s strike action.

A Statutory Instrument has now been laid, under the terms of which employment businesses will be able supply workers to replace striking workers. This will also allow trained staff with transferrable skills to move around the rail industry to cover for striking staff to keep the railways running.

We are working at pace to see how any potential legislative change could be delivered, including looking at the introduction of Minimum Service Level Legislation which would provide a mechanism for a minimum level of train service during periods of strike action.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to connect Nottingham with rural parts of Nottinghamshire via the restoration of the Maid Marian Line.

The bid to progress the case for reopening the Maid Marian line to passenger services was unsuccessful as part of the Restoring Your Railway programme. However, the Government recognises the potential benefits of restoration of the Maid Marian Line and will therefore take the case under consideration as part of the Toton Study.

This study, which was established following the publication of the IRP, will assess accelerating transport improvements at Toton, such as a station for local or regional services. It will also include looking at the synergies and combined business case for proposals to reopen the Maid Marian line to passenger services.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support Trent Barton bus services continue their regular operation schedule across Ashfield and Eastwood.

We have provided unprecedented support for local transport during the pandemic. For bus, operators and local authorities have received funding through the £1.5bn Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant, and the ongoing £226.5m Bus Recovery Grant. Recognising the need for further support, an additional £29m uplift will be provided to recipients of the Bus Recovery Grant this financial year. Trent Barton can access this funding in the same way as other bus services within the sector.

Discussions are ongoing regarding the costs and benefits of measures to support the sector beyond April, and we are working closely with stakeholders to understand the potential challenges and possible mitigations once recovery funding ends.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the extent of pothole repairs in Ashfield required to be made by Ashfield District Council.

Nottinghamshire County Council, as local highway authority, is responsible for the maintenance of its local road network, which includes the area covered by Ashfield District Council. Local highway authorities have a duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways network in their area.

Whilst the Government does not intervene in highway maintenance decisions, the settlement announced at Spending Review 2021 represents a funding level consistent with 2021/22: £915 million per year for local highway maintenance, outside London and combined authorities receiving city region settlements (CRSTS), committed for three years.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of roads across Nottinghamshire.

As part of the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund project, the A634 in Nottinghamshire was funded in our first round of road safety schemes to the amount of £2,181,000. Work on this road was completed in 2020 in collaboration with Nottinghamshire County Council.

The Safer Roads Fund encourages local authorities to adopt a safe system principle, improving roads and creating infrastructure for active travel.

Responsibility, however, of the local road network, including safety, remains the role of Nottinghamshire County Council. They are best suited to understand the safety of roads across their area and to implement appropriate interventions.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility study undertaken on the potential re-opening of the Maid Marian Line in Nottinghamshire.

In January 2020 the Government pledged £500 million for the Restoring Your Railway programme to deliver on our manifesto commitment to start reopening lines and stations. The Secretary of State for Transport and I will be considering next steps for projects, including the Maid Marian Line, with a decision on the next tranche to progress anticipated in the coming months.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on the Integrated Rail Plan.

The Department will soon publish its Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) which will look at how best to deliver major rail investments in the North and Midlands including HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other major Network Rail schemes, so that the benefits of these investments are delivered to passengers and communities more quickly.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he taking to help improve local bus services in England.

In March the Government published England’s long-term National Bus Strategy, setting out its plans to deliver better bus services across the country. At the Budget we announced that there will be £1.2 billion of new dedicated funding for bus transformation deals to deliver services, fares and infrastructure improvements.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2020 to Question 62617 on Department for Transport: Public Inquiries, if he will publish the existing (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries undertaken by his Department.

The Department does not have any statutory or non-statutory inquiries presently taking place.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making on responding to its consultation entitled Consulting on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans which closed on 31 July 2020; and how he plans to align the outcomes of that consultation with the Government’s ambition to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 as set out in the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution published in November 2020.

The Government announced the outcome of the consultation in the PM’s Ten Point Plan. We are going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions [for example plug-in or full hybrids]. The meaning of ‘significant zero emission capability’ will be defined by consultation in 2021. Alongside the new phase out dates government has pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. The Government’s written response to the consultation will be published in due course. We will publish a clear delivery plan in 2021.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making on bringing forward legislative proposals under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to enable local authorities to enforce moving traffic contraventions.

The moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 require a set of statutory instruments to be made covering enforcement, level of penalties, financial provisions, approved devices, adjudication and representations and appeals. This will take several months to bring into force, after which those local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers can apply for a designation order for moving traffic enforcement. Statutory guidance is being developed for local authorities on how to use the powers, including publicising their introduction in advance, to ensure that enforcement is carried out fairly.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Department will, as a matter of course, publish any inquiries it is required to do so as part of the terms of reference for that inquiry. For those where publication is not a requirement, Ministers will take a decision to publish on a case-by-case basis.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reopening the Maid Marion Line to passengers in Selston and the rural parts of Ashfield.

I can confirm that the Department for Transport has received the expression of interest for the Maid Marian line for the Restoring Your Railway Ideas fund. Full applications now need to be submitted by the deadline of 19 June 2020. All bids will be assessed on their merit.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to protect train conductors from abuse and harassment in their work environment.

The question of workplace safety and wellbeing is a matter for rail employers to address with their staff. However, the Department works with the British Transport Police (BTP), including on joint initiatives such as the secure stations scheme, to tackle crime on the railways in Great Britain.

As part of its work to tackle violent crime, BTP also undertakes activity to address violence against staff specifically and holds a work place violence group with industry representative to identify and share best practice on a national basis. This includes supporting the use of Body-Worn Video (BWV) by front line staff and establishing consistent conflict awareness training for staff.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve bus services in (a) Ashfield constituency and (b) the UK.

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision are primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. However, the Bus Services Act 2017 provides the tools local authorities need to improve local bus services and increase passenger numbers.

The Government provided £1,002,539 for Nottinghamshire County Council during 2018/19 to support vulnerable services.

In addition, we have announced a further £30 million for less commercial services. Nottinghamshire County Council has been allocated £648,608 which will be available from April 2020 if the funding requirements are met. This is from the £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package to transform bus services. The Government’s ambition is to secure a long term, sustained improvement in bus services underpinned by a National Bus Strategy for England which will be accompanied by a long-term funding settlement.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-better-deal-for-bus-users/a-better-deal-for-bus-users

On 11 February 2020, the Prime Minister announced there will be £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London which may benefit bus services serving Ashfield.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to support people with (a) disabilities and (b) long-term health conditions into work.

A range of Government initiatives are supporting disabled people, and people with health conditions, including those with long-term health conditions, to start, stay, and succeed in work. These include:

  • Increasing Work Coach support in Jobcentres for people with health conditions receiving Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Disability Employment Advisers in Jobcentres offering advice and expertise on how to help disabled people and people with health conditions into work;
  • The Work and Health Programme and Intensive Personalised Employment Support, providing tailored and personalised support for participants;
  • Access to Work grants helping towards extra costs of working beyond standard reasonable adjustments;
  • Disability Confident, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and health, and to take positive action to address the issues disabled employees face in the workplace;
  • An online information and advice service called “Support with Employee Health and Disability”, providing better integrated and tailored guidance on supporting health and disability in the workplace;
  • Increasing access to occupational health, including the testing of financial incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed; and
  • Work in partnership between the DWP and health systems, including Employment Advice in NHS Talking Therapies, which combines psychological treatment and employment support for people with mental health conditions.

To tackle rising economic inactivity due to long-term sickness, we announced a wide-reaching package at the Spring Budget to support disabled people and people with health conditions to work. New investment will provide faster access to joined-up work and health support, including for mental health and musculoskeletal conditions, the two leading causes of economic inactivity due to long term sickness.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his department is taking to improve the speed of processing Disability Living Allowance decisions for children.

We are currently experiencing higher than forecast demand for claims to Disability Living Allowance. We have already increased resources and have on-going recruitment to increase this further, which will speed up clearance times moving forward.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people suffering from cystic fibrosis.

A range of benefits are available to provide support for those with health conditions and disabilities, including Cystic Fibrosis, that impact a person's ability to undertake daily activities or impact their functional capability for work.

People on low, or no, income or earnings, who have a health condition or disability which restricts the amount of work they can do or prevents them from working altogether, and where they meet the entitlement criteria, can claim UC and/or NS ESA with a valid fit note from a clinician. Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, and Disability Living Allowance for Children, are not means-tested and provide financial support arising from the extra costs of having a health condition or disability.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living this winter and is taking action to help. The Government's Energy Price Guarantee will save a typical British household around £900 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap - reducing bills by roughly a third. This is in addition to the £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme, paid over six months starting in October 2022.

In addition, for 2023/24, households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments, subject to parliamentary approval. This will be split into three payments of around £300 each across the 2023/24 financial year. A separate £300 payment will be made to pensioner households, on top of their Winter Fuel Payments, and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment. Further to this, the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended from April 2023 until the end of March 2024. Over this period the Energy Price Guarantee will bring a typical household bill to around £3,000 per year in Great Britain.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to help support people with special educational needs to get into the workplace.

The Government is committed to supporting claimants with special educational needs move closer to the labour market or into work.

Our new Local Supported Employment (LSE) service aims to help people with learning difficulties and/or autism to find and retain work. It uses the “place then train model” providing individuals with intensive one-to-one support to succeed with an employer. We are working with 29 local authorities across England and Wales to deliver LSE up until March 2025. The aim of LSE is to develop a sustainable model for delivering Supported Employment that can help increase the number of supported jobs delivered by local authorities.

Supported Internships are aimed at helping young people with a learning disability and/or autism who have an Education, Health and Care Plan to gain the work experience they need to move on to employment. Supported Internships usually last for 12 months. Support from a specialist job coach and other costs may be funded through Access to Work if necessary. Whilst the Department for Education lead on Supported Internships, the Department for Work and Pensions provides support through the Access to Work funding.

Additional Work Coach support for health journey claimants is a new Work Coach led support offer, which aims to help more disabled people and claimants with a health condition into, and towards, work. This trial of additional Work Coach support is initially available across a third of Jobcentres in England, Scotland and Wales, with plans for the support to be rolled out to claimants in other areas from 2023. Our Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) role delivers direct support to claimants who require additional work-related support and advice above our core Work Coach offer. DEAs continue to support all Work Coaches to deliver tailored, personalised support to all claimants with a disability or health condition.

People in particular disadvantaged groups continue to benefit from support through the increased Flexible Support Fund and priority early access to the Work and Health Programme. Intensive Personalised Employment Support provision provides highly personalised packages of employment support for disabled people who want to work but have complex needs or barriers and require specialist support to achieve sustained employment. Access to Work is a demand-led discretionary grant scheme that provides funding for the extra disability-related costs people have when starting work, or maintaining employment. It can also support disabled people on an apprenticeship, traineeship, or Supported Internship.

We are working with employers to encourage them to become Disability Confident. The Disability Confident scheme encourages employers to think differently about disability and health and to take positive action to address the issues disabled employees face in the workplace.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to provide further financial support to Kinship Carers to help with the cost of living.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing, with the cost of living. That is why the Government introduced a £37 billion Cost of Living support package, which ensures that the most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 this year.

The £650 Cost of Living Payment, split into two payments for those on means-tested benefits, is one of a number of measures included in the Government’s support package. To be eligible for a Cost of Living Payment, claimants must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of one of the qualifying means-tested benefits during the eligibility period. The eligibility period for the second £324 payment is 26 August to the 25 September 2022.

Depending on personal circumstances, kinship carers may be eligible for means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit.

In addition, a non-repayable £400 discount on energy bills is available for all domestic electricity customers in Great Britain and earlier this year, a £150 non-repayable rebate in Council Tax bills benefited all households in Bands A-D in England.

To find out more about the Government’s cost of living support, visit: Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to provide women affected by changes to State Pension age with compensation.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s investigation into communication of changes to women’s state pension is ongoing. Section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

It would be inappropriate to comment on these issues whilst the investigation is ongoing.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of the Plan For Jobs in supporting people into work in Ashfield.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes to people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include Kickstart where we have delivered tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment, and; Restart which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year. Our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 Work Coaches to provide support to unemployed people to find a job.

We continue to ensure that provision is available to support people to move into and progress in jobs in local growing sectors.

This includes Ashfield where the Jobcentre has been working with employers from the transport and distribution sectors delivering Sector Work based Academy Programmes, in the wider East Midlands Kickstart has provided 13,040 job opportunities for young people aged 18-24.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on supporting young people into high-skilled jobs in Ashfield.

DWP has a variety of provision to support people of all ages into job opportunities in a range of roles and sectors, including into high-skilled roles. Individual Work Coaches will work with claimants to understand their skills, experience and interests as they support them to find work.

For young people specifically, the DWP Youth Offer provides wrap-around support to those aged 18-24 who are in the intensive work search regime of Universal Credit. It was introduced as part of the wider UK Government Plan for Jobs package.

Throughout the programme, every young person is encouraged to take part in a wide range of work-based opportunities. Work coaches will identify and promote the most appropriate provision for the young person, including Kickstart, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes, traineeships, work experience, Mentoring Circles, or apprenticeships. Young people can be referred to a Youth Hub to address skills gaps, or a Youth Employability Coach if there are key barriers or complex needs preventing them from finding or keeping employment.

The Ashfield area feeds into the wider travel to work areas of Mansfield and Nottingham, with numerous opportunities for young people to access high level construction jobs, for example with green energy employer Cobalt Energy Free. There is access to highly paid and skilled careers within the rail industry through Trackworks, and there are local opportunities for funding through DWP’s Flexible Support Fund, for example LVG/HGV licences into the logistics sector.

The D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) Local Enterprise Partnership has supported the local skills offer through Local Growth Fund investments in skills facilities, including a £0.67m contribution to the establishment of an Automation and Robotics Training Centre at the West Nottinghamshire College Sutton-in-Ashfield campus. They also offer digital boot camps, providing support in Coding & Software development, Cyber & System Security, Digital Marketing and IT, Networking and Infrastructure.

The D2N2 Skills Access Hub aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ for local businesses wishing to close skills gaps through training, recruitment, apprenticeships and placements, activities that can all help support young people into higher skill jobs. West Nottinghamshire College (whose campus extends across the Ashfield and Mansfield area) is a partner in the Access Hub.

In addition to this, the DWP Youth Hub in Nottingham is delivered in partnership with DBC Training and local employers who regularly visit the hub. The Youth Hub is accessible to all surrounding jobcentres to give young people access to skills, training and employment support, and connects them with the D2N2 Skills Access Hub to deliver opportunities to develop their careers.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to reduce phone call waiting times for service users trying to contact her Department's services.

The Department prioritises resource to our telephony services according to forecast demand. In periods of unexpected high demand (such as experienced through the pandemic) waiting times may vary while the Department rebalances across services, or secures external resource. The Department also continues to progress automation of services for those citizens able to self-serve to reduce demand and therefore wait times.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department is making on ensuring that eligible pensioners receive their state pension on time.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to reduce benefit fraud and deter those seeking to abuse the system.

The Department has taken huge steps to reduce and minimise fraud and error during the last 16 months – at a time where the Department processed 4.3 million new Universal Credit claims, with the vast majority of benefits paid remaining genuine.

Without the interventions we introduced, the overall Fraud and Error rate would have been notably higher.

Our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19. In May 2020, cyber colleagues prevented a large attack on our systems by organised criminals. This prevented substantial sums being paid out to scammers.

We continue to invest in our digital capability and organisational design, with the Chancellor announcing £44m at the Spring Budget for the development of this prevent approach. This funding has enabled us to expand our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service, develop pre-payment ‘risking’ techniques and maintain our new Enhanced Checking Service for high risk claims.

We are currently revisiting any high risks claims that were paid during the early period of COVID-19.

We take any abuse of taxpayers’ money very seriously. Where fraud does occur, we will investigate it and where fraud is established, we are committed to the use of appropriate penalties and to recovering monies from the perpetrators.

We also continue to work with Other Government Departments and Law Enforcement Agencies nationally and across borders to ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to tackle benefit fraud.

Where fraud is committed, the Department takes its responsibility to investigate it very seriously, and takes appropriate action. There are currently nearly 7,000 staff working in DWP’s Counter Fraud & Compliance Department, and many of these are involved in Investigations and Compliance work.

We are currently undertaking an ambitious recruitment programme which will significantly increase staffing levels by the end of 2021/22, further expanding our counter-fraud capacity.

Where fraud occurs, our Investigators are committed to the use of appropriate penalties and to recovering monies from the perpetrators. To facilitate this, we continue to work with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies nationally and across borders to ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

It is at the same time important that the Department actively prevents fraud from happening, and the Department has optimised its digital capability and organisational design to enable this.

The Chancellor announced £45m at the Spring Budget for the development of this prevent approach. This funding will enable us to expand our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS), develop pre-payment ‘risking’ techniques (Transaction Risking) and maintain our new Enhanced Checking Service, a team which intervenes on high risk claims before they get in to payment.

IRIS has developed a series of rules to help flag up potential risky claims, which allows DWP to undertake additional checks ahead of any payment and thereby prevent people from making fraudulent claims.

Where people seek to use monitor social media platforms to promote ways to bypass normal benefit processes, we work with those platforms to ensure such posts are taken down.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by her Department.

The requested information is not available. No information is held because there have been no inquiries that the Department has sponsored.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress she has made on negotiations with the pharmaceutical sector.

  • A new voluntary scheme has been agreed in principle by the government, NHS England and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and will run for 5 years from 1st January 2024.

  • It is a landmark deal that is set to save the NHS around £14 billion over 5 years in medicines costs that can be used to provide the best possible treatment and care for NHS patients, grow the workforce and cut waiting lists.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle regional disparities in pancreatic cancer survival rates.

Reducing inequalities and variation in cancer treatment is a priority for the Government, as is increasing early cancer diagnosis, which is a key contributor to reducing cancer health inequalities and improving survival rates, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The pancreatic cancer clinical audit, led by the Royal College of Surgeons, began in 2021, with the first outcomes expected in 2024. A key aim of the audit is to support services in the National Health Service to stimulate improvements in cancer detection, treatment, and outcomes for patients, including improving survival rates.

To improve early diagnosis, the NHS is implementing non-specific symptom pathways (NSS) for patients who present with vague and non-site specific symptoms which do not clearly align to a tumour type. This includes symptoms of pancreatic cancer. By March 2024, the NSS programme will achieve full population coverage across England for non-specific symptom pathways as set out in the 2023/24 NHS Operational Planning Guidance.

On 24 January 2023, the Government announced that it will publish a Major Conditions Strategy. The strategy will cover cancer as one of the six conditions that contribute most to morbidity and mortality across the population in England. The strategy will apply a geographical lens to each condition to address regional disparities in health outcomes, supporting the levelling up mission to narrow the gap in healthy life expectancy by 2030.  We published the Major Conditions Strategy Case for Change and Our Strategic Framework on 14 August 2023 which sets out our approach to making the choices over the next five years that will deliver the most value in facing the health challenges of today and of the decades ahead, including for cancer.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase funding for the research and development of treatments for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

The Department invests in health research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

DIPG is a difficult research area with a relatively small research community, and we are relying on researchers to submit high-quality research proposals. In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. The Government is committed to funding high-quality brain cancer research, and we expect to spend more as new research progresses. The £40 million funding remains available; if we can spend more on the best quality science we will do. It is also worth noting that all applications that were fundable in open competition have been funded.

The NIHR has supported delivery in the health and care system for eight DIPG research studies funded by research funding partners in the charity and public sectors since 2018.

14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take further steps to support women who were affected by Poly Implant Prothèse breast implants prior to 2012.

The Government remains committed to protecting patient safety and women’s health.

Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) breast implants have not been re-introduced to the United Kingdom market since their withdrawal in 2010.

The 47,000 women who were given PIP implants, mainly in private clinics, can come forward and have those implants removed on the National Health Service if their doctors agree. Information and advice for women who think they might have PIP implants is available on NHS webpages.

Since PIP breast implants were withdrawn in 2010, the health system has enacted important changes to protect against future events. The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry collects and publishes data on all types of breast implant and removal surgery in the UK since 2016.

The future regulations for medical devices will enhance the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) proactive patient safety monitoring of devices, enabling earlier identification of safety issues. The future regulations will also look to enhance pre-market requirements, ensuring medical devices receive increased risk-proportionate scrutiny before they reach the market.

In addition, the MHRA will improve the traceability of devices through the introduction of Unique Device Identifier requirements. The MHRA gained powers from the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021 to improve transparency with respect to safety issues with devices, such as breast implants.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the responses to his Department's call for evidence on long-term mental health support which closed on 7 July 2022.

A summary of the responses received in response to the call for evidence was published on 17 May 2023 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/mental-health-and-wellbeing-plan-discussion-paper-and-call-for-evidence

The responses we received will feed into the development of mental health and suicide prevention policies we include in the Major Conditions Strategy and the Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to tackle the shortage of NHS dentist appointments.

In July 2022, we announced a package of improvements to the National Health Service dental system, detailed in ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care. The changes we have implemented include a contractual requirement for NHS dentists to keep their NHS.UK profiles up to date to make it easier for patients to seek treatment, improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work and greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver NHS treatment, while enabling full use of the dental team.

These changes came into effect towards the end of 2022. NHS England have published additional guidance for dentists and commissioners as part of this package. Patients who are struggling to find a local dentist can contact NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre for assistance or contact NHS 111 if seeking urgent care.

NHS England, regional teams and integrated care boards across England are also working together to ensure that patients continue to have access to NHS dental care. We know that we need to do more, and we are working with NHS England and stakeholders to consider additional reforms of the NHS dental system coming shortly this year.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who give birth to a child with Down's syndrome are provided with adequate maternity care.

Women who give birth to a child with Down syndrome need maternity care that is tailored to the needs of the woman and those of her baby. The National Health Service, through its three-year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services, is committed to listening to each woman and offering her a Personalised Care and Support Plan.

The Down Syndrome Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in April 2022, requires my Rt hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to publish guidance for relevant authorities across health, social care, education, and housing on practical steps that organisations should take to meet the needs of people with Down syndrome. By setting out in guidance the steps it would be appropriate for health authorities to take when providing services and support to people with Down syndrome and their families, we believe there will be a wider positive impact for expectant parents who are told their unborn baby may have Down syndrome.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the uptake of breast screenings in Ashfield and Eastwood constituency.

Steps being taken to increase the uptake of breast screenings in Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust include:

· Implementation of SMS text messages reminders;

· Systems to telephone patients directly to offer appointments;

· Women with learning disabilities are offered extended appointments, supportive pre-visits, an easy read breast screening leaflet and are able to attend with a friend, family member or carer;

· Provision of translation services;

· Work to establish a health inequalities breast screening register; and

· Allocation of £827,200 capital funding to Nottingham University Hospitals to boost activity and uptake of breast screening.

However, data is not collected by constituency. Patients in Ashfield are usually invited for screening by the Sherwood Forest Hospitals Breast Screening Programme and patients in EastWood are usually invited for screening by the Nottingham University Hospitals Breast Screening Programme.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the date PIP implants were reintroduced to the UK.

Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) breast implants have not been re-introduced to the UK market, since their withdrawal in 2010. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which regulates medical devices such as breast implants, is working towards implementing a future regulatory regime as outlined in the Government response to the public consultation on the future Medical Device Regulations, published on the 26 of June 2022. The future regime will enhance the MHRA’s proactive patient safety monitoring of devices, enabling earlier identification of safety issues. The future regulations will also look to enhance pre-market requirements, ensuring medical devices receive increased risk-proportionate scrutiny before they reach the market.

The Government remains committed to protecting patient safety and women’s health.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to develop a men’s health strategy.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln on 20 January to question 125326.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide suicide prevention support for men.

From 2019/20, we are investing £57million in suicide prevention through the NHS Long Term Plan. This will see investment in every area by 2023/24 to support local suicide prevention plans and establish suicide bereavement support services. We have ensured that this funding is testing different approaches to reaching men in local communities.

We also announced on 9 May 2022 that 113 suicide prevention voluntary, community and social enterprises received a share of £5.4 million funding in 2021/22 to prevent suicide in high-risk groups, including men. In addition, every local authority area has a suicide prevention plan in place, and the guidance we issued to local authorities highlights the importance of working across all local services, including the voluntary sector, to target high risk groups such as men.

The Government launched a public call for evidence on what can be done across Government in the longer term to support mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention. The call for evidence closed on 7 July 2022 and we are currently analysing over 5,000 responses received.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing corrective surgery for pectus excavatum through the NHS.

There are a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments available through the National Health Service in England to manage the condition. Individuals with a pectus deformity may be referred to a thoracic surgical clinic for advice. Treatment options by assessment of the type of pectus deformity, degree of deformity, simple versus mixed deformity, and determination of whether the deformity is isolated or part of a syndrome.

In most cases, while surgery can correct the chest wall deformity, surgical intervention does not take place. This is because the majority of people experience only mild physical or psychological symptoms associated with having a pectus deformity. In these cases, non-surgical options include posture, exercise programmes, bracing and psychological support.

15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of (a) nurse and (b) rail strikes on patients requiring life-saving treatment.

NHS England is working with providers, professional bodies, trade unions and other bodies to agree the safe level of staffing during any industrial action. The National Health Service will ensure emergency care is prioritised and these services will be available. The Royal College of Nursing has announced that critical care units, such as intensive care and high dependency, are exempt from strikes.

The Department for Transport is in regular contact with other departments, including the Department of Health and Social Care and industry, to mitigate impact of rail strike action on essential services.

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much NHS Digital has spent on advertisements that raise awareness of serious medical conditions in each of the last three years.

There has been no specific expenditure.

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment her Department has made of the medical effect of prescribing (a) citalopram and (b) other antidepressants to people with alcoholism.

No specific assessment has been made. General practitioners or other responsible clinicians work with patients to decide the clinically appropriate course of treatment for individuals.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact on response times for ambulances in Ashfield and Eastwood of ambulances being sent to patients who did not require emergency care.

We have no plans to make a specific assessment.

National Health Service ambulance trusts employ sophisticated triage systems to minimise the unnecessary deployment of ambulance resources. The NHS is also increasing the capacity of NHS 111, including a £50 million investment in 2022/23 to ensure people receive the appropriate care and avoid unnecessary demand on accident and emergency (A&E) and ambulance services.

NHS England advises that delays in handing over ambulance patients to A&E, rather than ambulances being sent to patients that do not require emergency care, remains the largest operational challenge for ambulance services, including those in Ashfield and Eastwood. NHS England has written to all trusts and systems to to ensure ambulances are not held for longer than 30 minutes before transferring patients into the emergency department, including immediately moving patients who have completed their emergency medical care from the A&E to create capacity for new patients.

NHS England is also providing targeted support to some of the hospitals facing the greatest delays in the handover of ambulance patients into the care of hospitals to identify short and longer-term interventions to improve delays and allow ambulances to respond to emergency calls.

8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to help patients access GP appointments.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson MP) on 15 June to Question 13657.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people have adequate access to be able to (a) register and (b) gain an appointment with an NHS dentist.

Dental patients are not registered to a particular practice. A dental practice can accept a patient for a course of treatment and there are no geographical restrictions on which practice a patient may attend.  NHS England’s customer service centre can also advise patients on the availability of dental services, while patients requiring urgent care should contact NHS 111.  Commissioners and practices have also been reminded of the importance of maintaining updated information on availability via NHS.UK.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked practices to deliver 100% of contracted units of dental activity and 100% of units of orthodontic activity to safely improve access for patients. An additional £50 million for NHS dentistry was provided for the final quarter of 2021/22 to provide urgent care to patients.

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS staff receive mental health support when required.

In 2022/23, we are investing £45 million to support the continuation of 40 mental health hubs to provide outreach and assessment services for frontline staff to receive rapid access to evidence based mental health services. The Professional Nurse Advocacy programme is delivering staff training and restorative supervision in England and we are expanding the NHS Practitioner Health service which provides a national support service for staff with more complex needs, such as trauma or addictions. The national health and wellbeing offer also includes a role for Wellbeing Guardians at board level to focus on the wellbeing of staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to inform women about the dangers of drinking alcohol whilst pregnant.

The Department is considering future research in this area and how improvements to the data collected can be made. The Department funds and commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including the effect of alcohol on pregnant women and unborn babies. These 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 NIHR is currently funding research to improve support for midwifes to discuss harms of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines provide advice to women not to drink alcohol if they are planning for a pregnancy or are pregnant. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS England and local commissioners continue to raise awareness and education on the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant and through midwives and health visitors. The Maternity Transformation Programme works with the Royal Colleges and regulatory bodies to raise the profile of the CMOs’ guidelines and recommend it is included in training. The alcohol calorie consultation will seek views on whether the provision of the UK CMOs’ low risk drinking guidelines, including a pregnancy warning, should be mandatory or continue on a voluntary basis.

17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase research into the effect of alcohol on (a) pregnant women and (b) their unborn babies.

The Department is considering future research in this area and how improvements to the data collected can be made. The Department funds and commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including the effect of alcohol on pregnant women and unborn babies. These 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 NIHR is currently funding research to improve support for midwifes to discuss harms of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines provide advice to women not to drink alcohol if they are planning for a pregnancy or are pregnant. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS England and local commissioners continue to raise awareness and education on the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant and through midwives and health visitors. The Maternity Transformation Programme works with the Royal Colleges and regulatory bodies to raise the profile of the CMOs’ guidelines and recommend it is included in training. The alcohol calorie consultation will seek views on whether the provision of the UK CMOs’ low risk drinking guidelines, including a pregnancy warning, should be mandatory or continue on a voluntary basis.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide a long-term solution to social care.

Last year, we announced an additional £5.4 billion over three years to begin a comprehensive social care reform programme.

This includes £3.6 billion to reform the social care charging system protecting everybody from unlimited and unfair costs and £1.7 billion to begin major improvements across the social care system.

In December we published a white paper that set out our 10-year vision for reforming adult social care and our priorities for that investment.

This includes at least £500 million investment to support the development and wellbeing of the social care workforce, a £300 million investment in increasing the range of supported housing and £150 million to improve technology and digital records.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, at what stage in the process is the post-implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016; and when that review will be published.

The Department will publish its response to the post implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, as well as the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products 2015, early this year. The review reports are currently with the Regulatory Policy Committee and we await the conclusion of their process. Following these reviews, the Department will consider the need for any regulatory changes.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of classifying rheumatoid arthritis as a medical condition which provides exemption from the prescription charge.

We currently have no plans to review or extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list to include rheumatoid arthritis. Approximately 89% of prescriptions are already dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are in place to help those most in need. To support those who do not qualify for an exemption, the cost of prescriptions can be spread by purchasing a prescription pre-payment certificate. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people who have missed cancer appointments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service is focusing on reducing the number of people waiting over 62 days on cancer pathways, particularly rescheduling diagnostic procedures or treatments for those whose care was delayed by the pandemic. An additional £1 billion has been made available to the NHS in 2021/22 to support the recovery of elective activity and cancer services.

The NHS is supporting adults experiencing cancer with access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) mental health services, which provide evidence-based therapies for people with anxiety disorders and depression. The implementation of IAPT-Long Term Condition pathways has been identified as a priority to support integration of mental health and physical health services for people with co-morbid long-term conditions, such as cancer.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to increase the amount of money recovered from foreign nationals using the NHS.

The Department has no current plans to increase the rates charged to overseas visitors for National Health Service care. However, we continue to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement to help trusts improve overseas charging processes and increase debt recovery.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to what extent the UK delegation at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will (a) have its policy positions determined by his Department in advance and (b) have leeway to determine its own policy positions during the Conference.

The Department’s policy position at the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will be determined in advance of the meeting, in accordance with the 2017 Tobacco Control Plan and our ambition to be smoke free by 2030.

Departmental officials will review the agenda items and papers along with relevant required actions for opportunities to present the United Kingdom’s position, in compliance with the rules of procedure at COP9.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of nurses in the NHS.

We are on target to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament which will be achieved through increased domestic recruitment, increased international recruitment and improved retention.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on recruiting additional nurses.

We are on target to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament. The latest published NHS Digital statistics show the number of nurses has increased by almost 10,900 between January 2020 and January 2021, excluding health visitors and midwives.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to protect the elderly and the vulnerable in the run up to winter 2021-22.

The Government is committed to supporting the elderly and the vulnerable in society ahead of winter through offering a free seasonal flu vaccination to those over 65 years old and increased funding for National Health Service and adult social care services. We announced a further £6.6 billion funding for NHS services on 18 March 2021 and councils have access to £1 billion of additional funding for social care in 2021-22.

This year there is continued risk from COVID-19. Everybody in cohorts one to nine, which includes those aged 50 years old and over and the clinically vulnerable, have now been offered a COVID-19 vaccine and the Government has published guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people who have missed cancer appointments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in the last 12 months.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, if he will make it his policy to accept submissions directly from scientists and experts in the harm reduction sphere, in order to give due weight to the evidence from participants.

The Government launched a consultation on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 as part of our statutory obligation to conduct post implementation reviews on the legislation. It is a public consultation and open to any individual or any organisation wishing to submit a response.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment the Government has made of trends in the consumption of (a) vapes and e-cigarettes, (b) heated tobacco products, (c) tobacco and nicotine and (d) cigarettes.

The Office for National Statistics’ ‘Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2019’ shows that smoking prevalence in England has decreased from 17.8% in 2014 to 13.9% in 2019. The percentage of adults using e-cigarettes in England has increased from 3.7% in 2014 to 5.5% in 2019. Of those who use e-cigarettes daily, 42% also smoke cigarettes. Among smokers and vapers, greater use of e-cigarettes is associated with lower use of smoked tobacco.

Public Health England closely monitors trends in tobacco and nicotine products and will publish its next Vaping in England report later this month. A range of data sources are used including official and academic surveys. Use of heated tobacco products has consistently remained at rates of less than 1% of the adult population in England.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to monitor the effectiveness of different covid-19 vaccines on different age groups.

Public Health England is leading on the surveillance of the COVID-19 vaccine programme and has developed a surveillance strategy to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against mortality, hospitalisations, confirmed infections, markers of infectiousness and the impact on transmission.

Whilst phase three clinical trials provided evidence of vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, further evidence is needed on how effectiveness varies by subgroup, including by age. This will be done using advanced surveillance techniques once the earliest eligible cohorts have been offered a full course of vaccination.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to commission a long term study of immune responses in people vaccinated against covid-19.

Public Heath England’s surveillance strategy monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes, including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality, and onwards transmission. The surveillance strategy is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-surveillance-strategy

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the UK Research and Innovation are jointly funding the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium to address key questions around the immune system’s response to COVID-19. The NIHR’s Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections is also looking at the size and longevity of the immune response.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the limitations of vaccine passports for people who have been vaccinated against covid-19.

The Government will review whether COVID-19 status certification could play a role in reopening the economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. This will include assessing to what extent certification would be effective in reducing risk and the potential uses to enable access to settings or a relaxation of COVID-19 secure mitigations. The Government will also consider the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of this approach and what limits, if any, should be placed on organisations using certification. It will draw on external advice to develop recommendations that take into account any social and economic impacts and implications for disproportionately impacted groups and individuals’ privacy and security. The review will also include consideration of potential solutions for people to access their COVID-19 vaccination status.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve lung transplantation for people with cystic fibrosis during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Blood and Transplant and transplant teams have been working closely together throughout the pandemic to ensure that donation and transplant activity can safely continue for very urgent lifesaving transplants. Transplant teams have kept in close contact with patients on the lung transplant waiting list to discuss transplant options and ensure the right decisions are taken based on the patient’s clinical condition.

The national position is reviewed weekly and is highly co-ordinated to ensure all capacity for transplantation is optimised. This is despite the major impact on hospital capacity due to COVID-19. A patient’s position on the lung transplant waiting list is determined by their overall clinical status and if a lung transplant becomes available, the highest priority patient will be selected.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish further details on when unpaid and informal carers will receive the covid-19 vaccine.

We recognise the vital role that unpaid carers play and the Government is developing bespoke guidance for this group, set out in a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) which has been developed in close cooperation with carers organisations and local authorities. This guidance will be published in due course. The SOP will provide guidance on the process to support the identification and vaccination of adult unpaid carers as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. It is intended to support local authorities, the vaccination programme, carers organisations and unpaid carers themselves to understand the actions they should take to ensure equitable access to and uptake of vaccination by eligible unpaid carers as per the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is undertaking research to determine the extent to which smokers may experience more serious effects of covid-19 compared to non-smokers; and what information his Department holds on that matter.

At the request of Public Health England, an independent and regularly updated rapid review of the international evidence on smoking and COVID-19 has been made and is available at the following link:

https://www.qeios.com/read/UJR2AW.11

The evidence on smoking and COVID-19 is mixed and developing. We do not yet have a clear picture on the impact of smoking on COVID-19 risks. There is strong evidence that smoking tobacco is generally associated with an increased risk of developing respiratory viral infections.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when mass community testing for covid-19 will begin in Nottinghamshire following the 20,000 lateral flow tests received by Nottinghamshire County Council.

NHS Test and Trace will work with each local authority on an expanded community testing plan appropriate for them. This support will be rolled out during national lockdown restrictions, being kept closely under review. It will be for local authorities in partnership with their directors of public health and with the support of NHS Test and Trace to design a programme that maximises accessibility to, and take-up of, asymptomatic testing in their area. Support for the programme will be provided until at least the end of March 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of provision of mental health support for 16 to 18 year olds.

We are committed to improving the mental health provision for 16-18-year olds. We are implementing the three core proposals in the green paper on children and young people’s mental health, which will incentivise all schools and colleges to identify and train a senior lead for mental health; create new school and college-based mental health support teams supervised by trained children and young people’s mental health staff; and pilot a four-week waiting time for access to specialist children and young people’s mental health services.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 years old will be able to access support via National Health Service-funded mental health services and school or college-based mental health support teams by 2023/24 and we will extend current service models to create a comprehensive offer for 0-25 year olds that reaches across mental health services for children, young people and adults.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the health benefits of ensuring that smokers have (a) information about and (b) access to a wide range of reduced risk smoking-related products; and whether the Government's next Tobacco control Plan plans to take steps to ensure that such (i) information and (b) access is more readily available.

The Government continues to review the evidence of reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes, including their harms and usefulness as an aid to stop smoking. Although not risk free, current evidence suggests e-cigarettes are far less harmful to health than smoking and help people quit. There are already 2.5 million e-cigarettes users in England, which suggests that these products are widely accessible.

Public Health England, through their stop smoking campaigns, provides information, advice and support on using e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. Some local stop smoking services offer vouchers which can be exchanged for e-cigarettes to help smokers to switch.

The Government will consider in its next Tobacco Control Plan for England what further steps are required to provide smokers with more information about and access to reduced risk smoking-related products, including an assessment of how far these diverse products reduce risk.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take into account the EU's Tobacco Products Directive when developing the next UK Government's Tobacco Control Plan.

A new Tobacco Control Plan for England will be published later this summer to outline the Government’s plans to achieve its ambition to be smokefree by 2030.

The Government has made the necessary legislative amendments to ensure robust tobacco control regulation continues throughout the United Kingdom after the 1 January 2021 and give effect to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Great Britain no longer has to comply with the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive and, as part of the development of the Tobacco Control Plan for England, there will be opportunity to consider whether any regulatory changes are required to help people quit smoking and address the harms from tobacco. Any changes will be based on robust international evidence and be in the interests of public health.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) processes, (b) public consultation exercises and (c) other procedures his Department plans to undertake in the production of its next Tobacco Control Plan.

The Government is committed to addressing the harms from smoking. The Department held a public consultation on its Smokefree 2030 ambition as part of the prevention green paper consultation which was published in July 2019. The Department, working with Public Health England and NHS England, will engage key stakeholders about potential proposals to include in the new plan, and this will include consideration of legislative proposals. The new tobacco control plan is expected in July 2021. No timetable has been set for any legislative changes.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals (a) to implement the Government's commitment to make England smokefree by 2030 and (b) as part of the Government's next Tobacco Control Plan; and what the timetable will be for bringing forward any such legislative proposals.

The Government is committed to addressing the harms from smoking. The Department held a public consultation on its Smokefree 2030 ambition as part of the prevention green paper consultation which was published in July 2019. The Department, working with Public Health England and NHS England, will engage key stakeholders about potential proposals to include in the new plan, and this will include consideration of legislative proposals. The new tobacco control plan is expected in July 2021. No timetable has been set for any legislative changes.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether consultations of stakeholders conducted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) may address policy and affordability issues, in the context of NICE's duty to promote innovation.

Section 233 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 provides that the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) must have regard to the broad balance between benefits and costs and the desirability of promoting innovation. NICE is an independent organisation and is responsible for its consultation processes.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the (a) economic and (b) societal effects of medical treatments are taken into account when assessing medicines, in the context of the approval and procurement of covid-19 vaccine candidates.

The Government has accepted the recommendations from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise three COVID-19 vaccines for use - Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna. While this approval is not specifically on the basis of economic and societal benefits, it is on the grounds of patient safety. No vaccine would be deployed in the United Kingdom unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support his Department is providing to people living with cystic fibrosis during the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the cystic fibrosis (CF) clinical community to ensure additional guidance has been available to support care for patients with CF, both in hospital and away from hospital when appropriate. NICE published the ‘COVID-19 Rapid Guideline: Cystic Fibrosis’ in April 2020, which was updated in October 2020. This sets out guidance for clinicians and commissioners to maximise the safety of patients with CF and make the best use of National Health Service resources, while protecting staff from infection. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng170

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support his Department is providing to people living with asthma during the covid-19 outbreak.

Through its communication to general practitioner practices and commissioners on 31 July 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement asked general practice to restore activity to usual levels where clinically appropriate and reach out proactively to clinically vulnerable patients and those whose care may have been delayed.

The new Respiratory Clinical Networks bring together leaders from the National Health Service and other health and social care organisations, to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care for respiratory patients in their local area, focusing on reducing inequalities.

Public Health England continue to provide advice for people with long term health conditions during COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support his Department is providing to transplant recipients during the covid-19 outbreak.

Solid organ transplant recipients were identified at the start of the pandemic as one of the groups of patients at highest clinical risk of COVID-19 and therefore were included in the agreed list of clinically extremely vulnerable patients. Throughout the pandemic, healthcare providers were asked to ensure care for these patients is personalised and takes account of individual circumstances such as COVID-19 risk and the impact of shielding on health and wellbeing. Such patients were able to access government support, including delivery of food and medicines and clinical advice through various routes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support his Department is providing to people being treated with chemotherapy during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance NG161 was published in April 2020 to support clinicians in the management of patients requiring systemic treatment through the pandemic. The guidance, developed by clinicians, provides advice on alternative chemotherapy treatment approaches to reduce the risk of infection to patients and avoid unnecessary admissions and visits to hospital where possible.

On 3 August 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced that ‘COVID-19 friendly’ cancer treatments that are safe for patients during the pandemic will be expanded and extended through a £160 million initiative. The funding will pay for drugs that treat patients without having such a big impact on their immune system or offer other benefits such as fewer hospital visits.

Thousands of patients have already benefitted from 50 treatments approved for use as ‘swaps’ for existing drugs and more have become available thanks to a series of deals struck between the National Health Service and pharmaceutical companies.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 64346 on Cholesterol: Screening, when cholesterol checks will resume.

In 2020/21 the Quality and Outcomes Framework has continued to incentivise general practice to undertake cholesterol checks on individuals prescribed a statin and those with diabetes. There has not been any recommendation that general practice should not undertake a cholesterol check where it is clinically indicated.

The NHS Health Check prevention programme has resumed in many areas. Between July and September 2020, 41,525 people had a NHS Health Check, which includes a cholesterol test.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 64351 on Pharmacy: Screening, what the terms of reference are for the evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme from Public Health England.

The Terms of Reference for the review of the NHS Health Check programme were published on 11 November 2020 and are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-health-check-programme-review/review-of-nhs-health-checks-terms-of-reference

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 64355 on Health, what his Department's revised timeframe is for publishing the response to the consultation on Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s.

The Prevention Green Paper, ‘Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020s’ outlined commitments with varying timelines, regarding the services we receive, the choices we make and the conditions in which we live. The Government response to the consultation has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the announcement of the National Institute for Health Protection in August, we are also considering the best future arrangements for the wide range of Public Health England’s non-health protection functions that are vital to support health improvement, prevention and delivery of health services and we will be setting out further details of our approach in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 64355 on Health, what his timeframe is for publishing the updated version of the 22 July 2019 Green Paper entitled, Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s.

The Prevention Green Paper, ‘Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020s’ outlined commitments with varying timelines, regarding the services we receive, the choices we make and the conditions in which we live. The Government response to the consultation has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the announcement of the National Institute for Health Protection in August, we are also considering the best future arrangements for the wide range of Public Health England’s non-health protection functions that are vital to support health improvement, prevention and delivery of health services and we will be setting out further details of our approach in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to expand the use of digital technologies to improve the remote detection of atrial fibrillation as result of restrictions on face-to-face appointments during the covid-19 outbreak.

The NHS is investing £9 million to fund a demonstrator project to test out new ways of providing treatment to people with Atrial Fibrillation using virtual clinics. NHSX continues to support and encourage emerging innovative diagnostic tools, for example through the Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Awards.

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on detection and diagnosis rates for atrial fibrillation in England (a) from January to May 2019 and (b) from January to May 2020 inclusive; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the format requested. The Quality Outcomes Framework reports annually for atrial fibrillation and it is not possible to break down into monthly data.

A register of patients with atrial fibrillation is used to monitor cumulative recorded prevalence year-on-year. Recorded prevalence of atrial fibrillation increased from 1.98% in 2018/19 to 2.05% in 2019/20. Data for 2020/21 will be published during 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people presented in hospital with ischemic stroke in (a) January, (b) February, (c) March and (d) April 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested. NHS Digital collects the number of finished admissions episodes which do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is working on an agreement with Synairgen plc to supply inhaled treatment for covid-19.

The Department with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has established a single United Kingdom-wide process which labels COVID-19 research with the most potential with Urgent Public Health (UPH) status. Any trials evaluating the effectiveness of inhaled treatments are subject to this same process.

National and international trials are monitored by the RAPID-C19 initiative, which aims to get treatments for COVID-19 to National Health Service patients quickly and safely. This process begins with scanning all trials for COVID-19 treatments. Any promising drugs will be identified for further review.

Synairgen have been requested to submit a formal submission to UK-CTAP and NIHR UPH for review, where the inhaled interferon beta-1, SGN001 will be reviewed by a panel of independent experts to assess if it will be suitable to be incorporated into the RECOVERY+ trial or an independent trial, for Phase III.

UK-CTAP is an independent COVID-19 Therapeutics Advisory Panel, which will advise on what treatments should be proposed for testing through RECOVERY+. As with all other therapeutic compounds in trial, progress of the effectiveness will continue to be monitored by the Chief Medical Officer, NIHR UPH and RAPID C-19.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the proportion of people switching to e-cigarettes in (a) 2020 and (b) 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) published the latest review of the evidence on e-cigarettes and vaping in England in March this year. The review provides a full analysis of trends in behaviours and attitudes relating to the use of nicotine vaping products among young people and adults. It found that prevalence of e-cigarette use has remained stable since the 2019 review.

This review can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaping-in-england-evidence-update-march-2020

Data for 2020 will be published in early 2021 in PHE’s next e-cigarette evidence update.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the regional variation in smoking cessation rates.

One of the main aims of the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England is to reduce the regional and socio-economic variations in smoking rates, by achieving system-wide

change and targeting actions at the right groups.

Actions include promoting links to smoking cessation services across the whole health and care system and full implementation of relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines by 2022.

‘Smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England’ can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towards-a-smoke-free-generation-tobacco-control-plan-for-england

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning a range of stop smoking support to meet the needs of their local population. Public Health England supports local authorities to do this by providing a range of data and guidance.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of recent trends in the smoking cessation rate in Ashfield.

The smoking rate for adults in Ashfield has seen an overall decline, from 27.8% in 2011 to 19.8% in 2019. The following table shows the trends in smoking rates for adults in Ashfield, the East Midlands and England since 2011.

Smoking trends in Ashfield, East Midlands and England, 2011 - 2019

Period

Ashfield

East Midlands

England

Count

Value

2011

26,090

27.8%

20.2%

19.8%

2012

24,063

25.5%

19.7%

19.3%

2013

18,077

18.9%

18.9%

18.4%

2014

18,953

19.7%

18.2%

17.8%

2015

16,955

17.4%

18.0%

16.9%

2016

20,744

21.1%

16.1%

15.5%

2017

15,680

15.7%

15.7%

14.9%

2018

16,636

16.6%

15.8%

14.4%

2019

19,893

19.8%

14.8%

13.9%

Source: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/tobacco-control/data#page/4/gid/1938132885/pat/6/par/E12000004/ati/101/are/E07000170/iid/92443/age/168/sex/4/cid/4/page-options/cin-ci-4_ovw-do-1_car-do-0

While this is a decrease overall, rates have increased slightly in the past three years and the current rate is higher than the average for adults in England, 13.9%.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to increase the number of elective surgeries before a potential second wave of covid-19.

On 31 July, further guidance was issued to local National Health Service providers and commissioners on outlining the next phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 and concurrent non- COVID-19 activity. Focus is on accelerating the return of non- COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 surges. The guidance sets out that trusts and systems are now expected to re-establish (and where necessary redesign) services to deliver through their own local NHS (non-independent sector) capacity the following elective activity levels:

- In September, delivering at least 80% of last year’s activity for both overnight electives and for outpatient/daycase procedures, rising to 90% in October;

- Return to at least 90% of their last year’s levels of MRI/CT and endoscopy procedures, with the goal to reach 100% by October; and

- 100% of last year’s activity for first outpatient attendances and follow-ups (face to face or virtually) from September through the balance of the year (and aiming for 90% in August).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidelines are issued to GPs on recommending less damaging alternatives to cigarettes to help more people give up smoking.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance, ‘Stop smoking interventions and services’, describes best practice, and, general practitioners are expected to take the guidance fully into account. The guidance recommends that for patients interested in using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette to quit smoking, the practitioner should explain that many people have found them helpful to quit smoking cigarettes and the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful to health than smoking, but are not risk free, and that the evidence in this area is still developing, including evidence on the long-term health impacts.

Public Health England provides advice, information and resources for healthcare professionals on stop smoking support options, including e-cigarettes, and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that GPs encourage patients who refuse to give up smoking to instead use less damaging alternatives to cigarettes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance, ‘Stop smoking interventions and services’, describes best practice, and, general practitioners are expected to take the guidance fully into account. The guidance recommends that for patients interested in using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette to quit smoking, the practitioner should explain that many people have found them helpful to quit smoking cigarettes and the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful to health than smoking, but are not risk free, and that the evidence in this area is still developing, including evidence on the long-term health impacts.

Public Health England provides advice, information and resources for healthcare professionals on stop smoking support options, including e-cigarettes, and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include all tobacco and nicotine containing products available in the UK in the forthcoming review of tobacco and e-cigarette policy.

The Government has a legal commitment to undertake a Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. This will be completed by May 2021. The TRPR regulates both tobacco products and e-cigarettes. A response to the Post Implementation Reviews undertaken on tobacco legislation, implemented from 2010-2016, will be published later this year.

We continue to monitor the evidence base on the latest developments in the reduced-risk products market, including e-cigarettes, to assess their risks and evidence on how effective they are in helping smokers to quit smoking.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish an evaluation of the effectiveness of 2019’s Stoptober campaign in advance of any future Stoptober campaign.

Public Health England will publish an evaluation of the 2019 Stoptober campaign in autumn 2020.

The 2018 Stoptober evaluation is available to view at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/835518/Stoptober_2018_evaluation.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date he plans to launch CVDPrevent.

The CVDPREVENT data extraction will occur in autumn 2020 with the initial reporting outputs from Public Health England expected in spring 2021. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published further information on CVDPREVENT at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/clinical-policy/cvd/cvdprevent/

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the return of specialist lipid clinics after the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make extra resources available to manage the backlog of patient appointments as outlined in the HEART UK response to the Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry into Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond.

As we moved into the second phase of the National Health Service response to COVID-19, NHS England wrote to the service on 29 April to ask NHS local systems and organisations to step up non-COVID-19 urgent services as soon as possible. The reset of these services will be gradual, with full attention to infection prevention and control as the guiding principle. NHSE/I are working with regional systems, and have provided national advice on restoration of cardiac services. They will also monitor their capacity going forward through this next stage of restoration and recovery.

The full letter to the system can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/04/second-phase-of-nhs-response-to-covid-19-letter-to-chief-execs-29-april-2020.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of whether there is a backlog of appointments for people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease due to the covid-19 outbreak.

As we moved into the second phase of the National Health Service response to COVID-19, NHS England wrote to the service on 29 April to ask NHS local systems and organisations to step up non-COVID-19 urgent services as soon as possible. The reset of these services will be gradual, with full attention to infection prevention and control as the guiding principle. NHSE/I are working with regional systems, and have provided national advice on restoration of cardiac services. They will also monitor their capacity going forward through this next stage of restoration and recovery.

The full letter to the system can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/04/second-phase-of-nhs-response-to-covid-19-letter-to-chief-execs-29-april-2020.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timetable is for the publication of the NHS England review on making cholesterol lowering treatment available directly from pharmacists.

NHS England and NHS Improvement expect that the outcome of the review into making high dose statins available direct from pharmacies will be made available later in the year.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that nurses and pharmacists play an active role in the management of cholesterol.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have invested £9 million in an atrial fibrillation programme to test optimal care models and the role of the wider general practice workforce including practice pharmacists and nurses.

The learning from this programme will be included in the development of the Primary Care Network cardiovascular disease prevention direct enhanced service specification and rolled out in 2021-22 to include patients with high cholesterol. This work will also support the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to improve identification of familial hypercholesterolaemia from 7% to 25%.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to empower community pharmacists to conduct NHS Health Checks as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.

As part of their public health role, it is for local authorities to determine from whom they commission NHS Health Checks, including from community pharmacies.

The Government has commissioned an evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme from Public Health England with a view to maximising its benefits, and this is expected to consider and make recommendations on issues such as mode of delivery and clinical follow-up.

The NHS Long Term Plan recognised that “cardiovascular disease is the single biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years”, principally through secondary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. NHS England is testing the most promising approaches, including through local pharmacies, for detecting hitherto undiagnosed high-risk conditions such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation.

The Healthy Living Pharmacy concept has provided an opportunity for community pharmacy teams, who represent the communities they serve, to focus on consistently delivering high quality health improvement interventions, including NHS Health Checks.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what measurable outcomes the NHS Health Check programme has delivered for cardiovascular disease patients.

An evidence synthesis commissioned by Public Health England in 2017 shows that higher levels of chronic kidney disease, hypertension, familial hypercholesterolaemia, peripheral vascular disease and type 2 diabetes are detected among people having an NHS Health Check compared to standard care. A small but significant subsequent decrease in stroke was also reported among NHS Health Check attendees as well as favourable changes in blood pressure, body mass index, and modelled cardiovascular risk.

The report can be accessed at the following link:

http://www.healthcheck.nhs.uk/seecmsfile/?id=306%5d


PHE have been commissioned by the Department to deliver an evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme, to inform action which will ensure it remains fit for purpose for the next 10 years and beyond.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that patients can access cholesterol checks (a) during and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

Cholesterol is tested as part of the NHS Health Check programme and will be available to eligible people once service delivery resumes.

In addition to the NHS Health Check programme, those patients with medical conditions that require monitoring of cholesterol will have this done in the usual way through primary medical care services.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on reviewing the NHS Health Check as outlined in the Prevention Green Paper published in 2019.

The NHS Health Check programme is playing an important role in tackling the burden of preventable diseases. Building on 10 years’ experience of the programme, the Government has commissioned Public Health England to undertake an evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme, in light of advances in medical and behavioural science; new digital technology, and opportunities for more innovative implementation.

The Review is being led by University College London’s Professor John Deanfield, advised by an expert panel and informed by UK and international evidence. It will build on gains delivered so far and consider what action is needed to maximise impact over the next 10 years and beyond. The Review is expected to report by spring 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish an updated version of the 22 July 2019 Green Paper entitled, Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s following the outcome of his recent consultation.

The Prevention Green Paper ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’ consultation closed on 14 October 2019 and attracted over 1,600 responses. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the response has been delayed. We intend to publish the Government response in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Department is sponsoring the following current inquiries - The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and the Linden Centre (North Essex Partnership Trust).

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will take steps to prioritise the development of personal protective equipment in the UK to reduce reliance on the import of those products.

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on the number of British citizens who are not able to travel directly to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and whether he has had recent discussions with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart on this matter.

In accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. Under the Chicago Convention, only the Republic of Cyprus may designate an airport for international flights. It has not done so for Ercan airport. As such, it is not possible to fly directly between the UK and the north of Cyprus. Ministers have not discussed this topic with the Turkish Cypriot administration and the FCDO does not hold information about how many British citizens are unable to travel directly to the north of Cyprus.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that negotiations on an international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response do not unduly constrain domestic decisions about public health matters in a future pandemic.

The UK is clear that we would not sign up to any legally binding instrument that would compromise the UK's ability to take domestic decisions on national measures concerning public health. Decisions such as these will remain the sole competency of the UK Government. The UK, and other Member States, have flagged this as a priority. The UK is playing an active role in shaping this instrument, to deliver on the UK's global health priorities and protect the health of people in the UK and around the world from future pandemics.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value of diplomatic gifts is over the last three years, by recipient country.

The FCDO fulfils the requirement, established since 2010, for government departments to publish transparency data in line with the Ministerial Code. The full set of FCDO published transparency returns, which include ministerial gifts (since the department's formation in September 2020), can be found at: FCDO: ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Pre-merger transparency data for FCO diplomatic ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings to October 2020 can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/minister-data#full-publication-update-history and FCDO data since October 2020 FCDO: ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fcdo-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings

It is recognised across HMG that the exchange of gifts and hospitality has long been an important part of building relations, particularly overseas. Purchases undergo rigorous oversight to ensure all gifts and hospitality given are appropriate, proportionate and open, recorded in line with guidance and that staff undertake mandatory anti-corruption training while delivering best value to the taxpayer.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many diplomatic gifts have been given in each of the last three years, by recipient country.

The FCDO fulfils the requirement, established since 2010, for government departments to publish transparency data in line with the Ministerial Code. The full set of FCDO published transparency returns, which include ministerial gifts (since the department's formation in September 2020), can be found at: FCDO: ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Pre-merger transparency data for FCO diplomatic ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings to October 2020 can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/minister-data#full-publication-update-history and FCDO data since October 2020 FCDO: ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fcdo-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings

It is recognised across HMG that the exchange of gifts and hospitality has long been an important part of building relations, particularly overseas. Purchases undergo rigorous oversight to ensure all gifts and hospitality given are appropriate, proportionate and open, recorded in line with guidance and that staff undertake mandatory anti-corruption training while delivering best value to the taxpayer.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of reports of Palestinian Islamic Jihad activity in the Palestinian Authority.

We continue to closely monitor the security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has proscribed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as a terrorist entity since March 2001. PIJ and other terrorist groups must cease all actions that are violent or provocative, or that put civilian lives at risk. The UK continues to provide the Palestinian Authority (PA) with professional support in helping develop its security institutions. This provision includes training and other technical assistance to the PA Ministry of Interior and PA Security Forces (PASF), to support the development of capable, responsible security forces that respect human rights and are accountable to the Palestinian people.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish (a) quarterly, (b) biannual or (c) annual reports on all multilateral bodies in which the UK participates documenting issues affecting their effectiveness as they occur.

The FCDO has close and productive relationships with a range of multilateral bodies and we make regular assessments of their effectiveness and efficiency through all of our delegations and missions. Reviews of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programmes delivered through multilateral partners are undertaken annually and published on Dev Tracker (https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk).

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of the finding by the review commissioned by the EU of the content of Palestinian Authority school textbooks that those textbooks encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.

We have been clear that incitement to hatred or violence is unacceptable from all parties and should have no place in education. This report on Palestinian textbooks highlights progress in key areas, but also indicates that anti-Israel content remains. We will continue to raise concerns about this with the Palestinian Authority, and continue to urge all parties to condemn incitement wherever and whenever it occurs.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission on the publication date of the EU-funded review of the content of Palestinian Authority school textbooks.

The Georg Eckert Institute, who were commissioned by the EU to undertake a review into Palestinian textbooks published the final report on 18 June 2021. The UK engaged closely with our European partners to urge publication. The review is publicly accessible on their website: www.gei.de/en/departments/knowledge-in-transition/analysis-of-palestinian-textbooks-paltex.html

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will list the (a) Conference of the Parties and (b) Meeting of the Parties to which the UK sends a delegation.

There are numerous international Conferences of the Parties and Meetings of the Parties organised on both environmental and non-environmental issues (e.g. Biodiversity COP, Desertification, Chemical Weapons).

Our attendance at these spans several government departments across Whitehall and the aim of the UK Government is to attend all it is permitted to join.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office do not currently have sponsorship responsibilities for any public inquiries.

11th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when the UK last received a shipment of coking coal from Russian producers; and when the next shipment is planned.

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

It is not possible for HMRC to identify the country of production of goods from the data held.

The last recorded import of commodity code 2701 1210 00 (coking coal) from Russia to the UK had a clearance date of 25 January 2022.

HMRC does not have details of any planned shipments of coking coal from Russia.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the value in sterling is of imports of Russian produced coking coal in the last 24 months.

HMRC is responsible for the collection and publication of data on imports and exports of goods to and from the UK. HMRC releases this information monthly, as a National Statistic called the Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics (OTS), which is available via their dedicated website: www.uktradeinfo.com.

From this website, it is possible to build your own data tables based upon bespoke search criteria: https://www.uktradeinfo.com/trade-data/ots-custom-table/

The value of coking coal imported from Russia into the UK in the last 24 months is set out below.

Month

Value of imports £

1

February 2020

3,966,692

2

March 2020

0

3

April 2020

11,136,389

4

May 2020

0

5

June 2020

7,926,624

6

July 2020

427,528

7

August 2020

7,446,127

8

September 2020

2,897,470

9

October 2020

0

10

November 2020

4,841,498

11

December 2020

7,553,490

12

January 2021

0

13

February 2021

8,269,888

14

March 2021

0

15

April 2021

10,787,749

16

May 2021

4,437,114

17

June 2021

5,168,023

18

July 2021

0

19

August 2021

0

20

September 2021

10,119,919

21

October 2021

0

22

November 2021

276,806

23

December 2021

11,125,753

24

January 2022

14,639,058

Imports from Russia to the UK

Based on commodity code CN8 27011210
(Other forms of coal are classified under Chapter 27 section 04)

Source: HMRC, Overseas Trade-in-Goods Statistics

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reducing VAT on (a) petrol and (b) diesel.

VAT has been designed as a broad-based tax on consumption and the twenty per cent standard rate applies to the vast majority of goods and services, including petrol and diesel. While there are exceptions to the standard rate, these have always been strictly limited by both legal and fiscal considerations.

All taxes are kept under reivew, but there are no plans to cut VAT on petrol and diesel. Cutting VAT on road fuel from 20% to 5% would come at a significant cost to the Exchequer and such a relief would not be targeted as it would also benefit high income households that do not need support.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will take steps to reduce the administrative steps involved in assessing child benefit by household income to ensure that families in (a) Ashfield and (b) the UK receive the support they need.

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced in January 2013 to target support at those who need it most. It applies to anyone with an income over £50,000 who claims Child Benefit or whose partner claims it. The charge is tapered for taxpayers with incomes between £50,000 and £60,000. Where income is over £60,000, the amount of the charge is equal to the Child Benefit payments. Families where at least one taxpayer has an income over £50,000 can opt out of getting Child Benefit payments, which means they do not have to pay the charge.

The HICBC is calculated on an individual rather than a household basis, in line with other Income Tax policy. Basing HICBC on household income would mean finding out the incomes of every person in the 7.8 million households currently registered for Child Benefit. This would effectively introduce a new means test, which would be costly to administer and create burdens on most families who receive Child Benefit.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to remove environmental levies on domestic energy in response to increasing energy costs.

Environmental and social policy costs represent around 12% of the average dual energy bill, however over the past 10 years their net effect has been to reduce consumer energy bills. Investment in renewables and energy efficiency has reduced UK demand for natural gas by 26% since 2010. This has helped reduce our exposure to global price volatility.

While the majority of these costs represent contractual obligations to fund previous investments in renewables, we need to ensure our green policies are fit for the future, and Government keeps all costs on bills under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reducing VAT on domestic energy in response to rising fuel costs.

In recognition of the fact that families should not have to bear all the VAT costs they incur to meet their energy needs, the Government already maintains a reduced rate of 5 per cent VAT on the supply of domestic energy, at a cost of £5 billion per year.

Although the Government keeps all taxes under review, going further would impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. VAT raised around £130 billion in the year 2019-20, and helps to fund key spending priorities, including on health, education, and defence.
Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to encourage consumer spending in (a) non-essential retail and (b) the hospitality sector once covid-19 restrictions on those sectors are lifted.

The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s retail and hospitality sector and recognises that these sectors have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

The Government will continue to monitor developments, engage with the sector and keep under review the case for further interventions, to support business growth and employment in the retail and hospitality sectors. The best way we can support consumers and businesses is by reopening businesses when it is safe to do so.

The Government has already acted to deliver support to these sectors through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been extended until April; and is protecting businesses with cash grants, Government backed finance through loan schemes, ‘Pay as You Grow’ long-term repayments options, a VAT cut, a VAT deferral for up to 12 months, a 12-month business rates holiday; and a moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on sectoral support for charity-funded medical research during the covid-19 outbreak.

Medical research charities are an integral part of the United Kingdom’s world-leading life sciences sector and we welcome the interest of honourable members in this area. The government is monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on the work of medical research charities. To this effect, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department of Health and Social Care is closely liaising with the Association of Medical Research Charities, as well as individual charities, to understand the impact of the pandemic on this sector and identify how best the Government and charities can work together to ensure that patients continue benefiting from charity funded research.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

There are currently no (a) statutory or (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken with HMT as the sponsor.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
30th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department issues to the Metropolitan Police on handling climate protests in accordance with the Public Order Act 2023.

The College of Policing have primary responsibility for publishing police guidance and are operationally independent. They have recently published specific guidance on the measures in the Public Order Act 2023 that have already commenced (Public Order Act 2023: Supplementary content (college.police.uk)). Further guidance on the remaining measures will be published in due course.

The College of Policing have also worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to publish the National Protest Operational Advice document (National protest operational advice (college.police.uk)), which provides operational guidance on the handling of protests and the application of the Public Order Act 2023.

In addition, the College of Policing’s Authorised Professional Practice on Public Order Public Safety (Public order public safety | College of Policing) has recently been updated and signposts to both the Public Order Act 2023 and the National Protest Operational Advice document.

The Home Office will continue to provide support where appropriate to assist the College of Policing in publishing accurate and up to date guidance on the Public Order Act 2023.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill on rural businesses.

The Terrorism (Protection of premises) draft Bill is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC). As part of this process, the Home Office have published a full Impact Assessment, which can be found on gov.uk.

A fundamental consideration when developing this draft Bill is proportionality, and it is vital that we balance this against the threat we face today.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of housing asylum seekers at RAF Scrampton on historical buildings at that site.

RAF Scampton played a vital role in the Second World War and the Home Office has been clear that we will preserve and enhance the heritage feature of Scampton.

We have undertaken significant engagement with Historic England and will create an Operational Management Plan (OMP) which will set out clear actions and responsibilities to protect the heritage assets at RAF Scampton. A regularly updated Factsheet on RAF Scampton can be found at Factsheet: RAF Scampton asylum accommodation (accessible) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to stop foreign nationals overstaying their right to reside in the UK on each visa route.

We take robust action against those who abuse the conditions of their visa.

Any individuals abusing their visa are liable to be removed from the UK under section 10(1) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

A person who knowingly overstays their permission to enter or stay is, under section 24(C1) of the Immigration Act 1971, guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction with an unlimited fine, or with imprisonment for not more than four years, or with both.

25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing all international students to bring dependents to the UK with them.

As set out in the Home Secretary’s written statement made on 23 May 2023, the Government remains committed to bringing down net migration to sustainable levels. The immigration statistics highlighted an unexpected rise in the number of dependants coming to the UK alongside international students which the system was not intended for. We are therefore taking steps to remove the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes. Those affected by this package will predominantly be dependants of students who make a more limited contribution to the economy than students or those coming under the Skilled Worker route. Restricting the ability to bring dependants under the Student route to the aforementioned cohort of international students also ensures we continue to attract the brightest and best talent the world has to offer.

We keep all our immigration policies under constant review to ensure they best serve the UK and reflect the public’s priorities.

11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will make an estimate of the number of migrants who have illegally arrived in the UK since 1 January 2023.

The Home Office has published data on the number of migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats on a weekly basis since January 2023 which can be accessed here: Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Data on the quarterly total number of attempts to enter the UK irregularly is published in the irregular migration to the UK statistics release within the ‘Irregular migration to the UK detailed dataset and summary tables’. This data is currently published up to end of December. Data for the next quarter (January to March 2023) is due to be published 25th May 2023.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, published on 20 October 2022, whether (a) police forces and (b) local authorities are recording the ethnicity of people arrested on suspicion of child sexual exploitation.

We recognise the significant work of the Inquiry over its 7 years of investigation on these important issues. We owe it to the victims and survivors to give the Inquiry’s final recommendations proper time, consideration, and attention.

The Government continues to carefully consider all of the findings and each of the recommendations of the Final Report and will respond in the coming weeks.

The Government has already taken key steps to drive up data quality in policing by funding regional child sexual abuse analysts in every policing region. This includes making it mandatory from April 2022 for police forces to record demographic information, including the ethnicity of those arrested and held in custody as a result of their suspected involvement in grooming gangs.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many reports of criminal damage at asylum seeker accommodation there have been since 1 January 2022.

The Home Office does not hold this information.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much repair to damage at asylum seeker accommodation has cost since 1 January 2022.

The Home Office does not hold this information.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many times police were called to deal with incidents in (a) hotels, (b) processing centres and (c) other accommodation used for asylum seekers since 1 January 2022.

Security and support staff are on site 24 hours a day and providers liaise closely with local police to ensure the safety of vulnerable residents and to mitigate any risks to them and the wider community.

We regularly engage with accommodation providers and, where necessary, work with providers to put additional measures in place. This will include working with other Statutory bodies including Police to investigate any potential criminal activities

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many allegations of assault have been made against asylum seekers who (a) came across the Channel illegally in small boats and (b) arrived in the UK by other means since 1 January 2022.

If Police suspect they are dealing with a non-settled person, the Police will contact Immigration Enforcement to check a person’s status and a record is made of that on our databases; however this information is not recorded in a way which is reportable

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers who (a) came across the Channel illegally in small boats and (b) arrived in the UK by other means have been arrested by police for offences other than under the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 since the commencement of that Act.

If Police suspect they are dealing with a non-settled person, the Police will contact Immigration Enforcement to check a person’s status and a record is made of that on our databases; however this information is not recorded in a way which is reportable

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what protections are in place for spouses who are victims of domestic abuse seeking a divorce.

Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for this Government and we are committed to protecting all victims of domestic abuse. To gain protection during divorce proceedings, victims can apply for a protection order. A Non-Molestation Order protects the victim and relevant child from abuse or harassment and an Occupation Order can prevent the person subject to the order from coming near to the family home. In addition, following an incident of violence, or the threat of violence, the police can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) to provide immediate protection to the victim, which can then be followed by a Domestic Violence Protection Order in a magistrate's court.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduces a wide-ranging definition of domestic abuse, and further protection to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse and strengthens measures to bring perpetrators to justice. The Act introduced the new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice (DAPN) and Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO), which will provide flexible, longer-term protection for victims from all forms of domestic abuse. The Government is currently undergoing extensive work to prepare the new order for piloting from next year.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 also extends the controlling and coercive behaviour offence to apply to ex-partners or family members who do not live together to ensure the protection of individuals from harm after separation or divorce.

Accompanying this legislation, in July 2022, the Government published detailed statutory guidance to ensure that domestic abuse is properly understood by public agencies seeking to tackle this abhorrent crime and provide appropriate support to victims.

The guidance outlines the many forms domestic abuse can take, including in a marital setting and the barriers preventing victims from seeking a divorce. It also recognises specific forms of faith related abuse including coercion to enter into a marriage and the withholding of a religious divorce, as a threat to control and intimidate victims which can be present in different forms under different faiths. The guidance makes clear that safeguarding remains the utmost priority and all victims should be encouraged by the agencies and organisations they encounter to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from harm.

The Home Office is also planning to double funding for survivors of sexual violence and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline by 2024-25, and further increase funding for all the national helplines it supports. Our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan invests £140 million to support victims, including over £47 million in ringfenced funding for victims’ services and £27 million is currently ringfenced funding for 700 ISVAs and IDVAs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what measures are in place to protect female victims of domestic abuse during a police investigation.

This Government is committed to protecting all victims of domestic abuse and is working in partnership with police forces across England and Wales to keep victims safe.

The police have measures at their disposal to protect victims of domestic abuse during a police investigation. These include pre-charge bail conditions and protective orders such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO). Following an incident of violence, or the threat of violence, the police can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) to provide immediate protection to the victim for 48 hours by, for example, prohibiting the person subject to the notice from contacting the victim. The DVPN is then followed by a DVPO in a magistrate’s court.

In the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, the Government committed to launching a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Order, to be piloted from next year. These will go even further in protecting victims from all forms of domestic abuse. This will include making a breach of a new order a criminal offence and having no minimum or maximum duration. The Government is currently undergoing extensive work to prepare the new order for piloting from next year.

To strengthen the police response to cases of domestic abuse and help domestic abuse victims and survivors, the Government also committed in the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan up to £3.3 million over three years to support the rollout of the Domestic Abuse Matters training, to forces which have yet to deliver it, or do not have their own specific domestic abuse training. This training developed by the College of Policing in conjunction with SafeLives and with input from Women’s Aid, aims to ensure the police know how to best respond to victims of domestic abuse, understanding its impact on victims, and standardises the police response to domestic abuse.

We continue to work closely with the College to encourage the remaining forces to take up the Domestic Abuse Matters programme.

The Home Office is also planning to double funding for survivors of sexual violence and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline by 2024-25, and further increase funding for all the national helplines it supports. Our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan invests £140 million to support victims, including over £47 million in ringfenced funding for victims’ services and £27 million is currently ringfenced funding for 700 ISVAs and IDVAs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of her Department's progress in preventing undocumented migrants from crossing the English Channel since December 2019.

Preventing the illegal entry of people to the UK in small boats is an ongoing priority for the Government. These crossings are dangerous and unnecessary and must be made unviable. To achieve this, the UK and France maintain a longstanding relationship on tackling illegal migration at the shared border. Most recently, a bilateral arrangement was reached between the UK and France on 20 July 2021, where the UK pledged to make a further financial investment of approximately £54 million (€62.7 million) in 2021/22 to tackle illegal migration and small boats.

The UK and France have agreed to keep the impact of these measures and their implementation, under close review, including via a UK-France Joint Monitoring Committee, chaired by senior officials from both countries. This will enable us to respond to our shared challenges as they change. Last year’s investment saw France doubling the number of its officers patrolling French beaches. Our joint activity with France prevented more than 23,000 crossings in 2021. So far in 2022, over 8,000 people have been prevented from crossing – more than twice the number to this point in 2021. Furthermore, since the UK-France Joint Intelligence Cell (JIC) was established in July 2020, we have, with France, dismantled 21 small boat organised criminal groups and secured over 500 arrests. We assess that this has had a considerable impact upon facilitators. Going forward, the Home Office will continue to cooperate closely with the French Government on this important issue.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the police officers hired as part of the Police Uplift Programme have been (a) hired and (b) deployed in Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire police has been allocated a total of 212 additional officers for years one and two of the uplift combined, to be recruited by March 2022.

As at 30 September 2021, Nottinghamshire police has recruited 243 additional officers counting towards uplift. Allocations for year three are yet to be announced.

Newly recruited officers typically compete initial training of between 12-18 weeks, following which, new officers will be out on the beat.

The deployment of officers in the force area is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of officers recruited as part of the Police Officer Uplift Programme on a quarterly basis. The latest data, covering the situation to 30 September 2021, are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-officer-uplift-statistics. These data are published at Police Force Area level in the supplementary tables accompanying the bulletin.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the UK’s proscription of Hamas.

The Government does not routinely comment on intelligence matters.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to remove foreign national offenders.

The Government is clear foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence is considered for deportation at the earliest opportunity and since January 2019 we have removed 7,985.

For non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, deportation will be pursued where it is conducive to the public good including where a person receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, commits an offence that caused serious harm or is a persistent offender. European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens, and their family members, who are protected by the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020 are considered for deportation on public policy and public security grounds where it concerns conduct (including any criminal convictions relating to it) committed on or before 31 December 2020.

Our New Plan for Immigration will make it easier to deport foreign criminals with no right to be in the UK and keep our citizens safe. Further information can be found in New Plan for Immigration: policy statement (accessible) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by her Department.

The Home Office currently sponsors five statutory inquiries, established or converted under the Inquiries Act 2005, and one non-statutory inquiry:

a) Statutory inquiries:

  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  • Undercover Policing Inquiry
  • Manchester Arena Inquiry
  • Brook House Inquiry
  • Jermaine Baker Inquiry

b) Non-statutory inquiry:

  • Daniel Morgan Independent Panel
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the quarantine criteria on people entering the UK will be dependant on the mortality and infection rates of the country from which they are travelling.

From 8 June, all passengers arriving in the UK without having travelled through another part of the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for 14 days, apart from those on a short list of exemptions. This applies to arrivals from all countries outside of the Common Travel Area. These public health measure will be kept under review.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure that tasers will be available to all Nottinghamshire Police Force officers who request one.

The use of TASER® remains an operational matter for Chief Officers to decide the number of TASER® and the number of TASER® officers deployed based on their assessments of the threats and risks in their areas.

The Home Secretary will provide £6.7 million ringfenced funding to police forces in England and Wales to purchase 8,155 TASER® devices. This could mean more than 8,000 more officers will be able to carry TASER®.

A total of 41 forces submitted bids and all will receive the full amount of money they requested. This will help forces to better protect themselves and the public from harm.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to fears of violence against police officers, what steps she is taking to support the mental wellbeing of police officers.

We have accelerated work to establish a Police Covenant, recognising the bravery and commitment of our police who work night and day to keep us safe. One of the key areas of focus will be the health and wellbeing of our police, along with physical protection and support for families.

The wellbeing of our police is a key priority for this Government and we have invested in programmes which offer help directly to officers. This included £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019. The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. There is an emphasis on prevention, for example by helping forces to identify mental health issues early through pyschological screening, helping officers to access support earlier. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, which includes supporting officers with specific welfare needs by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department's publication entitled Defence Command Paper 2023: Defence’s response to a more contested and volatile world published in July 2023, what steps his Department is taking in its procurement process to ensure that the UK has access to (a) key materials, (b) components and (c) critical technology.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) operates a range of initiatives to identify and address threats to our supply chains, including access to materials, components and technology. We are developing an extensive MOD-wide Supply Chain Resilience Programme, which aims to prioritise the mapping of our most critical supply chains. In addition, through the Defence Suppliers Forum Supply Chain Resilience Working Group, we work closely with industry and maintain an open dialogue to identify and put in place the measures needed to protect the supply chains of our key programmes, whilst maintaining the resilience of the UK’s industrial and technology base.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 18 of the Defence Command Paper 2023, what criteria his Department has developed for determining cases in which there is an essential national security requirement for certain industrial capabilities to be available onshore within the UK.

The 2023 Defence Command Paper reinforces a key message of the 2021 Defence and Security Industrial Strategy: the need for our investment decisions to take into consideration any implications for the UK’s Operational Independence.

Our considerations include identifying the industrial capabilities required to support and upgrade in-service equipment (including manufacture of the most critical components); the ability to conduct military operations as we choose; and, the ability to respond to urgent operational requirements arising during operations.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has had recent discussions with the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on proposals to establish a new Sovereign Base Area under a two-state solution in Cyprus.

In accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. The Secretary of State for Defence has not had any discussions with the Turkish Cypriot leader about UK basing or the Sovereign Base Areas on the island of Cyprus.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the equity of the recruiting process used by the RAF and whether positive discrimination has occurred in this process.

A review of the RAF's recruiting policies and processes is underway.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to help increase the (a) number and (b) proportion of social houses built with adaptations for people with disabilities.

Following our consultation on options to raise the accessibility of new homes, we published a government response on 29th July 2022, setting out our plans to mandate the current optional and higher M4(2) requirement in Building Regulations as a minimum standard for all new homes, including new social homes. Government will consult further on the technical changes to the Building Regulations to mandate the higher M4(2) accessibility standard.

Additionally, since 2010 Government has invested £4.8 billion into the Disabled Facilities Grant (2010-11 to 2022-23), delivering an estimated 490,000 home adaptations.

The DFG is tenure neutral, so irrespective of the type of property in which a person lives, eligible disabled people should be able to receive the home adaptations that they need subject to a means test and assessment of need.

The £11.5 billion Affordable Homes programme (2021-26) (England) also includes delivery within the programme of new supply of specialist supported housing, including for people with disabilities, alongside investment through DHSC’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (England).

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether Ashfield and Eastwood constituency will be one of the 38 investment zones announced in the Growth Plan 2022.

DLUHC has launched a formal Expression of Interest process that is open to all Mayoral Combined Authorities, or Upper Tier Local Authorities where they do not exist, and Freeports, in England. Every area is welcome to apply, and we have been discussing potential zones with many areas across England.

Discussions are not confirmation that any particular place would be designated as an Investment Zone. The EOI closed on 14 October 2022 and we will make an announcement in due course once we have received and assessed all bids.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what step his Department is taking to help ensure the provision of supported accommodation for disabled people is cost effective.

Ensuring that local supported living specialist accommodation services for disabled people are cost effective is primarily the responsibility of the local commissioners of such services.

Where such specialist accommodation service is provided by a private registered provider (PRP), the Regulator of Social Housing’s economic standards apply, which include Governance and Financial Viability and Value for Money. The Regulator expects PRPs to manage their resources effectively to ensure their viability is maintained, while ensuring that social housing assets are not put at undue risk. The Regulator also expects PRPs to demonstrate a robust approach to achieving value for money.

The Government's Affordable Homes Programme delivers new supply of supported housing, alongside a number of other housing types. Our delivery partners undertake a robust value for money appraisal on all Affordable Housing Programme bids, ensuring that public funding is used efficiently.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to support Ukrainian refugees to find housing after their six month sponsorship ends who are not able to provide either a down-payment for a deposit or a six month credit history.

Guidance for Ukrainian refugees on 'How to rent in England' can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent. Councils have reported that some landlords are refusing households that do not have guarantors and others because of a lack of credit history. In some instances, councils are managing this problem by running schemes in which the council acts as a guarantor for the household.

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to make house prices more affordable.

The Government is committed to boosting home ownership and supporting first-time buyers and will do so by looking at all of the factors that influence ownership levels, including housing supply and the availability of low deposit mortgages. Since 2010, over 774,000 households have already been helped to purchase a home through Government-backed schemes including Help to Buy and Right to Buy.

On 9 June the Prime Minister announced new measures to help first time buyers into home ownership, including looking into reforming of the mortgage market to boost access to finance for first time buyers; and working to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants. We are also committed to completing our reforms to the leasehold system which will mean that homeowners should have far greater control over their homes and their lives.

We are increasing supply in tandem, working closely with communities to build more of the right homes in the right places all across England. The Government is also committed to delivering 1 million new homes by the end of this Parliament and continue working towards its ambition of delivering 300,000 new homes per year to create a more sustainable and affordable housing market.

We are also investing £11.5 billion in the 2021-26 Affordable Homes Programme which will build up to 180,000 affordable homes, should economic conditions allow.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when the Eastwood Levelling Up Fund bid will need to be submitted.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport and investing in cultural and heritage assets. We will open round 2 in Spring 2022 and will share further details in due course.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the conclusions were of the equalities impact assessment for his Department's proposals for the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019.

My Department has been implementing the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 which requires the Secretary of State to prepare a Code of Practice containing guidance about the operation and management of private parking facilities. The Code is currently being finalised and, as part of that, we are considering any equalities impacts it may have. The Code will be published along with Private Parking Charges, Discount Rates, Debt Collection Fees and Appeals Charter: Further Technical Consultation Response in due course.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government has taken to protect green and open spaces from unsuitable developments.

The National Planning Policy Framework acknowledges the importance of green and open space and makes clear that where new development is proposed an appropriate amount of public space should be provided. It is also set out that existing open space should not be built on unless there is evidence to demonstrate that it is no longer required, or it will be replaced by equivalent or better provision at a suitable location.

The Framework also sets out how both local and neighbourhood plans allow communities to identify and protect green areas which they consider to be of particular importance, by formally designating these as Local Green Space.

In addition, the National Model Design Code, which we have recently consulted on, sets out proposals for how nature and green spaces should be woven into the fabric of our villages, towns and cities, providing benefits in terms of health and wellbeing, biodiversity, climate and flood mitigation.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to protect green spaces from unsuitable development in (a) Ashfield constituency and (b) England.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has a quasi-judicial role in the planning system, and a duty of impartiality is in place. This means that I cannot comment on local policies or decisions regarding the protection of green spaces in Ashfield. It is for each local authority to plan for its area in consultation with local people, and apply policies in its development plan and national planning policy to local places and circumstances.

The National Planning Policy Framework recognises that access to a network of high-quality open spaces is important for the health and well-being of communities. Local authorities should assess the need for open space, and opportunities for new provision, and accommodate these in their plans. The Framework also states that such open space should not be built on unless an assessment shows that the land is surplus to requirements, the loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in a sustainable location, or the development is for alternative sport and recreational provision, the benefits of which clearly outweigh the loss.

In response to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s recommendations, we are giving every local authority the ability to create, in consultation with local people, its own design code to help secure more beautiful development, including the provision of green space and other green infrastructure. Local authorities are already empowered to designate Local Green Space, to protect land of importance to local people from inappropriate development.

There are also strong protections for Green Belt land in the Framework. The Government is committed to protecting and enhancing the Green Belt, and to making the most of brownfield land for development. Local authorities are expected to seek opportunities to enhance beneficial uses of Green Belt, including better access and opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on consumer confidence in high street shopping; and what steps the Government is taking to encourage local shopping.

Government recognises that this is a challenging time for everyone in the country and COVID-19 is having a significant impact on our communities, businesses and town centres.

The Government is investing in our high streets and town centres, to help local communities to create high streets and town centres where people want to spend their time and money in. On 20 March we announced a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund (WBF), building on the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) announced in 2020 to support a safe and successful reopening of our high streets and seaside resorts, giving people the reassurance that they can shop and socialise in a COVID-secure way. We were encouraged to see the rise in footfall following the opening of non-essential retail in April and continue to work with the retail sector on continuing to build consumer confidence.

This builds on our longer-term investment in high streets. On 26 December 2020, the Communities Secretary announced that up to £830 million has been allocated from the Future High Streets Fund. 15 areas have been awarded £255 million, with a further 57 areas to receive provisional funding of £576 million. This is a major boost for local high streets. The investment will support areas to recover from the pandemic and help transform underused town centres into vibrant places to live, work and shop.

The Government is also providing support to local leadership with a High Streets Task Force, giving high streets and town centres expert advice to adapt and thrive. On 20 March, MHCLG announced the next 70 local authorities, including Ashfield, that will receive targeted, in-person support from high street experts. This support will include a one-day diagnostic visit by a Task Force expert and, depending on the result of this diagnostic, may then include further support through expert advice on a specific issue, such as planning or design, workshops to develop a high street’s vision, and mentoring or training.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress the Government has made in allocating additional support to (a) local authorities in Ashfield constituency and (b) other local authorities as part of its levelling up agenda.

The constituency of Ashfield is benefitting from a range of Government investment. Kirby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Eastwood are continuing to receive funding from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s £257.5 million allocation of the Government’s Local Growth Fund. Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield were both invited to develop proposals for up to £25 million each from the Towns Fund and we were delighted to receive a joint Town Investment Plan from the two towns recently.

Ashfield District Council has also been awarded an in-principle offer of over £6.2 million from the Future High Streets Fund to help implement transformative high street plans and bring a much needed boost for the people of Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Investments like this will be built upon by our new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund which will be open to all local areas and allocated competitively. We will prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration for places in need, those facing particular local challenges, and areas that have potentially benefitted less from Government investment in previous years. We will publish a prospectus for the fund and launch early this year.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how his Department plans to allocate funding from the £4 million Levelling Up Fund to (a) local authorities in Ashfield constituency and (b) other local authorities; and what the timescale is for allocating that funding.

The Levelling Up Fund will be open to all local areas and allocated competitively. In order to level up places across the country, we will prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration in places in need, those facing particular local challenges, and areas that have received less Government investment in recent years. We will publish a prospectus for the fund and launch early this year.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the financial situation of Nottingham City Council; and if he will make a statement.

At the Spending Review, the Government announced that local authorities are expected to receive over £3 billion of additional support for COVID-19 in 2021-22, taking the total support committed to councils in England to tackle the impacts of COVID-19 to over £10 billion. Of the £7.2 billion that has already been provided, Nottingham City Council has received over £34.3 million so far, and under our proposals will receive at least a further £11.7 million in un-ringfenced funding next year.

Following issues raised in a Public Interest Report published in August, a rapid non-statutory review was conducted into Nottingham City Council. The review examined the serious governance and risk management issues associated with the Council’s private energy company, Robin Hood Energy. In response to the findings of the review, on 17 December 2020 the Secretary of State announced new measures to address the serious failures at the Council, including the appointment of an Improvement and Assurance Board and a requirement for the Council to put forward a 3-year recovery plan.

The department will continue to work with the council to understand the range of financial issues they are experiencing, including any request for additional financial support from Government.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has plans to issue Nottingham City Council with a Section 114 notice; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Local Government Finance Act 1988, there is statutory duty placed on the chief finance officer of local authorities to issue a Section 114 if they judge that the Council is unable to set or maintain a balanced budget. This decision rests at the local level and it is for the Council to make. Government has no role to play in the issuing of a Section 114 notice. All councils have a legal duty to balance their budgets and it is right that Nottingham Council takes the decisions it considers necessary to manage its own finances.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

MHCLG is not sponsoring any statutory or non-statutory public inquiries.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to assist landlords who have nuisance tenants in social housing.

Social landlords have the power to seek the re-possession of a tenant’s home where they can demonstrate to the court that the tenant concerned is in breach of the terms of their tenancy agreement

Landlords can rely on the further remedies available through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ('the 2014 Act') which provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour.

In response to the Covid-19 emergency, all possession cases before the courts, including possession action against tenants for anti-social behaviour, have been suspended for 3 months. This reflects Public Health England’s advice that moving home at the moment is strongly advised against.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to issue guidance to the police on requirements to refer to the Crown Prosecution Service when using the new diversionary caution for hate crime offences.

As set out in the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022, the Government legislated for a reformed two-tier cautions framework in England and Wales.

We have consulted on a draft Code of Practice to support future implementation. This covers the use, administration, and scrutiny of Diversionary and Community Cautions. The draft Code of Practice stipulates that a Diversionary or Community Caution may be given for a hate crime case but only once authorisation has been obtained from the Crown Prosecution Service. The draft Code of Practice was put to public consultation from 2 August to 13 October 2023 and invited views on the operational impact of the draft Code, including the approach to excluded offences.

Currently, we are analysing the consultation responses received to inform any necessary revisions to the draft Code of Practice and we will publish a Government response to the consultation in due course.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of people convicted of hate crimes in magistrates' courts were sentenced to undergo a rehabilitative programme in the latest period for which data is available.

We do not centrally hold data on offences motivated by hostility or prejudice towards an individual based on a personal characteristic. This information may be held on court record, however, the information requested can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The latest data on the number of offenders starting a community order or suspended sentence order supervised by the Probation Service with a rehabilitative programme imposed can be found in the Offender Management Statistics quarterly publication here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/653854823099f9000d7f30a4/Probation_Q2_2023.ods.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what rehabilitative programmes are provided by the Probation Service to help tackle hate crime; and whether his Department has made a recent assessment of the impact of these programmes on levels of recidivism.

There are no rehabilitative programmes or interventions designed specifically to address hate crime. Hate crime offences are typically driven by a range of underlying factors that are shared with other types of offending for which there are a range of programmes and interventions available that may be suitable. What programme(s) or intervention(s) may be most suitable for someone convicted of hate crime offences is determined based on the nature of the offence and an assessment to determine eligibility and the specific rehabilitative needs of the offender.

A number of studies and evaluations have been carried out in recent years on HMPPS rehabilitative programmes and interventions, and can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/crime-justice-and-law#research_and_statistics.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the reoffending rates were for people convicted of (a) racially-aggravated, (b) religiously-aggravated and (c) other hate crime offences who (i) received a (A) caution and (B) fine and (ii) were imprisoned in the latest period for which data is available.

We do not centrally hold data on other hate crime offences. This information may be recorded by individual police forces and in court records, however the information requested can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

There are 79,456 offenders in the latest reoffending cohort (October – December 2021) which can be found in the Proven Reoffending Statistics review, here:

Proven reoffending statistics: October to December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling families of victims of crime to participate in the process of taking decisions on prisoner release.

Victims can already participate in the process of considering a prisoner’s release in a number of ways.

Any victim, or bereaved family member, of a serious sexual or violent offence where an offender receives a custodial sentence of 12 months, or more is entitled to join the Victim Contact Scheme. Victims who join the Scheme will be allocated a Victim Liaison Officer who will provide the victim with regular updates including key information about how the sentence and release processes operate. Victims can request that the offender on release is subject to specific licence conditions for their safety and peace of mind, such as exclusion zones and non-contact conditions. These requests must be considered by the Probation Service.

Where the prisoner’s release is subject to a review by the independent Parole Board then, in addition to requesting licence conditions, victims may also submit a Victim Personal Statement to explain to the Parole Board how the crime has affected the victim and their family. We have committed to going further by allowing victims the opportunity to make written submissions to the Parole Board. Information in the submissions could include their views on the offender’s potential release and questions to the Parole Board. This change will be enshrined in the updated Victims’ Code which is expected to be introduced in 2024.

The decision on whether to grant parole is based entirely on risk. Where a victim has information relevant to the assessment of future risk, there are mechanisms in place that enable the victims’ information to be provided to the Parole Board by the Probation Service. This approach protects the victim from being liable to be called as a witness to the parole hearing and subject to questioning by the Panel or the prisoner and/or their legal representative.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made on the effectiveness of the criteria for releasing prisoners who have committed a serious crime.

This Government has ensured that the courts have the fullest range of sentencing powers available to deal effectively with serious offenders, with release provisions that protect the public.

Those who commit the most serious offences may be given a life sentence, where the court sets a minimum period in custody (the tariff) after which the prisoner may be released by the Parole Board only if it is satisfied that detention is no longer necessary to protect the public. Other serious sexual and violent offenders may be given an Extended Determinate Sentence or a Sentence for Offenders of Particular Concern where they must serve their custodial term in full unless the Parole Board assesses they are safe to release before that point, having served at least two-thirds in prison. In the Victims and Prisoners Bill, we are strengthening the test which the Parole Board must apply when considering the release of prisoners. The new test makes clear that protecting the public must be the sole consideration - a prisoner must not be released unless there is no more than minimal risk of the prisoner committing a further offence that would cause serious harm. We also introduced a Serious Terrorism Sentence where a minimum custodial period of 14 years is imposed which must be served in full.

Most prisoners serve a standard determinate sentence of imprisonment which, in most cases, means release is automatic at the half-way point on licence for the remainder of the sentence. In the Police Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, for those sentenced to 4 years or more for certain serious sexual and violent offences, we strengthened the provisions to require those offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison, to better reflect the severity of their crimes. The Act also introduced a new power to prevent the automatic release of prisoners who receive a standard determinate sentence, if they pose a danger to the public.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to protect domestic abuse victims when the person who abused them has been released from prison.

The Probation Service works with other agencies to manage the risks perpetrators pose on release from prison and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of victims, potential victims, and children.  For domestic abuse offenders convicted of relevant sexual or violent offences this will be under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). Where the offender is released on licence, there may be specific conditions designed to protect victims from unwanted contact with offenders.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) updated its Domestic Abuse Policy Framework in September 2022. (Domestic abuse policy framework - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). It sets out the expectations for managing domestic abuse cases clearly and comprehensively.

When parliamentary time allows, we will legislate so that those convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour (CCB) with a sentence of twelve months or more imprisonment or a suspended sentence will be automatically subject to MAPPA. This will place a duty on the Police, the Probation Service and a range of other agencies to share information and work together to manage the risks the individual poses. In the meantime, we will start work now on an operating model for HMPPS and the Police to use the ViSOR public protection database to share information on CCB offenders while they are subject to supervision.

A project later this year will test the effectiveness of electronic monitoring with domestic abuse offenders on licence, including testing how it can protect existing and potential victims of domestic abuse offences.

In July 2021, we commenced a three year pilot of polygraph testing with high-risk domestic perpetrators released from prison on licence. If the pilot is successful in strengthening how we risk manage domestic abuse perpetrators, we will roll this out across England and Wales.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of undertaking an inquiry into historic abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre.

The government has the deepest sympathy for the men who suffered sexual or physical abuse while detained at Medomsley Detention Centre.

A judicial review claim has been launched in regard to the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into Medomsley. It would be inappropriate to comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will replace Community Payback with a scheme where people who receive community sentences work in industries with labour shortages.

Community Payback requires offenders to undertake rigorous and constructive work which benefits the communities they have harmed. Community Payback projects across England and Wales provide valuable support for charities, community groups and local authorities on a daily basis. Through £93m of investment, we are increasing the impact that Community Payback can have on local communities and spaces by ramping up the hours delivered to up to 8 million hours a year.

Whilst Community Payback can add value to the work undertaken by public bodies and voluntary organisations, it should not replace paid employment or infringe the ILO forced labour convention.

However, Community Payback does have an important role to play in developing work ready skills, providing practical training opportunities and improving long term employment prospects.

As part of our investment, we are working to improve our education, training and employment provision in order to better target identified skills gaps. This approach should support offenders so that they are well placed to fill critical labour gaps.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to rollout community payback by offenders.

Community Payback is the term used to describe any work done as part of an unpaid work requirement made by the Courts. Unpaid work is the main punitive disposal for community-based sentences, its purpose is to punish offenders for breaking the law whilst also allowing individuals to make reparations to their local communities for their crimes.

This Government is investing £93m so that communities can benefit from a record-breaking 8 million hours of impactful and demanding unpaid work each year. This funding will allow us to rejuvenate our unpaid work offer, by recruiting additional staff and refreshing and expanding our transport fleet. We are working with large charities and organisations, Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities to make sure that communities have their say in how unpaid work should be used in their area. This includes placements with organisations such as the Canal and River Trust and Forestry England. Other national initiatives will include a tree planting project, helping to support the Government’s wider sustainability objectives.

As part of this we are consulting a range of further potential voluntary sector partners to identify unpaid work placements that will develop work ready skills and offer vocational training, helping offenders to integrate into society and promote future desistance from crime.

22nd Sep 2020
What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the public are protected from terrorists.

All terrorist offenders are subject to specialist multi-agency case management which utilises our network of counter-terrorism specialists. We use tailored interventions to facilitate disengagement and share risk assessment with security partners.

Since the latest terror attacks we have acted swiftly and decisively to review those multi-agency arrangements, and significantly invested in CT capability in the sector.

We have already taken an emergency Act through Parliament to end automatic early release of terrorists and we will introduce tougher sentencing and release measures through the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Ministry of Justice is not conducting any inquires at this time. All previous public inquiries carried out by the Ministry of Justice, whether statutory or non-statutory, have concluded and the reports have been published.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department will take to protect prison staff from covid-19 when prison visits are resumed.

Our National Framework, which sets out how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, has been published on gov.uk.

Social distancing and hygiene are the most effective means to reduce transmission and we are providing access to the right cleaning and hygiene products in prisons. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical to protect staff and those in our care where close contact is necessary and unavoidable. Our current PPE supplies are good, and we are making preparations and keeping demand for PPE under regular review as we progress our plans. We are consulting with unions and stakeholders on our strategy to ensure staff are confident in our gradual easing of restrictions and to keep prisoners informed.

For visits specifically, we are developing safe working practices that adhere to public health guidance. This is challenging but as with the adaptations being made in society we will need to consider safe distancing, separation between those that should not have contact, temperature testing of visitors prior to entry and effective hygiene arrangements.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure social distancing measures are being effectively implemented in prisons in order to ensure the safety of private security staff operating in those environments.

Restricted regimes are currently in place in prisons, meaning that prisoners are spending more of their time in their cells to support social distancing as recommended by Public Health England guidance. When allowed out of their cells, for example for exercise or showering, it is on a rota basis in small manageable groups, supervised by officers, allowing for social distancing to be maintained.

These measures are essential for protecting prisoners and all staff working in prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to reduce the number of behaviour management incidents in custody for young offenders.

The number of children in custody has declined by 70% over the past decade, leading to a concentrated cohort of children with particularly complex needs, most of whom are serving sentences for more serious or violent offences. The safety of all children and staff is paramount, so we have taken the following measures:

  • Last year, the Youth Custody Service published, and began implementing, a new approach to behaviour management – “Building Bridges” – developed with the NHS.[1] This is based on the importance of leadership, trusting staff-child relationships and the benefits of reward, prevention and proactive techniques.
  • We are funding all our frontline officers to undertake a youth justice qualification up to foundation degree level, which will enable them to better analyse need and risk, and deploy more effective interventions.
  • We recruited more psychologists and healthcare workers to work with children to help them overcome the issues at the root of their poor behaviour. For those children with the most complex needs, we have created two specialist enhanced support units so they can receive the intensive support they need.
  • We have commissioned a review of pain-inducing restraint techniques, which we expect to publish shortly, and set up a taskforce to review separation practice and policy.

We anticipate this range of new measures will lead to improved behaviour, fewer incidents and better outcomes for children.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-bridges-a-positive-behaviour-framework-for-the-children-and-young-people-secure-estate

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to support veterans and help tackle the legacy of the Troubles.

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill will establish a process that focuses on information recovery, delivering for victims and survivors, providing certainty for veterans and helping Northern Ireland to move forward.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Department is not currently undertaking any statutory or non-statutory public inquiries.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland is not undertaking any (a) statutory or (b) non-statutory public inquiries.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is not currently undertaking any public inquiries.

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales